When you buy a new home, you can easily bolster your security by having a locksmith put in new locks. With a rental, however, this can be a bit trickier. Many landlords don't let you change the locks. You can certainly ask your landlord for permission to have a locksmith put in new locks, but in lieu of that, there are other steps you can take that don't involve changing the main locks.
1. Put in a Chain Lock
When you put in a chain lock, you only make a slightly modification to the door and the jamb. In most cases, you are putting a couple of screws into those areas, and that's it. However, these simple locks make it very hard for anyone to enter the rental when you are there.
2. Reinforce a Deadbolt Plate
If the front door of your rental has a deadbolt, you may want to reinforce that lock. Imagine in an intruder were attempting to kick down the door. Do you think that they would be able to burst through the existing strike box? The strike box is the metal plate attached to the door jamb which the dead bolt goes inside of.
You can buy new strike plates that are designed to be safer. They attach to the jamb with longer screws, and they use thicker metal than their standard counterparts. This reinforces the lock, without reducing your landlord's ability to enter with a key.
3. Put in a New Door
This modification will require the permission of your landlord, but as it's an upgrade, most landlords won't argue. If your door is made of weak material or if it has a hollow core, you may want to replace it with a solid wood or a metal security door. Then, you can put back on the existing locks.
4. Add a Security Light
A simple motion activated light near your door can also help to deter criminals. When they approach the door, the light goes on, and typically, that is enough to scare many criminals away. If you live in an apartment block, this type isn't that useful, but if you live in a single family home or anywhere else where the door opens directly to the outside, you may want to consider it. This can work for front doors or patio doors.
5. Security Film
When dealing with big glass patio doors, you may want to rely on security film. You simply put the film on the glass, and it prevents criminals from breaking the glass. You may also want to put a dowel or broomstick in the tracks of the door so it can't be forcefully pushed open.