The possessions you move into a rental house or apartment are precious to you. Still, property risks threaten here as in other homes, including the risk of theft. However, you can work with your landlord and on your own time to keep these theft risks low. A well-rounded renters insurance policy can also help you protect yourself. Here's what to think about when making your rental home safer.
Before Moving In
Renting a home or apartment is just as safe as owning one, in most cases. However, renters are not the owners of the homes they live in. They might not know all the safety resources they have available on the property.
As you prepare to sign your lease and move in, remember:
- Request that your landlord change the locks throughout the property. Don't forget to change locks on closets, gates, windows cellars or crawl spaces. Only you and your landlord should be able to access the property.
- Ask if the home contains a camera or alarm system. Reset the passwords on these devices upon moving in. Have the landlord teach you how to operate the systems.
- If you notice potential hazards - like rusted hinges or misaligned door frames - then tell your landlord. If something doesn't work correctly, that increases the risk of a thief breaking in.
- See if you have permission to install permanent safety devices. These might include doorbell cameras, motion-activated lights or key-code locks. These changes might require modifications to the home. Therefore, the landlord might not want the tenant to make the changes themselves.
When At Home
Everyone should feel safe at home. While the chances of a break-in, home invasion or theft is relatively low for most people, that doesn't mean you shouldn't take proper safety precautions when at home.
- Always keep the doors locked. This is especially true in apartment complexes, where there might be a lot of foot traffic.
- Only open ground-floor windows if they have safety screens installed. Never leave your doors open.
- When not outside, keep gates, sheds and basement doors shut and locked.
- Consider installing a portable security camera. Systems like Wyze© or Ring© smart cameras can send security footage to your smart phone. You can take these items with you when you move, and they require minimal installation.
- For added safety, buy removable door & window jammers. You can also buy sensors that will alert you if someone opens a door or window.
- Usually, your landlord must ask permission before entering your property or sending over a maintenance service. Therefore, ask that they tell you before someone comes to the property.
- Don't keep your most-expensive items on clear view for passersby to see.
Whenever you leave home, either for an errand or for a vacation, lock down the home. Some of the steps you might take include:
- Bring inside outdoor furniture and equipment. Lock your gates and outbuildings.
- Hide your valuables. You can choose to put items like jewelry, collectibles, identity-sensitive information and credit cards in a safe. However, conceal the safe as well, so that a potential thief cannot easily find it.
- Set a timer on certain lights (or even your TV) so that they will turn on and off at certain hours.
- Have someone you trust collect your mail and newspapers. If these items accumulate, thieves might take it as a sign that no one is home.
- Keep your travel plans off social media.
Don't Forget To Buy Renters Insurance
You can't prevent every type of property theft, no matter how hard you try. That's why most renters buy renters insurance. Coverage can include personal possessions coverage for your belongings.
Possessions insurance can help you recover belongings after a theft or other hazards. You can insure possessions for a certain value, then your renters policy can compensate you in case of theft. Keep in mind that limits and exclusions will exist on most renters policies. Talk to your BluCanopy agent about whether you need to buy special endorsements or riders to expand your possessions coverage.