Home Security Do’s and Don’ts for Apartment Dwellers

Home Security


Online articles discussing home security systems tend to focus on homeowners. This makes sense as homeowners have complete control over their properties, and they can do with them as they please. But what about apartment dwellers? As renters, they do not have as much freedom. Can they still take advantage of home security? Absolutely!

Vivint Smart Home is a nationwide provider of monitored home security systems. They also do home automation. They published a post in October 2022 discussing how apartment dwellers can utilize DIY home security to their advantage. Based on Vivint’s advice, this post offers a number of home security do’s and don’ts for apartment dwellers.

Do Check with the Landlord

The very first thing any apartment dwellers should do before ordering a home security system is check with the landlord. A renter’s lease likely contains language dictating how a home security system can and cannot be deployed. Even without specific language, the landlord is likely to have reservations about any installation that requires cutting into walls, altering windows and doors, etc.

Do Go the DIY Route

While it is possible to have a home security system installed by professionals, apartment dwellers are better off going the DIY route. For starters, professional installers generally won’t work in rented units without written permission from the landlord. They also tend to have liability concerns they do not really want to get into.

Choosing a DIY system allows a renter to install a customized system without having to worry about installer concerns. With a nod from the landlord, DIY equipment can be purchased and set up pretty easily.

Do Not Alter the Property

In the absence of written permission from the landlord, a renter should never alter the property to install a home security system. That means no cutting into the walls to run wires. It means not attaching cameras with screws. The good news is that wireless home security works just fine.

Going wireless means taking your system with you when it’s time to move. You will not leave any holes in the wall, holes that the landlord may charge you to repair. You also won’t be tempted to leave the security system behind because removing it is too difficult. It is wireless and portable; you just pack it in a box and go.

Do Not Assume Exterior Cameras Are Private

Renters should be careful to not assume exterior cameras are private. In other words, some states allow landlords to access exterior camera footage regardless of who owns the camera in question. That is because space outside of an apartment is considered public space controlled by the landlord.

That being said, renters should rest assured that landlords can be denied access to interior camera footage. Interior spaces are not considered public spaces. Renters have a reasonable expectation of privacy within their own apartments for as long as they rent.

Do Plan Installation Carefully

Installing a DIY wireless home security system is simple enough for anyone who knows how to use a wireless router and wi-fi network. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to install security devices without a solid plan in place. There are right and wrong ways to utilize home security to deter crime. To do it right, you need a plan based on what we already know works.

A good plan covers everything from camera placement to the use of motion detectors. Fortunately, there is plenty of planning information online. With the landlord’s permission, quality DIY equipment, and a solid plan in place, apartment dwellers can utilize home security to make their apartments safer. There is nothing wrong with that.

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