Renting and Securing an Apartment

The time has come to leave the nest. The little birdie has to spread its wings and fly on their own whether they like it or not.  The process is often overwhelming and difficult and the results can end up being great or awful. But knowing what you’re getting yourself into ahead of time can save you all kinds of headaches down the road.

Check the crime climate of the city/town/neighborhood you are considering moving to.  Often we make moving decisions based on convenience and price.  However consider spending a little more (or even less) if another location is safer but less convenient.

Protect your identity. Landlords almost always ask for a Social Security Number in order to check an applicant’s credit prior to considering them for a move. It is generally not an option to say NO. However by investing in a credit freeze or credit monitoring you can reduce your risks that the Social Security Number will be used for identity theft.

Check out potential roommates. I did the roommate thing throughout my entire 20’s. I had the best and the worst roommates of all times. Some, I am friends with today and others, I wish I never met. There are numerous considerations to be made. The most important consideration is your personal security. Do a background check before signing a lease with a potential roommate.  Determine if they have any type of a criminal history. A background check may also determine if they have even been bankrupt.

Ask the landlord about options for installing an apartment security alarm for maximum safety. Apartment security systems today are easy to install for a do-it-yourselfer or certified alarm dealer. Often they require minimal wiring which means the landlord should have a problem with it. Wireless home alarms are even easier and only require batteries and two sided tape. If the landlord opposes an apartment security system, then the apartment is the right fit for you.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston.

Apartment Security 101

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, apartments have an 85 percent more chance of being burglarized. Homeowner or renter, everyone has the same cares and concerns regarding their personal security.

As a landlord, or, as I request they refer to me, a Landdude, I make apartment security a priority for my tenants. We have home security systems, surveillance cameras, 400 watt sodium lighting on the exterior and a process in place where we watch out for each other. If I’m traveling, my tenants pay extra attention to my family and vice versa.

We have a schedule that involves locking exterior doors and making sure the property is secured. If a stranger is in the area or paying unwanted attention to us or the property, we call each other to decide what we may do in response. There’s always strength in numbers.

If you are looking to make a move and an apartment is in your future, make sure you do your homework.

While the landlord may interview you, you should interview the landlord. Find out what his/her processes are for security. What is their annual investment? What is their philosophy regarding apartment security? Do they even have one?

Does the landlord do anything in regards to background checks? What is the existing security at the property? Ask about lighting, cameras, locks on doors and windows and has he even changed the keys since the last tenant. What is the immediate neighborhood like? Are their local drug houses, etc?

Contact the local law enforcement and ask for a record of recent crimes committed. Get some statistics. Some law enforcement agencies will be more or less cooperative. You want to know about the prevalence of violent crimes, sex offenders and theft.

One of the most effective ways to get the pulse of the community is by buying the local newspaper. The police blotter over a one month period is telling.

Ask if you have permission to install an in-apartment home security system with motion detectors. This should not be negotiable. Wireless home security systems are non-invasive and not expensive.

Require a peep hole on your door.

If the doors are glass paned opposed to solid core doors, then your potential landlord isn’t concerned about your security.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures