The choice between an apartment and a house depends on numerous dynamics – your budget, lifestyle, taste, and more.
You might be asking are apartments safe? How safe are apartments? Many people believe apartment living is safer than houses because there can be a single point of entry, extra security measures and more people around. While this might be true, and while some apartment complexes might be safer than others, there is no one and no place that can GUARANTEE safety. Having said that, there are general measures, that when implemented properly, can help deter crime and may increase safety. Here are some safety measures to look for when you decide to move into an apartment.
What Is The Neighborhood Like?
You are getting more than just the building when you rent an apartment. The neighborhood plays an important role when it comes to safety. Make sure you do enough research into these factors before you rent your apartment –
- What’s the neighborhood crime, violence rate?
- How does the crime rate compare to the city, state or national average?
- Are there enough streetlights and well-lit areas around the area?
Consider talking to your realtor and potential neighbors to get an idea of safety in the area.
What Kind of Security is in the Apartment Complex?
Apart from the neighborhood, you’ll want to make sure the apartment complex pays attention to overall safety and security –
- Is there enough light in the exterior building and grounds?
- Are all common areas such as stairways, hallways, and garages well lit?
- Does the entire property have a surveillance system? There should be signage notifying anyone entering the property that a surveillance system is in place.
- Do the exterior doors lock on their own? This helps ensures doors are not accidentally left unlocked.
- Is the property well maintained? For instance, are there broken fences, overgrown bushes and other issues that could compromise safety?
- Does the building and hallways have a lighting system that relies on photocell vs time clocks? Photocells are preferred because you want walkways and parking lots to be lit when light is needed (i.e. on overcast days), not just at night.
- Has management posted signs regarding their no solicitation and no trespassing policy by unauthorized visitors?
Consider visiting the apartment complex at different times of the day to scrutinize how safe it feels. If the opportunity arises, ask existing residents about crime in the area to help you decide.
What Kind of Security is inside the apartment?
Your apartment home is a space to relax, so you must feel safe and comfortable. Ask the property manager or landlord these questions:
- Is there at least one deadbolt lock on the apartment door?
- Are the locks changed after the previous tenant moves out and you move in? They should be.
- Is there a communication system from the exterior of the building to the apartment?
- Do the mailboxes have names or just apartment numbers? Ideally, you’d want something without a name and gender reference.
- Are there window bar locks on first floor apartments to prevent unwanted entries?
- Is there a hardwired smoke detector inside the apartment? New smoke detectors are being made to support hard wiring and battery back up.
- If your apartment has a natural gas flue / appliance, does it also have a carbon monoxide detector?
- Are there blinds or window shades in the apartment?
- Does the complex allow subletting?
Surprisingly, many burglars get into apartments through unlocked windows and doors. If the apartment comes with locks, make sure you use them to slim down your chances of getting burglarized.
No one or system can guarantee safety. But these important security measures may help you stay safer when you considering apartment living.
Looking for more questions, consider these questions you should ask about apartment safety before renting.