Crime Prevention Tips for HOA Boards
Thefts, vandalism, and other crimes happen in many communities across the world but homeowners should not have to live in fear in their own neighborhoods. One of the benefits of living in a community governed by an HOA board is the feeling that you are coming home to a safe environment daily. As a leading Tampa HOA management company, we know that a good HOA board’s first priority will be to foster an environment of safety. Associations can reduce crime in their communities with the tips we will provide in this article.
KNOW YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
Many people automatically assume the HOA board is responsible for providing security for the neighborhood and will call the board whenever a crime has been committed. However, the level of security the board is responsible for is determined by your association’s governing documents. The key is to provide the level of security you are obligated to provide and to avoid using language such as “security, safety, and protection” which may give off the wrong impression to residents. When you promise to go above and beyond what you are obligated to do, you open yourself up to legal liabilities.
GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS
RThe number of people who do not know their neighbors nor desire to get to know them is shocking. Neighbors can be each other’s biggest ally against crimes. You can create a list with everyone’s contact information so that it is easy to notify someone of any problems. Neighbors can also arrange to have someone monitor their home and collect their mail while they are away. This requires a high level of trust which can be built over time through networking with one another.
KEEP THE COMMUNITY CLEAN
When you keep the community clean, it shows that you care about the neighborhood and are attentive to every aspect of the community. This can help deter offenders from targeting the neighborhood. This also includes tidying up landscaping. Unkempt landscaping gives perpetrators a good place to hide. Trim overgrown hedges and trees, plant thorny shrubs, and flatten berms.
LIGHTS AND LOCKS
There should always be adequate street lighting in the community. However, HOA boards can communicate the importance of leaving porch lights on at night. Leaving lights on in the home when you are away from your home, especially during out of town trips it vital. No matter how safe the community may seem, never take anything for granted. If you live in a gated community, use the front gates for what they are purposed for. Some communities make it a habit of leaving gates open when they should remain closed. Residents should also be mindful of locking up their home windows, doors, cars, and garages.
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