Please use the following checklist to help you determine the level of security at the unit you wish to rent will meet your needs. Visit the neighborhood during the day and at night. When you visit check for the following items:

Exterior of the building

  • Are the building and grounds well maintained?

  • Are the entryways, sidewalks, and parking areas well lighted?

  • Are they visible from the street?

  • Is there an intercom system?

  • Are the residents' full names printed on the mailboxes?

  • Are the mailboxes lockable and in good condition?

  • Are the exterior doors kept locked?

Parking Lots

  • Are the lots and surrounding streets free of abandoned cars?

  • Is parking usually available close to your door?

  • Is the area well lighted at night and on the weekends?


Unit Doorways and Windows

  • What type of security does the unit have (door knob locks, chains, deadbolt locks, window locks, peepholes, etc.)?

  • Is the entryway well lighted? Is it visible from the street?

  • Are doors and windows obscured by trees, weeds, or bushes?

  • Are curtains, shades or blinds provided?

  • Are there sturdy locks on all windows?

  • Are security bars and screens provided for ground floor or basement apartments?

  • Does the door fit tightly in the doorframe (no more than 1/8" clearance)? Door hinges should be located inside the unit.

Other Considerations

  • Are laundry facilities secured?

  • Is there complex security (patrols, escorts, cameras, etc.)?

  • Is there a published policy in reference to rekeying and/or issuance of unit keys?

  • Discuss security issues with your roommate(s).

  • Never identify yourself on your keyring/holder.

  • Speak with the local police precinct in reference to types of crime and crime rates in the neighborhood.

  • Speak with apartment complex manager and prospective neighbors in reference to resident turnover rates, feeling of safety and complex customer service and cooperation.

Should these or other security questions arise, it may be wise to consider other housing options.

Crimereports.com is another option to identify safety issues in a prospective area.


Please contact the Office of Residence Life (202) 662-9290 for any further questions or concerns.