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Posted: 7/14/2010 7:25:37 PM EDT
I am moving into an apt in a large metro area.  I was wondering what advice you have for general apartment living life.  

Security is currently being discussed in another topic and Protus posted his valuable info on that thread.  

Any other suggestions, advice, don't dos...

I do have a 11 month old lab mix(~65 pounds), but we are unsure if he is going to move down.  I don't know how he will do moving from freedom in the country to apartment life in the city.

thanks in advance.

nct
Link Posted: 7/14/2010 7:48:52 PM EDT
[#1]
Quoted:
I am moving into an apt in a large metro area.  I was wondering what advice you have for general apartment living life.  

Security is currently being discussed in another topic and Protus posted his valuable info on that thread.  

Any other suggestions, advice, don't dos...

I do have a 11 month old lab mix(~65 pounds), but we are unsure if he is going to move down.  I don't know how he will do moving from freedom in the country to apartment life in the city.

thanks in advance.

nct


There are few things I can recall in my life that I despised as much as living in an apt.  That said, we all (including myself) had to start somewhere.

Don't assume you can grill on your balcony - in many places it is illegal
Unsure where you are moving to, but electrical utilities such as a heat pump with backup strip (even in the South) can bite you in the ass
I have had a vehicle towed even with the apt parking decal on it - boy did they get bitched out...
Many apt complexes have a "security officer" who is actually a cop that lives there with deeply discounted or free rent.  Get to know that person if possible.  
Tough in an apt, but try to know your neighbors if possible.  Saved my butt once after locking my keys in my truck (and hence locking myself out of my apt)
Put a CCTV cam overlooking your door so you can see who's there.  Apt complexes are favorite drop-offs for solicitors, etc.
Assume someone already has a key to your place (i.e. they did not change the locks after last tenant.  Refuse bug treatment (now they have no reason to enter each month) and change the lock.  Claim a psycho ex if they find out when doing annual maintenance, etc.
Get an emergency escape ladder if living abve the ground floor.
Get a fire extinguisher.
Try to live on the top floor, as footsteps overhead are annoying as hell.
Try to live on the bottom floor if you have a pet.  Footsteps overhead are now merely an inconvenience.
Beware of working an overnight shift - the lawn guys will fire their equipment regardless of your need for sleep.

I'm sure I'm missing stuff, but that is what I can recall from those days.
Link Posted: 7/14/2010 8:02:36 PM EDT
[#2]
What floor are you going to be living on? I always liked living on the top floor, dont have to worry about neighbors above walkin around making noise. Also another plus to a top floor/upper level floor is that heat rises, this will help your heating bill out in the winter. May consider this same principle a drawback in the summertime, but we never had a problem staying cool. I've never lived in a apartment building more than 6 stories tall, and that one had a ton of fire exits. If your going to be living in a metro area, the building might be older and you might be farther up, if so maybe look into some rappelling gear & training. A buddy of mine was living in a 15th floor apartment for a while, building was pretty old and it would be a PITA if he ever had to GTFO in case of fire/whatever. He had a nice rappelling setup, ready to go, just put his rig on and over the balcony he went. Would have been a lot of planning for nothing if the fire was on his side of the building, but hey it made him feel better anyway. Just a suggestion anyhow, something to think about. Hows the laundry situation going to be? In apartment, in building, or you gonna be hanging out a lot at the laundry mat? About the dog, I wouldn't suggest taking it until you've got the place set up the way you want it. It'd be a pain in the ass moving day have to deal with the dog running all around while you guys are moving stuff in, ask me how I know . Hope it works out man

EZ
Link Posted: 7/14/2010 8:07:30 PM EDT
[#3]
Get an old non trunk tracking scanner, they are cheap.  You can program in frequencies used by cordless phones.  You won't believe the info you can pick up this way.  i found this out by accident when a friend had a scanner he was showing me.  The guys beneath me were talking about my car and the hours I worked, trying to figure out the best way to steal it.
I worked for a very large complex for a little while, in no way we twould they have allowed someone to have a different lock.
Link Posted: 7/14/2010 8:16:11 PM EDT
[#4]
We all got to do what we got to do.... BUT, It might be worth reaccess your move.   Are there other housing options you may not have considered?  A nice trailer park maybe?


I have made the move to the big city for a better income when I was younger. After 4 years I had enough, and moved back.
I had to leave my dog too, she died when I was away.
Good luck
Link Posted: 7/14/2010 8:52:28 PM EDT
[#5]
Quoted:
I worked for a very large complex for a little while, in no way we twould they have allowed someone to have a different lock.


Never did I say that the OP should ask for permission to change locks.  If it is a true emergency, then I'm sure emergency services or the apt employess have a way to breach the residence - just like any other home.  

Just because you rent does not mean some handyman employee you know nothing about should have the ability to enter your home at will - sorry.  Not sure how else to say this, but folks running apt complexes have never exactly impressed me with their mad skillz.

Case in point.  Right or wrong, I had pets without paying the idiotic pet fee for 2 years before they noticed.  They went apeshit and told me point blank that I needed to "find somewhere else to live."  I stayed there for two more years as I never heard another word about it.  This was in a $800/mo apt back in 1998 through 2001.

Also, after another apt complex towed my wife's car on a Friday afternoon even though it had a clearly displayed parking permit.  For the life of them, they could not figure out why we would not want to wait a couple more days to get the wrongly-towed vehicle back once their office opened again on Monday.  Needless to say, I got it back that Friday evening.

Not the sharpest bunch of sticks in my opinion...

Just my experience - take it for what it is and do as you wish.  
Link Posted: 7/15/2010 1:47:15 AM EDT
[#6]


Just because you rent does not mean some handyman employee you know nothing about should have the ability to enter your home at will - sorry. Not sure how else to say this, but folks running apt complexes have never exactly impressed me with their mad skillz.




Most leases have it in thier lease that if you change the locks you must provide management with a key. If not you should do it anyway. Why?



you change your locks, you leave for xxx amount of time (even overnight or few hours to dinner). Your neighbors call in an after hours emergency request that thier unit is flooding. It is coming from your unit. Management does not have you key. It takes an est 30 mins to gain entry ( this includes time to figure out that there is no key to your unit at 1 am). By then the leak has grown 4 times in size. It now takes a tech 1 hour to make the repair, a carpet/water damage person 3-700$ to extract,de hu,clean,repair the carpets in your unit, it takes another 3-400$ in the neighbors unit.

Go re-read the lease. Since you changed the locks and did not give management the key your are basically responsible as the renter for the damages to the property owner's property.

Yes, it is in your lease ( if not its a crappy one) under that area of resident/tenant neglect.For the most part your then gonna get billed for those damages becuase it was your neglect ( failure to give a copy of the key to management) that caused the majority of the issue.



As to enter your unit "at will"

I cant talk for other states. But here a maintenance tech can enter your unit at "will" if written notice is given 24 hours in advance. They can also enter your unit with out notice in the above scenario. One way to make sure there is no "unwanted" entry is to put it in WRITTEN form.

for example-



management,

I marksmatter, in unit 310A, request that no employee of xyz management or its subcontractors enter my leased unit with out my written or verbal authorization prior to repair work or 24 hours written notice is given by management for unit inspection/repair work.If you need to contact me please do so at 234-223-2233 thank you.

MM



It is then documented,it will not stop them if they need to gain entry, but it is now on record in case their ever is an issue.



You may also ask them about how they secure and store the apartments keys. IMHO unless it is an electronic/safe locked system similar to a " key trak" system i would make sure that the above letter is handed DIRECTLY to the complexes manager and placed in your file.



I will agree with you that some people in this industry are way below "standard". Most however are not. Some of us have more "mad skillz" then the electrician you'll hire to fix replace a faulty breaker,or the plumber you gotta get to remove the clog from your drain. Not just in experience but in certifications and trade skill based education. For me to do my job i have to recive xxx amount of CEC's each year, let me know when the "mad skillz" guy from roto rooter has to do that

I have been in this industry since the mid 90's, i have seen bad, good and WTF. It only takes 1-2 out of a few 100 to ruin it and that goes for the residents as well





My advice to anyone renting is to KNOW your states land lord tenant laws, KNOW your lease. Follow it and teh community regulations. And record/document any issues you have while renting.

Link Posted: 7/15/2010 5:39:22 AM EDT
[#7]
Thanks guys this is all helpful.

No, I don't have other options right now.  I will be on the 3/4 floor in an all electric unit less than than 12 years old. It is has a "gated" entry, but that doesn't make me feel any more secure.  Access for less than desirables is less than a phone call away to open the gate.  The apartment man said that by state law, they couldn't tell the demographic of the area, but suggested it was more grad level students and professionals.

I will definitely go back through the lease agreement with a fine tooth comb and get to know the maintenance man and security guard. I don't remember seeing any police cars, but I may try to introduce myself to them as well.

I was thinking of building a mobile battery power station with solar chargers.

The get out town drive on a great day will be 5-6 hours back to the old homestead. So in chaos, who knows how long it would take.  

Any other thoughts?
Link Posted: 7/15/2010 7:22:37 AM EDT
[#8]
IMHO - Apartment life can be Ok if your single, tolerable if your married but out of the apt a lot, intolerable/miserable if you have young children...  If I had a quarter for every time I had to call the local PD for the 1am parties that woke up my kid...  



My biggest concern was access by various staff / vendors while I wasn't home - and as long as someone else has a key to your place this can not be completely addressed.  It really isn't worth the fines and damage liability to just change the locks and hope they don't find out.. they will.  Any decent apt complex will be treating for pests at least every couple of months...   You are ultimately stuck with adapting your lifestyle to living in an apartment..  



Things I did to help reduce the staff's access to my apartment.   I found that most apt management teams seemed to respond favorably when I let them know that I would sometimes work a rotating shift, and needed my sleep.   I also let them know my wife's cat was very expensive.  Only had one isolated incident out of three complexes that we lived in over several years.   An 'unscheduled' maintenance visit, they never did that again..  



Other advice:

- Meet your neighbors.  Knock on the door and introduce yourself, and get their phone numbers.

- Don't leave valuables laying around when you are not home or have visitors.

- Don't try to break the rules and hide pets, change locks, etc.  You may open a flood door of fines and liability for other damages.

- Get the security system activated if that is offered.

- Ask the complex who provides their security (off duty LEO, rent-a-cop, none).  If they are on site - introduce yourself.  

- Get to know your local Police Officers - especially if they are assigned to a specific beat/area.  Yes, you can show up at the Police Station, ask if officers are assigned to a specific area and possibly even ride along one night.



I'm sure the security thread is already addressing things like purchasing a decent safe (not lockbox) to keep any valueables from prying eyes and wandering fingers, and be sure to bolt it into the wall.  This won't keep 'visitors' from rummaging through your underwear drawer, but it should help keep your most valuable possessions safe when you are out.  Or, if it really bothers you about who is entering your property when your away - buy a trail camera, or even a web camera for your computer..  



Not every complex is a PITA, some really try to respect their tenets, and not every maintenance worker is a pedophile or thief.  Ever thought about purchasing and living in an used RV instead?
Link Posted: 7/15/2010 8:02:57 AM EDT
[#9]
Consider looking for town-home style apartments.  You may end up sharing walls with other tenants, but at least they won't be above/below you and you will have garage space to leave fuel cans and other shit you don't want in your living area.
Link Posted: 7/15/2010 10:03:14 AM EDT
[#10]
You must be able to adapt to live in apts, because they are an always changing environment. I had to move to a different state when I transfered with my company when the layoffs came. I had serious doubts about the apt complex I chose, but it was a roof and cheap. I toured the exact apt before I moved in (picky about things, it's the OCD in me) and it met my standards. All I pay is electricity and rent. I chose bottom floor ($20 cheaper) out of 3 stories. I keep my A/C at 67, and my electricity bill averages $20!! I know, I'm enjoying it while I can. Anyways, gas hot water and stove, and the apt complex pays for that. Ended up with excellent neighbors. While the area isn't the best (had a homicide at the complex last summer), it's being able to adapt and fit in and know how to handle any situation that arises that is key. I also live by myself here, so that makes it easier if an event comes up.

Link Posted: 7/15/2010 10:19:08 AM EDT
[#11]
Quoted:
Just because you rent does not mean some handyman employee you know nothing about should have the ability to enter your home at will - sorry. Not sure how else to say this, but folks running apt complexes have never exactly impressed me with their mad skillz.


Most leases have it in thier lease that if you change the locks you must provide management with a key. If not you should do it anyway. Why?

~snip~

My advice to anyone renting is to KNOW your states land lord tenant laws, KNOW your lease. Follow it and teh community regulations. And record/document any issues you have while renting.


Knowing what is in your lease is a must.  Scan your copy of the executed lease (meaning the one with all the signatures and initials at the bottom) and save it on your computer as well as in your gmail/yahoo/msn email acct.  Look at it early and often.  Know your rights in your state.  Ask questions to people on your side.  Do not assume the office mgr you met 20 minutes ago is looking out for you or wants what is best for you... I only say this because I learned it all the hard, painful, and expensive way and hope that you will learn from others mistakes

As was mentioned before, befriend the security guy and the maintenance guy.  They will not give you a hard time and often will fix that dripping faucet without jumping through the hoops at the main office, or give you a spare parking pass if need be.  Also, just because it's gated does not guarantee the gates will work.    I lived in a gated apt and the exit gates were open more often than not.  Why?  So the tow trucks could come in and repo vehicles at 3 am.  This will inevitably wake you up one night as they are repo-ing the H3 that's parked next to your car.

Good luck  Any pics of the pup?
Link Posted: 7/15/2010 10:24:11 AM EDT
[#12]
2 simple things i learned, while all the suggestions given are great and i do practice them, the most important are to get a safe and keep copies of everything lease related.

at one of my old apt's back in the day (i had roommates, but was responsible = the one with most everything in my name), after i moved out, we took my name off the lease, they inspected, wrote me a letter saying all was good and i was not liable for anything after the inspection. about a year later collections started calling me, i was like wtf, called the leasing agency, they told me the place got trashed, and i was responsible.  sent them copies of the letter, everything was cleared up... or so i thought. about another year after that, same story, collections starts calling me, i call them, it gets sorted out.  

its about that time of year again...
Link Posted: 7/15/2010 12:17:57 PM EDT
[#13]
i never liked living in an apartment or duplex.i have a rational paranoia about someone in the building falling asleep while smoking in bed and burning the whole place down.

i don't care if you smoke in your home.... i just don't want anyone doing it in the building i live and sleep in.

when i lived in an apartment i had a motorcycle. even with locks and an alarm security was a concern annd i had several theft attempts.as mentioned previously, management/maintence has keys and it's possible that prior renters may also have them.

Link Posted: 7/15/2010 12:40:27 PM EDT
[#14]
i did it, and didnt mind it terribly, though it ws a small apt (two buildings with maybe 30 units each).  top floor, so no noise.  under me was an old lady who didnt cause much noise, other than her drugged out grandson who would come over and honk outside her (my) window middle of the night.  by biggest concern was fire.  i know how not to burn my place down, but the same might not be siad for the other 29 apt's residents.  recently a 60+ unit apt building in my town burned because some jack weed was smoking on the balcony and tossing butts into a plastic coffee can.  definately qualifies as personal SHTF for those families, as even the units not burned or even smoke damaged due to firewalls, came to find water soaking their apts from sprinklers.  Funny story, though not for the occupants, this apt had basement parking.  Well, 3 floors of sprinklers dumping down, gravity takes the water to basement.  there are sumps in basement, but uponarrival, FD killed power to apt to fifght blaze, no power, no sump, and cars in garage had water 4 feet up.

at the time i didnt have much for valuables (less guns, electronics, etc, and NO money), and neither did my roommate. anyone that entered would have been less than impressed upon entry, nothing flashy or even nice looking.

"handyman" came in once unanounced to "fix" a closet door.  i had been working nights, and was in bed then, about noon.  its not a draw down story, but stopping him in the hallway when your stark-ass naked and asking him to come back later worked out.  he never did come back, and we never figured out what was wrong with the closet door, either.

all in all, enjoy it.  no yard property maintanence to worry about.  minimal, if any heating/cooling/elec costs, very cheap (mine was at least), and decently comfortable. dont worry about the SHTF hitting while you live there, and even if it does, just bo.  

good luck
Link Posted: 7/15/2010 12:41:07 PM EDT
[#15]
Keep everything locked at all times.  Buy a gun safe, and quality discreet cases.  No reason to let people know you have nice things inside.
Link Posted: 7/15/2010 12:51:12 PM EDT
[#16]
Quoted:

nct


Don't assume you can grill on your balcony - in many places it is illegal
Unsure where you are moving to, but electrical utilities such as a heat pump with backup strip (even in the South) can bite you in the ass
I have had a vehicle towed even with the apt parking decal on it - boy did they get bitched out...
Many apt complexes have a "security officer" who is actually a cop that lives there with deeply discounted or free rent.  Get to know that person if possible.  
Tough in an apt, but try to know your neighbors if possible.  Saved my butt once after locking my keys in my truck (and hence locking myself out of my apt)
Put a CCTV cam overlooking your door so you can see who's there.  Apt complexes are favorite drop-offs for solicitors, etc.
Assume someone already has a key to your place (i.e. they did not change the locks after last tenant.  Refuse bug treatment (now they have no reason to enter each month) and change the lock.  Claim a psycho ex if they find out when doing annual maintenance, etc.
Get an emergency escape ladder if living abve the ground floor.
Get a fire extinguisher.
Try to live on the top floor, as footsteps overhead are annoying as hell.
Try to live on the bottom floor if you have a pet.  Footsteps overhead are now merely an inconvenience.
Beware of working an overnight shift - the lawn guys will fire their equipment regardless of your need for sleep.

I'm sure I'm missing stuff, but that is what I can recall from those days.


  In urban areas you have to maximize technology. Get a car alarm and vehicle kill switch installed. Try to get CCTV. Aim a camera at your front door when you are away, you may or may not want the handy man to know that web camera on your home computer is motion activated and stores its photo's on an email account .

  If you have a balcony or window that overlooks a parking spot that you can use put video on that as well.  

  As far as SHTF, get a bike and find ways out of the city via trails or rail road lines. If possible get a rental storage unit en route to your BOL. Cache any extra gear you will need there as you probably cant store everything you have in your apartment. Be prepared to conduct a forced entry into the storage unit in event of serious SHTF.

  Walk your dog all around the neighborhood as a recon, its also good for your health and dog, review all the crime data on your neighborhood to include the sex offender registry and the local neighborhood papers. DO NOT TELL ANY OF YOUR NEIGHBORS ABOUT YOUR PREPS. If your away when STHF starts they may take what they need if they know about it.

Leave a TV or radio on at all times and enjoy all the amenities of city living.
Link Posted: 7/15/2010 1:49:15 PM EDT
[#17]
To expand on the changing the locks, most large rental companies have the same lease agreements.  You will be served eviction papers and charged either a fine or pay out the agreed remaining time on your lease.  Mad skillz or not, it will be expensive and these guys deal with things like this everyday, they will win and you will have to find a new place.  

I have a condo that I keep a webcam set it up in.  I can remote view anytime I want, I understand you can do that with an Iphone as well.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 6:49:31 PM EDT
[#18]
Thanks for the great info.

I don't have any pictures of the pup on the computer.  I will try to correct that problem though.

I will definitely start using some of your suggestions.

nct
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 7:06:31 PM EDT
[#19]
Lots of great suggestions here, but I'll add one (that I don't think was already mentioned) about damage deposits:

Whenever you get ready to move, get the list of everything they check for when a tenant moves out...paint, light bulbs, damage, etc.  Do (or fix) everything on that list.  Then, after you move all your stuff out and clean the apartment, call the manager to come go through it with you.  Check off each and every item on that list, and have him/her initial every single item.  That way, you should get your deposit back.

It's amazing how many ways they can screw you over on a deposit.  I wish I had done the above when I vacated.  I lived in the same apartment for six years.  Never late on rent.  Lived through three rent increases (and the property never changed or got better).  Cleaned that place spotless.  Sorry bastards dinged me for ground-in dirt on the kitchen floor, and charged me an hour worth of labor to clean! I had lived there for six years, and they routinely replaced the floors on departure anyway!  $50 later, and a whole lot of bitching from me, and I was done with those people.
Link Posted: 7/19/2010 8:21:08 PM EDT
[#20]
OPSEC : Operational Security.

Transport your guns in their cases inside of another case.  Example :Get a large duffle bag to put your gun case in.  Neighbors won't know what is in the duffle bag.

I recently bought a new rifle.  Instead of just throwing the box it came in away, I cut the box up and put the pieces inside of another box and then took it to the recycle dumpster.

Store ammo inside of ammo boxes, but have these ammo boxes hidden inside of something like the Rubbermaid Action packer
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:12:24 AM EDT
[#21]
Change the locks!

Screw the ' delayed entry' shit- My Brother lost 5k in guns and a PC as his landlords stoner kid just lifted the old mans keys and helped himself to 3 apts.

Google your area crime and talk to the people in the building- which is more likely to happen- a busted pipe or a break in? Let them come at you about the locks-When they give me a key to-their-place- I will give them one to mine!

When my wife and I were dating her pervert land lord would just let himself into the unit to 'check' if everything was ok, he was in the hall when she was coming out of the shower -we had us a good ol Georgia round table and that shit stopped

Some one has a key to your apt- trust in God-thats all the help that your going to have-never ever never be so foolish as to believe that a land lord is looking out for your
best interest- hell, even here, in the best building we have ever been in, the nabe had a birdstrike on the bed room window, the  land lords ' go to guy' ( read son in law)
let himself in to check the window ( why? you could see that it was not busted from the out side, just needed to he hosed off) and left the door unlocked!
Dog got out and ran off- poor women is screaming in the hallway until the PD arrives thinking some one broke in-'landlord' would not return call ALL weekend
and she did not get the info about her apt and the bird strike until Monday- Dog was in the pound and 25$ to get him out, then ticketed for not having
a lic-yeah, great job by the folks who run the building

oh yeah, change the freaking locks!
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:42:43 AM EDT
[#22]
Quoted:
Lots of great suggestions here, but I'll add one (that I don't think was already mentioned) about damage deposits:

Whenever you get ready to move, get the list of everything they check for when a tenant moves out...paint, light bulbs, damage, etc.  Do (or fix) everything on that list.  Then, after you move all your stuff out and clean the apartment, call the manager to come go through it with you.  Check off each and every item on that list, and have him/her initial every single item.  That way, you should get your deposit back.

It's amazing how many ways they can screw you over on a deposit.  I wish I had done the above when I vacated.  I lived in the same apartment for six years.  Never late on rent.  Lived through three rent increases (and the property never changed or got better).  Cleaned that place spotless.  Sorry bastards dinged me for ground-in dirt on the kitchen floor, and charged me an hour worth of labor to clean! I had lived there for six years, and they routinely replaced the floors on departure anyway!  $50 later, and a whole lot of bitching from me, and I was done with those people.


X2

I moved out of a place once and got hit on a dirty oven.  I thought wtf, I never even used the oven.  Too bad I didn't check it when I moved in and did my final cleaning.  Trust no one.

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:48:22 AM EDT
[#23]
This is why I have a very protective german shepherd... I dont trust maintenance, I dont trust the office, and I dont trust the mexicans that are aiding and abedding mexican mafia a door over.  Know your lease inside and out, get to know your manager. Documentation on EVERYTHING that happens and any conflicts and observations of your neghbors. Wire your apartment the same way the KGB or CIA would...

Save what money you can and buy a house... 4 years of apartment hell and I'm finally getting close.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:53:41 AM EDT
[#24]
Ear plugs, ear plugs, and alcohol.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 8:17:53 AM EDT
[#25]
Quoted:
Keep everything locked at all times.  Buy a gun safe, and quality discreet cases.  No reason to let people know you have nice things inside.


this is what we do, i have a good gunsafe that i keep everything valuable in, and i usually transport my AR's broke down in a duffle bag, not that it'd be a big deal if someone saw them, i just dont want anyone to have a reason to break in when we're not home, i also keep a pistol locked in my garage incase i come home to a breached door, like others said we live on the top floor, dont have to hear any of my neighbors, the only problem with this is that the only way out is thru our front door, which leads to a wood deck, if there were a fire, that thing would be torched, i'm working on a rapeling rope to tie off to the bed so we can drop out of the bedroom window gotta get a harness for the dog so we can lower him to safety too


all in all it's not really that bad, pretty quiet here, something breaks? not my problem they come fix it, which is kinda nice but i doubt we'll be here much more than a couple years

edit we also installed another lock on our door, not sure what they're called, it's like what hotels have ball on the door and a bar that closes over it, yeah after they break the main lock this one will meerly slow them down but that's all i need to be standing in the hallway with the 870, i switched my SD load from 00 buck to #4 buck for apt living also
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 6:36:31 PM EDT
[#26]
Apartment life also means a new defense plan that takes into account safe and unsafe lanes of fire and/or changing your ammo types.

Though not an apartment, I live in a similar structure.  My neighbor's bedroom is on the other side of where any defensive lead would fly.  Therefore, the old standard of 00 buckshot had to be replaced with something that won't over-penetrate.  The first few shells are steelshot.  After that, it's Federal 00.  If 4 shots from Mr. M4 Super 90 aren't persuasive enough, then everything else goes out the window.  Same thing with the pistol.  Ball is NOT your friend in a multi-family dwelling.  Not at all!!!

Keeping anything interesting out of sight (safe, TV, etc.) is probably one of the biggest steps you can take. Turn all TV's on and then walk outside and observe at night.  Is there anything that someone shady would want to steal?

Whoever mentioned the scanner idea is also spot on.  Many maintenance folk will use regular old analog radios.  If you spring for a digital system, you can also hear public safety––a must for ANY urban dweller.  OR, you can use the radiorereference.com app and listen to the feeds from your mobile phone or a computer.

Google "Jabber Tape". This + a few inexpensive outlet timers = a good deterrent.  Most urbanites know the ol' "leave the stereo blaring".  A good thief will welcome this, as it covers HIS noise as well.  However, hearing things like conversation, channels changing, perhaps a blender or microwave occasionally being operated will cause a thief to consider other options.

OPSEC with your trash as well.  Shred everything with PII.  Previous poster hit the nail on the head about properly disposing of big ticket items or gun-related trash.  No need to let em know what you have.



Link Posted: 7/20/2010 7:02:02 PM EDT
[#27]
I have lived in apartments a few times, first as a poor student, and later when I was new to town and did not know how long I would be around.

The keys that the staff may have access to are not usually a problem, but it's not unheard of for them to enter your apartment without your knowledge, and it's not unheard of for staff to steal stuff as well. It's a problem when you live in a building owned by someone else that is not avoidable. These days my suggestion would be some kind of alarm system. If they have to get in because of an emergency they can, but the alarm will go off. Best to put the alarm company decal on the door so there is no question about it.

The biggest problem I see with apartment life is that the people who rent them are constantly changing. You can have a decent set of neighbors that get replaced by a bunch of jerks almost overnight.

There are all the other disadvantages, many mentioned by previous posters.

There are some advantages. Usually it is less costly, and it is a lot more convenient if you plan to move soon not to have to sell a house, although these days it is possible to rent a house, townhouse, or condo pretty economically.

Many apartment buildings have a pretty active party scene going on if you like that. Others are pretty stodgy.

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 7:14:45 PM EDT
[#28]
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