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Renters’ Security Checklist- 6 Items to Check Off Before Signing the Lease

South Africa has one the highest crime rates in the world and because of that, security is something that everyone has to consider. Home security isn’t an issue  that is limited to homeowners, but it’s a concern for renters as well. Whether you own property or not, the safety of the property you reside in is important. Renters should consider the level of security that is offered before signing a lease agreement.

When it comes to the security of the home, the landlord is responsible for most of the security measures that can be implemented. Landlords should be provide their tenants with a home with a security system. This could be an alarm system, security camera or a security gate. They should ensure that the security system on the property is being maintained and check when the security system should be replaced or repaired.

Renting property might mean less responsibility when it comes to maintaining the home, but it has some challenges for renters as they have limitations about what they can do to the property. Due to this they should ensure that the property is safe. Before committing to a place, pay attention to the following things while viewing the property:

  1. Doors and Windows – When break ins occur, burglars will tend to use front door and windows. Ensure that all doors and windows open and close properly, this includes sliding doors as well. Windows should be secure from the outside.  Door locks should not be missing, broken or wobbly. Check to see that there are no break-in points and if there are, speak to the landlord about the issue.
  1. Crime Rates – Before moving into a place, research the crime rates of the area. You can do this by inspecting the area which the property is located at different times of the day. If the area is busy during the day and there are people hanging around who don’t live there, that could be an indication that the area isn’t the safest.

    If there are security guards for the apartment complex or property, ask them about the crime in the area. The tenants or the local police station could give you more information about the crime rates as well.
  1. Check the Lighting-  Any dark alleys or corners on the property could be spots that burglars can use to hide and gain access unnoticed. It’s important for you to feel safe in all areas of the place. Ensure that the parking area, storage rooms, the stairs, and any other common areas have proper lighting and even security cameras. To test whether everything is well lit, you can visit the property in the evening.
  1. Parking – Checking parking arrangements is important if you own a vehicle. There are are some neighborhoods where there is no parking within the property. This is unsafe for you, especially if you have to park your car in the street. Ask your landlord if you have allocated parking and whether you will have to pay for it. Remember to find a place with a garage or an inside bay.
  1. Security Measures Offered – Ensure that the entrance of your new property has a security gate. On top of having a good security, ensure that there are security cameras or surveillance of some kind at the entrance. If there is a burglary, it would have record of all the people who were on the property. Simply having security cameras discourages burglaries, as a burglar would not want to be recognized. It would also make it easier
  1. Pay Attention to the Maintenance – The general state of the property can offer signs about how the landlord priorities the security of the property. If you see peeling paint, a broken window or burnt-out light bulbs, this could be an indication that you might have to deal with repair issues for weeks or even months. These problems could lead to major security issues for you in the future if they aren’t resolved.

When a renter moves in, there are measures that they can take to add security to the home. As a tenant, you can upgrade your door locks. You can speak to your landlord about changing your door locks regularly to ensure that you are the only person with access to your place. You can also install minor security systems such as wireless alarm systems that can be monitored using your smartphone. Renters are responsible for communicating any new security concerns that they may have to their landlord.

Conclusion

Before signing a lease agreement, ensure that all your security needs and concerns have been addressed. Following a checklist before viewing allows you to create expectations about what to look for the place you want to rent. Inspect properly and prioritize safety before settling on a place in order to avoid renters’ regret.

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