In today’s litigious world, one has to be able to protect their property and good name, as well as being proactive in doing so. With insurance prices skyrocketing, our systems are not only necessary for your security but to protect you from frivolous lawsuits, increased premiums, and other unexpected expenses. In most cases, our units help give our clients an insurance deduction with their existing carrier, with the added benefits of saving both time and money on any investigation.
Some of the property areas that apartment complexes are using our systems for are their swimming pools (to ensure people are not using them after hours), gym or workout rooms (to make sure equipment is not being used in an unsafe manner and is not being utilized during closed times). Also, vehicle entry gates are often monitored with our systems, as accidents can easily occur there. Finally, rooftops are always a concern for property owners. While they are usually off limits, tenants still seem to gravitate there on holidays, warm days just to catch some sun, or whenever they want to take in an unobstructed view of their local area or the stars. This is certainly not an all-inclusive list, but rather examples of frequently overlooked locations by other security companies. We are experts at protecting properties, and know where to place our cameras and other equipment to give you maximum benefits and coverage.
Our construction clients are using Guardian Integrated Security systems to ensure all OSHA regulations are adhered to. They help make sure PPE policy is being enforced, on-site driving safety policies are in effect, and that employees are utilizing safe work practices, for example.
All the above situations – along with many others our clients have thought of – will give you peace of mind from knowing that you have some control over your policies and procedures being adhered to, and that if something does happen, you will have the tools to help you figure out why and how it happened.
Being proactive about protecting your property also protects your business interests, and will save you money, potentially legal issues, and almost certainly some sleepless nights
Global Director of Operations
How to Maximize Security at Your Rental Property or Community – Part 1: Where To Start
While most people look for certain amenities when considering which apartment communities or housing rentals interest them, those who have already chosen to call such properties home truly are the heart of rentals. And just as homeowners are comforted by the idea of security and have a realistic belief that their premises are safe, renters want to feel the same way.
Property managers or owners have the duty and responsibility to provide security measures designed to guard residents from threats like trespassers or loiterers, apartment or vehicle break-ins, and theft or assault.
The best way to attract and keep great tenants, as well as protect the business interests of having housing for rent, is to offer a place where everyone feels safe. Now is the time to elevate the security there, and the capabilities and professionalism of the security system, monitoring service, and guards that keep watch over not only your property, but also those who have chosen to call it “home”.
Where to Start
The easiest and fastest way to get started on your mission to provide a safe place for your renters is to complete any needed repairs to all apartments (especially doors, windows, outside stairs, and the like), clean community and common areas, ensure all outside lighting is in good working order and provides sufficient brightness, check all gates and locking mechanisms for proper operation, handle maintenance requests in a timely fashion, and other similar projects that may be unique to your property (depending on layout, amenities, etc). Other than your security system (which will be addressed later in this article), in many situations, your staff may be the first line of defense as they go about their normal responsibilities at work. For this reason, providing them with some information on what to look for may enable them to help prevent criminal activity or alleviate an issue detrimental to the community’s safety. Orlando Police Department Officer Derwin Bradley said, “Train your employees how to spot crime and report crime. They should be looking out for people who don’t belong in the community, and making sure the people who do live there are following the rules.”
You can, and should, manage and correct anything in disrepair or disarray in the apartment community. These variables have an impact on security, and unlike many others that also do, are completely within your control. If you project the image that your property is well taken care of, according to the “broken windows theory”, you are not contributing to having an environment where crime can thrive. For example, in addition to fixing literally broken windows, you should regularly remove trash and signs of vandalism, and tend to the upkeep on decorative and functional items around the grounds, including the parking lot. Paying attention to these things and caring for the apartment community or building helps to prevent crime and other security concerns, and it also makes a great impression (on both current tenants and prospective renters, but also your insurance provider).
In individual units, as well as the previously mentioned repairs and timely completion of requests for them, maintenance checks on doors and window locks should be completed. Door viewers that provide a 180-degree field will help occupants feel safer when they hear someone knocking. It’s also a good idea to inspire tenants to meet each other, which can be done through regularly scheduled community-wide events like a barbeque by the pool, mixer held in the lobby or other spot fit for gathering, or movie night. The options are endless! Hopefully, meeting leads to them getting to know each other. It would foster more confidence and comfort in your residents, plus if they know each other and become familiar, they are more apt to look out for their neighbors and detect potential security concerns (such as unusual activity, trespassers, and loiterers). Safety and being aware of what goes on at the property is everyone’s responsibility. Officer Bradley concurs, having stated, “You need active participation with your residents. The more you engage your residents, and remind them it’s part of their responsibility to keep an eye on things, the better and safer your community will be.”
While we know our integrated security solutions offer the best protection for your apartment community or housing rental property, when they are used in conjunction with the above, your residents will feel even safer and more secure. Be sure to catch our future newsletters for more information on this topic!
Top 3 Findings of NAA’s Survey on Rental Housing Industry Insurance Premium Increases
In June 2021, the National Apartment Association (NAA) made public the results of a survey conducted in conjunction with other industry organizations. Throughout America, providers of rental housing units have endured higher premiums while still reeling from losses due to the financial dilemmas unleashed on renters – and, therefore, their ability to pay rent for months – during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The study “outlines the magnitude, rationale, and effects of insurance premium increases for the rental housing industry”, per NAA’s website. Specifically, the 174 respondents were asked to reference the rate increases on their 2020 and 2021 policy renewals when answering the survey questions. In total, these participants operate about 2.6 million housing units located in the United States. Below, we have shared (verbatim) the 3 key findings, as found on the National Apartment Association website.
1. Magnitude of Premium Increases: Housing providers are experiencing higher premiums across multiple lines of insurance. For general umbrella/excess liability insurance, 60% of survey respondents reported increases greater than 15%. One in 10 witnessed their premiums double or more than double.
2. Rationale for Increased Premiums: Limited markets is one of the most common reasons for increased insurance premiums for both conventional and affordable housing. However, housing providers with policies covering affordable housing units more frequently identified renter population and risk characteristics such as crime statistics as drivers of increased premiums.
3. Impact of Increased Premiums: Higher premiums impact housing providers and, subsequently, renters. Most housing providers indicated that they would take action to mitigate cost increases due to higher insurance premiums, the most common of which was increasing insurance deductibles, with 77% of respondents citing it. Roughly half of respondents said they would both decrease operating expenses and increase rent.