When you don’t own your apartment, you might feel stuck with everything as is. You can’t paint the walls, rip out the carpet, or knock down a wall for an “open concept” makeover. You aren’t, however, at the mercy of the security measures the apartment complex has in place. There are plenty of ways to increase your apartment security without making any permanent changes to your apartment or spending an arm and a leg. Find out what you can do to make your apartment safer and less attractive to potential burglars, plus the cost (if any) associated with each precaution!
1. Purchase good blinds or curtains.
It takes work (and guts) to break into a home, and thieves are much more likely to do it if they’re sure they’ll hit the jackpot. Hang up good quality blinds or thick curtains in your windows so that these thieves can’t scope out your valuables and won’t be tempted to break in in the first place. You can purchase blackout curtains for under $15!
2. Make sure you have a trusty deadbolt.
Did you know that some landlords will claim to change locks between each tenant, but actually skip the hassle? Make sure you specifically ask your new landlord to replace your deadbolt to ensure old tenants can’t gain access with their keys. If your unit doesn’t have a deadbolt at all, ask your landlord if you can install one yourself – you can purchase one for less than $40. Your landlord may say no, so it’s a good idea to ask your landlord before you sign a lease for a new apartment or install a new deadbolt on your own.
3. Keep your apartment lights on.
It’s usually considered “responsible” to turn off the lights when you leave your home, but a dark (and likely deserted) apartment is attractive to a burglar. At night, keep a couple of lights on when you’re not home. All it takes is a lamp or two. Don’t keep them ALL on – make it look natural! This might add a few bucks to your electricity bill over time, but it’s an effective security measure.
4. Communicate with your neighbors.
This is a free and easy way to protect your apartment, because neighbors can keep an eye (and an ear) on the place when you’re gone. It’s particularly important to let your neighbors know if you’re going to be out of town so they can watch for any suspicious activity. If you’re going out of town for a summer vacation, check out these apartment safety tips specifically geared towards the season of travel!
5. Get a safe.
If you have valuables or anything you’re particularly protective of, consider investing in a safe. These can be a bit more expensive (anywhere from $30 to $300 on Amazon) but they’re likely cheaper than replacing those items!
6. Secure your sliding door.
It might not seem necessary to secure a sliding door if you aren’t on the first floor, but thieves are resourceful. If your sliding door is unlocked or if the lock is poor quality, your apartment is vulnerable to a break-in. To secure it, all you’ll need is a wooden dowel or even a sawed off broomstick! Lay the wooden rod in the track of the sliding door so that the door can’t move, even when it’s unlocked. You can purchase a wooden dowel for under $10 at many home improvement stores.
7. Double-check that your windows are locked.
If a door is locked, burglars will check the windows. Make sure that every window is securely locked, especially if you open them often. This doesn’t cost a penny and can cause a thief to give up. You can also go the extra mile and put alarms on your windows that will sound if the window is broken or opened. These Doberman alarms are $17.99 for two, and are peel and stick – perfect for renters!
These are all great ways to increase your security and practically burglar-proof your apartment, without draining your bank account or making permanent changes. However, if you’re ready to upgrade your complex amenities or neighborhood, find a new apartment for rent on ApartmentSearch.com for free! In fact, ApartmentSearch is the only apartment locator service that will actually pay you for using it! All you have to do is let your new landlord know where you found them and you could get a $200 reward. And that’s money to spend on FUN stuff!