Burglars target student properties because they know each owns a small fortune in consumer desirables. To avoid attracting the burglar’s eye, it is therefore a good idea to try to minimise that ‘student look’.
Prime Burglary Target
Private student accommodation a very attractive proposition to the average burglar, and it’s easy to see why. With each resident owning their own treasure trove of expensive gadgetry – a TV, computer, stereo, mp3 player, mobile phone etc – a successful raid on a student house with four or five occupants, could prove a major haul for a thief.
Furthermore, if dazzling the burglar with consumer riches wasn’t enough temptation, student properties also typically have very low levels of security. Good quality deadlocks are comparatively rare and burglar alarms are particularly non-existent.
It is students living in private accommodation that explain the alarming statistic that those aged between 16 and 24 are around three times more likely to be burgled than any other age group.
Minimising the ‘Student Look’ of the Student House
But what can you do about it? A simple but effective method is to minimise the ‘student look’ of the property. How do burglars pick out the student houses to rob? Because they look like student houses.
Walk down a residential street in a student area it’s not difficult to spot the student digs. They pretty much advertise the fact to the whole neighbourhood. You might see empty beer cans and pizza boxes stacked up outside, decorative sheets hung over the windows instead of curtains, a comical poster or sign stuck on the front door or a nicked road sign left abandoned in the garden.
The Classic Downstairs Bedroom Giveaway
One classic tell tale sign of a student house is a downstairs bedroom. Almost every student house has at least one. It doesn’t matter how much trouble you go to disguising your student occupation, if a robber walks down the street and sees that the front room of a house has a bed in it, and posters on the wall then they will start licking their lips in anticipation.
If there is a bedroom on the ground floor, then either keep the curtains closed or better still, hang up a net curtain.
Lack of Pride
Beyond the immediate tell tale signs, a typical student house is defined by a distinct lack of pride. If you own a property, or have a long-term lease, then you likely want to keep it clean and tidy, and attractive, both to show neighbours that you’re a fine up-standing resident, and to make it a nice place in which to live.
Students usually only live in a property for one or two years and so don’t usually have a vested interest in looking after it, or projecting the image as decent members of the community. In fact, many students actually take pride in their reputation as unruly slobs and makes pains to live up to it.
This doesn’t mean that to minimise the student look you need to carefully tender your front garden or put fresh flowers in the window everyday. Just by keeping the outside of the property clean and tidy – free of litter, uncollected refuse – is enough. Even things like remembering the put the wheelie bin away, and regularly leaving out a full recycling box is enough to deflect unwanted attention.
If the appearance of a house were sloppy and untidy then instinct would tell you that its security would also be equally lacking.
Respectable Neighbourhood House
It’s a good idea to look at your local street, but rather than pick out the obvious student houses, look for the ones that are clearly not. What is it about them that makes them not appear so? This is a useful technique for acquiring tips that you could apply to your own house.