A property management company is an intermediary between landlord and tenant. Residential leaseholders in blocks of flats tend to have a managing agent looking after their property but businesses use them too.
If your premises are damaged by a fire or flood, a commercial property management agent should be able to help because maintaining the buildings is one of their key tasks.
According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the role of property management companies include:
- Managing the building(s)
- Management policies
- Insurance relating to the property
- Liaising with occupiers
- Energy management
- Building management systems (IT)
- Health and safety/fire safety
- Management fees
Your commercial property management experts can evacuate the building and secure it but they are also likely to liaise with your insurers in the event of a fire or flood damage business insurance claim. As a business owner, you will be the named policy holder on your insurance documents. However, if you delegate management to your property management company, they will liaise with Charles Piton Ltd to document and clean up the fire damage or water damage and negotiate with your insurer on your behalf.
You need to decide when you take out the insurance and contract with the commercial property management agent, how much responsibility to delegate.
Your insurer will only want to liaise with one party so clear lines of accountability are essential from the outset. If you have a warehouse that is some distance from your main office or if you have several sites at different locations, it may make sense to employ a commercial property management agent who has a local network of builders and access to a project manager who all live near the site.
In an emergency someone will need to oversee the water damage restoration process and contact Charles Piton Ltd to do the clean up. You may not have time or you may feel you lack the expertise. If you have a damaged roof, for example, that requires fixing by a team of builders and roofers, a project manager may be useful.
However, you may need to appoint a loss assessor who will negotiate with your insurer’s loss adjuster if the business insurance claim is big or complex. They also tend to appoint surveyors and builders and they may charge you commission to use your own builder. You therefore need to carefully work out each person’s responsibilities before recruiting anyone to help.
Talk to Charles Piton first because they will be able to advise you about the scale of the fire or flood damage and they will restore the sparkle to your premises.
CPL will also provide a free quote for the clean up which you or your property management agent will need to give to your insurers before they can settle your business insurance claim.
To sum up, clearly if you have several locations for your business premises or if you live and work some distance away from one of your sites, a property management agent will be useful. It’s likely that a commercial management agent will have more experience cleaning up after a flood or fire damage than you have and may liaise with other insurers on behalf of other clients. Please note they will charge management fees.
Take your time when you get a quote from Charles Piton Ltd, ask them and your insurer if they think you need a loss assessor. If you do, you may want to handle the business insurance claim yourself with the loss assessor’s help to avoid overlapping responsibilities. If you don’t need a loss assessor for a smaller claim, you may pass this to your property management agent who already handles maintenance of the building.