Five reasons why renters insurance is recommended

Renters insurance is on the short list of insurances that are not a waste of money – and should be on your list of things to buy if you are living in a rented home.

Financial experts say that the low cost of renters insurance (premiums are typically based on the content valuation of your apartment), coupled with the typical benefits it provides should you need to submit a claim on your policy, make it a no brainer decision.

red umbrella showing renters insurance

Here are the top ten reasons why renters insurance is recommended for anyone who rents their home.

  1. It covers disasters. Like catastrophic medical insurance, it pays to have coverage for the day something completely unexpected happens. If your roof caves in tomorrow, exposing the entire contents of your apartment to a rainstorm, and your landlord doesn’t cover the damages, renters insurance will pick up the pieces, replacing your things.
  2. It covers crime. The activities of nefarious folks are impossible to predict and you never know when you might be the victim of a property crime at your apartment. No matter how well you lock your doors and windows, home burglaries have become more prevalent due to a more challenging economy. Prevent yourself, just in case.
  3. You don’t pay for anything you don’t already own. Because renters insurance is calculated based on the valuation of your personal possessions, you won’t feel like you are getting ripped off. Your premium is based on the contents of your home.
  4. Your possessions will often be covered by renters insurance if they are stolen or damaged while away from your home. When my boyfriend’s bike was stolen while he was inside the supermarket, renters insurance replaced it. When his cell phone was rendered unusable by the powers of an airport security scanning machine, it was also replaced.
  5. It’s not that expensive. Even if you have many nice things, renters insurance will typically cost you less than $30 a month. That’s a nice restaurant lunch, a bag of groceries, or half your monthly cell phone bill – a small price to pay for personal protection of the things you care about.

Eco-friendly pet solutions for your place

As an environmentally conscious individual you do all you can to reduce your carbon footprint: you installed energy saving light bulbs in your apartment, you’ve installed switch extension cords to get rid of pesky vampire charges and have switched to biodegradable cleaning products. But there’s one area you might have overlooked: your pet. Yes, even Fido can have a carbon foot (or is it paw?) print, which adds to yours. Here are six tips to help you and your pet live a greener lifestyle:

  • Buy in pet food in bulk to cut down on packaging. Go the extra mile and choose brands that use sustainably sourced, recycled and biodegradable packaging. If possible, listen to the ASPCA’s advice, and buy plant-based kitty litter, like wood shavings or wheat.
  • Choose toys made from natural materials or at least recycled plastics. This way you protect your furry friend from harmful chemicals and avoid increasing demand for virgin plastics. Locally or regionally manufactured items also use less fuel and support the local economy,
  • If you’re even in the least bit crafty, consider making pet toys yourself. Cut up old t-shirts and braid them for a homemade rag toy for Roscoe. Turn your lightly worn feather earrings into a stylish new toy for Captain Meowington.
  • You can also make clothes for your pets without being a master seamstress or a crochet guru. A doggie vest can be made by cutting a sleeve from an old sweater and slicing two armholes at the right height.
  • You can turn a thrifted drawer, half of an old suitcase or an old TV cabinet into a pet bed, by stuffing it with some revamped old pillows. Another great way too literally green your pet’s house is to install a green roof. A few centimeters of soil on the roof and some moss is the easiest option, but you can get creative with some succulents, or go all out and plant some lovely flowers atop. Just make sure beforehand that the plants aren’t harmful to pets.

Janice Lind via Pinterest

  • Take care of your pets’ smelly messes with reusable cloths. If this proves too much of a challenge, go for biodegradable bags or reuse plastic bags that find their way into your home when grocery shopping. Also, don’t forget to use non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaners in the wake of pet accidents. You can find most of these in your apartment – vinegar, for example, is an excellent solution against bad smells. You can even make your own natural flea repellant at home, with just half a cup of chopped rosemary boiled in four cups of water. After it cooled, strain it and spritz some from a spray bottle to keep your fluffy friends itch-free without worrying about harsh chemicals.

To enjoy all moments care-free with your now eco-friendly pets, consider getting Pet Damage Coverage , which offers you $500 in liability coverage in the event of pet damage to the apartment.

What to look for in a new rental apartment

Renting a new apartment can be a real challenge. Even when you think you’ve found the one, a home packed with hot amenities and with lots of space, located in the part of town that best suits your needs, you might be taken by surprise – and not the pleasant kind. Many apartment renters move in only to discover that “vintage” actually means wobbly locks, leaky faucets, and ceiling stains (or worse). And then there’s not much you can do after you sign the lease.

A smart move would be to perform a thorough inspection of the rental unit before deciding to move in, to make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for, especially since you could be talking some significant bucks when you rent. Increased demand for multi-family housing has pushed rental prices up, with an estimated rent growth of 4.5% in 2015, according to data from Pierce-Eislen. The average effective rent hit $1,478 in 2014 for the Lifestyle segment and $1,016 for the Renters by Necessity segment. Either way, whether you’re a renter-by-choice or a transitional renter, the investment is not negligible, so make sure you get the best bang for your buck.

8 Things to Add To Your First Apartment Inspection Checklist

When you visit a new apartment community, don’t settle for the model unit. Make sure the landlord shows you the actual unit that you’re going to get and pay attention to details such as:

1. Look for signs of air leakage

Inspect windows, doors, ceiling and walls for cracks, holes or any other signs of air leakage. Air infiltration can account for up to 30% or more of your home’s heating and cooling costs, according to the Home Energy Solutions of the Triad institute, and may be the cause of other problems such as dust, noise and entry of pollutants, insects and rodents. Bad windows, for example, leak heat in winter and let in heat during the summer months, which translates into higher utility bills. Ideally, your new rental will feature triple-glazed, low-E windows, but if that’s not the case, you really just want to make sure they are in working order, sealed, and not more than 10 years old.

2. Detect and prevent mold

Look for signs of leaking water or water damage in the walls, check pipes and fittings, and make sure you look under sinks, dishwashers, or anywhere there’s a water supply or drain. Apart from being an obvious aesthetic nuisance, the presence of excessive moisture indoors facilitates the appearance of mold which can be a real threat to your family’s health.

3. Make sure all home appliances are functional

Check all kitchen and bathroom fixtures (AC, gas, electricity, fridge, showers, smoke detectors, etc.) to make sure they’re completely operational. Also, flush toilets and check for hot water. As trivial as it may seem, there is nothing worse than turning on the water tap for the first time in your brand new rental home and being caught off-guard by barely-dripping brown water while the toilet floods.

4. Identify electrical outlets

Make sure there are enough electrical outlets to support all your appliances and electrical equipment (including bathroom outlets for your hair-care appliances).

5. Beware of unwanted visitors

Explicitly look for signs of rodents, vermin, or insects. Apartment units that are not well maintained tend to draw unexpected guests.

6. Visually check the heating system

Pay extra care to the water heater and furnace and make sure they are free of rust. If their surfaces are chipped or you see debris nearby, these might be signs of leaks – and these leaks could possibly indicate carbon monoxide problems.

7. Is your new home safe from hazardous materials?

Asbestos and other hazardous substances may be present in homes – particularly older structures, built in the 1980s or before – and can cause serious health problems if inhaled. You can check yourself periodically for tears, abrasions, and water damage and take action if the need arises. But the wise thing to do is have your new rental house inspected by a professional hygiene firm and make sure you’re not at risk before moving in.  For detailed info on toxic chemicals and how to spot any signs of their presence go to epa.gov.

8. Get peace of mind with renters insurance

Get renters insurance! Seriously! It costs as little as 43 cents/day but protects you against personal property loss in case of a wide array of mishaps including fire, smoke, theft, windstorm, and lightning. It usually covers all your personal belongings such as furniture, clothing, electronic equipment, jewelry – even your bike and flat screen TV.

Additionally, you might want to take pictures of the rental apartment or house the day you move in and keep them as proof, just in case. You can include that day’s newspaper in the photo as well to verify the date of the picture.

What other problems have you encountered when checking out rental units? Have you dodged any bullets before moving in?

Amalia Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé, an apartment search website that allows renters to look for thousands of listings across the country.

Be a successful renter (not just a renter)

We live in the era when mortgage payments are replaced by rent checks. Millennials don’t seem to buy into the trend of buying a house. The Census Bureau recently reported that homeownership of Americans ages 25 to 34 has declined nearly 8 percent since 2006. Even though, at a first sight, this victory of renting over owning an apartment seems to be related to money and the recovering economy, there might be other reasons behind the trend.

  • Multitude of Amenities

The new apartment communities offer free amenities that would be costly for homeowners. Think of the gyms and movie screening rooms, of the concierge service and electric car charging ports, of the all-areas cell phone reception (including the underground garage) – a necessity to Millennials who don’t rely as much on landlines anymore.

  • A deeper Sense of Community

Millennials are drawn to the community and shared spaces in apartment buildings. With limited budgets in urban areas and in places where studio apartments can be smaller than 400 square feet, the young renters enjoy common kitchens and coffee bars, the libraries and recreation rooms.

  • Flexibility

A single-family home is a path to putting an end to noisy neighbors on the other side of the wall or ceiling; renting enables the possibility to leave behind troublesome places.

  • Less Debt

Probably the most obvious reason millennials choose renting over owning is the crippling debt many are burdened with in their early 20s. According to the Institute for College Access & Success, 7 in 10 college students who graduated in 2013 have student loan debt. The average amount is a staggering $29,400, and this is just the average, many others graduate even deeper in the hole. Furthermore, the amount of student loan debt has increased an average of 6 percent per year since 2008, and by the look of the figures, there isn’t a sign of the trend stopping anytime soon.

Renting is a difficult dance, but once you know the steps, the movement feels much fluent. Here are the fundamental steps, you can improvise around them:

  • Read the Lease

Read carefully because skimming through the contract won’t be enough. The form may appear to be standard, but you never know what has been added or removed unless you read every word. Do not assume the meaning of unclear terminology; get clarification before you give your signature. If you feel that there are things that should be included, but aren’t, don’t be scared and ask for it to be added. Think about the headaches you can avoid later by investing a bit more time now.

  • Take Photos

Usually the renter gives you a tour of the property and most of the renters are satisfied with that. Be smart and besides noting anything amiss on your lease, take dated photos. This is a smart move not only for the moving day, but for later in the lease as well: maintenance problem – photos, infestation – photos, etc. A visual note of your time in the rented apartment is more than a memory, is a proof.

  • Write it down

Besides the lease you might have to deal with other people than your landlord. If you have an agreement with a roommate or a sublease tenant write it down and have it dated and signed by both parties.

  • Personalize the Space – with Permission

Don’t get stuck thinking that a rental is temporary; you live there, so express your design vision. Waiting for that mythical day when you can really decorate will only kill the joy out of your present day. Time spent personalizing any home is not time wasted because it will make you happier every day.

  • Don’t Hold on, Move on

Remember the greatest advantage of renting: flexibility. Moving is not the most exciting adventure, but neither is living in a rental that’s not the right one for you. Whatever reason you have that’s making you want to leave, leave, move on.

  • Renter’s Insurance

As homeowner, you’d pay religiously your home insurance because you know the much needed benefits it brings with it. The renter status doesn’t mean that you have to live in fear that your belongings could be destroyed or that you might be held liable for mishaps taking place on your perimeter (people getting injured or Fido not being friendly); of course, this means that the renter status is not absolved from insurance, the good part is that renter’s insurance is far from being expensive. Take a look at Resident Shield’s offer, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Spring allergies – if you can’t treat them, cheat them

Soon the cold weather will be just a memory; soon the trees will start blooming and we’ll smile again looking at all the rainbow-like colors of spring flowers. Unfortunately, others will smile less. With the blooming of the trees will make its way into the atmosphere the pollen and a big part of the population will begin their annual ritual of sniffling, sneezing, and itching.

Spring debuts with trees pollen, followed by grass pollen. The air outside becomes filled with tiny particles which, when enter the nose of someone who’s allergic, they send the immune system into overdrive. At that point the immune system releases antibodies (substances that normally detect and attack bacteria, viruses, and other illness-causing organisms) and they attack the allergens. This attack leads to the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood – the histamines are the reason for the runny nose, itchy eyes, and all the other unpleasant allergy symptoms.

Around 35 million Americans fall prey each year to seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever.

Unfortunately, once diagnosed with this health problem, you will find out that there is no magical cure for it and that you’ll be stuck with it for the rest of your life. However, there are a number of ways to fight these spring allergies, from medication to lifestyle habits.

  • An easy way to get through the season is to medicate well. You might be familiar with Allegra, Zyrtex, and Claratin. I, for one, start and end my day with Avamys nasal spray and, throughout the peak of the allergy seasons, combine it with antihistaminic pills. Talk to your doctor as different products work for different people; also, you can ask the pharmacist which related brands are also effective – perhaps you can save some money while getting relief.
  • Try to remain indoors when the pollen count is sky-high – pollen counts usually peak in the morning hours.
  • Try to keep your windows and doors closed whenever possible during the spring months to keep allergens out – perhaps invest in an air purifier.
  • Wipe off pets when they come indoors and don’t let them sleep in your bed as they can transfer pollen there.
  • Take a shower and wash your hair after you’ve been outside so you don’t bring the pollen inside with you.
  • Vacuum twice a week and wear a mask while doing so because this activity can kick up pollen, mold, and dust that were trapped into your carpet.

While you take care of your seasonal allergies, remember to also check your renter’s insurance contract. Prevention is always preferred over treatment, right?

The essential senior renter checklist

America’s apartment market is seeing an influx of senior renters, who are choosing to leave their oversized, suburban homes behind, in favor of amenity-rich apartment communities. But however active seniors are, there are key factors you need to consider when renting an apartment, especially if you choose a non-age restricted community.

 

  • With over 200,000 accidents registered every year, most of them involving senior citizens, bathrooms are decidedly the most dangerous part of every home. When taking your walk-through in a potential new apartment, thoroughly check over the bathroom. ADA-compliant showers are definitely a something to look for – having a shower seat or bench gives you more comfort and security and the lack of a threshold makes getting in and out significantly safer. Also check if showerheads or mobile, or if you can easily install one.
  •  If the unit (also) has a bathtub, measure if there’s enough space to make use of a transfer bench to safely get in and out of the bathtub.
  • If you’re looking at an apartment outside of a senior housing development, chances are your bathroom won’t have any grab bars. Ask if you can install one (without losing your deposit).
  • Check if floors are non-slip. This applies for the entire house, not just the bathroom. Kitchen floor tiles or a highly polished hardwood floors can be hazardous.
  • Other features to look out for in a kitchen are lever-handle faucets and drawer-style storage and drawer style appliances (such as dishwashers).
  • Hallways should be a minimum of 36 inches wide to be accessible. It’s also recommended that they are well-lit. Adequate lighting decreases the chance of accidents, especially during the night. Motion-controlled light switches are ideal.
  • Light switches should also be in the 44 to 48 inch height range to be easily accessible from a seated position.
  • An accessible apartment should have doors with a minimum clear width of 32 inches.
  • Try looking for an apartment on the first floor or look for an apartment community with elevators. In case you’re looking to rent a townhome, orient yourself towards a home with a first-floor bedroom for minimum mobility challenges.
  • Even if your community doesn’t require renter’s insurance, do get a policy. For as little as 50 cents a day you can insure all your possessions against theft, vandalism, fire, windstorms, accidental injuries of guests at your residence, even additional living expenses, should you be forced to temporarily move out of your home as a result of a covered loss.

Decorating tips for your apartment patio

Most renters, and even some homeowners, dream of the wrap-around porches and spacious lawns of our grandparents. Today, conjested metro areas and ever-rising building and land costs make outdoor space much reduced.

Transforming a small patio or balcony area can be a fun activity

Picture by Amelia Shay

and as challenging as dealing with a large porch. Smaller spaces can be wonderful for private reflection or more intimate gatherings, and of course, the smaller the space, the smaller the investment.

Decide on the purpose of your space

In small spaces it is essential that you limit the purpose of your space to reflect the aspect most important to you. It can be a private retreat or a room for the kids to play; you can use the small patio for entertaining or lounging, or perhaps you with to use it as dining area.

Furnishings

Before you buy that majestic armchair, make sure it will actually fit on your balcony or patio. Furnishings that are large or overstuffed will rapidly devour a small space. Better search for furniture without arms with simple lines and low backs. For additional seating consider benches as you can use them along one or more sides of your patio.

Be clever and choose furnishings that can serve a double purpose: ottomans can also be used as storage or cocktail tables. Furthermore, furnishings that folds works very well in small spaces as you can put it away when not in use. There are those pieces of furniture that tend to “disappear”: acrylic or glass tables and thin-line metal chairs occupy less of the visual space.

Know your green friends

Container gardens give wonderful accents to any space, regardless if it’s small or spacious, indoor or outdoor. Moreover, they can enhance privacy and shade. But to get to that level, you need to know your plants. The cute little trailing plant in the store might not be so little on your small balcony.

Opt for plants that will add color, texture and height, not bulk to your small patio. Plants with beautiful scents are also a wonderful addition to any outdoor area, but avoid those with extremely strong aromas.

Balcony Image Via Pinterest

Balcony Image Via Pinterest

Décor pieces

Follow the ‘Less is more’ rule here. A large pot (with or without flowers in it) will have a greater impact that several smaller one. Actually, the smaller one might give that cluttered feeling. The interior rules apply here as well: diffuse, natural light, as well as light colors, will open up the space and make it feel larger. If your balcony is shady, consider adding string lights or other electrical lighting. Use dark colors only as accents, otherwise stick with light colors or neutrals in furnishings.

You can opt to hang prints on your patio’s walls, but do so sparingly. Or choose stripes as they can be used to create the illusion of height or length.

Last, but not least, you can add audio effects to your small patio. A tiny water feature or wind chimes will mask, to some degree, unappealing background noises like neighbors or traffic.

Swinging into spring

I know that in some parts of the country winter is still floating in the air, making it hard to believe that spring is just around the corner. But spring is about to sprung, just as it did every year until now. Where does your mind fly when you think ‘spring’?

OUTDOOR

My focus lands on the terrace; I am determined to get outside as quickly as the weather will welcome me. This means a touch-up of the whole space – furniture and plants alike. Clean, reorganize, revitalize.

For a little while now I’ve been fantasizing about the right sized hanging bed or swing, to add one to the side of the front porch. Perfect for relaxing with a good book or even as an outdoor movie seating area.

The existing set of chairs, bench, and table will benefit from a fresh lacquer finish, as the weather’s caprices left minor marks here and there. We’ve been discussing bringing in a tool cabinet that might just make everything more organized, while the new hanging bed/sofa will add more room dedicated to relaxation.

The plants living outdoor are in need of seasonal preparations. So sharpen your tools and start cleaning your garden – get rid of weeds, rocks, and any debris that made its way in during the winter.

Next, till your soil. Depending on the size of your garden, you can do it by hand or you can find help at the home improvement store. Then mix compost materials with soil and let the mixture settle for about three weeks before you dump in onto your garden.

For your indoor plants this is the beginning of the season when you can take them out to play. A ladder rack doesn’t take up on too much space, it looks good to have all your indoor plants grouped, and it’s really practical.

INDOOR

Not everyone’s favorite spring activity, but it sure is rewarding once it’s over. To make the redecorating process a whole lot easier, a thorough clean-up is necessary. Start de-cluttering your apartment, remove all unused/unneeded stuff that might stand in your way, and surprise your family and friends with a refreshed living space.

Take rooms one by one and replace the heavy winter style with the fresh, airy style of spring. Switch the cold season throw pillows and blankets with lighter ones, reposition the lamps and replace the winter themed candles and Christmas décor pieces with flowers and sunshine.

Treat your bedroom royally and invest in high-quality bed linen. Keep the décor in a minimalist scheme, it will give your bedroom a chic, elegant air; if you wish to add some dramatic effects, play with the bedside lights, lights are always a welcome addition to any space.

Walls, even though seem like the most daunting part to deal with while living in a rental, can be a fun part to decorate. If your landlord doesn’t allow you to repaint them or partitions of them, you can experiment with wall art or wall decals instead. An even simpler option is experiment with photo frames: it’s inexpensive, mobile, and good for the heart.

Shield against misfortunes. Spring is also a bright time to review and renew contracts, such as your renter’s insurance. Take all the little steps to make sure that you have everything you need to sit relaxed on your redecorated terrace/patio/balcony and enjoy the sunlight.

How to throw the perfect St. Patrick’s Day party

Everybody loves a good Saint Patrick’s Day celebration, regardless of their Irish decent or not –although after a few green-tinted beers, many a reveler suddenly “remembers” a great-great- grandfather from across the pond. There are many elements that go into throwing a great party, especially a theme party. To help host a truly memorable Saint Patty’s  Day, we have a few tips for you.

  • One of the most essential parts of Paddy’s Day is the “wearing of the green,” which refers to the custom of wearing shamrocks and/or green clothing and accessories on March 17th. Ask you guests to wear head-to-toe green. This means that even the laziest guest will at least wear a green t-shirt or scarf. Just to have all your bases covered, head over to your local costume shop by March 10th at the latest, and pick up some green accessories such as top hats, scarves, and even some green feathery boas and wigs, just to give it to party some sass. Place these by the entrance and ask everybody who hasn’t arrived in full St. Patty’s regalia to wear an item.
  • Wearing the green should extend to your home as well. Green throw pillows, rugs, table cloths, plates and cups with shamrock motives, green candles, green and shamrock-shaped balloons, green light bulbs, garlands, silly-string, shamrock decals on your windows and walls should be front and center. Don’t forget to put out green towels and soap in the bathroom. Kudos if you can get your hands on some green toilet paper as well. Hey, you might as well go all out!
  • Speaking of going all out, your food should definitely fit the atmosphere as well.  Safe food coloring is widely available, so getting your hands on edible green food dye should be not problem. Serve green cookies, cakes, sweets and treats or if you have a bit more time on your hands considering making rainbow cakes and cookies. If you’re Paddy’s day celebrations include dinner, go all out and cook Irish-inspired or traditional Irish foods such as Guinness Braided Brisket, Sheppard’s Pie, Potato-Leek Soup, Bailey’s Coffee Truffles, etc. The web is chock-full of mouthwatering recipes.
  • Of course, no St. Patrick’s Day party would be complete with spirits. Even Lenten restrictions are lifted on this day, so you’d better stock up your liqueur cabinet. Green beer, original Irish beers and Irish whiskeys are a must, but there’s plenty of other option out there. Would you fancy a Spicy Clover, a Shamrock-arita or a Pot of Gold?
  • Compile a playlist of true Irish music. Be sure to have a few slow ones, including some beautiful Irish love songs, and plenty of Irish jigs and true Irish pub music to complete your Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations. If you’re more of a rock fan, there plenty of Irish songs with a rock twist out there.
  • Although everybody’s hoping to get a bit of the old Irish luck on their side, especially on this quintessentially Irish holiday, you never know when a leprechaun or a naughty fairy will play a trick on you or your guests. Be sure that your renters insurance is up to date and covers events that include, fire, theft, vandalism and personal liability, like Resident Shield does.
  • Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

 

Dog walking tips for renters

You’ve just moved out from your parents’ house in the ‘burbs into your very own city apartment and you’re loving it. The only thing you truly miss is the family pooch. Since you know your folks will never let you move Ezra Hound into the city, you decided to adopt a dog. But having a house pet and an apartment pet is not the same thing. For example, your furry best friend can’t get her exercise in the backyard, so you need to get used to regularly walking her.

  1. Always use a leash. No matter how well-trained your furry companion is. No matter how much she hates it in the beginning. Even if local ordinances don’t require it. Even if she’s never aggressive.  You can never know what might scare her into running run off or snapping at someone. Always use a leash. It’s the best way to keep your dog and yourself safe. If you’re afraid of a leash hurting your dog, simply attach it to a harness instead of a collar.
  2. Speaking of leashes, have you heard about The Yellow Dog Project? It’s an international initiative that protects pets, their owners and the general public, by the means of a simple, yellow ribbon tied on a leash. The yellow ribbon (or anything yellow on the leash) signifies that the dog in question needs space and should not be approached.  If you have an easily scared, infirmed, unsocial, elderly or traumatized dog or you simply dislike random people or their pets approaching your fantastic duo, tie something yellow on the leash. Although according to care2 the initiative has made it into at least 45 countries, it’s always a good idea to spread the word. Put up some fliers around your community.
  3. Know your route and keep it varied. Using at least three alternative routes in no particular order keeps the activity interesting for the both of you and prevents unwanted people from predicting your moves. It also allows you to avoid potential puppy hazards such as loud playgrounds or construction sites.
  4. Stay safe.  Don’t walk in poorly lit, dangerous or heavily wooded areas or in the dark hours.  Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t listen to music, talk on the phone or wonder around aimlessly. Trust you instinct. If you feel uneasy somewhere, even if you don’t know why, leave. You might be unconsciously picking up some danger signals. Trust your dog’s instincts. Remember that his senses are superior. There might be smells and sounds he’s registering, but you’re not. If your dog acts uneasy, leave.
  5.  Don’t approach unknown people and their pets. You can’t predict the behavior.
  6. Get renter’s insurance. It covers you in case of theft, fire, windstorm and personal liability, which includes a liability provision for dog bites. You can also opt for Pet Damage Coverage, which has your back in the event of pet damage to the apartment.