What Is Apartment Security?
If you're concerned about your apartment security, there are ways to put your mind at ease. The first step is to be proactive about your apartment safety knowledge and what to look for before signing a lease. We did all the research for you!
What Is Apartment Security?
Apartment security can mean anything related to the safety and security of your apartment and premises. Many states legally require apartment complexes to protect tenants and guests from foreseeable attacks. For example, if a crime occurs in or nearby the apartment complex, the owner is obligated to warn their tenants and make efforts to increase safety.
If you're not sure what to look for in apartment security, there are several features to add to your list:
- Security alarm
- Door person
- Buzzers for guests to call up
- Gates in front of driveways
- Keycard access for an on-site fitness center or pool
- Security cameras
- Motion sensors
- Motion lights
- Locked mailboxes for tenants
Before applying for an apartment, ask the landlord or property manager about how they keep the building, property, and units safe. You may not find everything in one place, as apartment buildings offer different security features. Identify which ones are the most important to you, whether it's security cameras or a door person on staff 24/7.
Pros of Apartments with Security
There are plenty of pros with apartment security that could help you feel safe.
Everyone deserves to feel safe in their home, and your peace of mind is probably higher when there is apartment security in place. You’ll have safety measures in place if anything happens, from an alarm system to security cameras.
The safety of your mali is another integral part of safe apartment living. Before you apply for an apartment, ask if a staff member collects and secures the mail for tenants and how the system works.
Your building may also have small, locked mailboxes to keep your mail safe. Tenants will have their own keys, though package delivery could be an issue. Some mail carriers could leave boxes at the door or apartment vestibule. Other areas may require you to collect the package in person.
Knowing your car is secure is essential in your apartment hunt. There may be outdoor parking in front of your unit, with another area designated for guests. Look for secured entrances and entry gates to the complex with keycode access.
Covered parking is also a win for renters but requires some caution. Ensure the garage is well-lit with security cameras and offers a safe walking area to your apartment. Larger apartment complexes may also have an around-the-clock security guard in their parking garages.
Cons of Apartments with Security
Despite all of the pros of apartments with security, there are some cons to consider.
Apartment buildings with security are often more expensive. The added expense goes towards security staff, upgrading its systems, and other measures to keep tenants safe. Security features are often found in upscale and luxury apartments, reflecting the higher rental price.
May Not Be Entirely Reliable
Unfortunately, security at an apartment isn't always reliable. You don’t really know who monitors the cameras or guests coming and going into the building. You may also find that people easily enter the complex and simply walk around the gates or other security features.
False Sense of Security
It's tempting to rent a cheaper apartment in an area with a higher crime rate if you have security in place. You may think the features will protect you, but ultimately it could create a false sense of security. Having extra security features on hand is essential, but that doesn't mean it's now "safe."
If there are vehicle break-ins, you may feel okay living in the area if there's a covered garage with a guarded entrance. However, apartments with security can't always protect you from violent crimes. Do your due diligence to determine the safety features, when they were updated, and what type of crime occurs.
How to Find Apartments with Security
If you've decided apartments with security are for you, here's how to find the perfect place.
1. Start Your Search Early
Starting your apartment search as early as possible is crucial when looking at security features. You can also call apartment complexes and property owners to inquire about upcoming vacancies with security features in place.
Seasonality can also impact how competitive it is. The winter season is usually the slow season in most markets, and rents are sometimes cheaper. Spring and summer are the busiest times of year to rent. However, some cities like New York City are always competitive no matter when you start looking.
2. Be Ready to Strike Fast
Apartments with security and other desirable features go fast. So come prepared to sign a lease with proof of employment, pay stubs, bank statement, and landlord references. If you can't get these things together or aren't sure what else you'll need, here are 11 forms you need to rent an apartment.
3. Know Where to Look
Knowing where to find an apartment with security features is essential. Apartment List makes it easy to narrow down your wish list of features, including security. Or, you can look for updated and new apartment complexes in urban areas. They're more likely to have the security features you want than older buildings.
4. Be On the Lookout for Rental Scams
Unfortunately, rental scams and rental fraud are all too common and can take advantage of unsuspecting renters. So keep your guard up and remain skeptical of deals that are too good to be true, promising all the security features you want at a rock bottom price.
Although apartment application fees are the norm, do not pay upfront just to tour an apartment. You should also avoid anyone who asks you to pay a large deposit before signing a lease or seeing the apartment.
How to Increase Your Apartment Security
Even if you find a place with safety features, there are several ways you can increase your apartment security.
Secure Your Doors and Windows
Make sure your windows and doors, particularly sliding doors, are secure. If your unit is older, your property manager may be open to paying for updates, including new windows. Or you can purchase security bar locks or similar gadgets. They're relatively affordable and can be installed without tools.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Getting to know your neighbors can help keep the entire complex safer. Take the time to say hello to neighbors, make small talk, and share any critical information. For example, if you notice a stranger in the parking lot, mention it to someone leaving so they can stay diligent.
When your neighbors know who you are and your habits, they're more likely to notice when something is wrong.
Ask About Installing Your Own Security
If your landlord or property management isn't willing to update your apartment security, stay proactive and look into your solutions. For example, you may be able to install your own security camera or extra lock. Leaving lights on when you're gone and asking a neighbor to check on your apartment while on vacation can help keep an eye out for your safety and well-being.
Look Into Renter's Insurance
It's wise to look into renter's insurance to cover damage from fire, mold, vandalism, theft, and more. Some policies also extend protection beyond your property. For example, if your belongings in your storage unit or car were stolen, your renter's insurance may cover it.
Using Apartment List to Help You Find the Perfect Apartment
Protecting your personal safety and peace of mind is essential for apartment hunting. Find your perfect place and find all the security features you’re looking for with Apartment List.