When you own or manage a co-op, condominium, or apartment building in a busy city, it’s good practice to be prepared in the event of a claim by a tenant or resident. Here are five proactive steps you should incorporate into your property management protocols to help ensure you have your ducks in a row in case of a lawsuit or claim.
Make sure you know your tenant lease inside and out. Leases typically have an insurance and/or liability section that spells out who is responsible for what in terms of the premises and damages. Some also include indemnification language that states how either party may recover from the other.
While it’s hard to enforce a mandate requiring renter’s insurance for residential tenants, you can make this a requirement for commercial tenants. Typically, a commercial rental policy will cover businesses for property they use or store in the space they rent from you.
As the saying goes, “a picture’s worth a thousand words”—so make sure to save all security camera footage of your building or premises, especially if you have a system that “writes over” footage after a certain amount of time. Camera footage could make or break an insurance claim brought against you.
In the event of a fire or water loss, do not touch any debris or remove any items from the premises. If you bring in contractors to consult on repairs, instruct them to do the same. Since these items may need to be inspected later for insurance reasons, it’s essential they remain intact.
Should your tenants need to vacate the housing co-op, condo, or apartment building due to a large fire, hire a security service to protect and safeguard the premises. Doing so can help prevent the potential for vandalism or burglary—and any insurance claims that might result.
It may seem counterintuitive to pay more to save more, but when you prioritize quality over cost where it counts—like buying better water heaters or air conditioning units that save energy and require fewer repairs—you’ll wind up saving money in the long run.
ProSight has teamed up with Program Brokerage Corporation to provide urban property managers and owners in New York City and the Northeast with customized insurance that addresses your exposures. Let us help provide solutions to keep your tenants safe and your property thriving.