When you rent instead of owning your home in New Jersey, you’re at the mercy of your landlord with security. Even though you may not have permission to add your own home security system, there are some things you can do to increase the security of your rented NJ home.
Homeownership rates are down and more people are renting in New Jersey. This means NJ renters need to know how to secure their home if their landlord won’t do it for them. With the following tips, you can stay safe, even when you’re renting.
Common Security Features Found with New Jersey Rentals
Typically, a rental home or apartment will include a deadbolt lock, door peepholes and sliding chain locks on the doors. These are very basic, but necessary security features for any NJ rental. However, they are often not enough. You want to make sure you remain fully secure in your rental, which means you need to go further than the basics.
Check out the Neighborhood
If you haven’t chosen your home yet, make sure you take a good long look at the neighborhood. Check it out during the morning, afternoon and night. Sometimes, neighborhoods seem very safe during the day, but they change at night. You want to know what you’re getting into before you move in.
Take the time to look up the crime rates for that area of NJ and look at the types of crimes in the area. If car break-ins are common, it doesn’t mean you cannot move into the neighborhood and be safe. However, it may mean you want to rent a home with a garage, motion sensor lights or other features to help keep your car safe.
A good way to get to know the neighborhood is to actually talk to people in the neighborhood. They will be able to give you honest answers about the area your landlord may not be willing to give you. However, your landlord should also know the area and be able to tell you about the home features they may have installed to help keep you safe.
Take Care of the Property
When you actually take care of the property, it will help to deter crime. Many break-ins occur with homes that look like a vacation home or a rental home. If there are things that make the home seem like it’s unoccupied, it may become a target.
After you move in, keep the landscaping up to par and make sure lights are on when you’re not there. You can also have your landlord fix any vulnerable areas of the home, such as loose fences or cracked walls. It’s also a good idea to make sure you don’t have any overgrown gardens, plants or lawns as these will make the home look like someone isn’t there.
Make Sure the Doors and Windows are Secure
If you haven’t moved in yet, you want to inspect the doors and windows. While you probably can’t change any locks due to your lease, you can at least check to make sure you have strong deadbolt locks and good hinges. Make sure the deadbolts are on all entry doors. If you don’t have a deadbolt, see if the landlord will provide one or at least let you have one installed.
The hinges should never be on the outside of the door without using setscrews and the proper installation. If they are on the outside of the door, NJ thieves may target the unit.
Another feature you want to look for is strike plates. If you have strike plates on the door locks, it will help to keep the home even more secure. However, you may want to replace the screws with longer ones to ensure the strike plate is fully secured.
Another way to ensure you remain secure in your NJ rental home is to add a smart doorbell camera. Since this is a wireless system, you won’t need to worry about ruining the home to install it. You can simply install the smart doorbell camera of your choice and when it’s time to pack up and leave, you can take it with you.
The windows are a whole other area of the home you want to check. While there’s not much you can do other than inspecting the locks to make sure they work, you can install window alarm sensors. These sensors can be installed without having to wire anything in the home and they will detect huge vibrations or broken glass to sound the alarm. You can also add a security sticker when you install this feature to help deter crime.
In addition, make sure there are not tall plants or shrubbery near your windows where a thief could hide. If these types of plants already exist, adding sensors to the windows is a must for better home security.
Choose a Rental-Friendly Home Security System
Many home security systems require wiring and larger security companies won’t sell to renters. However, there are some very good wireless systems you can have installed that won’t require running wires in walls. You can get monitors for your system, cameras, and many other features if you choose the right rental-friendly security system. Call us to learn more: 973-335-3931
Some NJ home security companies will even offer monitoring for renters with their new system. You don’t have to live in a rental property and feel unsafe. You can choose a rental-friendly security system to ensure you’re safe in your new rental home.
Consider a New Jersey Rental Building with Security Features
If you haven’t rented your home or apartment in NJ yet, you can consider finding a rental building with security features already in place. Some buildings include security cameras in the hallways, door buzzers for letting in guests and other security features. While this isn’t always an option, if you can find a building with these features, it may help you remain safe in your home.
When you aren’t ready to own a NJ home, but you want to make sure you’re secure in your rental, you need the right tips and security system. Working with a NJ home security expert will help to ensure you get a security system that’s not only rental-friendly but will also keep you secure. Use the tips above and get the right features for your rental so that you can feel safe in your home. And please give us a call if you have any questions: 973-335-3931