Universal Site Services | Commercial Site Services
parking lot loitering

How to Discourage Loitering on Your Commercial Property

Loitering on your commercial property, whether it’s an apartment complex, office building, or otherwise, is never a good thing. Loiterers can trash your parking lot, graffiti your walls, and send the wrong signal to customers. So how can you discourage loitering on your commercial property? There are a few simple steps you can take – ones that you might already be performing – in order to help deter people from loitering around your property.

Install a Security Camera to Discourage Loitering

A security camera is a great way to show potential loiterers that you are monitoring your property – and that you will have proof of whatever vandalism they might perform. Even if the camera is non-operational, it’s enough to scare any ruffians and loiterers away from your property for fear of being caught.

Keep Your Building and the Surrounding Area Clean

According to the broken windows theory, keeping an area free of vandalism and other small criminal activities works to prevent bigger crimes and unruliness, like broken windows or robbery. Similarly, if you keep your building clean and free of graffiti, oil stains, dirt, and other debris, you show passersby that you care about the appearance of your building. This works to prevent vandalism, delinquency, and loitering on your commercial property without having to spend any extra money.

Keeping your building clean includes investing in parking lot sweeping, day porter services, and even landscaping services for your building. All of these services will help discourage loitering on your commercial property while also promoting a good image of your business to your clients.

Keep Your Property Free of Litter

On a similar note, it’s important to keep your property free of litter and other debris. Once one person litters, it encourages others to do the same – and a dirty property signals to individuals that you aren’t monitoring your property, also giving the impression that loitering will go unnoticed. Make sure to have trash cans available on the premises so trash doesn’t become a problem.

Remove Any Graffiti or Tagging Within 24 Hours

Even though removing graffiti is a pain, it’s best to remove any vandalism within the first day or two. Why? Because the presence of existing graffiti will only encourage troublemakers to loiter around your commercial building. Removing graffiti ASAP shows that you monitor your building and don’t stand for trespassing, vandalism, or loitering.

Eliminate Potential Sleeping Spots for Homeless

One main concern with loiterers on a commercial property is that they will camp out and sleep on your lot, becoming a more persistent issue. You should take measures to remove potential sleeping spots, such as benches, covered areas, and virtually any flat surface ideal for spreading out.

  • Install middle dividers or arm rests on benches
  • Break up low walls or dividers with strips of metal
  • Plant hostile or thorny bushes in low plant beds
  • Gate off or secure any open areas
  • Lock public restrooms at night

Some even take more drastic measures, such as using sound deterrents to prevent loiterers from camping out on their property. One of our Phoenix parking lot sweeping clients tried installing outdoor speakers and playing loud construction noises and annoying beeping to discourage homeless individuals from sleeping on their commercial property. This method proved to be successful, resulting in an overall decrease in overnight loiterers.

Do You Have Any Loitering Prevention Tips Not Listed Here?

Leave a comment below if you have more tips on how to discourage loitering on your commercial property. We’d love to hear from you. Universal Site Services is the leading provider of lot maintenance and exterior cleaning for a variety of properties.  Our services include parking lot sweeping in Irvine, day porters in Sacramento, specialty parking lot sweeping and much more.