Amenities are a huge draw to potential tenants and homeowners looking to move into a residential community. However, those amenities can become a significant burden and financial drain for property managers that don’t secure them properly. For example, communal amenities like pools, playgrounds, or walking trails are in public spaces and require expensive equipment or services to maintain. Non-residents may invade, vandalize, or damage these facilities. Additionally, some amenities have hidden risks that property managers need to know and prepare for, including:
- Mail Theft. The explosion of online shopping during the pandemic and its continued popularity correlated to a meteoric rise in mail theft. Property managers and landlords aren’t typically liable for stolen mail or packages. However, they are responsible for securing the property. Safeguarding communal mailboxes in an interior building with a locked door can curtail non-resident mail theft. However, not every community can afford this approach. Visible security cameras with live video monitoring are effective theft deterrents and more budget-friendly.
- Pollution and mold. Swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, and gyms with showers are all breeding grounds for mold. Mold can cause significant damage to the property and put residents’ health at risk. Mitigating mold is also costly and time-consuming. Residential communities with mold-prone facilities should consider a rider policy that covers mold or pollution.
- Pools. Pools are no longer a massive challenge to ensure, largely due to eliminating diving boards and slides. Proper signage with clear pool rules, such as no running, no diving, and no unaccompanied children, is often enough to address liability concerns. However, community pools must adhere to federal and state laws to avoid invalidating their covers, such as installing the correct height and type of fence around the pool, providing safety equipment, etc.
- Playgrounds and courts for sports. Outdoor facilities have hidden hazards that can result in costly insurance claims. Playgrounds and courts for tennis, basketball, volleyball, and other sports require regular maintenance to prevent trip hazards. For example, the residential manager can be held liable for injuries caused by cracked blacktops or other signs of neglect.
Insurance coverage needs for residential communities vary depending on the type of properties and amenities available. General liability and commercial property insurance are always necessary, but some communities may need commercial crime insurance, directors and officers (D&O) insurance, business interruption insurance, and more. Contact Windermere Insurance Group to identify and rectify any risks or coverage gaps related to your residential community amenities.