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Before your HOA starts a neighborhood watch program

Home security provides peace of mind in any community in Florida, but you may be interested in going beyond an alarm system, cameras or motion sensors around your own property. Many neighborhoods across America have developed crime watch programs, and as a board member of your homeowners’ association, you may believe that it would be profitable for yours, as well. At Cuevas and Garcia, P.A., Attorneys at Law, we often provide assistance to HOAs when they are deliberating issues that could have legal ramifications.

According to Yahoo Finance, there are some factors that you and your fellow HOA board members may want to consider before organizing the program. If one of the volunteers in your program breaks the law, your HOA could be responsible for the results. So, it is critical that you provide training and written guidelines for every person who participates in patrols or other functions of the crime watch. Those on patrol should not be told to contact a person on the committee or another volunteer if a situation arises. Only law enforcement should be relied on to provide security.

Confronting someone who may or may not be a prowler has the potential to spark litigation against the HOA, particularly if the action leads to an injury to either party. Those on patrol should never carry a weapon, and they should understand that their only role in preventing crime is to contact local law enforcement. Without these precautions, your entire community could find itself facing legal fees in the event of a lawsuit against the HOA. Even though the action may involve only one person, the lack of specific direction could affect everyone in the HOA. You can visit our page on condominiums and cooperatives to learn more about this topic.

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