Five Security/Safety Questions to Ask When Apartment Searching
In Georgia, property owners are expected to keep their premises safe at all times for anyone that lawfully enters. For those who own apartment buildings, this includes ensuring that the residents are safe from attacks to their person or to their property. When apartment building property owners have failed to keep their residents or their property safe, they may be found negligent.
Those thinking about moving into an apartment building can determine, to a degree, whether the property owners are trying their best to keep them safe, even before applying for the apartment. They just have to keep in mind these five security/safety questions to ask when apartment searching.
Are the Building and Grounds Well Lit?
It is much easier to attack someone in a dimly lit parking lot than in one that has plenty of light. Good lighting can deter criminals, both those that want to attack people and those that want to commit other crimes that can cause damage, such as breaking into vehicles. In addition to this, good lighting will also alert apartment complex residents to the presence of other dangers such as potholes and large cracks in sidewalks.
Does the Apartment Have at Least One New Deadbolt Lock?
Deadbolts are much sturdier and harder to break into than other types of locks, such as small turn locks on door handles. Without question, every single unit should have a deadbolt on the door to improve security. Unfortunately, that is not good enough. The deadbolt should be changed every time a new tenant moves in. If it is not, the tenant who recently moved out could still have a key. Landlords cannot be certain that past tenants did not make additional copies of their key or that they do not have a criminal past.
Does the Door to the Building Have a Self-Locking Mechanism?
To ensure that apartment buildings are safe and secure, the doors into the building should always be locked. They should also automatically close, as it is easy for residents to forget to close the door behind them. Residents should certainly not be responsible for locking the main entry door once it closes. Keeping unwelcome visitors out and allowing residents easy access inside is an important landlord responsibility.
Is There an Intercom System Between the Apartments and Exterior Doors?
In addition to ensuring that the doors leading into different apartments are always kept closed and locked, there should also be an intercom set up before any visitor can enter the building. For most apartment buildings this is a small foyer that has one door to the mailboxes and intercom system and then another to actually enter the main part of the building. Without this intercom, it is too easy for visitors to enter without permission, regardless of whether they are actually there to visit someone in the building.
Does the Property Have a Surveillance System?
In the event that an unauthorized person does enter the building, or that a crime does happen on the property’s grounds, there should be documentation following the incident. The best way to do this is to ensure that a surveillance system covers the entry doors, parking lots, and other access points, including windows. Some apartment buildings even allow this surveillance to be watched from residents’ individual units. In addition to watching the event as it unfolds after the fact, video surveillance is also a deterrent to criminals.
There are many safety and security concerns that residents and property owners need to be conscious of. These five security/safety questions to ask when apartment searching will help you determine how well the property owner has safeguarded the apartment complex against criminal activity.