HOA’s Open-Garage-Door Mandate Raises Safety Concerns

March 22, 2018
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A California homeowners association is requiring members to keep their garage doors open most of the day on weekdays. The new rule is in response to the association learning that so-called squatters—people living in a home illegally—were inhabiting the garage of at least one home in the area.

While squatting can present its own problems for an association, members are complaining that the move is putting them at risk in a different way: Security is compromised.

The garages have direct entrances into the community’s homes that normally are given a second layer of protection by a closed garage door. Additionally, items left in the garage are visible and, unless locked down, can be stolen.

Residents are fighting the rule in a future homeowners association meeting, but for now at least the association can fine people $200 if they keep their door closed.

For tips on how associations can deal with safety and security issues, see “Boost Security Without Increasing Liability for Security Camera System,” available to subscribers here.