How to Make Sure You’re Renting in a Safe Neighborhood
When renting a new apartment, you have a lot of factors to keep in mind. You need to think about your commute to work, your proximity to family and friends, neighborhood amenities and much more.
Perhaps one of the most important considerations – especially if you have a family – is to ensure you’ll be living in a safe neighborhood.
Here are several ways you can make sure your potential new home is in a safe area.
Get info from the source
With the accessibility of the internet in 2018, information online can easily be falsified. To get the best sense of the safety of a potential future home, go to the source.
You can speak with the management of the apartment complex. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions – that is what their role entails.
Some questions cannot be answered, however, by landlords because of restrictions set in place by the Fair Housing Act. The same rules would apply to a real estate agent if you’re using a realtor in your apartment search. A great way to find out more about crime rates and safety is by asking current residents. They’ll likely have no qualms about sharing their genuinely helpful information.
You can also go to the local police station for information. The officers won’t be able to give you specifics about crime or people in the area, but they should be able to provide a general overview of your neighborhood compared to others in their jurisdiction.
Inspect the area at all times of day
This is especially helpful if you’re already living in the town in which the potential apartment complex is located. To find out whether or not the neighborhood at least appears to be a safe neighborhood, pay a visit at different times of the day.
During the day, look at the busyness of the neighborhood. Identify whether or not the area is highly-trafficked or secluded. Also, pay attention to whether or not there are many “drifters” around (i.e., people hanging around that don’t necessarily live there).
At night, you have a great opportunity to check out the lighting. See if the parking area is well-lit and if the general grounds of the apartment feel safe.
Gates don’t necessarily mean safety
Many apartment complexes feature security gates at their entrances. You may think this is a reassuring feature, but remember that gates don’t necessarily mean your area is safer.
Just because you’re responsible and value a safe neighborhood doesn't mean your neighbors or their guests feel the same way. It's also very easy for unwanted strangers to enter the gate immediately behind you or someone else from the complex.
Do your research
Renting a new apartment is a huge decision and one that should not be taken lightly. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to identify an apartment that meets your needs in all aspects – including safety.