Student accommodation security
On average students own more expensive consumer items per person than the rest of the population, so it’s not surprising that 1 in every 3 students falls victim to crime every year.
What to look for on your house or houses you are viewing:
- British Standard 'kite marks' on door locks (normally found on the locking mechanism).
- Wooden window frames that aren't rotten and have no gaps between the frame and the wall.
- Windows fitted with window locks - on UPVC frames the lock is normally in the window handle.
- Alarm control pad with either a key or keypad - usually in the hall.
If your landlord is smart, they will know that any vacant property is vulnerable to break-ins and will put adequate security measures in place to prevent this during holidays and when you are away. They may even visit the property regularly.
Common sense on your part will help a great deal with simple activities such as locking doors and windows when you go out, and don’t leave windows open at night.
If the house is broken into the landlord cannot be held responsible and will not be liable. This is why contents insurance is essential. The only circumstance where your landlord can be liable is if you have made them aware of a broken door or window used in the break in, but they have made no effort to rectify the situation.
More prevention ideas
There are a few things beyond normal security measures to make your property less attractive to burglars:
- Mark belongings with invisible ultra violet pens with your name and address – these make recovery of your belongings more likely.
- Mark items with permanent pen.
- Tell your landlord and neighbours when you are all on holiday or have gone back home, and encourage them to keep an eye out on the property. Remove or hide all expensive electrical items. If you have a flash Flat Screen TV put it out of sight in a locked cupboard.
- Dusk ‘til dawn sensor lights for back gardens with rear access.
Minimising the ‘Student Look’
Student houses are usually targeted because they look like student houses. If you can minimise the classic ‘student look’ then you may reduce the risk of being burgled. Telltale signs to avoid:
- Outside decoration, such as posters or signs on the front door or in the windows, or stolen road signs and bollards in the garden.
- Beer bottles, pizza boxes etc stacked up outside the property.
- A downstairs front or back room that is visibly a bedroom. If you have a bedroom on the ground floor either keep your curtains closed or better still, hang a net curtain.
Student Accommodation security checklist
Another handy checklist! Scan these to make sure you won’t be laying yourselves open to a security nightmare:
- Do the front and rear doors have five-lever mortise locks, in addition to a ‘Yale’ type lock (kite marked and stating 5 lever on the visible plate)?
- Is your house on the end of a terrace – as houses on the end of a terrace are more vulnerable than those in the middle?
- Does your house have a lane/alley at the rear, does the property have a dusk ’til dawn sensor light or prickly hostile shrubbery that would put a burglar off? Houses that have lane access are much more vulnerable to a burglary.
- Do the ground floor windows have window locks?
- Does any bedroom above a flat roof have window locks?
- Does the front door ‘lock‘ when you shut it? Many UPVC doors need to be locked with a key when you leave you’re home. Burglars check such doors by turning the handles to see if you have forgotten?
- Does the property have patio doors? If so, are locks visible on the top and bottom of the opening door?
- Is the front door visible from the street? Front doors blocked by shrubs or fencing makes it easier for a burglar to force entry into a property without being seen.