When it comes to apartment blocks, shared occupancy properties or commercial properties there can often be confusion with regards to the car park, in terms of who is responsible for keeping it clean, secure and safe for tenants and the general public.
If you’re renting a leasehold property, either commercial or residential, the details of the car park management may be in your lease agreement so this would be your first port of call. There are generally four groups or companies responsible for car park maintenance:
- The property owner – Car park maintenance may be the job of the apartment block owner. Car park maintenance may be the responsibility of the residents. Of course, if you are renting an apartment, it will be your landlord’s responsibility rather than yours.
- The property management company – Properties purchased for commercial use often enlist a property management company to handle the day to day management of the building. The car park often falls under the responsibility of the property management company.
- An independent parking attendant company – Often, the property manager may subcontract an independent parking attendant who will generally check for unauthorised vehicles, but will not be responsible for the cleaning of the area.
- A property security firm – A property security firm is often contracted to secure a car park, especially if it is left vacant for a long period of time, or there is construction work ongoing. A property security firm would often
- A cleaning company – To handle the cleaning of the area, a property management company or landlord could hire a contracted cleaning company.
The importance of car park security
According to Clearway Environmental Services, Home Office figures in January 2019 show a 50% rise in vehicle thefts over the previous five years and crime statistics reveal a car is stolen every 5 minutes in Britain (you can read more here). Unprotected car parks are ideal for anti-social behaviour, so it’s important that there are clear policies on car park security for both residential and commercial properties.
How to secure a car park
There are a number of applications that keep a residential or commercial car park secure including CCTV Solutions, Access Restriction Fobs and Concrete Barrier Blocks.
One of the best and most obvious ways to ensure that a car park is protected is to invest in CCTV as it comes with a number of benefits. As well as acting as a great visual deterrent, CCTV can be monitored 24-7 and, in the event of a crime, the footage can be called upon and used for legal proceedings.
Evidence suggests Car park-related crimes are likely to drop considerably when CCTV is installed. If the perpetrator sees that a car park has CCTV installed, they are going to be much less likely to commit a crime, as they know that there is a very high chance that they are going to be caught. There are many different types of CCTV systems available including temporary CCTV towers which can sit directly in a car park.
Access restriction fobs
Another solution to secure and regulate a car park is by restricting access with an automated gate and providing tenants or employees with key fobs. This is a great way of limiting access to the car park. Access control is undoubtedly one of the best methods when it comes to preventing crime when used in conjunction with other security measures. Key fobs are not generally considered a standalone security option as there is no protection in the event of the door breaking down. Also, if perpetrators have access to a fob, the effect of the gate becomes negligible.
What if the car park is currently unused? Empty car parks are prime targets for fly-tippers, anti-social behaviour and unwanted guests using the area to set up temporary residence. These issues can be costly to resolve as they require qualified experts to remove potentially hazardous waste that can arise due to fly-tipping. If your car park is currently vacant and you’re concerned over the safety of the area, concrete barrier blocks should be used as an effective perimeter security measure. TVCB (Temporary Vertical Concrete Barriers) block vehicle access, making it impossible to reach the car park by car and mitigating any potential security breaches.
There are a number of ways that you can make sure that an empty car park is protected but first, it’s best to find out who the responsibility sits with and the current security measures in place. The importance of car park security should never be overlooked. After all, car theft is one of the most common crimes in the UK today. This is especially the case if your car is parked at a distance from your apartment or left overnight at a commercial property.