Many organisations have put their buildings on lockdown as occupancy rates have fallen, and businesses or tenants have moved out. The good news is that this will not last forever, but building owners and property managers should be prepared to bring their properties back to life once things start going back to normal. However, before they can, there are a few things they should do and check to ensure their buildings and properties are safe and secure in preparation for reoccupation.
Fire Safety Compliance and Risk Reduction
Fire suppression and prevention systems can go unchecked as buildings remain empty. They can fall into disrepair and be unhelpful in case a building catches on fire. This makes it harder to control or react to fire should it break out. Checking the equipment regularly will ensure it remains in working order throughout the low-occupancy period.
In addition to equipment, one other risk property managers should keep in mind is the risk of arson. Unoccupied buildings can become targets for unlawful activity, so a security check should be done regularly. This will ensure the perimeter of the building is clear, adjacent areas cannot be used as a source of a fire, and that combustible material near the property is removed.
As with fire systems, all electrical systems should also be checked regularly. During the check, the property manager can contract a company to check that all electrical systems are working properly, any defective systems are repaired, and that there is no risk of electric shocks or fires.
This is just a small selection of things you should check, but if you want to be absolutely sure that your building is ready for reoccupation, you should commission an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). The EICR details the condition of your electrical installations and systems to ensure they are in working order and are safe. You can learn more about the report on this website. Trade Facilities Services provide electrical safety certificates and testing for all kinds of electrical systems in both commercial and residential properties. They will help you ensure all your systems are working correctly and are safe.
Keep Up with Your Insurance Obligations
You may already know that you are responsible for keeping up with insurance premiums even when you do not have any tenants using the building. It is important to check the policy to ensure you are in compliance and let tenants know of their obligations if they would like to continue leasing your property. This will eliminate any issues with unpaid dues once business returns.
Cleaning and Building Upkeep
When getting ready to reopen, it is important that property managers think about making their property clean and habitable. Although many people will be thinking about the opening phase, it is best to think beyond that and keep the property clean in the future, keeping the coronavirus pandemic in mind. Helping your tenants and their clients or visitors feel safe when they return should be on top of your mind at all times.
Although it will be slow, properties will get leased and businesses will go back to normal. The one thing property managers can do is to ensure their properties remain in good condition, and that they are secure and ready for reoccupation when it happens.