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  • Posted By Scott
  • |
  • Nov 29, 2016

Is Your (Lack of) Security Costing You More Than You Think ?

There are many benefits to living in a condominium. Part of the attraction seems to be the fact that condominium corporations elect a Board of Directors to ensure that the owners’ investment (their condo) is well looked after. This can range from producing annual budgets, ensuring long term investments are free from risk, renewing snow removal contractors and/or replacing the roof (just to name a few).

The one constant is that residents of Condominium Corporations expect that their common element (or condominium fees) are spent with the best return on their investment. Security Dollars are no exception and the residents expect the property manager and Board of Directors to spend these funds wisely.

Security is particularly challenging as, when it is working properly, no one notices it. It is only when it fails that it is noticed. It is this basic concept that prompted former FBI Director, William Webster, to comment:

Security is always seen as too much until the day it is not enough

After a security incident has taken place – like a break-in or petty theft – the condominium corporation must evaluate the loss of the event. Usually this is done to determine if:

  • 1. There was any damage/loss to the condominium corporation?
  • 2. This loss is of a magnitude to make a claim through the insurance?

Common experience with condominiums have shown that, 99% of the time, the answer to both questions is NO. The reason for this is that the majority of these petty incidents are directed towards owner’s assets within the common element (like the garage).

However, when an item is stolen, the loss can be measured in two ways: tangible and intangible loss.

The tangible loss is easy: how much was the item that was taken worth in dollar terms

The intangible loss is more challenging to determine and presents other consequences to the condominium corporation. One of the most important intangible losses associated with a security event would be the resident’s loss of confidence in the safety of their home. Worse is when recurring and unaddressed security events lead to the facility getting a bad reputation within the industry and with real estate agents. Should this take place, the owners will look to both the Board of Directors and the Condominium Manager to take adequate steps to correct this and ensure that the building is properly protected.

Security Awareness is rapidly becoming a factor in everyday life, including condominium living. With city intensification, along with the ever-changing political and social environment, the Board must ensure that the residents and property are properly protected. The security audit report can provide a long-term plan to ensure that the facility, the owners, and their belongings are appropriately sheltered from loss – both tangible and intangible.