Before Moving In
Before deciding on renting a new residence, it is important to consider security. Follow these guidelines before signing a tenancy agreement to help protect yourself and your family.
Research Local Crime
When you think you've found your dream apartment, check local crime data in its vicinity. Make sure you know about any troubling activities in the area before committing to your tenance. Talk to the local police and your future landlord and neighbours to get an honest picture of what life will be like in your new place. Websites such as police.uk can give you a good idea of the local crime history in almost any UK Postcode.
Burglars and intruders prefer to sneak around in poorly-lit or dark areas. Therefore, when considering a property, check the entrances, hallways, walkways, parking areas, bin stores, lifts and stairways to make sure they have enough lighting at night. The fewer places an offender has to hide, the safer you'll be.
Observe General Upkeep
Take in the general look and feel of your new place. Broken windows, cracked walls, or water stains could show a lack of concern from the landlord. Check to see if the gardens and landscaping are well-kept. If the landlord can't take care of basic maintenance, he or she probably isn't concerned with general security.
Check Building Entrances
When looking at apartments, consider the security of the building. Many times, an outside entry door will require a key, pass code, or entryphone system to access the hallways and doors of the actual apartments. This way, residents control who can approach their apartment door, reducing break-ins. Once you are in, challenge anyone trying to walk in behind you or who are waiting to gain entrance to the building without having buzzed someone first.
Try the Spyhole
A spyhole can keep you and your family safe by allowing you to see who's at your door before you open it. If your door does not have a spyhole, enquire about having one installed before you move in. When a questionable character is at your door, a spyhole will help you and your children avoid any compromising situations. Fitted chains are a good deterrent, but provide a false sense of security, door chains are often installed using small screws that can be overcome with a hard shove. Identifying callers from outside before opening the door is always the best defence of security.
Replace your locks
Replacing your locks reduces the risk of unwanted persons being able to access your new place. Many landlords and agents say they've replaced the locks, but sometimes will just rotate the old locks between apartments, and extra keys are not always returned. When you move into a new property, you never know how many keys have gone missing or how many previous tenants may still have keys. Ask your landlord about having your locks replaced with brand new locks, not redistributed old ones. Don't risk somebody being able to return to your apartment with an old key.
Examine Window Locks
Good window locks keep intr