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Can I depend on my real estate security?

For us in living in Hong Kong, the month of November has received four high profile burglary cases against luxurious resident:

1. Tai Po - Constellation Cove 滌濤山

2. Repulse Bay - Monte Verde 南山別墅

3. Kowloon Tong - Sunderland Estate 新德園

4. Stanley - Stanley Crest

Total loss claims amounted to over $5 million Hong Kong dollars.

The full title of this blog should have read: "Can I depend my life, my family, and my asset to the security provided by my real estate?"

Yes, you can, but not totally. You cannot totally depend on your real estate security is not because your management company does not care about you.

The reason is about how security is considered and funded differently by management company as opposed to by individual families.

Management company considers security for the entire residence as a whole. As a result, they would have the following tendencies and difficulties:

1. Assume each tenant has approximately the same level of risk.

2. Pay attention to public places and the perimeter only.

3. Mostly fulfil their duty of care to minimise liabilities in case of legal affair arise from accidents or crimes.

4. In the case of retrofitting, which is quite often, establish security around existing infrastructure that would present the least amount of cost implication. Often times that come in the expense of quality security design.

5. Has inadequate funding because financing ultimately comes from tenant support and management fees. In general, design and product quality is directly proportional to the amount invested.

6. To add to point five above, landlords who rent the place for profits has very little incentives in supporting security effort. This is especially common when the real estate is of large scale. Consensus is difficult to reach, and it is not practical if some tenants have to pay more.

The list could go on, but the root issue is quite clear: diffusion of responsibilities amongst tenants.

If you would like to have a peace of mind, in addition to your real estate's effort, you would have to take control of your own security.

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