Allegations of Negligence Against HOA Security After Residential Break-ins

This case study examines a situation where a resident's home in an HOA-managed gated community was burglarized multiple times during their vacation, leading to allegations of negligence against the HOA and its security management.

ByExpert Institute

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Published on February 6, 2024

Burglar breaking into home

Case Overview

This case study involves allegations of damages by residents of a gated community managed by a Homeowners Association (HOA) and a private security company. While the resident was away on vacation, their home was burglarized, and their vehicle was stolen. The burglars broke into the same residence two more times within several weeks.

It is alleged that the HOA and its security management were negligent in their response to these break-ins. They failed to implement adequate target-hardening measures to prevent future incidents. An expert in HOA security procedures was sought to review this case and provide an opinion on liability.

Questions to the expert and their responses

Q1

Please describe your professional experience managing HOA security.

I have overseen security for over 100 HOA properties, many upscale communities with contract security and residents who frequently traveled. Ensuring professional maintenance of security protocols was crucial as residents’ home safety was paramount, especially considering they paid for this service.

Q2

What standards exist for responding to break-in alerts and target hardening to prevent future break-ins?

The HOA should know when residents are away on vacation. Upon such knowledge, management should alert their security contractor to increased patrols and frequent property walk-arounds. These are standard practices aimed at enhancing target hardening and preventing break-ins.

Q3

Have you ever reviewed a similar case? If yes, please elaborate.

I have reviewed numerous cases involving residential security under HOAs. Each case presents unique challenges depending on the specifics of the situation. However, common themes often involve issues of negligence or failure to adhere to established security protocols.

About the expert

This expert has amassed over 40 years of experience in real estate and property management, holding certifications from the Institute of Real Estate Management and the Building Owners and Managers Institute. They have held high-ranking positions such as president and chief executive officer for a prominent property company, executive vice president for an industry-leading firm, and regional vice president for a national association covering multiple states. Currently, they operate as a self-employed real estate and property management consultant, offering their extensive expertise to clients across various sectors.

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