4 Ways to Secure Your Rental Home

There are many different reasons for living in a rental property. Perhaps you aren’t ready for a down payment on a mortgage or you move around a lot and can’t settle down in one location. So when it comes to finding a good property to rent, it’s crucial to not only find a place that is in a good neighborhood, but also take measures to protect and secure your home. For example, did you know that compared to homeowners, renters are 85 percent more likely to experience a burglary?

But don’t worry; renters can live safely with these four essential tips:

1. Rearch the Potential Neighborhood BEFORE Moving In

As a prospective renter, it’s difficult to find a place you both like—at a price that you like—in a neighborhood that you like. But as the saying goes, it’s all about “location, location, location.” There are many different ways to find out about a specific neighborhood: there’s the old fashioned way of driving through the area and taking in the surroundings and people there. And then there’s the more modern approach of using websites like StreetAdvisor (rates neighborhoods) and apps (like Safe Neighborhood), which features crime statistics.

In addition to knowing the safety of an area, take in consideration the business of an area. If the rental property is in a busier location, there’s the potential for more foot traffic in the complex, which also increases the potential for burglaries to occur. Visit the complex at different times; try seeing it both during the day and at night. You’ll learn a lot by what you see.


2. Invest in an Apartment-Friendly Alarm System

Unlike homeowners who can do what they please with their property, renters can make very limited adjustments to their homes (or else face loosing their security deposit and/or have to pay fees). In that case, traditional home security systems won’t work—they are too invasive and require wiring upon installation. For renters, the perfect option is to select a wireless home security system. These include a range of exceptional wireless security equipment, like door sensors, cameras, and motion detectors.

There are both a-la-cart equipment options that can be purchased at retail locations and systems that are offered by security providers, such as ADT home monitored systems. The great thing about these is that it doesn’t require professional installation—they are easy to use and set up right out of the box.


3. Get Renter’s Insurance

The thing with renter’s insurance is that many people believe it’s expensive (2 out of 3 don’t have it), but it’s actually not expensive. Per year it can cost only around $100 per year—and when you think of all the things of value in your home (such as computers, tablets, TVs, etc.) it’s well worth it to protect them from things like fires, floods, theft and property damage. Renter’s insurance will also insure any auto damage if someone breaks into the vehicle outside the rental property.

Depending on what type of auto insurance you have, you might be able to add it on into a group policy (possibly for free or a discounted rate). You’ll have to check with your specific auto insurance provider to find out.


4. Know Your Neighbors and Your Landlord

As a general rule of thumb, it’s good to know the people who live around you. It’s also beneficial to get acquainted with your landlord. You’ll never know when you’ll need something—such as when you go out of town, have a safety concern, or if something happens within your home.

Hopefully you’ll meet someone you can trust and be able to depend on them. Also, you should feel comfortable going to your landlord with any concerns about the state of the property. There are actually landlord-tenant laws for them to adhere to—so make them accountable if a situation arises.

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