Understanding HB 837 and Its Impact on Multifamily Housing in Florida

Understanding HB 837 and Its Impact on Multifamily Housing in Florida

Understanding HB 837 and Its Impact on Multifamily Housing in Florida

A blended Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Assessment and Training

The recently passed HB 837 is a boon for owners of multifamily housing in Florida, offering them a safeguard against the risks associated with claims of inadequate security. This legislation is a game-changer for property owners, delivering a definitive guide for adherence that could lessen their legal responsibility while promoting a secure environment for inhabitants and guests.

The statute defines “Multifamily residential property” as a residential edifice or a collection of such structures, including apartments, townhouses, or condos, with no fewer than five living units on a single plot.

The core intent of Section 768.0706 within Florida House Bill 837 is to establish a legal shield for owners of such properties who have taken particular security precautions to prevent crime on their property. This measure seeks to exempt property owners from being held accountable for crimes perpetrated by non-residents, like intruders or vandals, provided their properties conform to designated security criteria.

Here are the key points of the law:

Security Measures:

  • Install security cameras at entry and exit points, maintaining footage for at least 30 days.
  • Ensure the parking lot is well-lit with a minimum intensity of 1.8 foot-candles per square foot at 18 inches above the surface from dusk until dawn or controlled by photocell technology.
  • Provide adequate lighting in walkways, laundry rooms, common areas, and porches, with illumination from dusk until dawn or controlled by photocell technology.
  • Install at least a 1-inch deadbolt in each dwelling unit door.
  • Use locking devices on all windows, exterior sliding doors, and other doors not used for community purposes.
  • Install locked gates with key or fob access along pool fence areas.
  • Place a peephole or door viewer on each dwelling unit door without a window or without a window next to the door.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Assessment:

  • By January 1, 2025, the property owner must have a CPTED assessment completed for the property, which must be performed by a law enforcement agency or a Florida Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Practitioner.
  • The property owner must remain in substantial compliance with the assessment for the purposes of this law.

Crime Deterrence and Safety Training:

  • By January 1, 2025, the property owner must provide proper crime deterrence and safety training to current employees.
  • After January 1, 2025, the property owner must provide such training to new employees within 60 days of their hire date.
  • This law aims to reduce liability risks for multifamily residential property owners by promoting a safe and secure environment for residents and visitors.

 

The Role of Kolins Security Group

For multifamily housing owners looking to comply with HB 837, partnering with a reputable security consulting firm is essential. Kolins Security Group is a leading choice for property owners in Florida. With a team of nationally recognized, court-certified security experts, Kolins Security Group offers a comprehensive suite of services that align perfectly with the needs of HB 837 compliance:

  • Physical Security Consulting: Their expertise in physical security measures can help property owners document and enhance their safety protocols.
  • Security and Risk Assessments: Kolins Security Group’s systematic approach to evaluating potential risks can provide the thorough crime prevention audits required by HB 837.
  • Expert Consultation Services: In the event of litigation, their expert witness testimony can be invaluable in demonstrating compliance and due diligence in security matters.

Steps for Compliance with HB 837

Multifamily housing owners should take the following steps to ensure compliance with HB 837:

  • Conduct a Security Assessment: Engage with professionals like Kolins Security Group to perform a detailed evaluation of your property’s current security measures.
  • Implement Recommended Improvements: Based on the assessment, make necessary improvements to your security infrastructure to address any identified vulnerabilities and document those efforts.
  • Maintain Accurate Records: Keep detailed records of all security measures and audits conducted, as these documents are critical for demonstrating compliance with HB 837.
  • Stay Informed on Legal Developments: Keep abreast of any changes or updates to the law to ensure ongoing compliance.

Conclusion

HB 837 represents a proactive step towards enhancing the safety and security of multifamily housing in Florida. By mandating specific actions for property owners, it encourages a diligent approach to security and risk management. For those seeking to navigate the complexities of this new law, Kolins Security Group stands out as a knowledgeable and experienced partner, capable of guiding property owners through the process of achieving and maintaining compliance with HB 837.

For information and to schedule your assessment, contact:

Nancy Rasmussen, VP of Florida Operations

Nancy@Kolinssecuritygroup.com 

Our Expert Team | Kolins Security Group | Security Consulting Services | Philadelphia, PA

Engrossed HB837

https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2023/837/BillText/er/PDF