Security vs. Privacy Striking the Balance in HOAs

When we step through our front doors and turn the lock behind us, we expect to feel content in the knowledge that we are safe and sound in our home, and the community in which we live. The boards and managers who oversee these communities also are seeking to ensure that safety is a top priority, and that residents do not have to worry about the well-being of themselves, their families or their property.

But where is the line between security...and snooping? Today, a broad range of options exist when it comes to monitoring and securing properties, and it is a field that continues to evolve as new technologies emerge. At times, these technologies may stir up questions regarding privacy, but for many communities, those issues are outweighed by a desire to have as many safeguards as possible in place.

Keeping Safe

The ways in which co-op and condo communities approach security have changed over the years, moving from a reliance on security guards and regular patrols to more automated access control and visual monitoring.

“People were originally satisfied with a rover going around and checking doors and things like that,” says Jonathan Louis, LCAM, CMCA, AMS, president and CEO of American Management Group in Pembroke Pines. “We’ve almost seen an increase in security awareness since the economy crashed in the mid-2000s. There’s more attention to it now. We’re seeing monitoring cameras in garages, parking lots and common areas.”

Attorney Richard DeBoest II, a managing partner with the law firm Goede Adamczyk & DeBoest, PLLC in Naples agrees. “We have seen a big increase in cameras,” he says, particularly ones that are not necessarily monitored on a consistent basis but rather have been put in place as a visual deterrent.

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