Condo Security Guards: Your Rights – Their Responsibilities

Condo Security Guards: What are the duties and obligations of security guards?  What can an owner in distress expect?  What exactly are condo owners and HOA members paying for?

I wrote the following letter to our property manager following an incident with our condo security company.  The security company owner apologized and the guard in question was removed from our property.  Both the property manager and owner agreed that his behavior was unacceptable.

Do you have security guard stories to share?  Please use our comment form.  We’d love to hear from you.

I want to file a complaint  against the security guard who was on duty last night.

How to Defend Your Condo Rights - by Dr. Joyce StarrI used the flashing lights on my car  around 6:15 pm, but failed to turn them off.  The lights were flashing when I returned to the condo at 6:30 pm (when it was still light out) until 9:00 pm, when a resident phoned me.  She noticed the lights from her window and warned that my battery was draining.

In fact, by the time I reached the car, the battery was dead.

It was impossible for the security guard to miss the flashing lights, since I’m parked near the entrance to the building.

He undoubtedly saw them blinking for several hours while he circled the parking lot.  But he didn’t bother to phone me.

I found him riding around in his little vehicle, no more than 30 feet from my car. I demanded to know why he failed to alert me. The guard replied: “It’s not my job. My job is to stop cars that shouldn’t park here.”

WHAT?  I then said, “It’s your job to warn residents if their lights are on.  You work for us.  WE pay your
salary.”

He said: “No, it isn’t my job.  If I have free time, then I might do something.  But it’s the resident’s problem, not mine.”

I waved down a passing cab and asked for help.  Our security guard watched with amusement while the cab driver jumped my car with cables I had on hand.

Another owner left her parking lights on several months ago.  But the guard on duty that night never phoned.  How much effort could it possibly be?  Clearly, our security guards think they work for bricks and mortar, not for the people who pay their salaries.

A security guard also plastered a visitor’s car with the type of warning stickers that can’t easily be removed.  What’s wrong with this picture?  The visitor had a temporary parking permit hanging in clear site!

Imagine if there was a life-threatening emergency? How fast would our guard would he drive his little cart in the opposite direction?

Respectfully,

Dr. Joyce Starr

Defend Your Condo Rights

Comments

  1. Sue Morton says

    I live in a large condo complex. About a year ago two tenants were had roped off part of the hallway for a playground for their 2 children. When I walked by the mother I said to her that it is dangerous to block off the hallway, as someone could get hurt. The manager of the condo sent a note to the mother and then found out their was another mother involved who lives down the hall from me. Since that time the mother down the hallway stands outside my apartment and makes alot of noice, then the kids run back and forth down the hall screaming. This went on for about a month. I complained to the manager of the condo association and she said all she could do is send them a warning and possibly 100.00 fine. Then one night a man with a foreign accent was banging on the my door and telling me that I better let him in. I called the security guard and by the time he got here the man was gone. Then when I telling the guard what happened when the man came walking down the hall with a women (turns out to be his wife). Turns out they were the strange couple’s father/mother and they got my apartment mixed up the couple. I think they gave them my apartment number. They left me alone for about a month. Now they have started it up again. The condo manager sent me a memo coping the board of directors, telling me that I should not bother the security guard, that I should call the police. I called the police about being harassed and was told they do not get involved with neighbors problem. The father (a very strange guy) now comes by my door and rattles my screen door. My question is “what can I do”.
    Thank you,
    Sue Morton

    • says

      Sue Morton » Hi Sue,

      I discussed your case with Dr. David Goldenberg, author of Creating Homeowners Association Documents and our special report, How to Recall Your Homeowners Association Board.

      He states:

      I don’t know what the anguished lady can do either in theory or practice about her pesky neighbors.

      Her best option, if she can afford it financially and emotionally, probably is to contact an attorney for advice. The attorney might arrange to get her court order restraining the neighbors since it’s clear that the condo manager, board and the local police can’t / won’t take effective preventive action. However, enforcing a restraining order would be difficult and having one might further provoke the neighbors.

      Her next best option is to suffer in silence in the hope that the neighbors eventually will get bored when she no longer reacts to their mischievous behavior. Other options exist but are likely to make the situation worse.

      Hope this helps! We provide affordable homeowners association consultations at StarrPublications.com.

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