When living in a flat or apartment it may seem harder to secure your property because it isn’t just you living in the building. There are more people going in and out, meaning more potential for intrusion or theft. This article will help you evaluate potential risks that come with apartment living before you sign a lease and learn what you can do after you move in to minimise those risks.
Before You Move In
The first step in deciding where to live is choosing the right neighbourhood. Visit at different times of the day to see what it’s like and do your research to see how safe the area is. You can go online and enter your post code to find out instantly what kinds of crimes have been reported.
Visit a potential apartment after dark and pay attention to the lighting. Try to go everywhere that you would if you lived there. Start on the street outside, check the entry, stairways and elevators, hallways, the laundry, the mail area and car park. Good lighting puts a potential criminal in full view, offers more home security and discourages burglars from trying anything. If you notice any areas that are not well lit point them out to the manager and ask about installing additional lighting.
The front door of the building is a communal door so it’s a major home security element for all of the residents. In most cases it will require a key, passcode or to be buzzed in, giving everyone who lives in the building control over who enters. Ideally, this will include an audio and video system. If you are in any doubt as to the condition of the locks, ask your landlord to recommend reputable locksmiths in the area that can complete a lock change.
Before you sign a lease ask the landlord if they can have a lock change completed in your home. You never know how many previous tenants may have kept a copy of the keys, and to be sure you are the only one who has access it’s best to start new. Experienced locksmiths can recommend a lock that best fits your door to keep it secure and can usually complete the lock change in a short amount of time.
After You Move In
The steps you should take to keep your apartment safe are very similar to ones you would take if you lived in a house.
First, make use of blinds or curtains to keep your belongings from being on display. An apartment full of valuables can look like a shop front to a criminal.
If you have a ground floor patio or a balcony you’ll need to take extra measures to secure this any windows and exterior doors. Even when locked some sliding doors are easy to force off the tracks, so consider adding additional security.
Most criminals will think twice about targeting an apartment that has an alarm system. With improved technology, many are wireless and installation will cause no damage to the apartment, so having one shouldn’t bother the landlord.
Renting an Apartment Doesn’t Mean Less Home Security
Work together with your landlord to make your property as safe as possible. After all, it’s their property too, they will appreciate you wanting to protect it, improve home security and make everyone who lives there safer.