Apartment Security

Rental Apartment Security

Rental Apartment SecurityAre you concerned about the security of your family and yourself in your rental apartment building? In this post we will discuss some of the issues you need to consider and think about as an owner as well as a renter in an apartment building. Everyone’s nightmare is that they move into an apartment building only to find that there is no or limited security. Anyone can get into the building and in fact some apartment dwellers don’t bother to check identities before they buzz some one in or the lock on the front door is broken.

Before we go much further lets just say that if someone really wants to get into your building, they will find a way in and it will not take them that long either. Even if there is a security guard or a concierge, it is relatively easy to get by them through distractions or just timing it when they are not looking or just being bold. so how are you to protect your self when you are living in an apartment building. the answer is that it is all about probabilities and the more steps you take before you move in and even after will help to increase your overall security level!

Rental Apartment Security Checklist

We put together a simple check list of items to consider before you sign the lease to a one year contract for an apartment. Here we go in no particular order:

  • Front door does lock
  • Location is relatively safe
  • Double doors each with  locks
  • Video systems works so you can see who your buzzing in
  • Apartment  doors are solid and have good locks on them
  • Concierge  on duty 24 hours of the day
  • If no concierge on duty is there a security guard or on duty maintenance person
  • Elevators are key coded for additional security
  • Check police records for number of visits
  • A Well maintained place shows pride of ownership and security by owners
  • Alarm systems in apartment

While some of these things may seem at the high end, we all have to make compromises and decide what is right for the situation that we are in. While you may not want to pay for a high end apartment with a security guard and concierge, a place that is really well maintained shows pride of ownership and a clientele that takes care of the building and treats it like their own.

Interview The Rental Manager

Most of the time it is the rental manager interviewing tenants. They are trying to decide if you will be a good candidate for the building. This usually means that you will pay the rent on time and not bring additional people into the apartment other than what you indicated on the rental application. he may also check with previous managers were you have resided to get references.

While you certainly have to go through all of that, we suggest you turn the tables a bit and interview them as well. The objective is to assess whether it is a place you really want to live in. You are going to check out the apartment, the parking, and any facilities that may or not be offered with the apartment. Extend the interview and ask questions that require more than yes or no answers. For example, how is the security in the building? Ask him to describe the steps they take to ensure that the building is secure. Make him sell you the building and describe its positive attributes.

Many superintendents may find this unusual. However it will also communicate to them that you are interested in a location that is safe. You will also help to keep it that way while you live there. A superintendent wants to have a well run building with no problems at all including bad tenants.

Other Issues

There are probably many other items that will help to make sure that you chose a secure building. If you feel that we missed some or just want to leave a comment, please do so. All constructive and helpful comments will be approved. We will even approve a link to your web site. Provide a well written comment that will be helpful to our readers.

 


Condo Building Security

Condo Building SecurityEveryone of us wants to feel secure in our home. It is a place were we do not need to be concerned about strangers and we do not need to worry about our possessions being stolen. We can retire to our home and relax after a day at work or traveling or what ever it is that we do. Many people take the security of their condo for granted. They feel that as long as their door is closed and locked, they will be secure. Actually there is a lot more that you can do as a condo owner. It starts when you decide to purchase any particular condo. Investigate the security that is provided by the condo, to make sure that it meets your personal security requirements.

The vast majority of condo’s employ a security system of some kind. Some are pretty simple and really will allow anyone to enter who has a little bit if ingenuity. Others are like fort Knox and cost a fortune to manage and control. They employ camera and audio systems, security guards around the clock at the gate and who also roam the property. This can be a high class security program which also costs a great deal of money.

With these two extremes in terms of security, how does one decide what level of security is right for you and appropriate for were you live?  We listed a few items to consider as part of your condo building selection process. They may not all apply to your situation, however take what applies to you and use as you wish.

Condo Building Security Criteria

  • Crime rate in the location were you will live
  • Crime rate of the building you are considering
  • Security program currently in place
  • Effectiveness of the security program
  • Cost of the security program
  • Condo boards attitude towards security
  • Audi and camera system in working order
  • Guest entry process
  • Apartment entry
  • Door dead bolt
  • Balcony door security

These are all issues that should be considered when you purchase a condo. The more security that you have, the more it will cost so take this into account. Sometimes you can apply over kill to a situation that does not need a high  level of security. You end up paying a great deal for something that is really not necessary.

Effectiveness of Building Security

In out city there is a building that is one of the most desired locations to live. Many people from high-profile positions in industry and government live there. This building has 24 hour manned security, audio and camera systems. In addition you must still be buzzed into the building even if security allows you onto the property. A very nice building that really does a good job of keeping the opportunists and the rift raft out of the building and from entering the  property.

Unfortunately, if someone really wants to get in they will do so. In this particular building someone wanted to get even with a judge who had ruled negatively against someone. They posed as a repairman, gained access to the property and then the building. All they did was knock on the door and gained entry to commit a rather serious crime.  This really shook up the building residents and the security system and procedures were reviewed and updated.

the point of this story is that you really need to guard against the opportunists and make it difficult for the average con man or thief to gain entry. This will deal with 99% of all possible crimes. The last 1% is almost impossible to deal with and will cost you a great deal of money as well.

Summary

Review the list of condo security items we listed and make your decision on the level of security you need to have as a unit owner and a building owner. Keep it in perspective and avoid spending too much money on security

 

 


Apartment Building Security

Apartment building security is one area that we wanted to discuss from the Property Management for residential homesrenter’s perspective since this is something that building management is responsible for and your building’s reputation as a secure place to live will have a large impact on the rent you can charge for your apartment.

Anytime you move into an apartment, one of the things that you should include in your list of criteria to consider is the security level of the building. Most people do not give this aspect a seconds thought when they are looking for an apartment. Instead they are more concerned about the rent they will pay and any utilities that are added to the overall cost. In addition, they probably look at parking and location relative to were they work and social activities. But not Security. And yet this can be one of the most important elements of your decision in today’s world.

Apartment Building Security – Why is it so important?

Security of your building is going to influence who is entering your building at all times of the day. Most people will buzz in their friends and avoid anyone that they do not know. But what if your buildings locks do not work well. What if the camera system is not working or the audio. How do you know who you are buzzing in?

If your main door locks are not secure, anyone can get into the building and sometimes people come in to spend the night in the stairwells. One location we rented as a snow bird had to have regular routine checks by the security staff of the stairwells, because homeless people were coming onto the property and trying to spend the night in the stairwell. You have to feel sorry for these people, but no one wants a smelly homeless person sleeping in the stairwell at night and roaming the halls.

Questions to Address

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you sign the lease to your new apartment:

  • Security system operation and working
  • Security checks
  • Neighborhood you live in
  • Homeless people near by
  • check with police regarding the record of the building
  • Security guard on duty at night
  • Dead bolts on apartment doors
  • Secure apartment doors
  • Secure sliding glass doors if you have a balcony
  • Management has a strong record of dealing with security issues

In addition to checking the security of the main entrance of the building for security issues, you should also check the security of the doors going into your apartment. does you main door have a solid dead bolt that cannot be kicked in. Is your door solid, preferably made of metal so that it cannot be easily broken.

In addition, if your apartment has a balcony, what is the security of the balcony door. Can it easily be pried off the track or can the lock be pried open. Can people move from other balconies onto your balcony? What steps will you have to take to make sure that no one can enter your apartment from the balcony? Admittedly if you are on a high floor you less to be concerned about unless your balcony is joined with another.  Balconies close to the ground sometimes can be reached easily are more susceptible to break ins.

So hopefully after reading this post readers who are looking for apartments will add this issue to their list of criteria about the apartments that they are looking at.  Your comments are welcome about this topic and others.

 


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