Moving out of home for the first time is an exciting experience. You don't have many expensive belongings to protect just yet, but you do want to feel safe inside your first home away from your parents. Because you are renting, you don't want to spend a lot of money installing security devices on a property you do not own, but that does not mean you don't have any options open to you. Before you call the local locksmith, consider these two ways you can make your next home a place you can sleep soundly in each night.
Replace front and back door locks
In Victoria, the landlord must provide you with a home that has secure locks. If you have concerns about previous tenants still having a key, you can request the landlord changes the locks before you move in. Legally, however, you cannot force them to do this. If they say no, you have two options:
- lodge a dispute with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal; or
- pay a locksmith to change the locks
If you choose option two, you must advise the landlord you are changing the locks at your cost, and you must immediately provide the landlord or their representative agent with a key to the new lock. Ask the locksmith to replace the lock with one which is of similar quality to the existing lock, so the landlord does not have a reason to dispute this change.
Removable window alarms
Once the front and rear doors are secure, turn your attention to the windows. For sliding windows and patio doors, the cheapest and easiest way to secure them is to purchase a wooden rod from the hardware store which is cut to fit the sliding track the window or door moves along. Place the wooden rod into place when you are not using the door/window and no-one can open it.
For windows which open upwards, ask your locksmith to install a portable window alarm. Once the alarm is activated, the device sounds a warning alarm when the window it is attached to is broken or moved. It is connected to the window using an adhesive sticker, which means it is not a permanent fixture and can be taken with you when you move out.
Talk to your landlord if you have concerns about your safety before you move in about other ways the security of the property can be reinforced. While you may need to pay for the services of the locksmith yourself, as long as the landlord authorises the changes, you can go ahead and make your new home as secure as you need it to be to give you peace of mind.