How to Make Your Rental More Secure
All too often, people are reluctant to improve their home security if it’s a rental.
There are two main reasons for this: On one hand, they feel that it’s their landlord’s responsibility to provide security measures and, consequently, are happy to rely on whatever’s in place when they moved in. Alternatively, they could be unsure how long they’re going to live at that particular premises, so they have less incentive to invest in better home security.
The reality, however, is that burglars don’t know – or care – about your personal situation. They’re not concerned about your dealings with your landlord, how long you plan to live at your current address – or if you’re a tenant or a homeowner. They’re simply looking to seize any opportunity they can to make some quick cash. If you don’t want your home and possessions to be that opportunity – you need to take your security into your own hands.
The good news, however, is that there are plenty of inexpensive, convenient ways to secure your rental property, and we’re going to take a look at them in this post.
How Can I Make My Rental More Secure?
Let’s kick things off with 10 great ways to make your rental more secure.
Set Up a Security Camera
Installing a security camera is one of the most effective ways to make your rental more secure. Firstly, security cameras are an excellent deterrent: they signal to potential intruders that you are security conscious and that you are watching. Then, in the event you do experience a break-in, a camera will record footage of the crime and make it possible to identify and subsequently find the perpetrators.
However, people who are renting their homes can neglect to install security cameras because of the perceived cost and hassle of doing so. Fortunately, these days, there are inexpensive, highly functional security cameras that are simple to install, making them ideal for renters.
There is a range of battery-operated wireless cameras on the market that leave little to no evidence behind that they were ever installed. As long as you have internet to your home you can program these devices to allow you to remote view footage on your smart phone. There may be an ongoing cost per month to store the recorded footage in the cloud or you can opt for free live stream only.
Secure Patio and Sliding Doors
Sliding glass doors, like those leading out to your patio, can prove themselves to be a security weakness – unless you take additional measures to secure them. One of the best ways of adding extra security to this type of door is a sliding door security bar, which is inexpensive and easy to install.
Alternatively, or additionally, you could add a glass break alarm, which will sound if an intruder attempts to enter by breaking the glass on the door. This can be a wireless device linked to a home security alarm that can be self-monitored or monitored by a security control room.
Use A Door Stop Alarm at Night
A door stop alarm sits under your door and sounds when someone tries to enter. Better still, the harder it’s pushed, the more resistance it offers. Door stops alarms are a great security measure at night – as well as when you’re away for extended periods of time & staying in a hotel room. Also, they’re especially handy for renters as they’re simple to set up, you can have several at once, and you can take them with you if you move.
Install Window Alarms
Window alarms (like door alarms) are particularly renter-friendly, as they’re easy to install and subsequently remove and affordable enough to place on every window. Also, like security cameras, they can act as a deterrent to potential intruders – as well as alerting you, or your neighbours, to their presence if they attempt to enter your home. You can opt for a non-monitored cheap option that triggers a siren alert when the seal is broken or you can spend a little more money and have a wireless alarm system professionally installed. This system can either send an alert to your phone or a control room when activated.
Invest In a Wireless Security System
As with security cameras, renters can be reluctant to install a security system in their homes because they don’t know how long they’ll live there. Alternatively, they may incorrectly assume that doing so would require them to make changes to the property that their landlord or rental agency wouldn’t be too happy with. Wireless security systems are an ideal solution to those problems.
Firstly, there are lots of portable and wireless home security systems, so you can install one and take it with you whenever you happen to move. Secondly, wireless alarm systems & their devices have options to either be fitted using small screws with very minimal holes or the option to use adhesive for things like door and window sensors in place, so you’re not required to drilling holes in walls or anything that might prevent you from getting your rental deposit back. The wonderful thing about having a professional wireless alarm installed is it can be set up for self-monitoring or back to base monitoring. When an alarm is installed by a licensed security provider, you can sleep easy knowing you have a reliable system, set up to the correct standards to give you the best outcome.
Use Automatic Timers
You can use automatic timers to turn on lights within your home, to create the appearance you’re home. As well as being an excellent security measure if you go on vacation, they’re also handy if you’re out for the evening and don’t allow potential intruders to pick up on when you’re routinely away from home.
Call Your Local Police or Security Provider and Have Them Inspect Your Home
When you move into a new rental home, get in touch with your local security or police department and ask them to carry out a security assessment of your home. In addition to inspecting your home, they will be able to tell you more about your neighbourhood and any criminal activity or trends in the area. Getting professional advice on your security will give you peace of mind. Our recommendation would be to change the locks as you never know how many spare keys have been cut to a new rental from the past.
Invest In Portable Lighting
If you are renting a ground floor property, you can add an extra layer of security, as well as visibility, with portable, motion sensor lights that illuminate any dark areas and make your home less tempting to burglars. Being easy to install and uninstall, you easily can take them with you when you move.
Use Clever Fake Techniques
Strategically make it look like you have more security than you really do. Ways of achieving this include:
Fake security company signs put on your doors and windows
Fake security cameras, complete with a blinking red light for added effect – preferably in addition to real ones.
Beware of the Dog stickers (even if you don’t have a dog) – preferably displaying a dog that strikes fear into the hearts of a lot of people, such as a Doberman or Rottweiler.
Again, most criminals are opportunists, so they’re not going to spend too much time thinking about whether your visible security measures are fakes or not – they’ll just move onto different targets
Get Renter’s Contents Insurance
While it won’t prevent a break-in, renter’s contents insurance will reimburse you for your losses in the event of a break in, offering you a little more peace of mind. Renter’s contents insurance covers possessions like furniture, electronics, clothing, etc., and, better still, doesn’t just protect your possessions from burglary but other scenarios such as smoke and water damage.
Also, installing a security system can lower the cost of your renter’s insurance premiums, so it’s worth checking with the insurance broker if it’s something they offer.
What Do I Need to Consider When Choosing an Alarm System for a Rental?
To cap off this post, let’s delve into a few of the things you need to consider when choosing an alarm system for your home.
Assess Your Current Location
First off, you need to take stock of where you live: how safe is the neighbourhood and how much crime takes place there? Research your neighbourhood’s crime rates, join the local community social media page, talk to your neighbours, and, best of all, ask your local police department when you request a home inspection.
What Level of Security Do You Need?
The level of security you need will be a significant factor when it comes to choosing an alarm system. Your required level of security is determined by factors such as the size of your property, the area you live in, and the people you live with (i.e., do you have children or seniors in your household?), and the value of the possessions in your home.
It’s also wise to consider how often you are away from home and how quickly you’ll be able to respond in the event of a suspected break-in. If you are away a lot, then you should consider installing an alarm system with back-to-base monitoring so a professional security company can keep an eye on your home for you – and respond to incidents on your behalf, if necessary.
Size Of Your Property
The larger your property, the more entry points it’s likely to have. Also, though this might not necessarily be the case, it stands to reason that the bigger your home is, the more possessions it’ll contain. Consequently, the size of your home should play a role in the type of alarm system you go for.
How Much Is Your Budget?
The bigger your budget, the more choice you’ll have when it comes to alarm systems. If, on one hand, you have a small budget, you’ll have to prioritise securing particular entry points, such as your front and back doors and, if applicable, ground floor windows.
If you have more flexibility when it comes to your budget, you can opt for a more comprehensive alarm system with a larger number and wider variety of sensors and cameras – and can even consider professional monitoring.
Don’t Invest in Cheap Products
As the saying goes – if buy cheap, you buy twice. However, when it comes to your home security, if you’re the victim of a break-in and theft as a result of ineffective security products, you may have to buy a lot of things twice! Do your best to avoid this by not just going for the cheapest alarm system and security cameras to save money.
Instead, if your budget is limited, as advised above, start your alarm system off small by securing the most vulnerable parts of your home, and gradually build upon it when you free up more funds. This is a far better solution to buying cheap security equipment.
Know Your Service Provider
If you opt for professional security services, it’s wise to gain a thorough understanding of what your service contract covers. Make sure you find out all up-front costs, including installation, cost of equipment, professional monitoring fees, etc. Also, determine how long your contract last and whether you can cancel at any time.
By extension, find out what, if anything, your service contract doesn’t include. For example, does it cover your garage or is that an add on?
We hope that you’ve come away with a few ways to make your rental more secure after reading this post. Even implementing a few of these ideas will make your premises safer, harder to break into, and, consequently, less of an attractive target for criminals looking to relieve you, and your family, of your hard-earned possessions.
If you’d like to discuss any of the ideas from this post or would like a free onsite inspection to identify specific ways to make your rental more secure, contact us and we’ll be happy to help however we can.
Ready to take action?
Kylie Butchard is a highly respected and experienced leader in Australia’s electronic security industry, having successfully steered Pacific Security Group for over 17 years. With a career embedded in customer service, she has consistently focused on putting people first – clients and staff. Known for her strong, resilient, positive, values-driven, consistent, and compassionate approach, Kylie ensures that her team delivers top-notch security solutions tailored to clients’ unique needs.