Estate Compliance Management - The Real Risks
What is important to us is educating at the front line and at the right time. Many will naturally be in dark when it comes to laws, regulations & compliance and this is why the role of an agent is so important. It’s enough to make a lot of people ask, “is all this red tape necessary!?” , although this is a natural feeling. The risks however are completely real.
We believe that mostly 80% of what we do is education, expertise and risk management. Its often thought that the role of manager is purely reactive and administration. However, its guidance and expertise that offers the best value. How far does it all go!?
The person responsible for managing a building must fulfil statutory compliance obligations which have increased significantly in recent years. There is no question of doubt that it is essential to have a clear understanding of what is required, together with a robust system to ensure things are well managed. This may be compliance and understanding of the Health and Safety at Work Act, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, HSE Management Models, Control of Asbestos Regulations, Electronic vehicle gate safety. These may all apply to the management of buildings with shared common areas and asset equipment. The list goes on.
Compliance management is often overlooked or not given the attention it deserves because the cost implications have little visible return. However, it is vital that the person responsible complies fully as the implications of not doing so are immense. Criminal prosecution, civil claims and severe reputational damage are all possibilities in the event of an incident following failure to act in line with the law.
To offer only a fraction of an example. In a recent known case of a personal injury claim. A neighbouring property owner tripped over a section of minor cracking in a pathway resulting in very minor injuries if any at all. The claim in this case was thousands against the land owner. It’s well documented that regretfully we live in a claim and blame society. Not all cases are of course the compensation culture classic, but in some cases can be routed from here. The numbers and statistics are phenomenal.
Is this an out-of-control compensation culture or are people simply more aware of their legal rights now? Consideration of both offer great food for thought.
When we are engaged to manage a building, our agreement offers in some respects as a responsibility shift from usually the land owner or the person responsible for managing the land to us. We must find a tailored approach, however no matter who you are, you cannot supersede the law and neither can we.
Would you drive without car insurance? Would you live in a home without home insurance?
In todays world, it is hard for a reputable agent to not purposely be that red tape demon? Because we manage buildings we are at risk. Because you are an owner of a flat in our managed blocks you are at risk. Because you are a decision maker for a managed block, you too are at risk. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but we always try and give professional advice when it comes to risk management and compliance to laws. Together with providing residential block management for over 30 years, we also work with a risk compliance firm with over 50 years experience and are able to extend this arm of diligence to every one of our clients on a daily basis, when its needed and when it really counts.
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