Home Security Tips for Renters

If you’re renting, you may not think home security is your responsibility. After all, you are not the property owner and aren’t in charge of installing home security devices…or are you? Taking home security into your own hands as a renter could help you prevent a crime such as a burglary. Use these simple home security tips for renters to protect your home or apartment from crime.

Get Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is a safety net in case something happens to your belongings, such as a natural disaster or maintenance issue damaging your property. Renters insurance also protects you from losses related to theft and vandalism. Purchasing renters insurance could reimburse you for property losses after a robbery, such as benefits that pay to replace stolen valuables:

  • Laptop
  • Cellphone
  • Television
  • Other electronics
  • Appliances
  • Jewelry
  • Valuable assets
  • Heirlooms

Some landlords require that you purchase renters insurance before you move into a new place. Even if it is not a requirement, renters insurance could be a smart choice if you are worried about losing your belongings to theft – especially if you rent in a high-crime area. While preventing crime is always the best-case scenario, recouping the costs of your losses after a robbery with renters insurance is the next best thing.

Inspect the Building’s Lighting

Outdoor lights installed around your rental home or apartment building could deter criminals from choosing it as a target. Floodlights illuminating the area can make the criminal more visible on security cameras and to passersby, discouraging criminal activity. Check the lights outside of your rental to ensure the property is well-lit to your front door. Having good lighting outdoors will also decrease the likelihood of visitors slipping and falling.

It is your landlord’s responsibility to provide adequate security, including putting lights in common areas and parking lots. If your property is too dark, ask your landlord to install better lighting. In the meantime, you can light up the area yourself by wrapping string lights around doorframes and stairwells.

Ask for a New Front Door Lock

Part of your landlord’s responsibility for your safety is checking all the locks on the building – including the one on your front door – and replacing them, when necessary. After the previous tenant moves out, for example, it is smart for the property owner to replace the locks. This guarantees the previous tenant cannot use an old key to access your unit.

Your rental should have a combination of at least two different types of locks. If your rental only has one lock, ask your landlord to install additional locks, such as a deadbolt or swing lock. If your landlord does not want to pay for an additional lock, ask if you can install one out of your own pocket to increase your security.

Look Into Rental-Focused Home Security Systems

Home security systems are not out of reach as a renter. You do not have to own a home to install a temporary security system. Systems exist that are tailored specifically to rentals. Major brands such as SimpliSafe, Frontpoint and Brinks offer security systems for rentals that come with portable, drill-less equipment.

If you do not want to install a full security system, consider investing in a door jammer or cameras. Cameras can be more affordable than you think, especially if they aren’t connected to a full security system. Installing your own security equipment can keep your rental safer. Just make sure to notify your landlord about the system, as he or she reserves the right to know about added security measures.

Keep Your Windows Covered

Your landlord should comply with a request to install locks on any first-floor windows in your rental. You should also invest in curtains and blinds to keep your windows covered, especially if you live on the first floor. Covering your windows can prevent any would-be criminals from peeking inside to see if there is anything worth stealing in your unit. It can also make it more difficult for a criminal to tell whether you are home, possibly deterring a crime.

Don’t Let Strangers or Unexpected Handymen In

While you are spending time in your rental, keep yourself safe by never letting anyone in that you do not know. This includes anyone claiming to be a utility worker or handyman if you have not made any maintenance requests.

Your landlord by law must notify you if he or she is sending any handymen to your unit. If you did not receive this courtesy call, ask your landlord before letting the alleged handyman inside. You also reserve the right to ask to see a badge or identification card before letting someone inside.

If you do not feel safe letting a maintenance person into your rental when you’re home alone, ask if you can reschedule the service call for another time. Then, ask a friend or relative to stay with you while the handyman is in your rental.

Get to Know Your Neighbors

Finally, get to know your neighbors. You can count on your neighbors to keep an eye on your home or apartment while you’re away. Your neighbors can notify you of any suspicious activity, such as someone lurking around outside your windows or knocking on the front door. Having a good relationship with your neighbors can allow you to rest assured in your rental’s safety and security while you are out of town.

We hope you found this blog post Home Security Tips for Renters useful. Be sure to check out our post Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe during the Holidays for more great tips!


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