Access Control Strategies for small/mid Multi-Family Apartments

1 Reply

Hello Bigger Pockets Community,

I'm not overly confident on whether this forum category is the appropriate one for this topic, however it seemed most fitting to me based on the descriptions i saw.  

I'm a relatively small investor in real estate, and have a few small to mid sized multi-family residences in Ontario Canada.  One issue that i've recently run into was associated to physical security at one of my properties (an 8plex).  The building has a secured entrance, with a traditional key based door handle.  I suspect that one of the my tenants may have intentionally left ajar the front entrance door (or placed something to block the strike plate), to allow someone to enter the property in the middle of the night and break into one of the other tenants storage lockers.  Some video surveillance is onsite, and that has provided some footage of the perpetrators.  However the probability of it leading to apprehending that criminal is entirely a different matter.  

This incident though led me to wondering about what I can further do in my properties, to help mitigate this sort of thing to begin with.  At least prevent tampering of the main entrance door.  Searches on the internet let me to some possible considerations of incorporating magnetic locks, tied to access control systems and the use of keyless systems to be able to log entry into the property.  Ok... fine... all sounds like good idea... in my alter-ego i am an I.T. consultant by day, and can piece together enough understanding on how these pieces fit together.  But when searching further for solutions tailored for small/mid multi-family residences, it was hard to get a sense of what products (and costs) are appropriate for this scale.

I'm hoping someone in the Bigger Pockets community might have some insight, or experience in access control solutions for smaller multi-family properties, and suggestions on what i can consider for this.


Rui Brites


Firstly, nothing much you can do about someone propping open a door. Even if you have video of who did it, unless you can show that they are involved in the crime, your only option is to send a letter / evict that tenant and that takes quite a bit of time and effort; the joy of Ontario landlord-ing.

As to an access control system, virtually any 'modern' commercial system will be more then enough for your needs.They can usually be set up to send a notification, assuming internet access, if a door is open for more then X seconds so if you have some one that can go over and see what is going on, it could help. It may be someone mucking with the door or moving some boxes. 

You are going to spend as much on the wiring, door strikes, installation, etc as the system itself. Most also have intercom capabilities (e.g. call an associated phone number) if there is not already one in the building.


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