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Finding a cozy and affordable place is the #1 priority for every renter. But there are some other aspects to note. In particular, you can run into trouble if you underestimate the key safety aspects of your new residence.
Today we want to raise your awareness about personal and home safety concerns. Firstly, we would like to define safe rent and how to win a landlord's approval by working out a safe rent score. On top of that, we share home security solutions that shield you from home safety hazards.
You can use the following safety checklist for rental apartments:
1. Check real customers' feedback and reviews. Websites like WhoseYourLandlord.com give you valuable insights on property safety and landlords. Visit them for a detailed overview of rental offers with genuine tenant feedback.
2. Consider crime statistics. Use various online tools and mobile apps for crime rate monitoring. For instance, you can look into crime types and statistics at CityData based on open reports from local police departments. It's always a smart move, whether you relocate with the family or seek a new place of your own.
3. Check the risk of natural disasters. Suppose your new location is prone to floods, forest fires, or other seasonal disasters. If so, you must assess the most substantial risks and develop a practical evacuation plan. That will help you leave immediately in a safe and well-organized way.
4. Inspect the neighborhood. If you see the new place by yourself, be watchful and keep an eye on anything suspicious. For instance, notice how well-light driveways are. Also, don't be shy to ask the neighbors about safety issues. They may advise you to get a new video doorbell to increase home security.
Lastly, we strongly recommend you know the renter's legal rights and duties. These are a must to make yourself a stress-free dwelling and don't let property managers fool you.
SafeRent Score (SRS) is a metric provided by SafeRent Solutions LLC, ranging from 200 to 800. It allows landlords to evaluate how risky are their prospective tenants regarding solvency. The SRS is based on such factors:
History of a rental debt
Rent to income ratio
Credit reports, etc.
Nowadays, SRS is a common thing in tenant screening practice. Landlords consider these scores more relevant proof of an applicant's creditworthiness than, for instance, credit scores.
A good SRS score (above 500 ) is key to successful lease negotiation. It is a strong argument in favor of your credibility that allows you to bargain for a more favorable rental fee or security deposit. Therefore, we strongly recommend maintaining SRS above the average to seize the best rental offer.
First, you must find out your current score. You can check it in several ways:
From the current property manager. They save a tenant screening report before signing a housing contract
From the housing approval/denial letters
Request a personal SRS directly from the tenant screening company.
Typically, the screening company will require your SSN and driver's license copy if you request your tenant's score.
Once you have the screening report, find the main causes of your poor SRS. One way to obtain a better tenant's score is to improve the existing credit score. Try to manage your debts to gain a credit score near 600. This should give you a higher chance of housing approval.
We recommend you update it each time you apply for a new rental contract. Remember, attaching a recommendation letter from your previous landlord boosts your chances of application approval.
The following precautions are critical if you prioritize the safety of your own and your loved ones. So add them to your moving checklist to have peace of mind.
Here's what you need to inspect before signing a lease or rental agreement:
If you rent an apartment, make sure it has a peephole to let you observe the hall and check who's at the door.
Also, ask the landlord whether they've changed door locks after the previous tenants. If not, it's better to call a locksmith to replace the old lock. It will guarantee that the former renter won't come in without notice.
One- and two-story family houses often have window bars. Some property owners also protect windows with security film as it looks neat.
You can discuss the window security solution with the landlord and agree on another option. But remember that local building codes might prohibit bar installation. In such a case, you can opt for a DIY home security system with window alarm sensors to ward off perpetrators.
Nowadays, you can easily find apartment complexes with advanced security features. It would definitely be a plus to have a doorbell camera, keycard access, and a secured parking lot inside the facility.
Also, check whether smoke detectors trigger automated sprinklers for full-fledged fire protection.
Relocation demands you keep all your household members alert and watchful. Teaching safety to preschoolers would help them stay out of trouble in a new environment.
Once the hustle and bustle of a moving day wear off, it's time to decide how to protect your privacy and property. Try some of the following suggestions.
Installing an external lightning system with motion detectors would be best if you rent a family house. Lights off is a red flag for burglars encouraging them to try their luck. So ensure that the front and back yard are well-lit in after-dark hours.
Protecting your home with 24/7 video monitoring is easier than you might think. Previously we've mentioned camera monitoring solutions you can leverage for outdoor and indoor supervision. Most of these gadgets get plugged into wall outlets, so you won't need to arrange drilling or cable mounting with the landlord.
However, you should mind other people's privacy in case of outdoor installation:
Adjust external cameras so they won't catch nearby homes on video.
Turn off the audio recording if you monitor a public place.
That's the golden rule for anyone living alone. Daily check-ins will comfort you and your relatives. Besides, you can let loved ones in on anything that bothers you about the new place.
Also, try a personal GPS tracker app to let your family know you get around the neighborhood safely. Here we gave some main points to consider when choosing such trackers.
Domestic security systems would immensely assist you as they can monitor your property 24/7. However, if you're new to home alarm systems, you can easily get lost in the variety of products and monitoring plans.
Generally, there are two types of security solutions:
Self-monitored (aka self-installed) – a set of sensors, alarms, and a base station connected through a home Wi-Fi network.
Professionally monitored – alert systems connected to response centers that can dispatch emergency services to your doorstep.
So, which one should you choose? In our overview of home alarm systems, we introduced our top selection of these products regarding different use cases. Check them out to understand what features you need.
Do you want a false-proof and cheap solution for personal safety? Try AllsWell Alert for yourself and family members living with you. It provides:
24/7 access to panic button feature with instant SOS messages delivery
Battery-saving background GPS tracking
Unobtrusive inactivity monitoring alert that will assist people with disabilities and chronic diseases
Quick adjustment of emergency contacts for SOS notifications with GPS-tags
You can use all native features of the AllsWell Alert personal safety tracking app straight after installation. With a low-cost monthly subscription fee of $9.99, you'll protect your loved ones in emergencies and save on costly home alarm products.