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Best security system for renters

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    Blue by ADT (now ADT Self Setup), Cove and Scout
    home security cameras

    A good home security system can deter burglars or at least call for help if your home is broken into. But what if you rent? Many security systems are permanent and can leave holes in the walls, which can mean losing your security deposit. There are security systems that are designed with renters in mind, however.

    Our top picks for home security systems for renters:

    Our 4 top security systems for renters

    To choose our top picks, we compared 27 home security companies. We looked at 30 features, including availability, installation and monitoring options, cost and more. We also looked at customer reviews and ratings on ConsumerAffairs, performed hands-on testing and consulted security experts. All prices are accurate as of publishing.

    SimpliSafeLink InteractiveCoveRing
    Monthly cost $0 to $27.99 $30.99 to $47.99 $17.99 to $27.99 $3.99 to $20
    Contract required $12-36 months
    Trial period 60 days 30 days 60 days 30 days
    Our pick for simple installation SimpliSafe
    • Easy installation
    • Affordable equipment
    • User-friendly

    SimpliSafe offers a popular do-it-yourself home security system that’s well-suited for renters because it’s easy to install and you don’t need to screw anything to the wall. The company offers various packages with different sensors and devices to detect intrusion, fire, water damage and more.

    SimpliSafe also offers a doorbell camera and indoor and outdoor cameras for video monitoring. You can opt for DIY or professional monitoring, and there are no long-term contracts required.

    SimpliSafe's equipment is designed to be easily installed and removed, making it ideal for renters who want a customizable security solution without making permanent changes to their home. With these wireless systems, all devices connect using your home’s Wi-Fi. Plus, all the components can be installed using double-sided tape, or you can just set them on a shelf or table.
    SimpliSafe customers on ConsumerAffairs often mention the ease of use and flexibility of the systems. Charmaine of Florida said: “SimpliSafe is simple to install and easy to use. We have installed the system in my daughter's college apartment and moved it each year when she has changed apartments. I would recommend SimpliSafe, especially if you are someone who is renting and moves often.”

    Our pick for customer perks Cove
    • Affordable equipment
    • Credits for equipment upgrades
    • TripleTouch Alarm Response

    Cove offers fully customizable security systems for apartments or rental houses. With its simple online tool, you can create your system in just minutes. You can also earn credits that go toward upgrading your security equipment over the years.

    Cove’s TripleTouch Alarm Response feature ensures you can get help in an emergency within 30 seconds (many security systems take several minutes).

    When the system detects trouble, it sends you a text to confirm there’s a problem. All you need to do is confirm, and help is on the way. Most security companies just call, but a text message to your phone can be much faster, especially if you’re trying to stay quiet. A representative will call you if you don’t respond to the text; if Cove doesn’t get a response, or if you say you need help, it contacts emergency services.
    Happy Cove customers on our site praise the system’s easy setup and use, often saying they’d recommend the product to others. “We have had our Cove system for almost a year. We love, love, love it. Easy to use. Easy setup. Customer service has been super awesome when I’ve had questions. My entire family owns one now. I obviously would recommend this product to anyone,” Heather of Utah said.

    Our pick for budget systems Ring
    • Large equipment selection
    • Easy-to-use app
    • Budget-friendly

    Ring is a newer home security company, but it brings a lot to the table when it comes to affordability and flexibility for renters. The company has a wide range of cameras, customizable packages and even devices to keep your vehicle safe, like the Ring Car Cam. Ring is also ideal for renters on a budget.

    Monthly professional monitoring with Ring is the most affordable on our list, at a maximum of $20 per month as of publishing. If you don’t want professional monitoring, however, you can self-monitor without paying any monthly fee. You can also buy a Ring security camera on its own if you don’t want to buy a whole security package; this flexibility is ideal for those on a limited budget.
    Customers who’ve left high ratings for Ring on our site love the price and the flexibility. “I love our Ring. It's great that I can talk to people without having to open the door. The membership is super affordable. The cameras are clear, and I love the cloud space. Makes me feel safe. Love that ring makes a variety of different kind of cameras as well,” Kathy of Missouri said.

    Pros and cons of security systems for renters

    Security systems for renters have several advantages — these systems are often affordable, simple to install and easy to move to a new residence if you tend to hop from rental to rental.

    The downside is that if you don’t screw down these devices, like cameras and sensors, they’re easier to steal or tamper with. Also, the peel-and-stick tape can remove paint on walls if you’re not careful when removing them.

    Wireless systems are super convenient to install and use, and you can take them with you if you move. But they can be less reliable than their wired counterparts, especially in areas of the country with spotty internet and cellular connections.”
    — Cathy Habas, security expert

    The wireless aspect of these systems may also make them less dependable. “Wireless systems are super convenient to install and use, and you can take them with you if you move,” security expert Cathy Habas told us. “But they can be less reliable than their wired counterparts, especially in areas of the country with spotty internet and cellular connections.”

    » MORE: Best wireless home security systems

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      What should renters look for in a security system?

      Security expert Rebecca Edwards shared with us: “My top considerations as a renter would be flexibility (no contracts), cost and equipment that won’t damage the home or apartment I’m renting. I’d want to make sure I could easily take it with me if I decide not to renew my lease and that I could install and uninstall it without causing damage to walls, dealing with wiring, etc.”

      » CALCULATE: How much does a home security system cost?

      The best system for renters also depends on the type of place you’re renting. In a small loft apartment, for example, you may just need a doorbell camera and an indoor camera or two with extras like a siren, climate monitoring and advanced AI detection so you don’t get an alert every time the cat walks across the room.

      “If you’re renting a house or town house with multiple floors, you may want something a little more advanced, like SimpliSafe or Cove,” Edwards explained. “These give you entry sensors for doors and windows, and you can get a motion sensor for each floor. And if you have a yard or outdoor entrances, you can get an outdoor camera to keep an eye on all of those.”

      » MORE: Best smart home security systems

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