While most apartment dwellers rent their residences, they should feel as safe in them as if they owned their own home. I have lived in apartments within major urban areas my entire life. The experience has taught me what to look for in choosing a place to live and how to stay safe once there.
Safety in Numbers, or Not?
The first and possibly most important consideration when deciding on renting an apartment is location. You’ve heard the cliche repeated by real estate agents – “location, location, location” – referring to investment and home values. In terms of rentals, think location, think safety.
Consider a few elements regarding safety near your apartment. Is the area deserted at night? Is the building on a dead-end street? Do residents in the area feel safe enough to walk alone at night?
Quiet areas can be tranquil and provide privacy, however in an urban area that quiet can provide just the right amount of privacy for criminal activities to go undetected until it’s too late says we buy houses Clute.
To the other extreme, is the neighborhood too highly trafficked by people from outside the community? Are there rowdy bars, train stations or bus stops in the immediate vicinity where people loiter? While in cities people often feel safest in populated areas, the wrong kind of crowds can make you feel the most vulnerable.
Know Thy Neighbor
Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Friendly relationships with the residents in your building will make your building feel more like a community. Residents in communities are more likely to look out for each other than strangers. If you see someone you do not recognize hanging out near a neighbor’s mailbox or doorway, notify them.
It could turn out that person is a friend or relative, but if not, they will be happy that you told them and relieved to know that you are looking out for them as a neighbor.
They will be more likely to return the favor.
Lock n’ Key
The first defense in security for your apartment building is the front entrance and lobby area. Make sure these are locked areas in your building. Some buildings will keep the entrance door unlocked during the daytime business hours for mail, deliveries, etc. If the Superintendent does not live in the building, he should at least be on location while the door is unlocked. If this is the case, find out at what time the door is locked and how the Super secures the building when he leaves. Does he conduct a sweep of all the stairways, floors and roof to ensure no one entered and hid during the daytime hours?
Every apartment door should have a deadbolt lock, not just the standard door lock. When moving into a new apartment, have those locks changed so that the keys of the previous resident will no longer open your door.
If the property company needs to have a copy of your key for emergencies, ask how many copies of the key they keep and exactly who has access to them.
Safety is a huge concern when renting apartments, but you do not have to feel vulnerable in your home. Follow some smart tips when choosing your apartment and remain aware of your surroundings while living there. You will not only increase your feeling of safety, but also the enjoyment of your urban community.