This Is our Village

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Break-ins in our Village


Criminals do a much better job of sharing their success than do our residents. The word on the street is clear, "shop in Century Village" they are very welcoming and will leave expensive valuables in their vehicles for your shopping pleasure. They even leave their vehicles UNLOCKED, for your convenience and speedy departure so your capture will be very unlikely.

Many Associations don't notice strangers in their community or unknown vehicles parked nearby, providing a safe haven for these criminals.

Guess who the victims believe are responsible - Security! Unfortunately we do not have the manpower to patrol this square mile Village at all times and the criminal element is well aware of this, we desperately need your help. Before parking your vehicle when returning home to your unit - look around you - do you see any strangers? If so note a clear description, then leave the immediate area, call 911 to report the incident and give a full description. When the Sheriff arrives it will be safe to return to your unit.

The Associations who are actively concerned about strangers are increasing, but we are a long way from solving this problem. Any strangers or occupied vehicles that are in your Associations area, should be reported to the Sheriff's office - call 911. Never approach strangers or occupied vehicles, that seem suspicious, just call 911 to report the suspicious events, and remain inside your unit.

The only way to safeguard your belongings is to remove these valuables from your vehicle and to lock your vehicle every time you park, where ever that may be. Breaking windows creates a concern the criminal might be detected simply due to the noise of breaking glass, perhaps causing the criminal to "shop" elsewhere.

Each resident must take notice of suspicious items to act in all our best interests, including unexpected noises from units where the resident is known to be at his/her seasonal residence. Otherwise the criminals will be moving all furnishing from neighboring units totally risk free.

We must work together to act as eyes and ears for our individual Associations, reporting to a permanent resident acting for our Association's protection and safety.


PLEASE Use as a handout to your summer residents so they will be better informed. Our safety should be our first priority!     Ed Black Security Chair

12 comments:

Cathy said...

Both my husband and I watch out for our building and the building across from us. If we don't recognize the person we ask them why they are here. Recently, we were hanging out on the corner and an unidentified SUV pulled up next to our neighbor's SUV and looked inside. I immediately questioned him why he was looking at the vehicle. In this case he meant no harm he was just interested in buying the same SUV when he returned to Boston.

Some of our snow flakes think it's OK to leave their vehicle unlocked because we are in a gated community. I constantly remind them when they are here to keep their cars locked and also their condo doors.

Ed is right, keep your eyes open and report anything that doesn't look normal.

Bob Rivera said...

Whenever a snowbird leaves a car and has it covered with a car cover or just a tarp with ropes, if it blows off or partially blows of, why not be a good neighbor and cover it back up. I have re-covered at least three cars already. If it's too much for you to handle, call me at the Reporter office and leave a message and I will get it taken care of. It's only being a good neighbor to keep an eye on other villagers property. If you see someone that you suspect may be an intruder, call Security.

ejs2283 said...

In the past, I have commented on this blog that one of the greatest challenges we face in C.V. is Associations bypassing or ignoring the recommendations of UCO concerning the wisdom of leasing units to individuals that do not qualify for residency here for one reason or another.

Given the foregoing, I am not surprised an uptick in auto break-ins, etc. has occurred.

The poor economy and depressed real estate market have hit both Florida and C.V. especially hard.

While I do not want to call out any particular group, the fact is many associations have chosen to turn a blind eye and hope for the best when it comes to renters. In exchange, they get income to pay common charges. However, the resulting dividend for all C.V. residents is the possibility of less than desirable tenants living next door to us. Some of whom may choose to bring their problems along with them.

Notwithstanding criminal background checks, financial responsibility is one of the few tools in our community's toolbox that helps ensure our neighbors are folks who have a history of meeting their financial responsibilities. Our renters have no such responsibility. In fact, since the property owner is responsible (in theory) for the renter, it is my understanding no credit check is performed.

I have the utmost confidence in our president. I realize he is juggling many issues at one time. However, I only hope something is done sooner rather than later. Property theft from cars is one thing, robbery and burglary may not be too far behind.

Many of the rules that have kept C.V. clean and safe for some 50 years are quickly eroding. Once our foundations are washed away, the the C.V. we have grown to love and appreciate will be a thing of the past.

Car break ins are only a symptom of a problem. We need to diagnosis the problem fast before we lose the patient!

elaineb said...

Why doesn't Investigations offer a credit check to landlord owners? Does the renter criminal checkup cost less than the owners' credit + criminal, Investigations is still getting $100 for the 1/2 checkup. It seems hard on landlords that they have to pay for a separate outside credit check. What is the mission of Investigations?

Lanny Howe said...

I'd like to hear a thorough explanation about this, too, Elaine. I think there may be a few contributing factors, but the issue is worth revisiting in my opinion.

One contributing factor may be that the state sets the $100-per-investigation charge. I was told that UCO can't charge less. Another may be that if UCO investigates for landlords, they may try to hold UCO and/or the Association responsible for delinquent rental payments. Another, that UCO ends up doing two investigations per unit for those units that are rented. (Okay, but the two are paid for is the counter-argument, of course.)

Ed Black said...

Rental Investigations

UCO’s Investigations only completes a criminal background investigation on rental Applications. One reason is that rentals have no financial obligation to the Association. Another concern is that if the credit report is “fair to Poor”, how can an Association reject the Applicant, with that in mind?

What might solve this problem, now that the Association may divert rent when an Owner becomes delinquent? An obvious solution would be to require the Owner to protect the Association by obtaining a credit report prior to signing a Lease. How can any Landlord sign a Lease without checking his applicants credit before signing a lease??

Everyone may obtain a free credit report annually (or when they have been rejected) and the Applicant could show that to the Owner. The Owner could ask the Realtor that found his Applicant to obtain a credit report (for a nominal fee). Either way the Owner is then empowered to make informed decision acting in everyone’s best interests.
It is incumbent on all Owners seeking to lease their units to make every effort to assure the prospective tenant has a good credit standing. To ignore this responsibility could lead to thousands of dollars to evict delinquent tenants.

Adopting rules requiring Owners to see credit reports would place the responsibility clearly on the one benefiting from the rental contracts, and provide for informed decisions by the Owner.


Ed Black

elaineb said...

I see there are two kinds of landlords, those like Ed and I who ALWAYS get a renter's credit report, and those who have various reasons NOT to get one, including if UCO doesn't do it I don't need to, eek!
If UCO provided both I put them in 2 envelopes, one for the assoc (criminal) and one for the landlord (credit).
I like the free credit report.com idea.

ejs2283 said...

Folks, we are all on the same page. Too many condo corps have decided to forgo the advise of UCO or in some instances completely ignore UCO and submit nothing. The do so not only at their own peril but ours too!

A good credit report is the most basic tool to see if someone has a history of meeting their obligations. If they have a history of not meeting their financial obligations, it is unlikely have been diligent in meeting other obligations. Financial security and accountability is the cornerstone of our system.

Those who do not have such a history and accountability care little. After all, what can you do to them? They are judgment proof. Do you think any landlord is going to recover any rent arrears from such folks? Of course not. The landlord will take the loss and be glad to be rid of the tenant. Then turn around and get another renter in his/her place.

ejs2283 said...

Folks, we are all on the same page. Too many condo corps have decided to forgo the advise of UCO or in some instances completely ignore UCO and submit nothing. The do so not only at their own peril but ours too!

A good credit report is the most basic tool to see if someone has a history of meeting their obligations. If they have a history of not meeting their financial obligations, it is unlikely have been diligent in meeting other obligations. Financial security and accountability is the cornerstone of our system.

Those who do not have such a history and accountability care little. After all, what can you do to them? They are judgment proof. Do you think any landlord is going to recover any rent arrears from such folks? Of course not. The landlord will take the loss and be glad to be rid of the tenant. Then turn around and get another renter in his/her place.

Ed Black said...

Just what value is there in obtaining a credit report after SIGNING the lease?? The landlord can't unsigned it!

The credit report must be obtained prior to signing or committing to any applicant. Especially since that is the primary reason to agree to rent to a "responsible" tenant. How many Inexperienced landlords might try to cancel the lease if the credit report was not a good report.

Associations should require their residents to see a report before submitting the application to them for investigation.

Don4060 said...

Ed, will UCO do a tenant financial background check in addition to the criminal check if the homeowner/landlord requests it? Would the homeowner be able to see that report directly, before approving the tenant and signing the lease?

When I rented my unit in the past, only a criminal background check was done by UCO, and this report was sent directly to the association president, who approved my tenant's residency. I did not get to see even the criminal report. A copy of the tenant's rental application was sent to me from the rental agent, with personal information, including SSN, blacked out, making it useless to me in case of any problem. I was told that this was necessary to protect the tenant's privacy and to insulate myself, the homeowner, and the agent against possible discrimination claims. I understand the legal necessity of this system, and I trust my association president' s judgement and agent's discernment, but it is my apartment, after all, and it would be nice to have UCO investigations do this bit of work for me, instead of me having to do a last minute Internet search on the prospective tenant myself. The price of the criminal/financial background check is the same as the tenant criminal-only check (100 dollars), and the tenant pays for it- why not give the prospective tenant the "full treatment", and allow the landlord the opportunity make a more informed decision?

Ed Black said...

Unfortunately, we may only proceed with an investigation WHEN we have 1. A completed Lease signed by all parties,
Landlord (owners) and tenant(s)! And 2. a completed application.

Credit bureaus require justification for an investigation, and we do not screen potential tenants like a Realtor is permitted to do. Therefore we may not check out someone for review, only to evaluate the applicant - in part because we investigate for Associations - who are only interested in approving or rejecting your request.