While people new to residential property management may recoil at the words “Risk Management”, it is not as daunting as it sounds. In layman’s terms, risk management is taking an in-depth look into the risks and hazards that may arise in a block of flats and then instating reasonable measures to prevent or at least manage these risks.
You may worry that risk management requires a consultant, excessive paperwork and a hike in the block of flats insurance. But if the risk assessment and management are carried out carefully and meticulously, it can be less of a headache than initially thought and could even lead to cheaper block insurance.
The potential risks are:
• Fire, storm, flood & subsidence
• Building conditions
• Building maintenance
• Passenger lift inspections/ management
• Working at height
• Slips, trips and falls
• Water, gas and electrical installations
• Hazardous substances (cleaning fluids, pesticides, asbestos, etc.)
• Diseases and infections
• Waste management
• Manual handling of heavy loads
• Violence and threatening behaviour
• Working alone
Don’t forget that those at risk are not just the occupants of the block of flats. You may also need to consider those in close proximity to the block, such as employees, contractors, neighbours and the general public.
Good risk assessments help identify and reduce hazards, making the environment safer for everyone. It can help reduce serious injuries, loss and in the worst-case scenario, death. So, it is very important that risk management is conducted professionally.
Furthermore, good risk management can build confidence and improve the relationship between the residential property management or landlord and the occupiers. In turn, this can help:
• reduce the risk of accidents.
• prevent claims against the residential block management.
• help your block of flats achieve its full potential in market value.
The quickest way to identify who is responsible for risk management is to refer to the lease. It is worth noting that some risks may be managed by the caretakers, contractors and other parties.
For example, it may fall to the gardening contractor to perform a risk assessment before carrying out extensive gardening work, but it may still be for the property management agency or landlord to ensure all sensible measures have been taken to reduce the risks for the occupiers.
For more risk management advice, speak to our block of flats insurance advisors at Flats Direct, or fill out our quick block insurance online quote.