Home break-ins are on the rise – Here’s how to protect your home if you are a renter

Know your rights when it comes for home security

Since lockdown ended the number of break-ins are starting to creep up again. While homeowners will find it straight forward to tighten up their home security, for renters it can be a little more confusing knowing what changes you can make to a house.

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There is a lot of confusion over rights as a tenant, such as can renters change the locks, or can you install a CCTV. To clear things up and keep your belongings safe Izzy Schulman, Director at Keys 4 U has shared his top home security tips for renters.

Home security tips for renters

1. Check all windows and door before moving in

living room with sofa white wall and potted plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

Before moving into a property make sure that all the exterior doors and windows close properly and are lockable.

'Landlords have a legal and moral obligation to provide you with a safe place to live,' explains Izzy. 'If you're viewing properties, air on the side of caution. Check windows and doors to make sure they're made of durable materials and locks conform to British standards.'

If they're not, tell the property owner that you're not willing to move into the flat until they are replaced.

For those already renting a home, check all entry points into the flat. If you find any weak spots let your landlord know and explain that you don't feel safe and it needs fixing.

2. Change the locks

main entrance with back door and digital lock

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Brent Darby)

Most insurance policies don't cover for unforced entry, so if a previous tenant has cut extra keys it could place your home at risk.

'If you suspect your locks haven't been changed, contact your landlord and work with them to have them changed,' advises Izzy. 'If they don't cooperate, you are within your rights to change them yourself.'

'Keep the old locks to one side and return them to your landlord when you end your notice.'

3.Invest in a security system

house exterior with brick walls and white windows

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

While renters are unable to make major structural changes to a property. Simple adjustments such as a smart doorbell or wireless smart alarm system can be added to keep your home safe.

However, it is always best to double-check your tenancy contract allows for these types of changes.

'According to ex-convicts, cameras are the biggest deterrent to burglars, and these can be installed without making major changes to the home,' says Izzy.

Smart doorbells are one of the easiest measures to add in place of an expensive CCTV system. They can be fitted in place of your existing doorbell and don't require any additional work.

When keeping your home safe, while all these measures can help. Don't forget the simple things such as shutting windows, locking doors behind you and leaving valuables out of sight off the windows.

Related: Three in ten burglaries happen while someone is home – here's how to stay safe during lockdown

Being careful is one of the most effective ways to help protect your home.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.