Multi-tenant housing, also known as a multi-dwelling unit or MDU, is a specialized residential structure that requires different approaches for maintaining security and, for owners and managers, multi-tenant housing security takes a high priority.
It’s not enough to simply keep all the access entries locked. There needs to be a way to secure access to certain areas of the property that also provides tenants the access they require. And, at the same time, there is a need to mitigate or prevent other security threats.
Common Security Concerns for Multi-Tenant Housing
Ask any experienced multi-tenant housing owner or property manager you will likely be given a long list of security concerns when it comes to the housing property and tenants. However, the most common security concerns are:
Each of these issues comes with its own security challenges and the tactics used to meet those challenges must be integrated into the overall security system and process.
While loitering or trespassing may not be destructive or harmful behaviors, they still represent breaches of security and can foster a distinctly unsafe and even hostile environment for paying tenants. Trespassing can be limited to a degree with the use of parking passes or vehicle stickers, but it is difficult if not impossible to monitor especially large properties.
General theft issues typically involve company property that is stolen, while break-ins can either be an on-site office or, more often, a private tenant’s housing residence. Either one can be costly, but a break-in at a tenant’s home can also involve liabilities and possible litigation.
Vandalism can run the gamut of tenants and other residents simply being destructive of common property to willful acts of vandalism by non-residents. This can include graffiti, broken windows or fencing, and can even involve breaking and entering along with theft.
In addition to these common security concerns there are vehicle issues such as theft or vandalism of tenant vehicles, and “tailgating” – the practice of tenants or employees letting others follow them onto a property through a security gate.
Three Ways to Improve Your Security Process
While it is almost certain that your multi-tenant housing property already has some form of security in place, it is also quite likely that your security process can be improved.
Perhaps not so surprisingly, many of the methods for improving security are not costly and require little oversight. In fact, one might even go so far as to call them “common sense” tactics.
Install Well-Designed Exterior and Interior Lighting
A brightly, well-lit property is probably one of the most effective “passive” security measures that can be installed. Having more than simply “sufficient” lighting provides a deterrent to those who don’t want to be seen, a sense of security for tenants, and diminishes accidental trips or falls.
This means ample lighting for:
- All public or common areas
- Outdoor and indoor parking areas and breezeways
- All unit entrances and interior hallways
In addition, light fixtures should be inspected regularly, and lights replaced as needed.
Provide Secure Entrances and Parking Areas
If possible, installing some type of security gate systems to control access to your housing property is a significant improvement in security. Depending on the size and construction of the property, you may be able to install security access doors to the parking area, if it is below ground or otherwise enclosed.
And, if they are not already, any door that allows access to the interior of your building should be locked and only accessible to tenants and authorized staff.
Utilize Key Control Systems
“House” keys represent one the single biggest vulnerabilities in any security system. Whether it is a traditional metal key or a keycard system, having one in the hands of the wrong person undermines all the other security measures.
However, utilizing a well-designed key control system ensures that unit keys and master keys are guarded and monitored, often by computerized systems accessible to only authorized personnel. Reputable, quality key control systems are designed to keep keys monitored 24/7 and all employees accountable, which helps keep tenants and their property safe.
Using Smart Surveillance to “Upgrade” Your Multi-Tenant Housing Security
We haven’t touched on video surveillance cameras for security because it is assumed that most all multi-dwelling units have them. However, the absolute best way to improve your multi-unit housing security is by “upgrading” your existing video camera network into a “smart detection system.”
What is that?
Video is already superior to courtesy patrols or security guards since your cameras operate 24/7 without sleep, breaks, or calling in sick. But traditional video surveillance technology is inherently passive. In other words, while it does deter criminal activity to an extent, it cannot stop it – it can only record it.
A smart detection system, on the other hand, transforms an existing camera network into an interactive security engagement system.
Your building’s cameras are transformed into video sensors supported by a proprietary AI software platform. This platform allows for active monitoring of your property. In addition to actively “watching” the premises, the system sends an alarm to human operators that triggers a response to any security threat.
And, best of all, the cost of this smart system solution is far less than that of a security guard presence.
Multi-Tenant Housing Security Solutions
Blue Eye can improve your current multi-tenant housing security video network by integrating our proprietary smart security solution. Our AI Blackbox technology allows it to distinguish a person from an animal and the alert feature isn’t triggered by motions such as wind-blown tree branches.
Along with barrier detection, it provides advanced, on-board speaker technology that is accessible in real-time by our highly trained Video Surveillance Technicians to issue audio warnings. This means engaging and interacting in real-time with unwanted visitors to deter them from their course of action.
Blue Eye offers the optimal security system solution for your multi-tenant housing facility.
Our remote video surveillance service costs about a third of the cost of a security guard service and uses your existing video camera system. Our solution is based on an AI-empowered, managed service platform that requires no up-front capital costs.