When apartment searching, hunt for a complex with pre-installed alarm systems. Some apartment complexes require a key or passcode to get into a building. Culkin says some alarm systems can be installed to individual units, so a resident should check with the property manager to see if one is available.
Despite best efforts, sometimes preventive care isn’t enough and break-ins or other accidents occur.
“As an apartment manager, we can’t promise anyone’s safety,” says Tina Shamburg, property manager at Benton Pointe Apartments in Allen, Texas. “As you know, crime has no address and happens everywhere. We can, however, provide them with a lot of good information.”
She says one way residents can protect themselves is by purchasing renters insurance, which averages about $15 a month, according to the Insurance Information Institute. She requires all residents to buy renters insurance, which typically covers replacement cost for your possessions, as well as liability coverage to protect you if you are sued by a guest injured in your home.
She advises residents to also seek out crime watch meetings. Her company holds these meetings annually with local police.
Culkin says safety always comes back to common sense.
“Always be aware of your surroundings," he says. "If you’re walking home late at night, try not to do so alone. If someone knocks on your door and you don’t recognize them, don’t open the door. Don’t leave your valuables out in plain sight in your car. Keep your windows locked while you’re sleeping or out of the apartment. Safety concerns at an apartment community aren’t much different from those you’d encounter anywhere else. If you see suspicious activity, contact the property manager. Your safety is their priority.”
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