Security tips for your rented home

Security tips for your rented home

October is Home Security Month, reminding us how important it is to keep our homes safe and secure, even if you’re home is rented! Sometimes it can feel like the security of your rented home is out of your hands, but there are things you can do! Read on for our top tips on how to boost security for your rented home.

#1 Insurance and Secure Entry

Make sure that all the contents in your home are covered by insurance in case the worst does happen. If you live in an apartment, you can’t control who comes in and out of the whole building, but a secure door entry system prevents unwanted people from just walking in. All of our apartments have this feature!

#2 Doors and Windows

Check your doors, windows and locks are secure and in good condition, and if they aren’t, let your landlord know! Always make sure they are locked when leaving the house; even if you’re just popping to another apartment in the same building, or even when you’re in your home, keep your doors locked. Keeping windows locked is especially important if you’re in a ground floor apartment. If your landlord permits, ask them to install a deadbolt or if you can install one yourself, they are much more secure.

#3 Alarms

Some rented homes may not have a security alarm, especially apartments, but you can buy adhesive sensors for windows and doors that detect huge vibrations such as break ins and sound an alarm. There are also now many wireless systems and monitoring cameras which can send alerts to your phone when there’s any irregular activity!

#4 Night Time

Whether you’re in a house or an apartment, if you’re going out at night or away for a while, make sure to shut the curtains and turn the lights on (or have a timer) so it looks like someone is home to deter burglars.

#5 Valuables

Never leave valuable items in sight, and keep them hidden somewhere that isn’t obvious. Also never leave keys near windows, whether open or not. You can also put your house number and postcode onto really valuable items to make them traceable and harder to sell if someone does get hold of them.

#6 Garages and Sheds

If your rented home has a shed or garage, make sure they are secure, well maintained and always locked. If you have lots of valuable items in there you can also have an alarm system for them too.

#7 Get to know your neighbours

Make friends with your neighbours and people in your apartment block. This helps put your mind at ease about who you’re living next to, especially in an apartment, and you can look out for each other when one of you is away to keep an eye on things. This is even more important if you’re living in a flat share; and you can ask your landlord to put a lock on your bedroom door for even more security.

#8 Don’t attract attention

Never leave notes for service people or relatives as this tells everyone that you’re not at home! Also if you’re going away, don’t advertise it on social media for everyone to see. If you are going away, have a read of our blog on keeping your home safe while on holiday.

 

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Budgeting & Saving Money for Renters

Budgeting & Saving Money for Renters

It can be difficult to save money and stick to a budget whilst still having a social life, especially when you rent! But there are little things you can do that will help you cut back on your spending and even get some savings behind you!

Budgeting

Budgeting is key to managing your finances. Work out all of your monthly outgoings like bills and rent, but also your phone bill, gym membership, hair cuts, everything! This will help you work out how much money you can save each month, and also where you can make some possible cutbacks.

Having a savings account is essential for saving; it’s much easier than keeping all your money in your main bank account. Online banking is another must as it helps you to track your money so quickly and easily. Also, treat your savings like a bill; when you’ve worked out your disposable income, you can see how much you are able to save each month, then make it like a bill and set up a standing order to your savings account every month. Doing this for the start of your pay month will make saving easier too, as you won’t be tempted to spend it!

However, you can still treat yourself a little when you’re saving; if you restrict yourself too much you’ll end up getting fed up and having a massive blow out! So wait until the end of the pay month (not the start!) and see how much money you have left to get yourself a little something.

Saving tips

  • If you can help it, avoid having a car for a while; they are a massive expense and public transport is so much cheaper, or walk for free!
  • Shop around and look for discounts to get the best deals, and get free loyalty cards for places you shop in a lot
  • Eating out can be pretty expensive, so why not have nights in instead, and cook with your friends instead of going out
  • Be energy smart and cut down your water use, only use heating/air con when you absolutely need it, and make sure you switch off lights and appliances when not in use!
  • Have a shopping list and go just once a week for everything to avoid making extra unnecessary purchases
  • Also plan your meals for the week to reduce cost and waste, and homemade meals are a lot cheaper and nicer than ready meals
  • Some own brand products are not great, but quite a lot are actually pretty much the same, and half the price
  • Try vegetarian meals a couple of times a week to save money on buying meat which can be expensive
  • Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still grow veg and herbs in pots yourself! Read our no garden blog
  • Recycle and upcycle used items with a little DIY and crafts
  • Buy reusable items such as cloths instead of kitchen roll, and water bottles instead if plastic ones you throw away
  • Look for second hand items on eBay and Gumtree to save money, and charity shops in posher ends of town actually have some great designer items for a fraction of the original price
  • Use smaller amounts of cleaning and beauty products; you usually don’t need as much as it says on the bottle
  • Only re-purchase items when you have totally used up the old ones, we bet you have a drawer full of half used products!
  • Take time to think before actually buying something; half of the time you’ll realise you don’t need/want it as much as you thought!