Security for Renters
According to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), over 38% of Americans rent their homes. Apartments and condominiums take a big slice of that percentage but there are also many who rent single family residences. Renters’ security becomes an issue when we see that out of the 2.2 million break-ins reported last year, over 70 percent targeted residential housing.
The presence of neighbors or staff and perhaps even security guards can lull residents of complexes into a false sense of security. The National Crime Prevention Council reports apartments and condos are 85% more likely to be broken into than other type of housing. More burglars are turning their attention to residential houses, apartments and condos as businesses continually improve their security.
Whittling these shocking statistics down even further, we see renters are frequently the target of burglary. Criminals assume that rental properties are often empty during the day with no home security protecting valuables. Renters tend to have fewer pets, less dogs to blow burglars cover and neighbors don’t notice strangers. Clearly renters’ security is an important subject and here are our top tips. While it’s all about the layers, renters’ security should make your home require more effort and skill than most intruders are willing exert, forcing them to move on to an easier target.
Layers of Deterrents
Renters’ security starts with layers, just as we advise homeowners to layer their security. The first category would be lighting and to amplify the effectiveness, add timers to give the appearance of someone home. Timers and also turn on the television or even a radio while you are out. Be sure also that there is good lighting around doorways, hallways, stairways and walkways.
Your door should be fitted with a peephole – this should be a non-negotiable. For proper renters’ security these should be within viewing level.
Glass-paned as opposed to solid-core doors, mean the landlord isn’t concerned about your security. Doors should be made of solid wood or metal and have a knob lock and a deadbolt. The doorjamb and hinges should be reinforced; check out our articles on doors.
Windows should be treated with a glass protection film. This makes breaking the window a lengthy and noisy task. A burglar knows the more effort and noise he makes results in a higher risk of being seen or caught. Put a solid, wooden dowel in the tracks of windows that slide horizontally – large patio sliders are an example.
Ground floor apartments and condos are more susceptible to burglaries than other units because the windows and sliding glass doors are easily accessible. Evaluate your surroundings for these renters’ security hazards and take suitable steps to protect your home and yourself.
Living in an apartment or a condo, landscaping may not seem like much of an issue. But if you are on the ground floor of a complex or in a single family dwelling, you may need to consider trimming bushes or plants that provide places where criminals can hide. Cut back or remove hiding places and areas where no light reaches.
Flagrantly displaying Alarm Company signs is an added deterrent for criminals. Or for even better renters’ security, get an actual alarm system and a real company to monitor it.
A lot of home security companies won’t service renters because they rely on a contract to recoup overheads. It usually isn’t cost effective to be locked into a three year contract when the duration of your lease is only six months. This is changing and renters can now get tailor-made systems to suit their needs.
Renters’ security is often ignored because of the mistaken belief that renters cannot add security equipment to property they don’t own. More and more, companies are providing systems and services especially set up for renters’ security.