Home Security: Renter Edition

Are you one of the nearly 50% of all British Columbians who rent a unit in a multi-person housing complex? Here are some key things to keep in mind before and after signing your lease:

Before signing a lease

Research local crime

You’ve finally found it, your dream apartment. Everything about its interior is perfect. But have you considered the neighbourhood? Be sure to check local crime data in the vicinity of the building. The Vancouver Police Department offers these handy Crime Maps, for easy reference.

Check building entrances

Be sure to check the building’s security. Does building access require a key or passcode? Is it buzz-in access?

Take note of the general upkeep

Take note of the building’s common spaces. Broken windows, cracks in the drywall, or leaking pipes, indicate a lack of concern from the landlord or caretaker. If they’re paying attention to basic maintenance, chances are they will not pay attention to security concerns either.  

After signing a lease

Change your locks

You never know how many keys have gone missing, or if the previous tenants still have copies they forgot to give back to the landlord. Ask your landlord to replace your locks with brand new ones, not redistributed ones.

Get to know your neighbours

The better you know your neighbours, the more likely you will be to look out for each other. Introduce yourself to people in your building. If there isn’t already one in place, consider starting a crime-watch group.

Follow apartment security etiquette

Do not let strangers into the building. That means through the front door and the parking lot entrance. When driving into your building’s parking lot, allow the gate to close completely before driving off.

Did you know?

Renters are 85% more likely to experience a home invasion than those who own their homes.

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Slater Vecchio
Slater Vecchio LLP is a boutique law firm with offices in British Columbia and Quebec. Over the past 25 years, Slater Vecchio has represented thousands of clients and has grown into one of the most successful personal injury and class action firms in the Country.