How to Know If Someone Entered My Apartment?

If you have a strong suspicion that someone entered your apartment, look out for broken windows, disordered furniture, or the disappearance of valuables. 

15 Signs That Someone Entered Your Apartment Without Your Permission

Here are fifteen signs that someone has been in your apartment without permission:

1. Clothes Are Strewn About

If you notice that your clothes are out of place, it could be a sign that someone entered your apartment.

This is because burglars usually take the time to put all of the clothing back in place when they break into an apartment.

Burglars do this because they want to make it appear as though no one was ever there.

If you notice something is wrong with your clothing, check to see if anything is missing from your closet or dresser drawers.

If something is missing and you do not recall removing it yourself, then chances are someone broke into your apartment while you were away and stole some items from your closet or dresser drawers.

2. A Loose Door Knob

A loose doorknob is one of the most common signs that someone has broken into your apartment. 

This happens when intruders force open doors and windows without taking the time to lock them behind them.

If a door or window is open, check if any screws are missing around the handle. If so, this could mean someone forced their way into your apartment.

You should also look for marks on the door frame where an intruder may have kicked it to gain access.

3. Lights Are On

If an intruder enters your apartment or business after dark, they may turn on some lights as they move through the space.

This could be anything from a single lamp to an entire bank of overhead lights — depending on how quickly they want to get out of there.

In either case, most people will instinctively reach for these lights because they are used to having them on when they enter a room.

4. Missing Items

If you have been missing a few things from your apartment, it could be that a burglar has broken in.

However, it is important to first rule out other possibilities and ensure that the items are missing and not just misplaced.

For example, imagine you are unable to find a pair of earrings that were very expensive. 

You may first want to check with friends and family members who may have borrowed them or taken them by accident.

You should also check your closet and drawers for possible locations where the earrings may have been placed.

If you still cannot find the earrings or any other items missing, then it is possible that someone did break into your apartment while you were away and stole them.

5. Unexplained Smears on Glass Surfaces

Another thing to look for is unexplained smears on glass surfaces. In other words, if the windows and mirrors in your apartment have smudges, it could mean someone has been inside your apartment.

In addition, fingerprints on the glass surfaces can also be a sign that someone has been inside your apartment.

If you find any of these signs in your apartment, it is better to check the rest of your apartment for any other clues.

6. Strange Smell

One way to tell if someone has been in your apartment is by the smell. If there is a strange smell in your apartment, it could mean that someone has been there and left something behind.

You may notice this smell when you enter your apartment or go into another room.

This smell can be challenging to identify, but it usually has a distinct odor that cannot be confused with anything else.

7. Tools Lying Around the Apartment

If you suspect someone has been in your apartment without permission, look for tools lying about.

This will indicate that someone has been snooping around or even entered it without permission.

These tools include screwdrivers, crowbars, pry bars, and other tools needed for a burglar to get into your apartment.

8. New Marks on Your Carpet or Tiles

If there are new marks on your carpet or tiles, something was moved recently.

For example, if someone moved a table or chair recently and left new marks on the carpeting, they have been in your apartment.

This could be important if they were trying to hide something by moving furniture around or trying to break into your apartment unnoticed.

9. Broken Windows

If you notice a broken window, that might be an indication that someone broke in. If it is a small, clean hole, there is no need to panic.

A bird or other creature may have flown into the window and caused the damage. But if you see large shards of glass or a piece of jagged metal sticking out from the frame, this is cause for concern.

10. Curtains Are Draped Differently Than You Left Them

It is not the most comforting thought, but it is possible that if you were away from your apartment for a long time and someone entered it, they may have opened the curtains.

This is less of a concern if the apartment is small or if there is just one easy-access window. 

But it is easy to tell if someone has been snooping around if you have left the window coverings in your typical fashion and then the layout changed.

Maybe they were careful, or maybe they did not take anything. But now you know that at least someone went through your personal stuff while you were away.

11. Loose Grates on Vents

Another way someone could improperly enter your apartment is through one of the few ways that cannot be locked: air vents.

When you are not at the apartment, someone can crawl through a vent and into your apartment. 

This can happen because of loose grates on certain vents or an ongoing issue with the ventilation system in your apartment building.

It is not a great situation to think about. However, if someone was in your apartment without your permission, it helps to know that it was probably via an easily fixable problem.

If you look closely at the grates on your air vents, you might also notice that something is off.

That is because some people use a unique tool to pry them off to crawl through the ductwork and get into their target’s apartment. Unfortunately, it is very easy for them to do this.

All they need is a screwdriver to remove the screws on the grate, and they can be in your apartment in no time.

You can prevent this in the future by ensuring that all of the screws holding your grates are secured tightly. This way, no one can open them up quickly, and your valuables will be safe.

12. TV Turned On with High Volume

This is a classic sign that someone has been in your apartment while you were away. It is also one of the most effective methods of determining whether or not this has happened recently.

If you hear the TV on and it sounds like it is blasting at full volume, there is a good chance that someone has entered your apartment while you are away.

Turning on the TV helps mask any sounds they make while they are in the process of sneaking out.

13. Toilet Seat Was Left Up

This is one of the most common signs that someone has been in your apartment. The toilet seat is usually left up after a person uses it.

However, if you have been gone for a while and notice that the seat is down, this may be a red flag.

If no one else could have used the bathroom and left it clean, this could mean that someone has been inside your apartment while you were away.

14. Food Has Been Eaten From Your Fridge

It may seem counterintuitive, but one way to tell if someone has entered your apartment is by looking at any food or drinks consumed.

Any food or drink eaten or drunk is evidence that someone has been in your apartment —not just you.

The only way to tell if someone entered your apartment and consumed food or drinks was if no one else was living with you.

In this case, there would be only one set of plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery used by the person who lives in the apartment.

If the second set of plates is present, you can safely assume that someone else was eating off them.

15. The Mattress Is Slanted

If you suspect someone has been in your apartment, take a gander at your bed. The mattress should be level and flush with the base of the bed frame.

If not, that could signify that something has been moved or slipped between the mattress and the box spring. And if someone has done so, they likely have access to your entire bedroom.

You can also check under your bed for anything that does not belong there. If you have a box spring, lift the bed skirt to see any clues.

You may find a coin or bit of paper with an unfamiliar print. If you do not have a box spring, lift the mattress to check underneath it instead.

Keep a Watchful Eye and Trust Your Instincts

A wide variety of signs could point to a break-in. Fortunately, it is not too difficult to determine if someone entered your apartment. 

While the extent of the crime will likely vary based on the evidence, most signs point to a burglary rather than just a random entry.

If you notice these signs, immediately call the police and discuss your concerns. 

While not all of these signs alone indicate a break-in, keep in mind that they could be combined with others to indicate an illegal entry.

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