The Renter's Guide

We all, who live in a multi-residential unit, need a good night's sleep. In order to do so, we should not have to be worried about safety and security of our homes. This is a combined responsibility of both the landlord and the residents. When you consider renting a residential unit, you should first of all familiarize yourself with the area, drive around the property during the day and night time. You should look around for any signs that would alarm you, such as graffiti, broken fences, broken windows and back yards that are in disrepair.

You should also enquire with the closest police station, or look on the internet, to find any information about crime activities in the area. One should also look to see if there are new building developments in the area, which may indicate a revival of this area.

The residential building’s safety and security require the implementation of a number of steps. While the physical aspect of the implementation is the responsibility of the Landlords, following up on it and ensuring compliance is the responsibility of the residents as well. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the security and the safety of the residents. This will help create a better and safe community. Many times, you have been buzzed by an unknown person from the main entry door, claiming that they are looking for your neighbour who is not answering and would you allow them entry, or when entering your building to find someone that you are not familiar with, follow behind you. In both instances, unless you know the person well, you should not allow them entry.

If you cannot prevent them from entering, you should take the time to advise management or building personnel about it. Residents should ensure at all times that the entrance door to the building is always closed. On the building directory, ensure that only the initial of your first name together with your last name is listed, to prevent the use of your name by someone else. Also, when entering the elevator, be aware of people who are with you. If you are uncomfortable, leave the elevator and wait. When you move to your new place, make sure that a new lock, preferably a deadbolt lock is installed to avoid potential former residents, for example, to enter your home. If your building has an underground parking garage, your landlord must ensure that there is enough light. If you notice a burnt out light fixture, advise management. When you drive into the underground parking garage or going into your car, look around before you park or enter the car to see if there is anything suspicious with your surroundings. The routine is an obstacle to your safety. Keep your awareness at all times.

If your unit is located on the lower floor, or even on a higher floor where for example entry can be given by passing from one balcony to the next, ensure that your windows and doors are always locked. A piece of lumber, which can be purchased at any hardware store, should be used to secure the door so that no one can slide it open. If you are planning a vacation, have someone close to you, family or friend, visit your place on a regular basis. Make arrangements for your mail to be picked up and don’t forget to cancel your newspaper delivery. If your building has security staff, you should let them know that you will be away. If you expect any visitors, make the staff aware of this as well. The other safety issue that residents should be concerned about is fire safety, which can be as a result of smoking, cooking, candle lighting, to name a few. It is therefore very important that a smoke detector is installed on every level and that it is in working order. It is recommended that it should be tested at least once a month. As well, no materials should be placed near any element that produces heat, such as a light bulb, baseboard heating, candles. If you have young children, make sure that you child proof your unit.

We must remember that our security is not only the responsibility of management. The contribution of any information by residents, which will help to enhance safety and security, is always welcome.

 

Shlomo Sharon is CEO of Taft Management Inc. and a member of CCI since 2002. Taft Management Inc. is an ACMO 2000 Certified Property Management Company and has been providing property management services since 1996. Visit the website www.taft-forward.com for further information or email him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .