As a renter, there’s still a lot you can do to secure your residence. Below are simple but effective tips to increase your security:
When you move in, assess your entrance doors. Your most accessible doors are often the most vulnerable. Your entrance door locks should have been changed to include a Grade 1 (top-security) lock, and new keys should have been issued, as with every new resident.
Assess the security of your residence, paying special attention to the following:
Exterior doors: all should have adequate lighting and Grade 1 deadbolts. Make sure all locks are aligned properly with the door frame and are in good, operable condition. Replace any bulbs that have burnt out in exterior lights immediately.
Windows: all should be equipped with quality locking devices to prevent them from being opened from the outside. Make sure these aren’t rusty or difficult to operate.
Sliding glass doors: equip them with a locking device, or place a strong metal or wooden bar (like a very thick dowel rod) along the track.
Always get renter’s insurance to protect your property.
Ask about your landlord or management company’s key control system and their policies for notifying you before they enter your apartment.
Make sure you understand how your apartment’s buzzer system works. Before buzzing in a guest, know who you’re admitting into your building.
Always make sure lobby doors lock after you enter or exit them.
Check for outdoor security lighting. Well-lit areas are usually the safest areas.
Bolt any window air conditioning units to the wall to prevent them from falling or being removed against your will.
If you live in a ground floor or garden apartment, installing strong locks on the windows or bars fastened to the masonry are good steps to improve your security.
Find out from a local official what your rights are as a tenant. Determine how much responsibility your landlord has for providing your home with adequate security.
Don’t hesitate to talk to your landlord. He or she should be just as interested in your security as you are. Inquire about equipping the building’s exterior doors with Grade 1 deadbolts.
Join or form an Apartment Watch. Like Neighborhood Watches, this is an organized group of tenants who keep a lookout for suspicious activity and report it to the police. Contact your local law enforcement agency for information on how to set one up.