Living With Roommates – Safely
Today, more people are living in shared housing arrangements than ever before.
Nearly 79 million adults live in a shared household—that’s almost 32% of all adults in America.
Whether you’re living with roommates for fun or necessity, you have specific security needs when you share your home with others. You may want to protect your room, limit access to certain cupboards or drawers, or add the extra protection of a home security system.
Below are tips to navigate the roommate situation safely:
Before You Move In – Before You Sign the Lease.
1. Conduct a Background Check
If you’re taking applications for a new roommate, make background checks part of the process. And you don’t have to sweat the cost if you include it as part of an application fee.
On the flip side, if you’re looking at moving into someone’s home, you should know that you’re not moving in with a closeted serial killer. Ask the person advertising for a roommate if they’ll let you run a background check on them.
2. Get Some References
In addition to or if you can’t get a background check, checking references are a good idea. references help you know that you can trust the people you’re going to share a home with.
If you’re the one renting out a room, ask for references from previous landlords, roommates, or even their employer. You want to know that this person is reliable, respectful, and is going to make rent payments on time.
If you’re looking to move into a roommate situation, ask for references from the people already living in the home.
Living With Roommates
1. Set boundaries. Meet with your roommates and agree on ground rules for respecting personal property and space. Agree on communal areas and how to treat private spaces.
2. Put a lock on your door. Because you’re renting, you want a lock that you can install easily, without causing damage.
3. Use a personal safe. If you’re worried about adding a lock to your door, a safe is a good alternative to protect jewelry, electronics, and other valuables.
4. Get renters insurance. This may already be a requirement of your lease, but if it’s not, you should get it anyway. Renters insurance can help cover the cost of replacing lost valuables, whether it’s a roommate or a stranger that swipes something.
Tips for Securing Your Home When You Live with Roommates
1. Upgrade your door locks. Smart locks are perfect for renters because it fits over your existing deadbolt. It’s easy to install, and it has an app that every roommate can access.
2. When roommates move out, retrieve all keys, security codes, and other access information before they move out. If you use electronic locks or shared security apps, go in and change all the codes, usernames, and passwords.
3. Set-up a home security system. EMC Security offers a simple, unobtrusive home security that you can install on your own to make your house or apartment more secure.
4. For maximum protection, add security cameras both inside and out. You’ll be notified on your mobile phone if something is detected. EMC Security has options that are affordable and easy to install.