Yesterday an employee of an upscale apartment complex in Portland, Oregon, was murdered while she was working. Family, community members and Property Management professionals are all asking the same question - Could something more have been done to avoid this tragedy?
While we do not know if the killer was a tenant or someone off the street, I want to remind all industry professionals, please do not skip the step of performing a diligent tenant screening prior to renting to anyone. This step alone will deter risky/dangerous applicants from looking to move to your community.
Working for years in the industry in this same neighborhood, the companies I worked for all had policies about employee safety when touring vacant homes. We asked for photo ID's of prospective tenants, made sure either another employee or the answering service knew where we would be and we carried mace on our key chains. I often times felt like this wasn't enough if someone had bad intentions. What if I was given fake ID? Would I be quick enough to spray my mace? Would someone hear my calls for help? Would help come quick enough?
The murder from yesterday is unsolved and hopefully the property management industry will respond quickly to reassure employees and beef up property & employee security. None of the policies in place at this posh community saved Nicole Laube when she was stabbed, cried for help from tenants and died on a sidewalk outside a resident's door waiting for emergency assistance. And the killer is still at large. It's a horrible, horrible crime. I can't help but think that a simple surveillance system - and the bold advertising of such a system - would possibly deter any criminal. In a quick search, I found a pretty decent multi-camera system for only $400 and then a personal pocket wireless one for $279. Such a small investment! I hope the community where Nicole lived had some surveillance in place to help catch the criminal.
What are Landlords, Property Managers, Brokers and Agents here on Active Rain utilizing for personal security? What are your thoughts on security systems?
Janell is a member of Rentec Direct, a web-based property management software program designed to help streamline tenant screening and the day-to-day operations of landlords and property managers.