Bedroom Ransacked During Burglary

Pixaby CC0 Creative Commons Fotograf: highwaystarz #195993453

How safe is Berlin? Tenants, who move here from home or abroad, often ask this question. The answer is not so clear.

In comparison to other major cities, Berlin is relatively safe. The probability of being attacked on the street or being the victim of a serious crime is low.

However, in terms of thefts, things look very different. Caution should always be taken in Berlin. Pickpockets, bicycle theft, and burglaries are the most common offences.

Fortunately, the number of thefts is declining. One of the reasons for this is that apartments are becoming increasingly well protected against burglary. Even so, tenants who rent temporary apartments should also take time to deal with this issue.  From experience, burglars who successfully gain entry to the apartment do not steal bulky items, such as furniture or televisions; rather they go for smaller items such as smartphones, tablets, ID cars, and money. Unfortunately, if these types of items are stolen, no insurance company in Germany compensates for this. Even the property insurance of the Landlord will not help.

For tenants coming from abroad, it may be useful to check whether there is insurance in their home country that covers against theft in furnished apartments. However, there is no need for fear and panic. So far there have been only been a handful of burglaries in furnished apartments mediated by us in Berlin. An overview of burglary statistics in the various districts in Berlin can be found here.

It is worthwhile for tenants of a temporary apartment to inform themselves on the issue at an early stage and to protect against burglary.

 

Read our three tips here:

 

1) Always double lock your temporary apartment.

With a furnished apartment that you have rented temporarily, it is always best to use a double lock. While it is true that thieves can theoretically crack any door, they generally don’t have the motivation.  If they do not succeed to break open the door in a couple of minutes, they will just move on to the next apartment.

You should also lock your door even if you only leave your place for a few minutes, especially during the day. Many burglaries take place during the day when the residents are working.

If you don’t lock your apartment properly and a burglary takes place, insurance companies regard this as gross negligence. The resulting damage, e.g. to the front door, could then be charged directly to you.

 

2) Always close windows and doors.

Watch out for tilted windows, skylights, open balconies, and patio doors. This rule applies especially to apartments on the ground and mezzanine floor. However, it is also applicable to all other apartments where windows and balconies are easily accessible; some thieves even come over rooftops. Even if you only have to go shopping for a few minutes you should not forget this. Burglars can easily open tilted windows and get into the apartment. You should also use the lock on the windows if they are equipped with this function.

 

3) Prevention:

You should regularly back up data.

It is annoying if your laptop is stolen. However the device is replaceable, the data is not. Therefore, it makes sense to back up your data on an external device, or cloud regularly. In the worst case scenario, your laptop is gone, but not the data.

 

What we recommend to tenants of temporary furnished apartments in Berlin:

  • Always double lock your apartment. – Even if you are just going to get bread rolls.
  • The same applies for windows: avoid leaving them in a tilted position.
  • Do not keep cash in your apartment.
  • Secure your laptop with a complicated password and back up your data regularly to an external hard drive.