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Posts Tagged ‘Security guards’

Recently tenants at both 165 and 195 Barrington Avenue apartment buildings became aware of changes to the security system implemented by Ranee Management. Effective the end of May the security guard services will cease.  Instead, tenants will have to rely entirely on the electronic surveillance system that was installed. The installation of the security system is reputed to have cost approximately $50,000 per building.  We need to look carefully at how that stacks up in the long term against the annual salary of $20,000 – $25,000 for security guards monitoring apartment buildings. Any savings should be passed on to tenants in the form of a rent reduction.  It is also troubling, to say the least, that not all of the buildings owned and operated by Ranee Management will be affected. Apparently their apartment complexes in more affluent locations will retain both electronic surveillance and the presence of a security guard.

In two earlier posts we reported on a series of security incidents that occurred.  Refer to “Safety and Security in Apartment building” :  http://wp.me/pia0J-xs   and “Security in Underground Parking Garages:  http://wp.me/pia0J-LW.   There have been several thefts, damage and break-ins mostly related to cars in the underground parking and outdoor parking and also the stairwells at 165 Barrington Avenue. There have also been rowdy incidents where inebriated tenants and their guests have created disturbances and injuries have occurred. We have learned that other property managers in the GTA have also eliminated security guards. The result is that there has been an increase in security issues due to vandalized or malfunctioning cameras.  The presence of an actual guard on site would be beneficial as that would act as a deterrent to lawbreakers. 

In light of the latest development it should not come as a surprise that tenants in the buildings affected have deep concerns related to their safety and security. There are inherent problems with eliminating security guard services: 

a) Is this new security system hooked up to an Alarm Centre?
b) Are the cameras being monitored by anyone?
c) Surveillance cameras in some buildings have been vandalized and that puts tenants at risk.
d) In case of emergency (e.g. in the garage, basement or stairwell) who should we attempt to call?
e) Is the victim carrying a cell phone and who will they contact?
e) Are security duties being shifted to the building superintendents?
 
No form of electronic security can replace an individual who is able to respond to a call for help and contact the police/enforcement authorities right away.  Just by their presence a security guard can deter an attack on a vulnerable individual, especially seniors or frail individuals. The cameras are only referred to if the individual recalls the exact time of the incident.  How can we be sure that the enforcement authorities will always follow up when incidents are reported and not ignore the violation because in someone’s opinion it is not worthy of further investigation? In the event of a security violation there is a vast difference between what a security guard can do immediately as opposed to relying on a  surveillance camera that may or may not be functioning properly. There is a time lapse when reporting violations either to the building management or law enforcement and that is not beneficial to tenants reporting a security incident.
 
Tenants in buildings managed by Ranee Management who are affected by these changes need to raise their concerns with representatives of Ranee Management. We also recommend that you contact your East York councillor, Janet Davis (www.janetdavis.ca) as well as the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association (http://www.torontotenants.org/).
 
We look forward to hearing your opinions, ideas and suggestions on this security issue.

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NOTE:  Tenants have the option to file a T6 Form  at the Landlord and Tenant Board  for a rent reduction since the landlord has not maintained safety standards through “loss of services”.  (Refer to:  T6 Application Form  for more information.) The cost of security guard services is included in rent and this change in service that tenants have been paying for is now being eliminated.  Filing a T6  Form is more easily put in place if there is an active tenant association.  

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UPDATE – Check  our other  posts for updated information on safety:
 Safety and Security In Apartment Buildings  (This particular post dealt with a robbery that took place at 165 Barrington Avenue, an apartment building owned by Ranee Management) .
 Safety and Security in Apartment Buildings – Security Guards to be Eliminated.  (This post addresses concerns about the impact on  tenants’ safety resulting from removal security guards by Ranee Management.)

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Security for underground parking garages in apartment buildings is a topic that deserves closer scrutiny. There seems to be an increase in the number of break-ins in underground parking garages. This is costing tenants dearly.

While some tenants have been victims of auto theft, others have had their vehicles broken into or badly vandalized. This is certainly a cause for concern. Underground parking garages in residential apartment buildings are supposed to be equipped with an electronic entrance door and a special access key.  This key allows legitimate access to tenants who park their vehicles in the underground parking.  These garages should have functioning surveillance cameras to capture all activities and help keep the location safe. Apartment buildings also have security guards patrolling the entire premises. So we have to ask some troubling questions about how criminals manage to gain access (more…)

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Recently we were notified that on Tuesday July 28, 2009, several tenants at 165 Barrington Avenue (Ranee Management) were victimized by an obviously well-planned and executed burglary that occurred during the daytime hours.

The notification received from the concerned tenants indicated that “the criminal(s) stole items to make quick sales. Items stolen included personal items such as jewellery, heirlooms, laptop computers, digital cameras, (more…)

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