Living in an apartment, town home or condo is different from living in a single-family home, and in some respects, there are more dangers with regards to crime. If you’re going to be living in a multi-family unit, it is important to evaluate it for crime safety before you move in.
Crime safety for an apartment, town home or condo requires that backgrounds checks be performed on all residents before they move in. Most of these communities are managed by a property management company that should carefully screen all future residents, eliminating those that might pose a risk to current residents. For example, many of these communities don’t admit individuals with felonious criminal records.
It’s a great factor to have a trusted developer for any unit you are trying to buy, because they handle majority of pre-construction decisions for the entire condominium or apartment building. If you live in the Toronto area, you can refer to a list of known and well-trusted condo developers in Toronto so you can rest assured that you’re getting a secured property.
It isn’t enough for an apartment, town home or condo to devise rules and codes of conduct if they aren’t going to enforce them. Talk to the manager about the ways in which they practice crime safety, such as notifying the police about burglaries or warning residents if someone in the community has been victimized. Furthermore, they should have policies for dealing with residents who become a threat to others.
Since some apartments, town homes and condos have high turn-overs as far as residents, it is vitally important that managers re-key locks before a new resident moves in. If you are a tenant, this should be done at the expense of the management company; if you’re buying, you will probably be responsible for changing the locks.
Doors & Windows
Crime safety requires that the doors and windows of your apartment, town home or condo be tightly fitted with very little room between the jam and the door or window. If you live on the ground floor, window locks and security bars should be provided for additional safety, and anti-lift devices can help keep windows from being easily breached.
For the purposes of crime safety, it is a good idea to install a security system in your apartment, town home or condo, if one is not provided. Once this is done, you should place decals in your windows and near the front entrances to warn would-be vandals or criminals that your home is protected.
While it might be confusing when you live in an apartment, town home or condo, mail boxes and doors should not identify you as a resident. The number of your unit should be sufficient to assist mail and delivery personnel, and if your name is included, it should be only your surname. Otherwise, anyone can find out exactly where you live, which isn’t conducive to crime safety.
Another important aspect of crime safety is lighting, which should be offered in abundance. The grounds should be equipped with street lamps that illuminate the parking lot and all walkways, and hallways should likewise be well-lit. If your front door is an exterior entrance and exit, you should make sure the porch light is on as soon as it gets dark at night.
Any apartment, town home or condo community should be equipped with restricted access, which means that visitors must call your unit to be let into the building or neighborhood. Although keypads with codes are generally okay, it is better to have card access so that you can’t give out the code at random.
Additionally, the community should have strict rules about allowing people into the community. If you don’t know the person who calls your unit, don’t allow them to enter. When you come through the gate in your vehicle, make it a habit to stop just inside and wait for the gate to close before venturing further. This eliminates the possibility that someone will come in behind you.