If you manage property – apartments, condominiums, or commercial properties – you know the importance of maintenance plans and budgets. It is critical to establish these priorities with the property owner. But what happens when the planned maintenance and budget is not enough? When you have to schedule several repairs and heightened maintenance? Eventually, if the construction of the property is determined to be defective, the property owner may sue the original contractors and builders who constructed the property. In turn, these contractors or builders may sue you, the property manager, and argue that sustained ineffective maintenance or incomplete repairs contributed to the damage at the property. Do not let this happen to you. What should you do?
Under the law, the property owner is assumed to have any information that you have. You may be the property owner’s agent. That is true regardless of whether you have actually communicated the information to the owner. To keep yourself out of harm’s way, and provide the best service to your property owners, keep them informed about the maintenance and repairs you are performing and scheduling at the property. Help give the property owner the information it needs so that it can make a decision about how to proceed.
Look for outliers
If, as a property manager, you plan, schedule and execute routine maintenance and repairs, then you have established a good baseline for understanding the performance of a building. But if for some reason the property costs more than expected to maintain, or requires several repairs at windows, plumbing, or other sensitive components, the property or its components may be defective. If the property manager keeps track of deviations from the expected performance of the building, that will help the owner quickly determine what steps it may need to take to protect its investment in its property.