Renting is practically a rite of passage for young adults in the UK, and one that is becoming increasingly normalised as property ownership continues to elude a majority of home-seekers. Renting a property can feel somewhat disarming, as the home is never truly yours – and as you cannot make any major changes to it, particularly with regard to security measures or safety. But there are some key things you can do to make your rental property feel safer.
Change the Locks
The first, and most obvious, way in which you can improve the security of your rented home against burglars is to upgrade the locks. While this might seem like quite a major intervention, you are well within your rights as a tenant to make this intervention – as long as you provide your landlord with the right keys, keep the original locks and re-install them before you end your tenancy. With permission from your landlord, you may also be able to add locks to your front and back doors. Deadbolts and chains, as well as your standard door locks, make it harder for burglars to attempt entry.
Secure the Windows
The doors aren’t the only weak point to your property, either. Your windows are another spot that burglars will target in an attempt to gain entry; on a base level, you should ensure that your windows are closed whenever you leave the house. Older windows may have weaker locking mechanisms and could inspire trespass whether on the ground or first floor. Upgraded locks can again be a useful approach, but you could also secure yourself by placing obstacles on the inside of your window – and by using anti-climb paint on drainpipes up to windows.
Secure Your Valuables
As discussed earlier, despite the potential for smaller-scale modifications and interventions to your home, your options as a tenant are somewhat limited. Unless you get express permission from your landlord or are able to petition your landlord for upgrades to your home’s security, you would be unable to see major security upgrades like security systems put in place.
While you might not be able to install a state-of-the-art alarm system, you can address the safety of your valuables within your home. A small safe, for example, could be placed at the foot of your wardrobe, and used to store valuables such as watches and jewellery. While not a physical form of security, renters insurance can also be an invaluable way to protect the value of possessions – whether precious items or furniture.
Create Visual Deterrents
Protecting your possessions from burglary needn’t purely take the form of protective measures. You can also deter would-be burglars from attempting to access your property, by installing deterrents in your garden or home perimeter. Aftermarket solar-powered lights make sure that potential entry points are well-illuminated, and gravel can be used to make it obvious when someone is approaching the property.