Irish Times Property Clinic 29th of August 2013
Publishing Date; Thursday the 29th day of August 2013.
Q. I live in a private development and my car got broken into. I phoned the management company who said that it was not covered under the insurance and in effect was nothing to do with them. The car park is at surface level and there are no gates. Is there anything I can do?
A. The managing agent is correct when they advised you that there was no recourse through the developments' insurances. Theft or damage to a vehicle is not covered by the block and public liability insurance policies held in the name of that the owners' management company.
It is usually the case that all vehicles and contents are left at the owners risk in the development. You don't mention whether you reported the incident to the Garda or not. If you haven't already done this you should do so as soon as possible. You should also check with the owners' management company to see if there is CCTV footage that would assist the Garda.
Many developments have now installed CCTV at a reasonable cost to the residents.
It is also possible for members to log into the developments CCTV system via their smart phones or other internet enabled devices at no extra cost if the CCTV system is relatively new. This allows for the opportunity to download historical files off the digital video recorder which can then be forwarded to the Garda.
Criminals are less likely to enter a development where members have instant access to the IP CCTV system as they can monitor the cameras real time and alert the authorities of any suspicious activity immediately.
If theft becomes a regular occurrence in the development it should be raised at the next AGM.
It is possible to involve the local community garda with the owners' management company to improve the developments security.
Another affordable option is to install motion sensor spot lights in dark areas of the development or at areas of entry which can deter undesirables and it can also make the areas safer for residents. While these measures will not help your situation now, they could help prevent it from happening again in the future.
Paul Huberman is a member of the Property & Facilities Management Professional Group of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland
Author: Paul Huberman of H&H Property Management Consultants Ltd
Publish Date: 29/08/2013