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Should You Hire HOA Security Guards?

hoa security guards

Safety is a growing concern in the United States. For this reason, many communities are doubling down on security by hiring HOA security guards. However, this choice is not always suitable for every neighborhood. When should a community hire private security?


What are HOA Security Guards?

The role of HOA private security is precisely as it sounds. Security guards exist to guard the community from potential criminals. They watch over the neighborhood and are on the lookout for criminal activity. Typically, their very presence can reduce the number of incidents within the HOA.

In a gated community, security guards are often stationed at the guardhouses of each entrance. They also sometimes patrol the community, depending on the community’s needs. Moreover, they can respond quickly to incidents such as theft and vandalism. They are often also trained to de-escalate conflict and contact emergency services.


HOA Security Guards Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of a security guard will depend on your contract agreement. Here are some of the most common inclusions you can expect:

  • benefits of hoa security guardsAccess Control. Security guards may guard entry points to ensure only those authorized can enter the community.
  • Visitor Verification. Security guards may manage and verify the identities of visitors to ensure safety.
  • Entry Log. Security guards may maintain a detailed entry log to record everyone who has entered or exited the community.
  • Regular Patrol. Security guards may patrol the community on foot or using vehicles to monitor the area for suspicious activity, safety hazards, or security risks.
  • Emergency Response. Security guards may be available to respond to potential threats and emergencies.


Who Pays for HOA Security Guards?

HOA security falls under the association’s regular services. Hence, homeowners associations will often include their services in HOA fees. While the HOA technically pays the security guards or companies, the money is taken from member assessments.

The board must include the cost of security services within the HOA budget. This will help them divide the cost among all the residents and reduce the individual burden. However, it’s best to clarify why the community needs security guards in the first place. Raising awareness will help the homeowners understand what they are paying for and reduce conflict.


Why Hire HOA Security Guards?

HOA security guards have several benefits. Here are the top reasons why your community may need them.


1. Crime Deterrent

Over 3,000 burglaries happen every day in the United States. A large majority of those have happened when no one was home. Moreover, properties without security are 300% more likely to be burglarized.

HOA security guards can reduce crime risk significantly. This is because their very presence often scares off potential criminals. Moreover, they can prevent crimes like burglary, auto theft, vandalism, and illicit drug use.


2. Access Control

Access control benefits condominiums and gated communities greatly. However, even non-gated neighborhoods can benefit from this type of security when they hire private guards. Guards can control access to community facilities and amenities and prevent trespassing and unauthorized use.


3. Parking Rule Enforcement

Apart from security, guards can help the community enforce parking rules. They can stop unauthorized cars from entering the community and regulate who can park where and during which hours.


4. Respond to Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a common occurrence. Security guards can respond to these instances and defuse the situation. They can also call law enforcement and help ensure the victim’s safety until the police arrive. Moreover, they can serve as witnesses and aid in the police’s investigation when they ask for evidence.


5. Stop Unsafe or Unapproved Activity

Homeowners may sometimes get into fights, throw unruly parties, or behave in a way that threatens the safety of community residents. Security guards can stop these activities and prevent them from escalating. They can also report illegal activities to the police.


6. Vandalism Prevention

Vandals often target residential neighborhoods. They might trespass into residents’ homes, break objects, or spray paint buildings. Sometimes, even the homeowners themselves can be vandals.

Security guards can prevent vandalism by patrolling the neighborhood. They can watch out for suspicious individuals and to avoid property damage.


The Alternative: HOA Security Cameras

HOA Security CamerasWhile an HOA security patrol is undoubtedly useful, it can also be costly. This is especially true for large communities with multiple entry points. However, just because a community cannot afford security guards does not mean they should give up on enhancing safety and security.

As an alternative, HOAs with a smaller budget can choose to install security cameras. These cameras are often easy to install and configure, allowing the board to continuously monitor the neighborhood and even store relevant footage.

Like security guards, HOA security cameras can deter crime. Criminals are afraid of being caught even after the fact. They are less likely to act out when they see a security camera around. Otherwise, they risk being caught by the police and facing jail time.

On the other hand, security cameras also have their flaws. For one thing, they can be disabled or covered. Criminals may also study their blind spots and stay out of their line of sight while engaging in illegal activity.

Of course, this does not mean hiring security guards is the best choice for all communities. Apart from the budget, communities must consider their size, needs, and nature. Security guards also have downsides such as cost, capacity, and potential for human error.

Ideally, homeowners associations will employ security guards and cameras to ensure safety. However, it will ultimately be a balancing act. The board must consider the community’s needs, budget, and what the residents are comfortable with.


A Good Investment for Safety and Security

HOA security guards can be a good investment, especially if the community is in an area with a high crime rate. Security guards can make homeowners feel safe and prevent criminal activity. However, HOAs must consider the cost of their services and weigh it against the potential benefits.

Condo Manager is a reliable HOA management software for self-managed communities and HOA management companies. Call us at (800) 626-1267 or contact us online to request a demo!