Upsides / downsides of living in a gated community(42 Posts)
Saw a house at the weekend which is on a private road of 7 houses with electronically controlled gates. Obviously security is good but what happens if someone turns up with a delivery and you are not in to let them in? Are there any other downsides to being in a gated road?
Additional expense of the upkeep of the private area?
Downsides - it's really anti-social, divorces you from the community around you (who can be helpful and friendly in all sorts of way), and is the spatial equivalent of widening inequality (and therefore justly ridiculed).
Upsides - quiet, private
Downsides - everyone on the estate knowing your business, an inflated sense of self importance
Delivery driver will push everyone’s buzzer and then you’ll all have to have a meeting about it 🙄
I've just moved out of one. There was an entry phone at the gate to open it from inside the house for deliveries etc but it didn't work because it would cost the tenants/owners in the community £100 each to have it set up in their house so nobody did it. So if a delivery turns up and you're not in, they take it back to the sorting office. It was really annoying if I forgot my keys and none of my other housemates were around to let me in - I've had to climb over the gate a few times. The letting agents were absolute sharks and used "gated community" to slap extra charges on everything. It was fine, rent was expensive but I didn't notice any extra benefits to not living in one tbh
I've lived on a gated road before and it was great. If you are not unfit a parcel then they will try other buzzers to see if one of your neighbours will take the parcel the same as if you didn't have a gate. There can be costs associated with maintence of road/gate but these are quite minimal and well worth it imo.
I assume it would be the same as if you’re not in your house to let them in, they will try the neighbours to see if anyone else in who is willing to take your parcel and they will then put a note through your door.
Our neighbours were all super friendly as well, much more so than when you just live on a road.
whiskyowl - this is why I am wary of it. Instinctively I don't like them. DH is keen on the house, I am not sure at all.
Apparently there is an entry phone in each house which works. The upkeep is reasonably cheap (if the EA was telling the truth).
Have various (2nd hand) experience both here and abroad with my parents and a few friends. Invariably there is a committee involved due to the communal areas/expense. These rarely get on. There’s always at least 1 person who makes life difficult. Meetings are tedious, and in the most extreme example my mum moved house to get away from ridiculous politics! (Extreme move!)
There will always be one twat.
And then every meeting becomes about him.
I lived in one as a kid. Not the UK. Social exclusion was my issue. And all of is knew how to break in anyway at 11 or 12 so it’s not like it was secure!
The one near us had a burglary problem. No passing traffic. Not too much sympathy from the plebs outside.
I don’t find them remotely secure. I think they give a false sense of security. If I was a burglar I’d be eyeing them as high value targets. Very socially excluding and not a proper community. There’s a reason why you’re not keen, listen to your instincts.
Oh and if a burglar breaks into one and all the other houses are built the same, with the same types of locks...well then said burglar now has had a nice little trial run.
There's an interesting book about the rise of securitised housing, including gatedness, called Domestic Fortress: Fear and the New Home Front.
Agree that fear, mistrust and division has a tendency to breed fear, mistrust and division - inside and outside of architecture.
We live in a close that could be gated, and one of the residents would love to do it, and has brought it up at several residents' assn. meetings. She is the sort of person who wants it for swank reasons. Personally I loathe the idea and I do think that if anything, it'd make the houses more of a burglar-target. Also, I hate the sense of 'keep the riff-raff out'.
Thankfully it's never going to happen since most of the residents will never agree to paying the hefty costs of gating it.
Quite apart from anything else, I still have milk and sundry other bits delivered - all done online, v. convenient - so it'd be impossible for the poor milkman, who usually comes in the wee small hours.
We've recently moved out of a private gated road. Check whether there is a sink fund in place for essential costly repairs, for example if there is a burst pipe which needs the road digging up and re-tarmaking, this will be your expense and we were quoted £15k-30k for doing ours if it had needed it. Have you got parking spaces clearly marked out, visitors parking spaces clearly designated? If not parking will become the bane of your life as you come home to find next doors guests parked in your space. Communal bins, this will also cause you grief as other residence ignore the 'house rules' and dump their worldly possession in their rather than taking them a short distance to the local tip like everyone else. Be careful you don't have a neighbour who decides they won't pay the annual management fee so that the cost then sneakily gets passed on to everyone else. Apart from that it's safe, your own private quiet space, and we liked living on ours once we got over a few of the bug bears that were present.
Used to live next to a gated community in London, we lived on the estate next door. The gated community was constantly getting burgled, I actually saw people climb over the vicious looking barded wire fence once. This wasn't a particularly up-market gated community either but the gates provided no safety at all. And it wasn't very 'community' spirited to be shut off from the rest of the road!
When I was delivering leaflets I was encouraged to the swankier areas. I never had to make 2 guesses at the key pad entry.
They were lovely houses though.
Thank you - lots to think about.
Humpty - that's a really good point about a communal fund, will ask the estate agent to find out. I don't think parking will be an issue, all the houses have drives which can fit 2 cars on. I guess it might be an issue if you are having a party. Each house has it's own bins so that isn't an issue (although how the bin lorry gets into the road I have no idea).
It is surrounded by equally (and in some cases more) expensive houses so it's not a gated community which is different from those around it (aside from the gates).
We are going to go back to see the house this weekend (assuming it doesn't go under offer in the meantime) and will have all your comments in mind. The difficulty we have is that there have only been 2 houses which have come up for sale in the past 2 years that we would have gone for. So we know that we could be waiting a long time for another suitable property.
OP, we've lived on a gated road for over 3 years now, and honestly, I really like it. It feels really safe and secure, and, living in an area with a huge amount of pressure on parking spaces, I love knowing no one is going to nick ours! Plus it is fab with our DD and cat being low traffic.
Re: parcels, this was my main concern, but it's totally fine. All the local deliver firms have the gate code to get in
because I gave it to them and they just leave parcels on the doorstep - which is safe because of the gate.
Don't flame me!
I worked in a house on a gated development of 29 'exec detached' house in prime commuter belt land as a full-time P.A & out of that, only 3 houses were occupied by their UK owners.
The rest were tenanted out to Americans and the basketball noise on all the driveways used to drive my employer nuts.
I felt safe there but the charhes were sky high. My employers ended up leaving within 12 months as they felt like Big Brother was watching all the time.
We used to live in one - ds hated it because we never got any trick or treaters at Halloween
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