If you've never lived in a city before, the apartment hunting process may be a bit intimidating. A lot of things—like how many bedrooms you want and whether windows are important—really depend on personal preference. But everyone hunting for a city apartment needs to keep one important factor in mind: safety. Even in "safer" areas, cities are teeming with people and unpredictable things can happen, so it's important to ensure the apartment you rent has these features.
You never know when there might be a scuffle on the sidewalk or when an irresponsible citizen will decide it's time to burglarize your apartment. A deadbolt will go a long way towards keeping you safe when you're home. Make sure the deadbolt is newly installed or that the lock is changed when you move in to ensure old residents can't get in with keys they have kept. Lock both the deadbolt and door lock when you're home.
A Secure Front Door
A deadbolt won't do much good if the door is flimsy enough to be kicked on by an average-sized human. Plain, wooden doors aren't typically the safest choice unless they're very thick. Look for steel doors or reinforced metal and vinyl doors.
A Fire Escape
Most cities require apartments to have at least two exits so you can get out if there's a fire blocking one of the exits. The second exit is sometimes a fire escape, but it can be a big window or a second door if your apartment is on the main floor. Some landlords skirt by the authorities and rent apartments that aren't up to code, so check for this safety feature yourself before renting a place.
A Carbon Monoxide Detector
This is another thing that's often required by authorities by all-too-frequently overlooked by landlords. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that is released whenever gas is burned and can cause nausea, headaches, and death. A carbon monoxide detector will alert you to its presence. If you don't see a detector, ask the landlord to add one before you move in; they don't cost a lot and most will make this slight improvement if it convinces you to rent from them.
Also check to ensure the apartment is in a well-lit area and that you can park nearby so you don't have to walk a long distance to your apartment at night. Happy apartment hunting! For more information, contact apartments like University Manor Apartments.