Home Security Systems for Apartments – What You Need to Know

Kyle Bishop

Feb 09 2016

Many make the mistake of assuming a home security system is only for people living in big homes, but that is far from the case.

The cost of a sophisticated system has dropped to a level that is within reach for most people, and should be a consideration even for those who don’t own the property they live in.

When choosing a system for a rented apartment, it is important to take certain things into consideration to ensure that your property is safe, without violating any lease terms.

Permanent changes

Most apartment dwellers will avoid anything that requires permanent changes to the apartment due to lease restrictions. This includes drilling or installing a permanent security system that can’t be removed.

In certain cases, owners may allow these changes if asked, but most people prefer to avoid it altogether. It is also better to have a system that can easily be removed without damage so that you can reinstall if and when you move to a new place.

DIY security systems

There are many different systems that you can install yourself, but before you make a final decision, make sure to look for these key features to ensure that you’re getting an apartment-friendly security system.

Wireless installation

Look for a system that uses wireless technology so that you only have to rely on Wi-Fi and can avoid installing new wires and connections in your home. This will mean having a home network installed that connects all of the devices and sensors to your Wi-Fi.

Permanent installation

As previously mentioned, not all systems need to be permanently installed or require drilling. You’ll want a system that you can easily install and remove if necessary without leaving a mark. That way you won’t be in danger of violating your lease.

Small spaces

If you have a very small apartment, or even a regular one but with only one access point (the front door, for example), then you don’t need a very complicated system with a lot of sensors. If you live on the sixth floor, you probably won’t be worried about someone breaking in through the window. Getting a system that is made for smaller spaces, and limited access points, will help you save money and will make installation much simpler.

Smart locks

Not all landlords will allow you to change the lock into a more secure deadbolt. If that is the case, look for a smart lock device that can be added without changing the original lock. This allows you to know when someone other than you opened the door (friend, landlord, roommate, etc.).


Ideally, you’ll want a system that is easily portable and can be reinstalled in a new home in case you move. Usually the simple systems that don’t require permanent installation are already portable, but not all of them, so it is important to check this out first.

Professional security systems

A professional system is also optional, but you have to make sure that it is optimized for small apartments and can be installed without damaging the walls or doors.

Many of the home security companies we’ve reviewed for this site offer DIY home security systems that are ideal for apartment dwellers. Use our comparison tool to compare up to five security systems.

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