With so many resources available, finding an apartment to rent is relatively easy; the tricky part is finding a place to live in a safe neighborhood in a secure building. While you may be feeling overwhelmed, there are several things that you can do to protect your loved ones and your belongings while renting. The experts at First Lock & Security Technologies have provided the following information to help guide you on what you should consider before signing your lease, along with some tips to increase your level of security.
Research the Neighborhood
Renting an apartment is no different from purchasing your first home. You will want to begin by researching the community and surrounding areas for low levels of crime. Keep in mind that crime increases in the warmer months. Talk to some of the other residents when looking at units and consider the location carefully. There are several websites that you can google to locate crime data in the area.
Visit the Area
When viewing the apartment, don’t be afraid to get out and explore the neighborhood. Take a note pad and write down what type of businesses and buildings are close to your potential new home. Visit the area at different times of the day, during the week, and on weekends. Visit a couple of restaurants and note any bars that could become crowded and noisy at night. Make a note of outdoor security cameras, which add an extra layer of security and give you peace of mind. Talk to some local business owners to learn more about the neighborhood before you commit to signing your new lease.
Check the Apartment’s Access Points
Many renters consider a ground floor apartment for convenience. According to statistics, ground floor units are much more likely to be targeted by burglaries than those on higher levels. Depending on the size of the apartment, look at apartments located on the third floor or above. Walk around the apartment and take a close look at all entry and exit points, including fire escapes, before committing. Many complexes have keyless entry with a numeric keypad to allow residents to enter and exit safely. Don’t forget to ask the apartment management how often the key codes are changed. Many apartment complexes have self-locking doors, access control systems, and even 24-hour security guard services. Also check for good lighting in hallways, parking areas, stairwells and other community areas.
Once you have signed on the dotted line, contact your insurance agent to arrange for a renters insurance policy. Renter’s insurance will cover the cost of your belongings if they are damaged or stolen in the event of a break-in. Remember, the apartment complex has insurance to protect the building. Renters insurance covers your personal property, including furniture, clothing, electronics, small appliance, and many other items.
Rekey Apartment Locks
Talk to the apartment management about getting your locks rekeyed and installing a deadbolt if one is not already present. You never know how many duplicate keys may be out there. Also consider adding security cameras inside your apartment for security. Several products on the market are wireless, which can be accessed via your cell phone so you can keep a check on your apartment while you are away. Other good tips are covering your windows so that intruders can’t see the belongings inside your apartment and getting a personal safe to store important papers, cash, jewelry and other valuables.
Introduce Yourself to Your Neighbors
Getting to know your neighbors has many benefits, including helping each other out by keeping watch over each other apartments and reporting any suspicious activity.
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To learn more about professional locksmithing services, security cameras, and rekeying your locks, contact the experts at First Lock & Security Technologies today.