By Philip Shea, Associate Editor
This month, MHN teamed up with research and consulting services firm Kingsley Associates—which surveys over 1 million residents each year—to gauge renters’ opinions of their apartment’s security features. From working gates to onsite security guards, amenities that relate to safety can have a tremendous impact on how residents view their communities, and subsequently, on how likely they are to renew their leases. While a bad experience pertaining to any other element of housing might be assuaged with certain corrective actions, a bad experience with safety and security can leave an indelible mark on a resident’s or visitor’s impression of a community. If a person feels they or their belongings are at risk, they are unlikely to view a given community as home. Thus, safety and security should be of utmost importance to property managers, and constant updates of the respective technology should go a long way toward giving renters the peace of mind they seek and deserve.
“We moved to this community for security reasons, but less than a year later, our car was stolen. Security is important and I think that it should be reinforced with night guards.” —Tucson
“Adding security was a big deal. Several cars, including my own, were broken into. But now that security is present, I haven’t seen or heard of any further incidents.” —Anaheim Hills, Calif.
“You can’t advertise ‘gated community’ if the gates are always left open or broken.” —Anaheim Hills, Calif.
“As long as the gates get fixed and remain working, we will definitely renew our lease.” —Colorado Springs
“Security could be better. Most of the time, the security guards at night don’t even pay attention to those that are making noise.” —Atlanta
“Safety is a big issue. If I’m going to be paying more for rent, I’d like to feel that I am living in a safe environment.” —Union City, Ga.
“I’d love a safety feature where you can see who’s ringing the doorbell (via TV) so you know who you’re giving access to.” —Woodbridge, Ill.
“Security was the number one reason I chose such an expensive place to live. I no longer feel safe. The gate to the garage is often broken, leaving it wide open so that anyone could drive in.” —Hyattsville, Md.
“I would like to see the security force patrolling the grounds more regularly, especially at night.” —New York
“Management should think about offering reduced rent to law enforcement, maybe that would help with the safety issues.” —Nashville
“Our cars were damaged in the parking lot, and management was not able to help us or suggest any course of action. It was a frustrating experience because of their seemingly apathetic attitude.” —Austin