How access control can benefit student accommodation

how access control can benefit student accomodationWhilst at university a great many students opt to stay in student accommodation. While many students will stay in flats owned by their universities, a great many will choose the often far greater amenities and luxury of privately let accommodation. However, it is important that students in these accommodations feel safe and secure in their accommodation both in terms of their personal safety and that of their possessions. Here we will look at how access control equipment can help.

What is access control equipment?

Access control equipment is a means to allow people to enter and exit a room, building or site and simultaneously prevent unwanted visitors from gaining access. Residents are given access credentials such as codes, keys, fobs, or cards which can be used to permit access.

The benefits of access control equipment in student accommodation

Within the student accommodation environment access control equipment protects students from unauthorized visitors who may risk their personal safety or that of their belongings.

While in the past physical keys were staple for most accommodations, the risk of key duplication means that they are often seen as an outdated form of technology. Access control equipment such as fobs and key cards are much more difficult to duplicate and therefore provide better protection to residents.

For criminals, students often represent somewhat of a cash cow as they tend to own products such as mobile phones, laptops and electrical goods with high re-sell values, so it is important that property owners can limit any potential risk with strong security solutions not only for the students themselves but also for their parents who often have deep-set worries regarding the safety of their children, many of whom are leaving home for the first time. When choosing accommodation for their children, parents factor security very high in their list of priorities.

Another factor that plays into many student accommodation facility managers choosing access control equipment to secure their sites is the control of anti-social behaviour.

Student facilities are often host to late-night parties and other types of social events arranged by residents. While this is to be expected, it can be the cause of alarm and unrest for other residents in the building disturbing their studies and quality of life. Party goers could also cause reckless damage to your property. By restricting access to a building to residents and approved guests, you provide some protection against such behaviour.

Here at Gateway Automation we provide free feasibility surveys to assess your requirements and also provide non-obligation quotes. Click here to arrange a callback or click here to download our free brochure and take a look at our impressive range of access control equipment to help secure student accommodation.

What does the law say about squatting in commercial property?

what does the law say about squatting commercial propertyIn the news we often see stories of owners of both residential and commercial properties coming home to find that their properties have been taken over by squatters or unwanted visitors. However, rather than there being a simple solution once squatting begins, there is often quite a lot of difficulty involved in removing squatters and the law is sometimes unclear.

Squatting defined

In England and Wales, squatters are defined as a person or persons who is not the owner of a property or piece of land but has entered that place with the intention to live there. This is sometimes known as ‘adverse possession’. The reasons for squatting are vast and may be driven by homelessness, poverty, protest or other reasons.

What the law says

While the law is quite well defined with regards to squatting in residential property like apartments and houses, it is less clear with non-residential property and may be termed as trespass. With residential property, squatting can lead to large fines, prison sentences or both. With non-residential property though such as schools, warehouses, factories and shops the law is less clear.

The act of being inside a non-residential property without express permission is often deemed as trespass which is a civil matter and means that property owners must seek resolution through the courts – which can often be a lengthy process. The only way that the police can take action is if there is proof that another type of crime has been committed such as fly tipping, criminal damage, use of utilities without permission or other criminal matters and because of this, commercial properties or often targeted by squatters.

The process of removing squatters is often a lengthy process with land owners having to apply for what is called an interim possession order (IPO) which can take time to be processed in which time damage may have been caused to your property without your knowledge. Seeking to remove squatters yourself is not only dangerous but should you use force could mean that you face criminal charges yourself and therefore prevention of squatting is often the best strategy to take.


There are plenty of different methods for securing a vacant property from being accessed by squatters. Strong perimeter security tools such as gates and barriers are an important place to start. However, every property is different and may require different approaches to put a stop to unauthorised access.

Gateway Automation provide a range of products to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more and to arrange a risk assessment, please call us on 01522 682255.