Building gets makeover with tenant screening

Aug 22, 2008 - 11:03 am | By

Creative Management in Columbia, South Carolina has received some positive press for instituting a new tenant screening and eviction program at the Broad River Terrace apartment complex.   The building has 103 units and had a reputation for violence, criminal and gang activity.  The new owners instituted a strong tenant screening program after taking ownership in 2003, and crime decreased from 364 incidents in six months of 2003 to 25 incidents in a recent full calendar year.

The article says that the city council is pondering whether to mandate other apartment complexes to pay for security measures, such as security cameras, security guards and better lighting.  They are wondering if legally, these apartment complexes pose an unacceptable risk to public safety.  It should be interesting to see how this legal issue plays out, especially since some property managers can be held liable if the crime is foreseeable.   The new mandate seems a touch heavy-handed and big government (will they be instituted for every apartment complex, or only larger, crime ridden ones?)  Is it open to manipulation and graft?   It’s worth pointing out that it appears Creative Management instituted this additional security policy and tenant screening program based on their own business strategy and not by government mandate, and now they are enjoying a better reputation, probably charging higher rents, probably seeing higher property values (in the long run) and receiving positive press and developing a excellent business image.  Hopefully the other apartment building owners will see these benefits and institute similar policies without government intrusion.

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