RealManage Insight

When Security Clashes with Aesthetics

by Staff Writer on Apr 15, 2014 8:25:00 PM

Most association-governed condominium communities have strict rules concerning the appearance of residences, common grounds, and common buildings. These rules help to preserve real estate value by maintaining and enhancing the aesthetics of the community. In most cases, residents are quite happy to conform to rules that govern community aesthetics. However, there are also situations in which residents feel the rules are not broad enough concerning the security of condominium units.

Security Versus Aesthetics

There are several types of security technologies residents may wish to implement that may not adhere to the community’s rules. Because personal security is a need-based concern and not just a personal preference. Condominium communities should work with a provider of condominium association management to assess whether the following common measures should be acceptable, and implement rules concerning the measures as soon as possible.

Window Bars

Placing bars on windows is an effective way to keep burglars out, but it significantly changes the exterior aesthetic of a unit, and can appear ominous to prospective residents. For the latter two reasons, most condominium rightfully decide to prohibit windows and doors that have bars.

Security Windows

Ranging from windows that have special latch technologies to windows that are virtually shatter proof, security windows are a good alternative to window bars. Because the windows come in different styles, making them match other windows in the complex shouldn’t be a problem.


Intercoms are another aesthetically unobtrusive security technology. If a person is worried about strangers approaching his door, he can use an intercom to speak with visitors before they enter the unit. As security technologies go, intercoms are easy to install and don’t draw much attention.

Security Cameras

Many communities put security cameras on parking lots and inside buildings. Should residents be allowed to mount cameras outside their units? Considering the cameras’ small size and elevated location, condominium association management providers often recommend allowing them.

Making a Decision

Should residents be allowed to implement the security measures above, or should the technologies be prohibited on the grounds of aesthetics? If the board for your condominium community needs help deciding, a provider of condominium association management will provide assistance. Residents need to feel safe, and the community needs an aesthetic code that helps to preserve property value. The key is to strike a balance between the concerns.

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