Best security systems for renters

As a renter, you may need a different type of security system than a homeowner. Landlords may not want renters drilling holes in their walls – and you may not want a contract that lasts for several years if you plan on moving before then. However, these are some of the best security systems for renters.

Best security systems for renters

Even if you’re not a homeowner, you want to protect your home from intruders, and you want to know what’s happening in it when you’re not there. A security system for renters can provide you with peace of mind. As a renter, there may be certain limitations that don’t apply to homeowners, such as restrictions on home security systems or difficulties involved with moving a home security system. Learn more about some of the best security systems that are available for those who rent.

Top features of security systems for renters 

Factors renters should consider when getting a security system

Cost

The cost of the alarm system is something you should consider. A more expensive system won’t necessarily do a better job. You can still protect your belongings with a cheap alarm system for apartments. You’ll mainly want to make sure the security system fits your budget and comes with the features you need to protect your home.

Installation

Do you want a DIY apartment security system, or would you prefer to have a professional install it for you? Most DIY systems are quite simple to install; however, some people would prefer to have a professional install it for them if they don’t feel confident about installing the devices correctly. The better installation option for renters is a self-installed system. Even some DIY providers offer professional installation as an option at an additional fee.

Connectivity to third-party devices

Do you want to be able to use Alexa with your home security system? Do you have a Nest Thermostat that you’d like to be able to integrate with your system as well? If you’re renting, you should also find out if the providers you’re interested in offer compatibility with third-party devices. A lot of times, these devices offer smart home capability, allowing you to control and manage certain elements of your home.

Monitoring

Monitoring plans can add a significant cost each month. For some renters, a text alert or video may be sufficient. However, other renters may prefer 24/7 professional monitoring to have their place monitored around-the-clock. 

Home environmental monitoring

Home environmental monitoring is another consideration. In addition to monitoring for intruders, some security systems also sense and send alerts whenever smoke is detected in the home, water leaks or even freezing temperatures. Home environmental monitoring can be critical to life safety as well as the avoidance of property damage.

Comparing the best security systems for renters

Security systemStarting package priceProfessional monitoringStarting pro. monitoring priceInstallation typeMotion detectionSecurity camerasSmart home devicesTrial period
SimpliSafe$229*$14.99/mo.*DIY or Professional60 days
Frontpoint$430.95*$34.99/mo.*DIY30 days
CovePrice varies$15/mo.*DIY60 days
abode$299*$8.33/mo.*DIY or Professional30 days
Ring$199*$10/mo.*DIY30 days

The 5 best security systems for renters

SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe offers the best of both worlds. There is no contract required, the monitoring fees are low and you can choose between DIY or professional installation. SimpliSafe systems are also wireless, and the HD cameras can be used inside and outside of your rental unit.

Stand-out features include:

  • No contract
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Low monitoring fees

Frontpoint

Frontpoint is recognized for its great customer service. Frontpoint offers a variety of security system packages and provides 24/7 professional monitoring starting at $34.99/mo.* Also, professional monitoring includes home environmental protection at no additional cost, meaning that in the event of fires or floods, a monitoring specialist will be there to assist. With each monitoring plan, you can also save up to 20% on your homeowner’s insurance. 

Stand-out features include:

  • Variety of security system packages to choose from
  • Free home environmental monitoring
  • Can save up to 20% on homeowner’s insurance

Cove

Cove offers the essentials for protecting your home with a DIY setup and instant messaging to help you stay on top of what’s happening in your home. The price of your Cove security system will vary depending on the equipment you purchase, and you can get professional monitoring for as low as $15/mo.* With Cove, you’ll find home environmental monitoring devices like a water sensor, smoke detector and a glass break detector. 

Stand-out features include:

  • Inexpensive professional monitoring
  • Home environmental monitoring devices
  • InstaTextTM for fast alerts and responses from the monitoring center

abode Security

abode is a great option for renters who are looking for affordable home security systems, low-priced professional monitoring and smart home connectivity. abode security system packages start at $229 with professional monitoring prices at $8.33/mo.* You can also purchase smart home devices, like an occupancy sensor or smart home switch, to enhance your protection. Another factor that helps abode stand out in the home security space is the iota all-in-one security system. This device combines motion detection, video surveillance and two-way communication technologies all into one, making it easy for you to check in on your home and loved ones.

Stand-out features include:

  • Inexpensive professional monitoring
  • Smart home devices
  • An all-in-one home security system

Ring

Ring’s alarm system provides the basics you need for motion detection at a low starting price of $199 for the basic kit. You can also get professional monitoring for $10/mo.* And purchase additional Ring products like video doorbells, cameras and smart lights to bolster your home’s protection. Another great feature about Ring is that all of the components you need come ready to be installed and paired. You can also use Amazon Alexa with your Ring alarm system for convenient voice control.

Stand-out features include:

  • Inexpensive equipment and professional monitoring
  • Lots of security camera and smart light options
  • Can be used with Alexa

FAQs about security systems for renters

What if I don’t feel comfortable installing my own security system? Can a professional install it for me?

If you don’t feel confident with installing your own security system, choose a provider that offers optional professional installation. A self-installed system is definitely the better choice for renters, but some providers like SimpliSafe offer professional installation for an additional fee.

What is a self-monitored security system?

A self-monitored security system is one in which the owner monitors the home through motion detection, alerts and even video surveillance. Some DIY providers allow you to self-monitor with no monthly fee, while there are some providers that still charge for self-monitoring. Whenever there is a monthly fee for self-monitoring, typically additional features like cellular backup or video storage are included in the plan. If you don’t mind keeping an eye on your phone for alerts, then self-monitoring is a cost-effective way to protect your home, but we would recommend professional monitoring for around-the-clock protection that doesn’t depend on your vigilance.

What happens if the power goes out?

It will depend on your system. One feature you’ll want to make sure you have at the least is battery backup. Most security systems come with battery backup for varying lengths of time. Some security systems even feature Wi-Fi and cellular backup. The more backup options, the better in the event you lose power.

Suppose I need to leave before my contract is up?

That’s one problem with getting a system with a contract. Some companies will charge a substantial fee for leaving early – even if you’re requesting the same service at a new location. You’ll want to be aware of any additional fees you may incur if you move and break the contract with a provider. It would be better to choose a provider that does not charge any fees for moving and makes the process easier.

How important is mobile app access?

Most providers have a mobile app that will allow you to remotely arm and disarm your security system, control smart home devices and view live video footage. If you want that added convenience, we recommend choosing a provider that offers mobile app access as part of your service.

Should I check with my landlord before purchasing a home security system?

Yes, you should definitely check with your landlord to ensure that you can install a security system at your property. There may be additional steps you need to take to ensure that your landlord or maintenance personnel has access to your unit.