Hiring Security for Your HOA Better Safe

Different HOAs take varying approaches to securing their properties—some rely entirely on video surveillance, some utilize intercom systems and leave it at that, and others want a living, breathing security personnel to patrol and guard their community. Hiring security staff is no small undertaking, however—there are multiple questions and issues that must be considered in order to ensure the safety of residents and protect your association from unnecessary liability.

To Go Solo, or Go Professional?

With all the responsibility—and potential liability—involved in providing security staff to residential buildings and associations, it's important to consider whether your HOA's board/management team will hire personnel directly, or work with an established security firm that will in turn provide staff.

Jack Jackson, president of Clark & Ramson, an employee screening company based in Somerville says he's encountered many management companies and boards who have attempted to hire security personnel the same way they would a superintendent or groundskeeper—by performing interviews and background checks themselves, without the guidance of a professional. While going out and hiring security staff directly may save a little money, the do-it-yourself approach definitely has its drawbacks.

"It increases the building's liability if they terminate someone because of something found in their credit history, for example, and the employee was not completely aware that their background was being checked," says Jackson. "[Professional firms] have forms that make the employee aware that a background check will be done. The company is protected if the employee says, 'I never gave you permission to check my information'."

External investigation firms also have access to local, statewide and national databases from which they harvest their data, and they comply with laws about collecting and handling personal information.


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  • I live in a 55 and over community our gates are manned by residents in the community and they get paid for it. Recently, a few burglaries have increased. Residents want to know why we can,t have residents ride around with theie golf carts just to show the bad guys they have security watching homes when people are away. They would get paid the same as the guy at the front gate. Residents would feel more at ease knowing there is a security cart riding around the community. At $12 dollars an hour and protection for at least 16 hours a day it would cost each resident about $4 to 5 dollars a month. Please advise me what to do.
  • While having security guard services is more expensive, I think it's worth it in the end. Having a physical presence around creates more of a peace of mind and you always have someone on hand to respond to emergencies or problems. It's important to see how having a security guard services fits into a businesses budget because it can be a great benefit to the business.