Apartment Security Guide

Security isn't just for homeowners. Learn to protect yourself as a renter.

Each year, the number of renters goes up by 0.67 percent. Approximately 36.9 percent of all U.S. households are currently renters. Compared to a standard home, apartments have a high traffic of people coming in and out. This means that that they have a higher probability of theft and vandalism.

So as a renter, it’s important that you take certain precautions, both before and after you sign a lease. After all, you are committing yourself to a property for one, two or more years. You’ll want to make the best of it and here’s how.

Research The Local Area

Do you know how safe that particular area is? There are online resources that show a clear picture of the local crime in the area. Be sure to check out mylocalcrime.com, crimereports.com and neighborhoodscout.com to see local crime statistics.

Learn Apartment Security Features

To get inside, does the apartment complex have a gate, passcode or buzz-in access? These limit the amount of foot traffic. They are also a great deterrent for burglars who are looking for their next target.

Check for Maintenance

Take a tour and see whether there is any broken windows or signs of abuse and neglect. Watch out for potential red flags—these are all signs of the living environment there.

Observe Entryways and Lighting

It’s important that the apartment’s parking lots, entryways and walkways are well lit. Dark corridors can be potential hiding places for home invaders.

Ensure All Doors and Windows Function

It’s crucial that these entryways can be locked securely. A broken lock is a safety liability, since anyone could potentially enter through the window or door.

Talk With Neighbors

Knowing your potential neighbors is essential for living comfortably in a apartment complex. Don't be afraid to reach out and get a feel for how others live around you, and act accordingly based off of what you learn.


1. Never hide a spare key outside your apartment.

Burglars are clever; they know of all the “secret” spare key locations you may be thinking of or using. It’s not worth the risk. The best thing to do is to plan ahead and give a select trusted few a spare key beforehand.

2. Invest in a chain lock

Most apartment complexes already provide standard deadbolt locks and doorknob locks. A chain lock provides additional protection and they are easy to install.

3. Never leave windows open

Anytime you leave the house, make sure all entryways are securely locked. An open window is just asking for trouble, since they can easily be entered.

4. Be cautious of solicitors

If they are genuinely with a company, ask to see their business license, will be city-issued.

5. Secure sliding doors

If you have a sliding door, make sure they are bolstered when it’s not in use. An unsecure door can be tampered with more easily than a standard door. Use any sort of wooden or metal pole on the track to secure the door better.

6. Be present during all maintenance repairs

If you can’t personally be there, make sure that someone from the apartment’s office is present for you since you don’t know who will be coming and going from your apartment. Also, it’s important to know that all maintenance repairs should be scheduled with your notification. Property managers are required to tell you of these visits.

7. Invest in Renters Insurance

Renter’s protection protects from a variety of potential dangers, including theft, damage and personal liability. Depending on the company, these cost around $11-20 per month.

8. Install a wireless security system

These are quick to install and can be taken with you on any move. Since they don’t require any drilling, renters don’t have to worry about potentially losing their safety deposit. These providers all offer wireless security systems: ADT, FrontPoint Security, LifeShield Security and SimpliSafe Home Security.

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