|Renting a home or apartment
usually requires less responsibility for the property. However, just because someone else is the owner, doesn’t mean that you want your home to be in harm’s way. To protect yourself, your belongings, and your security deposit, you’ll have to take some measures to keep your rental safe.
One way to protect yourself is to purchase tenant insurance
. The owner of the rental may already have coverage for the property, but that does not include your possessions. Getting tenant insurance is a great way to insure both your possessions and the building. If you have not insured your rental, you may end up paying for damage with your security deposit
When insuring your rented home and possessions, you need to document your belongings and your home. Take photos of everything and make note of any preexisting damage. This will not only help you for insurance purposes, but it will protect you from any landlord's false claims of damage.
Always review any insurance plan and weigh your options, as each insurance plan will offer different levels of protection for a variety of circumstances. There are a lot of things that insurance plans may or may not cover. Make sure each disaster is spelled out and that you are comfortable paying for protection against them. Here are some typical disasters most insurance policies can cover:
Your landlord's insurance may cover some of these events, so be sure to ask him or her about the insurance policy when negotiating the lease, and talk about what should be done if a disaster does occur in the rental.
Of course, ideally you’d like to prevent things from happening to your rental rather than relying on an insurance plan to pay for damage. The best way to be proactive about safety is to purchase a security system
. Since security systems require installation, you should consult with your landlord before purchasing your system. Maybe he’ll even cover the cost of the system--or lower your rent in exchange for you paying to keep his property safer.
There are a variety of services
that security systems provide. Depending on how much you are willing to pay, additional services can be included:
- Smoke detection
- Carbon monoxide detection
- Motion detecting sensors
- Window break sensors
- Closed circuit cameras
- Wireless connection to local authorities
- Landline connection to local authorities
Other safety measures in your rental
Not everything that you do to protect your rental needs to cost money. There are a few common sense measures
that will limit your chance of fire or theft:
- Make sure your smoke detectors have fresh batteries. Depending on where you live, it is illegal to have smoke detectors without charged batteries.
- Lock all doors as often as possible. Rented homes or apartments tend to be in close proximity to each other and you may not know and trust all your neighbours. Use a chain or deadbolt lock to gain some privacy from those who may have a key for the regular lock--like the landlord or maintenance man.
- If dogs are allowed, get one that will alert you to, or deter, possible intruders.
- Have a fire extinguisher on hand.
- Know your building’s fire escape routes.
- If anything in your home breaks, get it fixed. Broken ovens, pipes, or any machinery could lead to fires or other damaging disasters.
Protecting a rental property is much like protecting your own home. The main difference is that you need to consider your landlord’s wishes
. It is advantageous to both of you to keep your home as safe as possible, so talk to your landlord to better protect your home.