Secure residential estate living is a fast-growing trend in South Africa, and one which looks to continue increasing in years to come due to the country’s current state of crime.
For, with private security officers on site 24/7, state-of-the-art security technology, and the comfort of close-knit communities and neighbourly vigilance, estate residents are able to enjoy peace of mind for the safety of themselves and their families. And as statistics reveal, it is a peace of mind that can almost be guaranteed.
Yet statistics also reveal that although well-secured estates are virtually impenetrable, there is still a risk of crime, but surprisingly, from those living within the estate boundaries as opposed to criminals entering from the outside.
Excellerate Security –the leader in residential estate security in South Africa, is therefore urging residential estate managers to reassess their security protocols for the rental of estate properties, including the renting out of homes to potential long-term tenants, as well as short-term and holiday leasing.
Excellerate Security Managing Director Derek Lategan says most estates do have strict protocols in place when it comes to background and criminals checks of those purchasing within estates, or even renting long-term, and that some of this is also undertaken by the estate agents who are responsible for the selling and renting out of properties.
However, there are not always processes in place to control who moves into estates for short-term periods, such as holiday rentals, or even private long-term rentals.
“Our Intel has shown us that crimes committed within estates are often carried out by syndicates who are rightfully staying there. Most of them have gained access to these estates by renting privately from the owners, either for a short holiday period, or even for longer, fixed periods.
“Holiday accommodation is always sought after in secure estates, and as many of the owners themselves head off on holiday, they often rent their properties out to ‘tourists’ or ‘holiday visitors’. And unless the correct systems are in place, estate managers will not know who these new residents are.”
Lategan says the holiday season also, traditionally, sees crimes such as house breakings and robberies increase, and that this, combined with lax resident control measures in some estates, is a perfect combination for criminals. Residential estate managers need to therefore ensure that property owners within estates cannot let their homes to anyone that has not been vetoed by estate security.
“This applies to all new ‘residents’ regardless of how long they will be staying there. A syndicate moving into an estate even for a weekend has the ability to carry out a number of crimes around them, and without even appearing to be suspicious.”
Estate managers may also want to reconsider whether they should in fact allow holiday and short-term letting in their estates, Lategan says, adding: “There are many estates that actually do not allow it. They have minimum rental periods of 12-months – and are able to verify the rental residents, and do not allow any sub-letting or renting out of homes, such as during holidays.”
Lategan says this is possibly one of the best ways to ensure that estate residents are kept as safe as possible.