With Christmas and New Year comes an influx of new (and often expensive) presents lying around often empty houses, creating a key opportunity for opportunistic thieves to strike.
As the weather warms up, it’s a great idea to use common sense to reduce the chance of a holiday headache.
The typical Aussie lifestyle (we’re talking relaxing by the pool and boozy backyard parties) can make all homes a target for thieves.
In November 2017, we released our ‘Security in your rental’ survey and invited responses from our renter database.
Renters want to know they’re living in a safe area
You told us that the safety and security of a suburb was your number one priority when it came to choosing a new area to move to. 55% of you said your safety in a suburb was their “top priority”.
28% of renters said they’d had valuables stolen while renting, with the most common items stolen including cash, jewellery, audio equipment, bikes and cameras.
When asked about how safe you felt in your property, 77% of renters said they felt safe in their current home, but 23% did not. Of the latter, 32% said they had proactively asked their landlord or agent to improve the security in their home, but had either seen no follow-up (39%) or found the landlord / agent was ‘unwilling to help’ (26%).
Adopt a back-to-basics approach to your home security
Be wary of social media
With the advent of social media, people are quick to share pictures of their latest holiday ventures across their accounts – potentially alerting any opportunistic burglars to their absence. Be cautious about sharing if you have a huge network – most platforms are defaulting to overexposure unless your privacy settings are good. Better safe than sorry.
Keep valuables out of sight
Having a party with friends around? Keep your wallets, purses, mobile phones and handbags out of sight and secure, especially if the bulk of the crowd is gathering away from the front of the house. Keep gifts, cash and other valuables safe and well-hidden so they can’t be seen through windows or reached by burglars.
Properly dispose of all gift packaging
Have stacks of gift wrap and boxes everywhere? Don’t leave these outside on view for the world to see. This will advertise the contents of your home to thieves. Put this rubbish inside rubbish bags or take them directly to recycling depots. Where possible, don’t display gifts in your window or doorway.
Get to know your neighbours
It’s worth building a relationship with your neighbours if you’re planning to head away. Doing this will make sure someone knows you’re gone and when someone who shouldn’t be there arrives, they can help. Simply telling your neighbours that you’re going away (if you trust them) is a good idea.
Lock your doors and windows
The summer months encourage outdoor activity, and with it comes the temptation to leave windows and doors open. Naturally this is an open invitation for opportunistic burglars. These burglars perceive alcohol is likely to be consumed during the festive season and the chance of vigilance around security could be lowered.
Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.