Landlords are responsible for ensuring their tenants’ safety, but tenants also have an important role in ensuring their own safety within the apartment or residential building. Landlords are mandated by law to have measures in place to guarantee the safety of their tenants and their property.
Initial procedures, such as screening potential tenants, ensure tenants pass background checks to avoid the likelihood of future safety incidences.
Here are some safety tips for you if you’re a tenant:
1. Ensure Doors And Windows Are Secure
Burglars will always attempt to break into residential units that appear to lack security. Always keep your doors and windows locked to deter break-ins, especially when you are away.
Additionally, you may consider investing in home security appliances like motion lights if your landlord does not provide them already. Remember, building safety features may fail to offer adequate protection, so you should actively safeguard your property yourself.
2. Know Your Neighbors
It is important to know your neighbors as part of ensuring collective safety in your residential area. There are many reported cases of robberies with violence instigated by neighbors.
Knowing the people you live with is the first step to eliminating potential safety risks. There have been many reported cases of drug trafficking, illegal immigrants, and other criminal activities operating from residential buildings without the knowledge of other tenants.
Stay safe by being vigilant and reporting any suspicious activities to your landlord or the relevant authorities. If you question the real identity of your neighbor, you can always run a quick check on Nuwber to confirm their details.
3. Store Hazardous Chemicals Appropriately
Always ensure potentially harmful chemicals such as paint and insecticides are stored in well-ventilated areas away from young children and other unauthorized people. Flammable substances also pose a risk in a rental building as they may cause injury or damage to property, which insurance may fail to cover.
Chemicals may also pose health risks to you and other tenants, which can be sufficient grounds for legal action in severe cases.
4. Ensure Hallways And Exits Are Unobstructed
As a tenant, you should ensure that you don’t block passages and emergency exits with personal items. Keep your tools or equipment in the designated areas away from common exits, as they may hinder movement during emergencies and pose a risk to other tenants.
One of the major challenges associated with evacuation during incidences such as fire is inaccessible paths, mostly due to tenants storing items in these areas.
5. Use Electricity Safely
Rental units can accommodate several electrical appliances at once. However, be careful not to overload your sockets. Most appliances have voltage specifications which must always be observed to avoid overloading the grid. Use electrical fittings that protect your appliance in case of power surges or outages to avoid incurring the cost of repairing or replacing costly appliances.
Electricity can be potentially dangerous if you fail to observe basic instructions, such as tampering with the main power supply or using poor-quality electrical appliances. Purchase electronics from trusted retailers and report any electrical faults immediately.
6. Get Renters Insurance
You would rather have insurance and not need it than need it and not have it. There are several insurance options for renters, all designed to protect your property in a rental unit. Insurance adds a layer of protection for incidents that may be beyond your control.
Renter’s insurance typically covers property damage, electrical appliances, and other valuable items in the apartment that are often costly to replace.
7. Ensure The Parking Area Is Well Lit And Fitted With Surveillance
Before you move into a rental complex, ensure the designated parking area is always visible. The entrance and exits should be free from any barriers for safe parking.
It can help prevent damage to your car or your neighbor’s car, which can easily end up in hundreds of dollars. Well-lit areas make it easier for children and other tenants to move around and carry items to and from their apartments.
8. Ensure Adequate Lighting In Your Apartment And Surrounding Areas
Always keep laundry rooms, passageways, elevators, and parking spots well-lit during the day and night. This helps prevent personal injury and property damage and may help deter robbers or vandals from tampering with shared amenities.
Buildings with dark spots can potentially target robbers and other illegal activities that can ruin your living experience. Another important tip is to drive by your building at night to identify areas with inadequate lighting and raise the matter with your landlord before an incident arises.
9. Inspect The Building Before You Move In
To identify a safe living area, look for vulnerabilities or weaknesses that burglars may exploit. Look at the main entrances to the building and ensure they are well-secured by proper locks, or security personnel ensure stairways are well-lit at all times. Check to see that there are systems to prevent unauthorized access and there is access to security services in case of an incident.
Also, check the garbage disposal systems and the state of hygiene as vermin may be a potential risk in buildings that are not regularly cleaned. While at it, ensure your living area is neat at all times to avoid the risk of pests that may put your health or property at risk.
10. Consider Maintenance And Upkeep
Don’t forget to ensure that the building is well-maintained by the landlord and that the security features are functional. A poorly maintained building may signal a safety risk in the future, as a neglected building may be vulnerable to break-ins.
Inform your landlord of faulty security features, such as lights and cameras. Any bare electrical wires or faulty drainage systems can be a hazard and may cause bodily harm or property damage if they are not rectified swiftly.
Safety in a rental building is vital for your peace of mind as a tenant. Your landlord is technically responsible for ensuring the building is secure and habitable, although there are a few tips, such as the ones we’ve discussed, that you can implement. Remember that safety is a continuous process that everyone can contribute to.