Whether you run a business from a multi-tenant office block or live in a residential apartment building, the experience of sharing property with sometimes large numbers of other people is commonplace.
Tenants in multiple occupation buildings understand that they have certain responsibilities to uphold, such as paying rent on time and paying service charges for the upkeep of the property.
They should also know – these will be included in the terms of contract – that they also have legal obligations relating to cleaning, repairs and maintenance. Any damage beyond what is considered ‘fair wear and tear’ caused by the tenant, for example, is their responsibility to put right, not the landlords’.
Beyond these statutory requirements, is there a bigger role tenants can play in the upkeep and maintenance of a property?
It is easy to shrug shoulders and pass the buck on to whoever is charged with fulfilling the landlords’ obligations. But ultimately, it is tenants who have to live and work in a property, not the landlord. In large multi-occupancy premises, it is easy for standards to slip if tenants are not playing an active role. It doesn’t take much, but being conscious of your role in the wider environment can play a big part in helping the day-to-day management run more smoothly, which will in turn improve your comfort and enjoyment in your surroundings.
Here are some simple tips for how tenants can start improving facilities management operations at their home or work.
Report problems early
If everyone leaves an issue to someone else, you can expect to wait a while before it is put right. FM professionals are busy people, and they need information to be able to prioritise and schedule maintenance appropriately.
Think of the environment
This advice works on several levels. First of all, think of the shared environment in eco-friendly terms – if you see a light or an appliance that is left on unnecessarily, switch it off. The excess energy use will only be added to the utilities charges shared between the tenants anyway.
Also, think of the environment in terms of comfort and what is most conducive to being productive in the workplace. Don’t just apply these principles to your little corner of the premises – playing your role in the upkeep of communal areas by, for example, not leaving rubbish lying around, leads to a happier environment for everyone.
Share responsibility for safety and security
Tenants have a number of legal responsibilities for health and safety in areas such as implementing a fire safety plan in compliance with regulations, and maintaining electrical and gas safety records for equipment and appliances they own. It pays dividends to go beyond these, however, and take a view on safety and security as they apply to the whole building.
Liaise with fellow tenants on fire evacuation plans to make sure they are compatible, and share responsibility for keeping walkways clear at all times. Don’t leave external doors or ground floor windows open unattended, and if you do see someone you don’t recognise wandering around, ask them who they are there to see to make sure they should be in the building.
Red Rock provide a professional property and facilities management service across the UK. To discuss your needs and how we can assist you in the management of your property, simply get in touch with a member of our team today.