To be straight up, there is good and evil in this world. God and Satan or any other label you ascribe to. As such, we are experiencing different methods of which these evil acts are carried out. Whether there is an increase in the number of attacks or not, that’s a topic that requires more research then this BLOG’s purpose. But we do know that the methods of evil acts are taking on new approaches.
While some of the take-aways from this BLOG can be useful for most types of real estate portfolios, it is more applicable to multi-family such as apartments, hotels, condos, extended stays or any other ‘close proximity’ living conditions.
We’ve recently heard the news about pipe bombs being mailed to a dozen political public individuals. Pipe bombs are not a new evil (hate) tool. I was personally involved in a pipe bomb investigation in the late 80’s involving a student bringing a pipe bomb in his truck to school with intention of blowing up a teacher’s house during the upcoming teacher’s work day. This was 30+ years ago. The internet was not what it is today. It was not easy to learn how to assemble a pipe bomb 30 years ago. Yet this was a fully functional bomb that the agencies’ bomb squad had to detonate. Now, they are sending pipe bombs via the USPS and other carriers.
30 years ago, we didn’t have to consider securing our schools the way we do today.
Most often, mass shootings are committed by evil individuals with a tremendous amount of hate in their hearts. Sometimes the hate is directed at a single person, a family or a group of people based on religion or whatever. Bottom line is, the shootings are driven by hate. When hate is in play, sometimes there are collateral damages (other people are hurt that the perpetrator was not directly targeting).
For property owners and mangers who own rental properties that are configured like a compound (multi building apartment complex with fences, hotels etc.), I would strongly recommend establishing a policy that is distribute to all residents, in the event such an evil act is carried out. Each property is different but consider protocols for exits, phone procedures, public areas (like swimming pools), identify safe rooms, code key policy for rooms or gates and any other protocol that is needed for your particular property.
All of us are familiar with the events where ricin or some other harmful agent has been mailed in regular envelopes to individuals. Do you have policies in place should one of your multi-family residents receive such a letter? This is most important to define the policies in multi-family where you have close proximity of many residents (apts, rooms, boarding house).
Multi-Family or Commercial Properties
If you own or manage multi-family properties such as apartments, hotels or mobile home parks, do you have policies in place for handling mail and packages? The general practice seems to be that packages are delivered directly to the unit. Property managers are starting to have carriers leave all packages in a secure designated area. Then a call to the resident is made, letting them know a package has arrived.
Property Manager’s Responsibilities
You can’t prevent all the evil that is conjured up in the hearts of man. But as property managers, you should take all the proper pre-cautions that you can. I admit, it’s all reactive at this point but that is still better then not having anything in place.
Property managers now must consider tenant safety in a whole new way. Landlords must think bigger than de-icing walk ways, removing objects that present a tripping hazard. Property managers are now forced to consider a whole new array of threats to their tenants, unfortunately!
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