PHILADELPHIA - Home should be a safe place: We take out our key and enter our sanctuary. For renters, it is not so easy, for there is more than one key. Landlords and maintenance workers have access to all units under their domain. So if someone else holds the key, are you safe?
Philadelphian Gina Jewett recently discovered that her rental apartment isn't just for her. After noticing medicine missing, Gina set up a hidden camera while she was away at work. She found that a maintenance man for the building, someone entrusted with a key, was apparently stealing from her.
"If he was in my apartment, he was in everybody else's," said Gina.
Rental contracts and even some states' laws can provide a certain level of trust, and most workers aren't allowed in units without a 24-hour notice unless there is an emergency. But people break rules all the time.
Your best bet is to do what Gina did and set up a security system. You don't have to break the bank either, with excellent options in the $100 to $200 range. If your budget is limited and you have an old phone handy, there are apps available to turn smartphones into simple surveillance devices. These apps can be constantly monitored or even email video clips when motion is detected.
Next time you ask yourself, "Did I leave that there?" -- Maybe you didn't.