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One of my colleagues was renting a house when it was broken into on Christmas Eve while she was visiting her parents out of state. The experience was mentally and financially catastrophic, and the culprit turned out to be the neighbor’s adult son who was staying with his parents. Ensuring community security can be difficult when your residents’ guests and family arrive over the holidays. From a college student staying for a few months with their parents to family friends and relatives visiting for a week or two, knowing who your residents are bringing in and for how long are vital when maintaining safety. By doing these two steps, you can begin to patch up your security’s everyday holes, and make the holidays a little bit safer.
- Analyze your Own Security Measures
First and foremost, examine how your community is set up and how you currently protect your property. Are the entrances and exits gated? Is there a gate or wall surrounding the property? How do your residents access their units and your amenities: with keys, keypads, or key fobs? Consider what measures your renters’ guests currently have to take and keep in mind your community’s policy on long-term guests.
Additionally, if your property doesn’t already have a policy in place, you should think about long-term guests who should be on the lease, like sick or elderly parents that move in suddenly or college students on winter and summer break. As long as the new resident doesn’t break any maximum occupancy rules, in these two cases you should consider talking to your renters about adding them to the lease. This way, not only do you know who is entering and exiting your community, but you are not liable if the new resident becomes sick or hurt on your property.
- Create Holiday Security Measures
Alongside staying on top of your current security measures, and enforcing your security policies, there are a few other ways you can make sure your community is safe during the busy holiday season. Before Thanksgiving, send out a reminder to your residents of your community policy. Like the examples above, show how adding your renter’s parents or college students to the lease can benefit them. Additionally, if you enforce guest sign-ins, then you should remind them of that as well. If your renters are planning to go out of town, encourage them to inform the onsite manager so to be on the lookout for intruders while they are away. By adding identity theft coverage to your amenities (and gaining your property additional revenue), you can show your residents and applicants that your community considers physical and financial safety a priority.
For the holiday season, since free parking can be impacted during this time, consider issuing guest parking permits as an incentive to sign-in. Dedicate parking spots to signed-in guests to ensure you know who is on your property. If you are planning on holding a resident event, invite your renters to bring their guests (so long as they are signed in) to make your residents want to follow the guidelines. Finally, as an extra security measure, consider installing security cameras at the entrances and exits of your community.
A big part of keeping your property safe and your residents happy is to incentivize short-term and long-term guest sign-ins. While every community is different, and has different security systems in place, by analyzing your property’s security strengths and weaknesses, you can come up with a game plan to help minimize potential risks. Although the holiday season might be a little crazy, by maintaining your community safety you can reduce some unneeded stress and promote some safe, holiday fun.
How does your community maintain its security during major holidays? Let us know in the comment’s section below & be sure to subscribe!
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