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6 Best Ways to Protect Your Belongings as a Renter

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Just because you’re renting doesn’t mean you have nothing of value. If you’re not moving into a furnished property, you’ve got hundreds of dollars in your furniture alone. If that was gone tomorrow, would you be able to replace it all? And if someone decided they were going to walk into your room and grab your laptop while you were out for brunch, would you be able to go to college tomorrow? It’s important to keep your things safe while in a rented home, and not enough of us know how to keep our things safe if we’re not in suburbia with a white picket fence. Take a look at our suggestions to keep yourself and your things safe when renting.

Smart home security

Home security cameras, like the Ring doorbell, are rising in popularity. They’re not always considered the most practical thing for renters in apartments, for example, as they might get set off by the ancient neighbor just walking by, but some are designed for better use in apartments, like the Ring Peephole Camera, which has no drilling for installation and is installed right into your peephole.

These can be particularly useful if you’re worried about the landlord or anyone else entering your home when you’re not there. Keep an eye on any deliveries and make sure they’re put somewhere safe until you can get to them.

There are lots of smart home security options, like keyless entry smart gadgets. For example, the August Smart Lock is particularly useful to renters because it can be installed over the existing deadbolt without too much hassle. It offers keyless access to your home and auto locks as needed. Plus, although it can use your phone to verify it’s you, you can also add face or fingerprint recognition to get in.

Do a thorough inspection when you move in

Before you sign any contract, get a professional to look at the home that you’re looking to move into. If there are any red flags with the infrastructure that might lead to your items getting damaged, like a leaky pipe leading to a flood, a property inspector should spot it. That way, you don’t have to worry about your items getting damaged due to the building itself and saving you a lot of grief.

Air Tags

While we’re on smart technology, you might want to look into getting a hold of some Apple Air Tags. Stick them on your keys, your laptop, or anything else valuable and track them via your smartphone. If someone lifts your laptop and disappears with it, you’re going to be alerted and told in the moment. The batteries in Apple Air Tags are designed to last over a year so you don’t have to rush if your lost property has crossed state lines.

Renters insurance

Of course, these are all preventative measures. What happens if your thief gets access to your belongings despite all you’ve done? Well, beyond calling the police, you might want to get renters insurance. Renters insurance will cover you for all your belongings in the home if they are damaged or lost due to fire, smoke, storms, flooding, theft, etc.

The cost of renters insurance varies depending on which company you go with, but it is significantly lower than home insurance, given that the building isn’t your responsibility to maintain. However, you will need to make sure your policy covers “personal possessions” if you’re looking to cover items like your laptop, jewelry, ornamental chattels or music equipment while you’re out and about.

Use a storage unit

There is always the option, too, of simply not keeping your most valuable possessions in the home with you. If you’re renting, chances are you’re not in a big space, so the bulky stuff like bikes, tools and music equipment can be taking up precious space. Stick them and anything valuable, like jewelry, electronics, collectibles, etc. in a storage unit for the time being. Two birds, one stone. Rates are pretty good for monthly storage, and if you find you’re not taking anything out within 6 months, then you can consider if you actually really need it.

Consider a lock on your bedroom door

If you are sharing with a roommate that doesn’t understand that “mine” does not equal “also yours”, you might consider getting a lock on your door. Hopefully it should avoid a fight while setting boundaries. You will need permission from the landlord to install something that will do damage to the door, but there are simpler solutions. There are portable door locks, mainly marketed for hotel rooms, that will at least keep your roommates out while you’re in the room.

If you can’t get a lock on your door, setting up some smart security in your bedroom will allow you to at least collect proof that someone is entering your room without permission and taking items.

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