Living in an apartment is different from living in a house, because you have lots of neighbors around you in a small space. Since it’s so different, your home security will need to be a bit different as well. You can keep your rented home safe by following these 4 tips.
Depending on your landlord or complex, your unit may already have the hardware for an alarm system installed. Many owners will put in this hardware but leave it up to the individual renter to activate the service. If your apartment is one of these, then you’re in luck, and all you’ll have to do is call the provider who installed the system and ask for service to be turned on. If you don’t already have an alarm panel in your apartment, you will have to ask your landlord for permission to have one installed. As long as you can confirm that you alone will be responsible for the payments, you can probably convince them, since an alarm system adds value to their property.
When you’re first moving in, ask your landlord whether the locks have been changed since the last tenant. If not, this should be one of your non-negotiables upon signing the lease. If the locks haven’t been changed recently, it’s possible that multiple copies of keys have been made, and you’ll have no idea who has access to your home. Change your locks, and don’t give out keys except to highly trusted friends and family who won’t make extra copies without telling you.
Many newer complexes will pay a trained security officer to be on-call for all the residents 24/7. If your apartment does this, take advantage of it. If you notice anything suspicious after hours, don’t be afraid to call. He can also do things like walking you to your door at night if you’re ever walking home after dark and feel unsafe. Make sure that you get the officer’s phone number and store it in your phone in case you ever need it, so you won’t have to look up the number during an emergency.
Even if it’s just a little. You should have an idea of who lives where in your row, so that you can know when someone unfamiliar is in the area. By getting to know your neighbors, you can also form your own unofficial neighborhood watch, so that if something suspicious is happening at their unit you can let them know, or vice versa. The vast majority of your neighbors will be friendly and harmless, but it also pays to know if there are any potential troublemakers in your area, so that a break-in or something else does happen, you might have an idea of who did it.