Gated Access

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Gated Access

Advertising safety of your property despite your “insecurities” of not having a guard

One of the most popular amenities for apartment complexes or residential communities is the controlled access gate. A gated property bestows a sense of privacy, security, and safety for a tenant, often acting like a private club exclusively for tenants. It also is an obstruction for door-to-door solicitors in the area, since on-paper, only invited guests of those who reside in the building and potential tenants who’ve made appointments with the landlord’s office should be able to come in; you’ll probably only get the neighborhood kids trying to sell candy or cookies thanks to this. Despite the cost of this amenity’s maintenance leading to an increase in rent, most tenants are happy to pay for the extra “security”…even if this is NOT the type of word you should be advertising with your property when trying to attract new renters with the gate as a feature.

While the property may be configured in a way that reduces the risk of crime, advertising it in a way to boast the safeness of it can be tricky. Using words like “secure building” or “safe building” to advertise can give a false representation or guarantee that absolutely nothing harmful will happen; promises that can potentially lead to legal action to recover damages. A tenant may have decided to rent a unit at a property due to the use of gates controlling entry onto the premises and the wording of “safe” or “secure,” and presume there may also be additional safeguards, such as alarm systems and security guards patrolling. While this may be true at larger, upscale apartment complexes, the use of gates are actually considered a cheaper alternative to managing and hiring security guards. Advertising as such may lead a tenant or friend of a tenant to potentially sue for negligent security should an incident happen on the property.

To avoid any misunderstandings and to protect your property, always advertise that your property has “controlled access” or “gated” and avoid any misconceptions that there exists other features, unless you do indeed have them (security guards, alarms, etc.). Your tenants will appreciate the honesty (and won’t be able to sue you), and you’ll be able to assert that you have everything under control.