Everyone wants to feel secure and have peace of mind when they lock their doors each night, but in a multifamily community, you can’t always control who enters your building. Management may have service people come in, other residents can allow guests, and you might even hold the door for someone you don't personally know.
That’s why an important issue for any multifamily property concerns access. According to Colin Foster, president of Virtual Doorman, to maintain a safe and secure building, administrators must draft and enforce clear rules controlling access to the various parts of their property.
“The building should come up with standard rules and regulations that all residents and employees must follow,” he says. “They should determine what their security risks are and how to address them. They should also run any rule/regulation changes past their lawyer in order to ensure that the rules are able to be enforced and are legal and non-discriminatory.”
The written rules should speak to who can come in, at what time, under what circumstances, and how freely they can move about the building.
“Many people haven’t even addressed this policy and that’s wrong. They need to have a safeguard policy on the books,” says Mark Lerner, Ph.D., the president of EPIC Security Corp, which provides security guards to community associations and HOAs throughout New Jersey. “It should be in the bylaws. All residents need to subscribe to the policy and it should define guests, all commercial delivery work and the hours allowed for people to enter the building.”