Multifamily apartment owners and property managers have an obligation to provide a safe environment for residents, employees and visitors. This can include property maintenance and crime reduction.
There is a rising tide of criminal activity at multifamily residential communities, mostly in the form of property crime. According to FBI statistics, a property crime is reported every three seconds in the United States. That equates to more than 10 million a year. Property crime includes burglary, motor vehicle theft, aggravated assault and robbery. Neighborhoodscout.com, providers of data about real estate, demographics and crime for neighborhoods across the United States, reports that your chance of becoming a victim of property crime in Pennsylvania is 1 in 57.
What could this mean for property owners and landlords? Lower occupancy rates, damaged reputation, and ultimately, loss of revenue.
Apartment Security Solutions
There are a number of security measures that apartment owners can take to protect their investment. Surveillance cameras are one solution. However, unmonitored cameras can do little to deter a crime, especially when criminals know they aren’t being watched. At best, they can provide video evidence after the fact.
Security guards are a common alternative. Human presence goes a long way in warding off crime, but they aren’t always the best choice. Guards cannot be in multiple locations at the same time. Even if a guard focuses on the most problematic areas, they can still miss something. Hiring a team of guards can get very costly.
Security Guard Liability Problems in the News
On-site security guards can also bring an onslaught of liability issues to your property. An apartment management company and a security guard service in Chicago were charged with nearly 30 lawsuits for excessive force and illegal search and seizures.
According to the news report, the security guards were armed with tasers, hand guns and military-style assault rifles as they patrolled the property with guard dogs. One resident claimed that the excessive force from the security company led to his hospitalization.
The resident said the owner of the security guard company pulled his gun on him and forcefully removed him from the passenger seat of a car. The resident was then handcuffed to a pole and charged at by a guard dog.
To remove accountability from security liability, the multifamily apartment complex would evict residents If they attempted to record the security guards or their activity.
How Can I Protect My Property Without Risking Security Guard Liability?
Live video monitoring is a more effective apartment security solution that utilizes ongoing surveillance without the liability problems of a security guard.
Trained operators remotely watch multiple on-site security cameras simultaneously. Traditional guards are limited in what they can see. Larger properties may be challenging to cover. Remote video monitoring allows our operators to watch areas that may be inaccessible to guards.