Ever since the housing market has plummeted, it’s been more and more difficult to become a homeowner. It can be tough, frustrating and downright upsetting. With homeownership declining, renting property has gotten more common and more affordable.
Being a renter doesn’t give you as much freedom as homeownership does, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take precautions to protect yourself and your family.
When it comes to home alarm systems for renters, there are options available. It can be a bit more work for renters to get the level of protection they want, but it’s not impossible. Check out the options below for some solutions to potential burglaries.
Be Your Own Alarm
One of the easiest, yet most unsecure, options is being your own burglar alarm. When you rent an apartment, you might have a few extra security precautions at the entrance of your community that makes you feel more secure. However, this won’t always be enough. In addition, if you’re renting a home the chances of you having a secure community are not as high. In both circumstances, a lot of people choose to be their own alarm.
When you opt for being your own alarm people usually still set up a few basic cameras or at the very least a door sensor with an alarm. However, when most of these types of alarms are triggered they don’t contact authorities. Instead, you need to take this step into your own hands. There are a ton of options where you can connect your cameras to your Smartphone and use self-monitoring and DIY home alarm systems.
While self-monitored systems have made a ton of advancements in the following years, it’s still a risk that you’d need to be willing to take.
Having a self-monitored alarm system means that if you’re home or the burglar is scared off, you’ll likely avoid a burglary. Unfortunately, if you’re out and the intruder isn’t deterred by the loud noises you can still be burglarized. It is a self-reliant system that includes no outside intervention. This is the bare minimum option that renters have and we recommend going with something a little more substantial.
The next option that you have as a renter is to look into leasing equipment to set up a home alarm system. Leasing, rather than buying, is a more practical solution for people that are only in homes or apartments for short periods of time. Buying a comprehensive alarm system and having it professionally installed is an investment that is just not practical it for renters.
When you lease equipment, you only need to pay for it while you’re living in that location and using the system. Additionally, you’ll usually be able to bypass lengthy contracts. This alone can save you thousands of dollars over time.
Keep in mind that in these circumstances, the home alarm system is almost always self-installed. This means less money out of your pocket and no troublesome landlords breathing down your back about major renovations. Additionally, there are numerous companies available to choose from who will allow you to transfer your system from home to home. This makes it easier for you when you need to relocate and, if you already have the equipment, much more affordable.
There are many different options to choose from for leasing and you can easily build up the security system that you want. Just remember, you’ll need to lease each piece of equipment so make sure that you know exactly what you want and need before you start.
Talk to Your Landlord
Our biggest suggestion when thinking about home alarm systems as a renter is talking to your landlord. Chances are that they’re just as concerned about home safety and protecting their assets as you are. As a renter, if a window or door is broken down during a burglary, the landlord is actually the one responsible for paying to fix it. Your interests are more mutual than you might think.
When you go to have a conversation with your landlord, make sure that you stick to the facts. Focus on how alarm systems are a huge deterrent for theft and decrease any chances of broken property and costly repairs.
It’s also good to note that once the home alarm system is installed, it can easily be transferred from renter to renter. This means that the start-up costs are only an initial investment and can be used for years to come. An added bonus is that having a home alarm system installed in a rental property will decrease the landlord’s homeowner insurance rates.
Utilize a Pre-Existing System
Finally, if someone has had a conversation with the landlord in the past there might be a pre-existing system in place. Either this or your landlord already knew the importance of having a home alarm system installed. Regardless, this is the perfect situation.
When you have a pre-existing alarm system then all you need to do is find a reputable company that offers short-term plans. Once you do this, you can easily have it activated under your account. Most companies use similar enough equipment so you should be compatible with the security company of your choosing. If you’re not, do some research and find one that works with the pre-existing system.
Extra Precautions to Take
Regardless of the home alarm route that you decide to take, there are a few other precautions that every renter can benefit from.
Buy Renter’s Insurance
This is an extremely beneficial addition to add in addition to your home security system. Renter’s insurance helps to protect you against burglaries in addition to loads of different environmental damage that can occur. It can even be extended to cover personal injuries that occur inside of your home.
Each policy is different so do some research before you make a purchase. While renter’s insurance won’t help secure your home, it will give you peace of mind just incase you encounter a burglary.
A great thing to remember is that if your home does have a home alarm system installed, renters insurance is usually more affordable. Companies give out discounts to people that take the extra mile in preventative coverage.
Strengthen Your Doors
The harder it is to break into a home or apartment, the less likely that a burglary will occur. If you take a few precautions to strengthen access points, it’ll decrease your chances of being burglarized. Look into installing a strong deadbolt or chain lock to increase security and always check to make sure that your hinges are on the inside of your door. You can add setscrews to secure previously installed hinges so that the door can’t be removed and is harder to break down. Finally, make sure to take a look at your doorframe and if the metal plate looks old and worn out it will be easy to break down. Replacing these are easy to do and inexpensive.
Strengthen Your Windows
There are specific devices that you can easily install on your windows so that an alarm is activated if a window is broken or forcibly opened. They are easy to install and can be done on your own.
Additionally, make sure to keep all of the trees, bushes and any other shrubbery near windows well groomed. The more blocked your access points are, the easier it will be for burglars to hide in them. When a home looks difficult to break into, it is usually skipped for one that has less risk.
Finally, there are options for security bars to be installed depending on what the home or apartment is made of. The benefit of these is that they can be taken with you when you move, however they can be a bit more expensive and your landlord might not be too happy about them. Always ask before making any renovations like this.
Alert Your Community
As always, knowing your neighbors and alerting them whenever you’re leaving town is a great way to get some added protection. Having a strong neighborhood watch program in place will protect you, your family and all of your neighbors. Take some time to get to know your community and suggest a program that benefits everyone.
Finding the perfect rental home can be difficult but protecting your rental home is easy. Just know that you do have options as a renter and never assume that your landlord will be against your ideas. If you want to decrease the chances of a home burglary, the best thing you can do is install a burglar alarm. If you’d like to check out options for leases, comprehensive home security systems or affordable packages, head over to Forest Security. We have something for everything. Just give us a call and one of our consultants will walk you through your options! You can reach us at 708-452-2000 or by visiting our website at www.forestsecurity.com.