Home Safety Tips for Student Renters Who Will Be Away for Break

By Victoria Robertson on December 14, 2017

Winter break is almost upon your student renters and, for many of them, that means they’ll be leaving the apartment to head back home for the next few weeks. If they don’t have roommates, or if their roommates are leaving as well, this means that the apartment will be vacant over the next few weeks.

So how can you help your student renters ensure their apartment is safe? Are there any steps they can take before they leave?

Of course there are! So, without further ado, here are six home safety tips to give your students to help them prepare for when they will be away for break.

via Pexels

1. Re-route all packages

This is something students don’t often think about, especially if they’re ordering quite a few things online during this holiday season. However, if they’re getting packages sent to the apartment, they’ll want to make sure they aren’t arriving while they’re away, or they’ll likely be stolen.

If there are a few stragglers that’ll be delivered after the students leave, they should ask the post office to hold onto them (and they can do the same with the mail) and then the student can go pick it up when they return to avoid having anything stolen. As their property manager, you can also offer to hold onto any items that are delivered while the student is away for break, too.

2. Lock the doors/windows

It’s very important that all the windows and doors (and other entry ways) into the house are all locked and secured. While break-ins are still possible, this is the best way students can prepare their apartment for those types of situations.

In addition, student renters may want to consider door or window braces for higher crime areas just for that added protection, though it’s not necessary, either. As long as the student renter locks up before they leave (and their roommates do the same), they should be perfectly fine!

3. Set the thermostat

Again, this is not one of those things that renters often think of when it comes to leaving the apartment and preparing. However, especially in colder areas, it’s possible for things to break or freeze in extreme temperatures, and if no one is there to notice, things can go south really quickly.

For this reason, remind your residents to have the thermostat set for a higher temperature to avoid any freezing situations in the apartment. If they’re unsure what they should set it at, encourage them to reach out to you. Doing this is very important, so a reminder would be helpful! Otherwise, your residents may come home to freezing pipes, etc.

4. Make sure everything’s off

Again, this may seem like common sense, but remind your renters to make sure that all electronics, including anything that’s plugged into the walls and lights, are all turned off to avoid any accidental fires, etc. while they’re away.

While it’s unlikely this would happen, it definitely could, so it’s much better to be safe than sorry in situations such as these.

5. Check in with your landlord

Again, this is very important. Touching base with you, their landlord, before they leave for break is essential, as there may be certain things they weren’t aware of. For example, you may require tenants to have their thermostat at a minimum temperature and to run water frequently to avoid freezing pipes.

If the student renter is planning on leaving for an extended period of time (such as winter break, in this case,) encourage them to check in with you, let you know their plans, and ask if there is anything on their end that needs to be done before they leave.

6. Make sure all roommates are on the same page

Finally, and while not relevant to everyone, this is an extremely important point. Your residents needs to make sure that all of their roommates are on the same page as them when it comes to leaving the apartment. Just because things were double checked on one resident’s end doesn’t mean that they did too, and that’s where problems can happen.

Have your renters touch base with their roommates, discuss what needs to be done before they leave, and ensure that everyone does their part before leaving for winter break. Again, it seems to be common sense, but it’s surprising how often miscommunication can lead to problems that are irreparable.

Keeping the apartment safe may not be at the forefront of your renters’ minds, but it should be. Ensuring the apartment is safe before they even leave for break will ensure there are no issues when they return. Again, this may not seem to be the most important part of their pre-vacation checklist, but it should nonetheless be included.

So tell your renters these six tips so they can be prepared and make sure their apartment will be a safe place to return to without any damage.

By Victoria Robertson

Uloop Writer
University of Illinois
Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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