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monty
08-26-2012, 04:29 PM
Hey all:
In a nutshell, getting a bit nervous(paranoid) about getting broken in. Landlord is a bit greasy and has lost his outside job and is getting desperate for funds. I know he has thief friends.
Living in a apartment, what can I do to beef up security on my main door(I'm top floor so I'm not worried about windows.)
Here is what I have- heavy wood door, deadbolt and a steel frame.
I know there is no foolproof way to keep anyone out but is there anything else I can do? My worry is he knows my work schedule, we have no security cams and he has a key and can case the place anytime he wants.
O ya- I cant hardwire a alarm system, dog or sentry guns.
Thanks for any suggestion.

The Golden Boy
08-26-2012, 04:37 PM
See if the rental contract specifies that the Landlord must have a key- if not, change the deadbolt.

If you can go all ghetto, a hasp with a padlock, through the door, mounted to a metal plate on the inside.

GAD
08-26-2012, 04:38 PM
If you're trying to keep your landlord out, it's time to move.

monty
08-26-2012, 04:42 PM
I checked into the lock, not allowed to change it.
@GAD- been here a very long time, I'd be looking at about a $300 increase in rent moving.

charveldan
08-26-2012, 04:44 PM
Whether it's a 1 bedroom apt or a 300K house, if they're gonna break-in they'll break-in happens all the time in STL.

There is safety in numbers [neighbors].

RussB
08-26-2012, 04:47 PM
Get apartment insurance, and start looking for a new place to live NOW!

Guitar Josh
08-26-2012, 04:48 PM
I checked into the lock, not allowed to change it.


Do it anyway.

sixty2strat
08-26-2012, 04:50 PM
not what you want hear but ....GET OUT if he is that dodgy best to live elswhere get insurance too. Find a good closet and lock the guitar in there with 2 paddlelocks and a steel bar, go to a hardware shop and get the parts. try the security canera too.a thief wants in and out quickly, find ways to delay so he takes the crap leaves the good stuff.

YBNVS
08-26-2012, 04:53 PM
I would change the lock anyway. The only way he would find out is if he tried to get in and then he would have to tell you why he was trying to get in anyway.

Guitar Josh
08-26-2012, 04:54 PM
I would change the lock anyway. The only way he would find out is if he tried to get in and then he would have to tell you why he was trying to get in anyway.

Precisely why I recommended it.

sunburst79
08-26-2012, 04:55 PM
Take some of that money your saving and buy some good renters insurance and a digital camera and scanner. Document your gear and save a copy someplace safe.

I going to guess that if your buildings owner breaks in he will do it in a way that's easy and cheap to fix.

I would anticipate a rent increase some time soon.

monty
08-26-2012, 05:00 PM
It's law here, I cant change the locks. Also, he isnt the owner just the landlord.
I'm not looking to move, just looking to beef up security. Anybody have any more sugestions?

Doug's Tubes
08-26-2012, 05:02 PM
Do it anyway.

Agree!

Change it, if he says something then you know he is checking your place without notice.....just say you thought you told him.

Then get the heck out of there.

monty
08-26-2012, 05:03 PM
Take some of that money your saving and buy some good renters insurance and a digital camera and scanner. Document your gear and save a copy someplace safe.



$$ is pretty tight for me, but I do have insurance. I dont have a fortune worth of stuff, but some things given to me from people who arent with us anymore that I would like to protect the best I can.

Guitar Josh
08-26-2012, 05:08 PM
$$ is pretty tight for me, but I do have insurance. I dont have a fortune worth of stuff, but some things given to me from people who arent with us anymore that I would like to protect the best I can.

Rent a safe deposit box and store them in there. Or off-site storage. If you are this worried, proactivity is the best solution.

sunburst79
08-26-2012, 05:09 PM
It's law here, I cant change the locks. Also, he isnt the owner just the landlord.
I'm not looking to move, just looking to beef up security. Anybody have any more sugestions?

I like the idea of replacing a closet door handle with one that locks if it's a option. It's not super secure but it's something and it slows things down.

Also the webcam idea is not bad. Mine have motion detection and will send a email if something moves in the room. If you have a smart phone this would let you know something is a foot.

GAD
08-26-2012, 05:12 PM
If you're trying to keep your landlord out, it's time to move.

Doug's Tubes
08-26-2012, 05:18 PM
he isnt the owner just the landlord.


The definition of a landlord is that they own the property involved.

If this individual does not own this property, then they are not the landlord. They are just a paid employee called a superindendant.

NHDave
08-26-2012, 05:31 PM
personally, if you don't feel comfortable where you are, I would
lighten the amount of gear that you have on hand (meaning sell)

mhuxtable
08-26-2012, 06:05 PM
SimpliSafe is an awesome securi company. We love them. Either that or a mossberg 500

But yes, if you don't trust your landlord, you need to move. Don't be stubborn and thick headed.

monty
08-26-2012, 06:27 PM
The definition of a landlord is that they own the property involved.

If this individual does not own this property, then they are not the landlord. They are just a paid employee called a superindendant.

OK, didnt know that.

monty
08-26-2012, 06:29 PM
I like the idea of replacing a closet door handle with one that locks if it's a option. It's not super secure but it's something and it slows things down.

Also the webcam idea is not bad. Mine have motion detection and will send a email if something moves in the room. If you have a smart phone this would let you know something is a foot.

Finally, some good ideas- thanks! The closet doors are the folding kind so I dont think I can do that but I'll look into the camera thing. IIRC they sell some dummied up as clocks and things, could be useful here.

@Mhuxtable- I've called some security places, they have some reasonable fees but have to hardwire the system and I cant do that.
Also, I'm not being hardheaded I just cant afford to move.

Tonekat
08-26-2012, 06:34 PM
He's not the owner, you should contact the owner and let whoever or whatever that is know your suspicions and maybe mention holding them responsible for the nefarious actions of their employees. And a digital camera for evidence.

badger146
08-26-2012, 08:47 PM
get a small security camera, these days you can get one that disguise as alarm clock etc and they're getting smaller, you can at least report to police and claim insurance. Pretty sure you can connect it to your phone as someone already mentioned.

start backing up your computer data and all digital files if you haven't.

The Kid
08-26-2012, 09:51 PM
Yep. Time to move. Keep your stuff somewhere else that's safe in while you're looking for new digs.

'58Bassman
08-27-2012, 06:37 AM
Hey all:
In a nutshell, getting a bit nervous(paranoid) about getting broken in. Landlord is a bit greasy and has lost his outside job and is getting desperate for funds. I know he has thief friends.
Living in a apartment, what can I do to beef up security on my main door(I'm top floor so I'm not worried about windows.)
Here is what I have- heavy wood door, deadbolt and a steel frame.
I know there is no foolproof way to keep anyone out but is there anything else I can do? My worry is he knows my work schedule, we have no security cams and he has a key and can case the place anytime he wants.
O ya- I cant hardwire a alarm system, dog or sentry guns.
Thanks for any suggestion.

Brickhouse.com has all kinds of covert security cameras. Get some, ASAP. I doubt they'll be happy if you drill holes in the door & frame or change the lock, but if I was in your position, I would seriously think about moving. This is the kind of situation I never want to see myself in and it's the main reason I had very few roommates- I just don't trust people I don't know and when I know some people well enough, I DEFINITELY don't trust them.

http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/

keepingitweird
08-27-2012, 06:49 AM
Pit Bull.

NickZ
08-27-2012, 07:09 AM
Finally, some good ideas- thanks! The closet doors are the folding kind so I dont think I can do that but I'll look into the camera thing. IIRC they sell some dummied up as clocks and things, could be useful here.

@Mhuxtable- I've called some security places, they have some reasonable fees but have to hardwire the system and I cant do that.
Also, I'm not being hardheaded I just cant afford to move.

Monty - you can get a wireless alarm with alarmforce. Not shilling for them bu have used their services for 2 yrs - you should look into it.

Mudder
08-27-2012, 08:56 AM
http://redlami.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/lebowski_door.jpg

monty
08-27-2012, 05:26 PM
Thanks to all who tried to help. I hit the net and ordered one of those GE door alarms, it's not the best but for $20 it'll at least let a intruder know there is a alarm (which they can easily smash). I'm also going to try Alarmforce again (thanks NickZ). Maybe the rep I talked to and myself had a miscommunication because i remember her saying they had to hardwire.

I also ordered one of those alarm clock cameras. I'm open to any other suggestions.

Again, I'm not (cant) moving. The super hasnt done any funny biz in the 13 years he has been here, i'm just worried (paranoid?) that he might get desperate and want to protect myself.

'58Bassman
08-27-2012, 05:55 PM
$$ is pretty tight for me, but I do have insurance. I dont have a fortune worth of stuff, but some things given to me from people who arent with us anymore that I would like to protect the best I can.

If your insurance isn't for replacement cost, it's pretty worthless. Add that, if you don't have it. They'll depreciate everything and after about 15 years, most things have no value.

Is there any chance that you could let the owner know of your concerns?

mhuxtable
08-27-2012, 06:27 PM
Finally, some good ideas- thanks! The closet doors are the folding kind so I dont think I can do that but I'll look into the camera thing. IIRC they sell some dummied up as clocks and things, could be useful here.

@Mhuxtable- I've called some security places, they have some reasonable fees but have to hardwire the system and I cant do that.
Also, I'm not being hardheaded I just cant afford to move.

Simplisafe is not hardwired in. It's ideal for renters. Look it up.

monty
08-28-2012, 07:38 AM
Simplisafe is not hardwired in. It's ideal for renters. Look it up.

Thanks, I just did and it looks perfect. Not available in Canada yet though :(

monty
08-28-2012, 07:41 AM
Is there any chance that you could let the owner know of your concerns?

Thinking about it, but it is tough to do without any real proof af any wrongdoing.

StompBoxBlues
08-28-2012, 08:04 AM
Mostly, cameras are good, except if the guy is half smart he might send friends you don't know in to the apt.

Couple of ideas here.
1) Was the current lock you have changed when you moved in? If not, demand that they change it, because you cannot know if there are extra keys floating around out there. I think you have that right. The point here is, ONLY the super, and you, have keys. So if "burglars" enter, using a key, it can only have come from him! (or you, but that isn't the point).

2) Alarm systems, the kind that are connected to a cental alarm co.
Alarms like this it is possible to use two or more codes that are allowed.
IF he has to have access, he can have a 4 digit pin that only he knows, and is responsible for..and since only he has it if someone uses that code, again...it points to him.

I can understand that he, the super, has to have a key, because of things like possible fire (smoke), or water running over to the apt. below, or many instances...so if you were away or on vacation, etc. he would have to get access. But he isn't (usually) allowed just to go in for no reason and I believe you can set up so he HAS to at least attempt to reach you and ask permission. The camera (and/or alarm) would help there to check.

I dont think there is a lot more to do about this...

monty
08-28-2012, 05:08 PM
Thanks Stomp.
1- Yeah, I've been here for the last 2 key changes.
2- I really really like that idea of 2 combos. I'll see if the one I ordered has that feature.

cruisemates
08-28-2012, 05:13 PM
If its your landlord you fear I would think about some kind of simple computer-based camera security system. Something that takes a picture of the front door every 15 seconds. He will come in the door.

And never let him in to see what you have - tell him you moved all your valuable stuff out already (if that makes sense).

Talk to your neighbors and ask them to keep an eye out.

monty
08-28-2012, 05:35 PM
What worries me about CPU based security cams is the CPU has a good chance of being lifted.
We did have fire alarm inspections last week, we recieved a notice from the owner saying it will happen in the next 2 weeks if we are home or not I filled him in on the law saying he has to give 24 hours notice and a time. I made sure I was home and everything was tucked away.

NY Guitarist
08-28-2012, 05:46 PM
Do it anyway.

Yes. Better in this case to ask forgiveness than permission.

If he tries to get in and finds the deadbolt changed he will have to let you know that he knows. Not sure of your local laws but unless it's an emergency of some sort the landlord needs to let you know in advance that they will be entering your apartment.

The other thing to do (if you can afford it) is buy a couple of web cams and beefy battery back-up for them, modem/router and the computer. You can monitor your place from the web, and some have motion sensors that, when triggered, will notify you and start recording. The battery back-up will work in case they kill the power somehow.

'58Bassman
08-28-2012, 06:32 PM
Thinking about it, but it is tough to do without any real proof af any wrongdoing.

Maybe, but you could at least make them aware of your concerns and it gives everyone something to look out for. If something happens, people might well have seen something.

chrisgraff
08-28-2012, 07:13 PM
Ninja blocks (http://ninjablocks.com/)

StompBoxBlues
08-29-2012, 01:52 AM
What worries me about CPU based security cams is the CPU has a good chance of being lifted.
We did have fire alarm inspections last week, we recieved a notice from the owner saying it will happen in the next 2 weeks if we are home or not I filled him in on the law saying he has to give 24 hours notice and a time. I made sure I was home and everything was tucked away.

THIS...is what I was trying to remember. I'm not sure if it is "law", but I believe there IS something in the law about this.

In the case of Emergency, the super must be able to enter an apartment...but it has to be a real emergency, something where life, or property is in immidiate danger if something is not done then and there.

OTHERWISE, I believe that what you describe is the norm. They have to give notice that they want to get in there, a REASON for why, and be reasonable (flexible) if possible...but if not at least 24 hours notice so you can arrange to be there or have someone else there.

I think, even before or AS the OP is buying security stuff, it would be VERY smart to reread the lease carefully, and research (online, and/or call the city...someone there must be able to direct your call to a person that knows the statutes) what the actual law is on such matters.

You still might want the security stuff, alarm, etc. but knowing the law there would help you decide what is really needed.
The law is to protect your privacy, if you rent you are responsible (legally) for what goes on in the apartment, and therefore must have control of the premises for as long as you are renting. If the super even doesn't steal anything, but lights up a joint and leaves the roach in your apartment, you'd go to jail (or get the ticket) etc. so it is a very basic point I think that you must have control of a premises you are legally responsible for.

FIRST check the laws. Also, the problem with "local" recording video, as others have said, doesn't do much for you
if they steal the storage machine. Some can upload as they work...I would guess. You want one of those I think.
Also, consider something of value that has a good chance of being taken if burgled, and see how much one of the
tracer chips (where you can find where it is in the world online!) if it is something you can put one into.
Even if it wasn't him, you could trace that thing anyway!

Baminated
08-29-2012, 02:33 AM
Agree!

Change it, if he says something then you know he is checking your place without notice.....just say you thought you told him.

Then get the heck out of there.
:agree

StompBoxBlues
08-29-2012, 04:35 AM
:agree
If you think about the reason that a super must have access to an apartment, you might not agree.

What if they saw smoke coming from the apartment, or water was leaking from the bathroom (flooding) of the apartment down into the apartment below, and the damage was made worse because the super tried to use his key and couldn't. They would certainly have to break down the door, if it took too long, and even more damage (apartment house burns down, extra water damage to apartments below) then I can almost assure you the OP is liable for the cost of repair, because he did not follow the contract.

At that point, it wasn't a smart move.

monty
08-29-2012, 07:43 AM
Thank you soooo much Stompbox for having my back on that. I have done my research and got the booklet outling the landlord/tenent act here in Ontario.
Yes they need to give me 24 hours notice and a time, but NO I cannot change the locks. The law works both ways and that is why the thread isnt titled "should I change my locks?". I'm just looking for legal ways to up the security.

R3deemed
08-29-2012, 08:05 AM
How about moving? :huh

I'm joking! The web-based surveillance is an excellent suggestion. I can add a safety deposit box at your bank. Small, but treasured items can be kept off-site. If you itemize your taxes, the fees are deductible (at least here in the States).

monty
08-30-2012, 07:44 AM
^^I'll be honest, you got me well played :beer
Thanks again folks.