Safely choosing a rental home can be tough. I recall my first experience of renting a cottage on a plot of land.
It ticked all the right boxes.
The place was affordable, the people in the main house were nice, there was lots of space and we could even get a dog.
My rookie brain glossed over the obvious signs that we were in the process of making a significant mistake. As the landlord shuffled around the cottage rubbing his hands together, I accepted his assurance that the area was safe.
Confirmation bias ensured that I ignored the alarm system, security gate, previous hacksaw marks on the burglar bars, and my gut-feel about the landlord.
I signed the lease.
The first incident was a burglary when we went on holiday. Our ever-competent South African criminals simply unbolted the badly installed security gate and broke the frame off the door.
Then there was the brutal home invasion that changed my life forever.…