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Security Concerns with Off-Campus Housing

When students move off campus it adds a new layer of safety concerns that on-campus students may not consider. While living off campus offers students freedom from university housing rules, more space than the dorms, and the freedom to come and go as they please, it also forces students, parents and property managers to look more closely at the safety of multi-family residences. Students living on campus can rely on university security, building monitors and video cameras, and emergency phones across campus and in its buildings, but moving off campus requires students to ensure the safety of their rental property or home themselves.

In a recent survey about key sharing, the majority (63 percent) of Americans reported that at least one person who does not currently live with them has a key to their home. In fact, 18 percent of Americans have given a key to their home to three or more people who don’t live with them, while one-third of Americans admit to making a copy of a house or rental apartment key without asking permission from the property manager or landlord.

In an effort to increase the security in off-campus housing and to ease the minds of students and parents alike, property managers can update amenities and building technology in a multi-family building to include an integrated access control system or a smart interconnected lock, which will increase operational efficiency for property managers who will no longer need to worry about that hassle of mechanical key management or students making copies of keys without permission. Instead, they can quickly and efficiently update the credentials for renters, decreasing duplication concerns. Similarly, should a student lose their smart credential, the property manager can easily revoke the key’s authorization, mitigating concerns from students and parents should the card fall into the wrong hands.

Beyond the electronic locks applied to individual resident units, installing a broader electronic access control system throughout the building gives users the ability to see and manage who has access to areas. This allows property managers to better control areas of the building where students are able to enter, increasing safety.

With advanced design strategies, innovative hardware and careful system design, property managers can better control the security of students in off-campus housing and alleviate the concern of students duplicating keys without permission. 

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