My car was broken into in the private development I live in

August 2013

Question

I live in a private development and my car got broken into. The management company said it was not covered under the insurance and in effect was nothing to do with them. The car park is at surface level and there are no gates. Is there anything I can do?

Answer

The managing agent is correct in advising you that there was no recourse through the development’s insurances. Theft or damage to a vehicle is not covered by the block and public liability insurance policies held in the name of the owners’ management company. It is usually the case that all vehicles and contents are left at the owners risk in the development.

You don’t mention whether you reported the incident to the Garda or not. If you haven’t already done this you should do so as soon as possible. You should also check with the owners’ management company to see if there is CCTV footage that would assist the Garda.

Many developments have installed CCTV at a reasonable cost to residents. It is also possible for residents to log into the development’s CCTV system via smart phones or other internet enabled devices at no extra cost if the CCTV system is relatively new. This allows for the opportunity to download historical files off the digital video recorder which can then be forwarded to the Garda.

Criminals are less likely to enter a development where residents have instant access to the IP CCTV system as the cameras can be monitored in real time and the authorities alerted immediately of any suspicious activity. If theft becomes a regular occurrence in the development it should be raised at the next AGM.

It is also possible to involve the local community garda with the owners’ management company to improve the development’s security. Another affordable option is to install motion-sensor spotlights in dark areas of the development or at entry points to the complex. While these measures will not help your situation now, they could help prevent it from happening again in the future.

Paul Huberman is a member of the property and facilities management professional group of the MediKids