Crime prevention in HOA communities should be a top priority for the board members. Otherwise, the community’s residents won’t feel safe even in their own neighborhood. This can significantly impair an HOA’s ability to attract new buyers and maintain property values.
10 Tips for Crime Prevention in HOA Communities
Whether it’s something major like theft or something minor like vandalism, the homeowners association should take measures to prevent any kind of crime. Not only will repeated crime necessitate more insurance policies and coverage, but it may also damage the community’s overall well-being.
Thankfully, several ways to prevent crime in an HOA community exist. Here are some HOA crime prevention tips to keep in mind.
1. Encourage Neighborliness
The United States is generally known for being a neighborly nation. However, not everyone is neighborly. Many may not even want to get to know their fellow community members. Even if you live in the most neighborly cities in America, encouraging neighborliness is helpful for crime prevention in HOA communities.
That’s because when everyone knows everyone else, they’re less likely to commit crimes against them. They can also more easily ask for help from their neighbors. Friendly neighbors might help others collect their mail while they’re away. This can prevent potential theft or other misdeeds.
To encourage neighborliness, consider conducting more community events. For example, the HOA can host Thanksgiving activities during the holidays. They can also host a simple BBQ with all the community members.
2. Keep the HOA Clean
It might not seem like an intuitive part of HOA security, but keeping the community clean can help. This is because potential offenders might target more run-down neighborhoods. After all, unruly or unkempt parks and landscapes allow them to hide. Make sure to plant thorny shrubs around the perimeter. It can also help to trim overgrown hedges and trees to eliminate points of entry.
3. Install Adequate Lighting
Criminals love to hide and do their business in the dark. They can’t get caught that way. Thus, HOA needs to install enough lighting fixtures around the common areas. Moreover, they should encourage the community residents to keep their porch lights on during the night. The board should communicate how important this is in keeping their community safe.
4. Lock the Gates
Gated communities should always keep the gates locked when not in use. Even if leaving them open is more convenient, it’s not safe. It might also help to hire security guards to man the gates or any other entry or exit points.
Remember to remind the community members to lock their homes, gates, and garages. They should also lock their cars and keep the windows closed if they habitually keep them unlocked for easy access. Living in a gated community might feel safer, but it’s never a guarantee that there won’t be criminal activity.
5. Install Alarm Systems and CCTVs
Burglars and other criminals are less likely to target homes within the HOA if it has alarm systems. Consider investing in good-quality ones that can be installed around the neighborhood. If the homeowners association has the budget, they can also consider installing CCTVs to monitor public spaces.
6. Educate the Members to Coordinate With Local Law Enforcement
Every homeowners association has a certain responsibility to keep the community secure. However, nothing beats having proactive community residents fighting crime alongside the HOA. No, this doesn’t mean the residents should join the police force to keep the community safe.
However, it means that the HOA should educate the residents to work with local law enforcement. Remind them to report any activity that seems suspicious or out of place. Even if the act seems minor, it could save a life or property.
Moreover, the HOA should give all residents with emergency and non-emergency phone numbers to call in sticky situations. The board can also partner with local law enforcement to host crime prevention activities if possible. For example, they can create a seminar discussing police tips for HOA security.
7. Create a Neighborhood Watch
Passive forms of security might be helpful enough for many communities. However, if the HOA wants even better security, they can organize a neighborhood watch. Doing so can bring the community together as they plan and organize how to make it much safer. It can also deter potential offenders as they know the homeowners themselves are on alert.
8. Be Well-Informed of News and Trends
Crime prevention in HOA communities can be made much easier if the board stays informed of current trends and crime news. Remember to pay extra attention to what’s happening locally.
Perhaps there’s a trend of thieves stealing packages from porches going around the greater area. Ensure that the members are educated on keeping themselves and their property safe. Furthermore, there’s more traffic and visitors during certain times of the year. It’s best to enact specific security protocols or rules to keep the neighborhood safe in these cases.
9. Enforce the Rules
It’s the board’s responsibility to enforce the HOA rules. This may be difficult to do all the time, especially for large communities. Nonetheless, it’s not enough to assume people will follow the rules given by the homeowners association. The board should proactively check for any potential violations.
Doing this not only promotes harmony but also ensures the community’s safety. After all, many of the community’s rules exist to promote safety and security. For instance, rules regarding pool hours might seem strict to some, but they can prevent potential accidents and reduce liability.
10. Create Safety Protocols for Vacations
Many residents go on vacation and leave their homes unattended. However, empty homes are vulnerable to theft, vandalism, and damage. That’s why many robberies happen during the holidays or vacation seasons.
When vacation season approaches, it’s crucial for HOAs to create safety protocols for homeowners to follow. Educate the residents to watch for signs that their neighbors are on vacation. Please encourage them to keep a lookout and pick up their mail while the neighbors are out.
If possible, neighbors can also park their cars on the driveway of the residents who are on vacation. This can make the house look occupied even when nobody’s there.
Keeping the Neighborhood Safe
Crime prevention in HOA communities is vital to maintaining property values and keeping the residents happy. Nobody wants to live in an unsafe and insecure environment, after all. The HOA board should take the necessary steps to keep the neighborhood safe to the best of their ability.
Managing a homeowners association can be tough to do alone. However, with an HOA management software like Condo Manager, it can become an absolute breeze. Call us today at (800) 626-1267 or contact us online for more information!
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