According to the National Crime Prevention Council, apartments have an 85 percent greater chance of being burglarized than a single-family homeowner or rental property.
Apartment security should be a priority for landlords to provide for tenants, but it's really up to you, the tenant, to ensure your security. When hunting for a security-minded apartment complex, consider the following:
- Home security systems: Today's systems are wireless and portable. You don't need to own a house or have a contractor install it. 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 inexpensive.
- Peephole: Require a peephole on your door.
- Door security: If the doors are glass-paned opposed to solid-core doors, then your potential landlord isn't concerned about your security. Doors should have a knob lock and a deadbolt, and the doorjamb and hinges should be reinforced. Search door reinforcement online to see what your options are.
- Surveillance cameras: Having one to 16 cameras with signage lets the bad guy know he's being watched. Most camera systems can be remotely accessed with your mobile phone or tablet.
- High-wattage sodium lighting: You cameras will work better with good lighting. Exterior lighting on the perimeter lets the bad guy know he can't hide. (Bonus: Cockroaches hate light too.)
- Parking lot security fencing: Perimeter fencing six feet high is a great deterrent.