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Leveraging Access Control Systems for Reducing Unauthorized Residency in Multifamily Properties
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Leveraging Access Control Systems for Reducing Unauthorized Residency in Multifamily Properties

Discover how to mitigate unauthorized residents living in your property using modern access control systems

Robert Hill
July 18, 2023

In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, property management has also been revolutionized with smart and efficient systems. Of particular note is the advent of upgraded access control systems, which promise not only to increase security but also provide innovative ways to manage multifamily properties. One particular problem that these systems can address is the occurrence of long-term guests or people living in a unit without being officially listed on the lease. 

Unauthorized residency can lead to a host of issues for property managers and legitimate residents alike, from security concerns and increased wear and tear on facilities to increased liability or overcrowding. By utilizing more modern access systems, multifamily property managers can effectively minimize these risks. 

What Are Access Control Systems?

At their core, access control systems are security mechanisms that regulate who can enter a property. Traditional methods have relied on physical keys, basic code systems, and key fobs, but technology has propelled the industry far beyond these rudimentary tools. Upgraded access control systems may incorporate a variety of technologies such as smartphone-based mobile access control.

These systems provide a host of benefits. They offer heightened security, reduce the need for key management, provide detailed entry logs, and enable remote management capabilities. Importantly, they can also be employed as a strategic tool to manage and monitor occupancy within a property, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized long-term guests.

How Can Access Control Systems Mitigate Unauthorized Residency?

1. Implementing Individualized Access Controls:

The first step towards mitigating unauthorized residency involves limiting access to authorized residents only. By allocating individual access permissions to each tenant, unauthorized individuals will be unable to gain unassisted access to the property. 

For example, using mobile access credentials that are tied to individual tenants can help control who can access which parts of the property at which times. Using OpenVia, when a lease ends, access privileges are automatically revoked, eliminating the opportunity for a non-leaseholder to remain in a unit after the official tenant has left.

2. Detailed Occupancy Monitoring:

Modern access control systems like OpenVia can provide detailed logs of when each access point is used in a web-based dashboard. By regularly reviewing these logs, property managers can spot unusual or suspicious patterns that may indicate unauthorized residency. 

For instance, if access points are being used frequently while the official tenant is known to be out of town, it could be an indication that an unauthorized person is living in the unit. Or if a guest pass is used very frequently, it might suggest that more people are living there than are listed on the lease.

3. Limited Guest Access:

Another feature of modern access control systems is the ability to provide limited access for guests. Instead of handing over a physical key fob that could potentially be copied, tenants can provide their guests with mobile access credentials that automatically expire after a set time.

Such a system discourages long-term guests from overstaying their welcome, as they would require the official tenant's approval for continued access. It also allows for better tracking of guest access, so property managers can note if a particular unit is frequently hosting guests for extended periods.


As multifamily properties continue to evolve in a technologically driven world, it becomes imperative for property managers to adopt tools and systems that enhance their operational efficiencies and ensure the security and satisfaction of their tenants. Upgraded access control systems like OpenVia offer a promising solution to the challenge of unauthorized residency, providing robust and flexible tools for regulating access and monitoring occupancy.

Systems like OpenVia allow for individualized control, detailed logging, temporary guest access, and delivery driver access. By adopting these advanced features, property managers can maintain tighter control over their properties and create an environment that is safer, more secure, and more responsive to the needs of their tenants.

While it's crucial to maintain an open dialogue with tenants about occupancy rules and the issues associated with unauthorized residency, technological aids like OpenVia are becoming increasingly essential tools in the modern property manager's toolkit. These systems, combined with proactive management strategies, can ensure that multifamily properties remain safe, secure, and legally compliant communities for all residents.


OpenVia’s Virtual Call Box provides the best access management experience at a low cost! Schedule a demo today to learn more!

Robert Hill

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