The Top Four Areas of Security Concern for Multifamily Developments

Posted By: Barb Kingston Articles, Industry Trends,
You’d expect the problems property managers face in low-income multifamily developments to be much different than those of someone overseeing a luxury one. And you’d be right - to an extent. But there are more similarities between the two developments than you’d expect.

Issues like trespassing, conflict, and unwelcome visitors are common to any multifamily unit. And the trouble spots where these occur generally remain consistent from location to location.

The challenge is how to monitor these multiple, dispersed locations simultaneously, in real-time, without incurring the expense of hiring numerous staff for coverage. 

You might be surprised where trouble pops up. Here’s a quick look at four areas that frequently present security issues in multifamily units:

Parking lots/garages

Whether they’ve got a high-end car or something that just gets the owner from point A to point B, motor vehicles are an essential part of many residents’ lives. They’re also magnets for thieves and vandals. Remote video operators can verbally warn away potential bad actors using on-location audio and, when necessary, ensure law enforcement arrives as much as five times faster than an alert from an unverified alarm system.

Common spaces

Whether it’s a meeting room, a resident lounge, rooftops, decks, the pool, or somewhere else, it’s inevitable that someone will try to slip into a common space when the area is closed. Most of the time it’s not for a nefarious reason, but it’s still something property and building managers strive to prevent to reduce liability or misuse. 

Bike storage

Thieves are nearly as enamored with bicycles as they are with motor vehicles. Whether a building has a bike storage locker or just a series of racks for tenants to use when they’re at home (or work), it’s critical to monitor those to prevent bicycle theft. This, by the way, is when video monitoring is critical, as people are able to gauge context. For instance, if someone is spending more than the usual amount of time in the area or returning several times, it’s an indication that something might be amiss.


Sometimes, keeping an eye on residents’ pets is about small infractions, such as them not cleaning up Fido’s waste. That’s a discourtesy to others and could be a health hazard, but it’s nothing on the same scale as car theft, physical altercations, or trespassing. Video monitoring is often proactive in preventing these problems. A brief verbal warning to the owner after the animal has done its business can correct the owner’s behavior. But when there are more serious allegations, such as that of a pet attacking another person on the property, the video can be used forensically to determine exactly what happened.

These areas are, of course, on top of the usual security concerns of any multifamily housing unit, such as trespassing, potential burglars, and staff infractions. A good video surveillance system makes existing human guards more effective and optimizes the costs. 

Barb Kingston is a customer-focused sales leader with Kastle Systems. She has a track record of driving business growth, maximizing sales, and generating MM$ revenue across technology, healthcare, real estate, and security sectors by devising account strategies and leading high-performing teams.