Security Tips for Renters – Something that many renters fall into the trap of doing is having poor or otherwise insufficient security when it comes to their rental property.
With recent statistics highlighting that last year alone there were over 400,000 burglaries in England and Wales, home security is an essential part of keeping your belongings safe and should not be overlooked as a renter.
With confusion over what tenants’ rights are and the changes able to be carried out on the rental property, many fail to make changes and suffer as a result. Below, we will look to guide you through ways to keep your rental property safe, allowing you the peace of mind you are entitled to.
Table of Contents
Understand your rights
Knowing your rights as a tenant is an obvious first place to start. The crux of the matter is that landlords have a legal and moral obligation to provide you with a property that is not only comfortable but safe to live in.
Any exterior doors and windows must be able to close properly and have the option to lock. Windows and door should abide by British standards, by this they must be durable, and the locks must conform to these standards. If you are not happy that this is currently being provided, you must contact either the agent that facilitated the rental agreement or the landlord directly.
Chances are, the necessary changes will be carried out and it won’t cost you a penny. Make sure to log this and take pictures to prove the work was necessary to carry out. This will protect you from any surprise bills down the line.
Enquire about the locks
If the locks have not been changed from the previous tenant, there is nothing stopping them from entering your home with an additional key that was cut.
Many insurance policies do not cover unforced entry, so previous tenants entering the property and taking your possessions will not be covered. This is of course a concern for many tenants and something you should be aware of.
If you have reason to believe your locks have not been changed since moving into your rental property, contact your landlord and politely ask them to have the locks changed – or have it confirmed with proof that locks were changed for when you moved in.
If your landlord is not willing to comply and it is not stipulated in the contract, you are very likely within your rights to changes the locks yourself. Keep the old locks somewhere secure and return them or refit them at the end of the tenancy.
If you are in the process of replacing your lock, it may also be worth considering a smart lock. Although they will cost a little more, they are safer. If you are also the type that has a habit of misplacing your keys, this will be great for you!
Use the latest technology
On the topic of technology, there are many modern technological solutions that you can add to your rental property that do not require extensive structural changes to the property and can usually be taken with you after the tenancy has ended in the current property.
The first and perhaps most obvious technological implementation here is use of CCTV cameras and systems as seen in new developments such as Broad Oaks, Downham Market. Statistically proven to be the biggest deterrent to potential burglars, a CCTV system is a great deterrent. The system will add value to the property, so in some cases a landlord may be willing to fund this.
In addition, the use of smart doorbells is an easy way to implement video technology whilst serving a purpose. A benefit here is that you can take the doorbell with you when you leave and does not require major structural work to install.
Lastly and perhaps most importantly, be mindful yourself and take a secure-centric approach to how you got about your day to day life at home.
Keeping valuables, such as car keys and wallets out of sight and away from external doors and windows is an obvious and easy step you can take to reduce the chances of theft. Having post delivered through your door over a post-box on the exterior of the property will minimise letterbox fraud.
Even so far as to getting to know your neighbours can help. Getting involved in a neighbourhood watch scheme or simply making conversation when catching your neighbours out of the house is a great way to gain familiarity. Your neighbours will now know who is in the house and will be alerted when it is not you.
Whilst renting, you are equally as risk to burglary as anyone else who owns a home. Be careful about who you invite into the property, lock doors and windows when leaving the property and be mindful in general when it comes to home security.
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