Who Goes There? The Importance of Front Line Security

While crime rates are steadily decreasing nationwide, multi-unit dwellings are often more difficult to “police” due to the sheer numbers of residents, visitors, delivery personnel and third party workers such as contractors constantly coming and going. As a result, determining how and when a person accesses a building or individual unit becomes a top priority for board members and management companies.

“Florida Condominium Law: Chapter 718.111(5) states that the association has the irrevocable right of access to each unit during reasonable hours, when necessary for the maintenance, repair or replacement of any common elements or of any portion of a unit to be maintained by the association pursuant to the declaration or as necessary to prevent damage to the common elements or to a unit or units,” explains James W. Govin, an attorney with the Fort Lauderdale-based law firm of Saavedra Goodwin.

For many boards and property managers, the real concern centers on property access when the issue isn’t maintenance repair or emergency such as a busted pipe that is flooding adjacent units. To this end, security, as it pertains to doorman and surveillance, comes into play.

“The condition of the property often reflects the security of the property,” says J.R. Roberts, a security risk management expert who has lectured on security nationally for trade associations, property management firms and Fortune 1,000 corporations. “Boards and property managers have to be aware of environmental signs and always have a line of site when it comes to surveillance.”

Who Should Get In?

In South Florida, properties can range from high-rise urban buildings to spread-out suburban condominiums bordering a golf course. As a result ensuring the validity of 'approved' visitors can become a gray issue, especially if the party in question is a non-frequent visitor.

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