Your home is your castle, even if it is a 900 square-foot walk-up. You may enjoy the community living apartment life brings, or perhaps it’s all you can afford while you save to purchase a house. Either way, you certainly want to feel that your apartment is home, and feeling safe is a major part of that.
However, in some cases, affordable apartment living means the management isn’t willing to spend the extra money to ensure that safety. Predators and thieves know this, and they are not above exploiting the vulnerability of a poorly secured apartment building. If the owner or manager of your building is unwilling to provide basic measures of safety and security, he or she may be liable if you become the victim of an assault.
Home, safe home
The safety of your apartment building begins when you arrive home. Getting out of your car in a poorly lit parking lot or entering the front of the building into a gloomy vestibule may do little to create a sense of security. Criminals who have easy access to your building will not think twice about hiding in those dark corners to accost someone who is tired or distracted after a day at work or a night on the town.
While sufficient lighting inside and around the building is the first deterrent of crime, your landlord can take other important safety measures, including:
- Installing heavy doors with deadbolt locks and peepholes at all entrances, including your unit
- Using an intercom system to allow you to communicate with visitors before providing them with access to the building
- Ensuring windows are sturdy with working locks and perhaps security bars, even on higher floors where fire escapes may make apartments accessible
- Keeping entrances free from obstacles, such as shrubs or trash cans, behind which predators may hide
- Posting emergency numbers in various areas of the building, including inside your apartment door
- Installing working security cameras – not just decoys – at the building entrances and in any areas where a crime is likely to occur, such as near elevators or in stairwells
A larger apartment building or complex may benefit from an alarm system or even the presence of a security guard.
The enemy within
Of course, there is always the terrifying possibility that a predator lives within your building, making the locks and alarms futile. If your landlord fails to properly screen tenants, you may find yourself in a risky situation every minute you are home.
The duties of a rental owner or landlord go beyond collecting rent. Your safety and security depend on the apartment manager’s dedication to providing the safest environment for you and your fellow tenants. When your landlord fails to do this, you may have legal alternatives, which you can explore by consulting a Georgia professional.