An important step in searching for a new apartment is to evaluate its security. From high-tech security cameras to armed security guards, there are clear indicators of how secure an apartment building is from potential burglars and other criminals. Rentalroost.com factors in the crime rate when calculating how kid-friendly a neighborhood is. Otherwise, use the following tips in making your own assessment:
- First, search online for the apartment building or complex’s website. Many apartment complexes now have websites with detailed information on the apartments themselves, and some even have comments from past and present tenants. See if they also give any information regarding the security features of the building.
- Drive around the apartment complex to see for yourself what kind of security measures there are. Visit the building at different times of the day to see how quiet (or loud) the neighborhood is, check out the amount of light available in the building’s parking lot, see if the windows are barred (indicating a rougher neighborhood or trouble with break-ins), and keep an eye out on the amount of garbage on the street.
- Keep a list of questions to ask the landlord when you call or visit the apartment. For example, ask if they have security cameras, security staff, deadbolts and locks on all the doors, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and adequate lighting in hallways, the parking lot and any covered walkways. Also make sure to ask if there are sprinklers in all of the apartments.
- If there is a garage for tenants, make sure it is safe and secure just as the apartment complex should be. Ensure that the parking garage is well-lit, features a security guard or some other form of precaution to keep non-residents out, security cameras, sprinklers, fire alarms, and an alarm system.
- Does the lobby have safety measures to make sure someone off the street cannot access the apartments? This is very important and a tenant should definitely ask the landlord this question before renting the apartment; make sure the lobby can be accessed only via a key or access code, or that it has a guard on duty at all times.