Ensuring Your Commercial Property Investment is Safe

Owning and managing a commercial property is in many ways more complicated than owning a residential investment and owners should be aware of the risks as they can have a grave impact on their investment and personal circumstances.

With this in mind we have highlighted several changes in legislation below that have occurred recently in the continually changing regulatory landscape surrounding commercial property ownership

Asbestos Reporting & Management.

The legislation has changed several times recently but essentially requires all buildings constructed prior to 01 January 2004 to have an inspection undertaken by a suitably qualified person to identify any asbestos containing materials (AC M’s).

To confuse matters further there are now varying requirements for building constructed prior to 1990 and 2004 depending on of whether asbestos is present or not.

It is imperative that commercial property owners be aware of the requirements applicable to their individual circumstances.

The regulatory authority policing this area has indicated that they will be undertaking 1000 random inspections each year to indemnify non-compliant properties

The   maximum penalties for non-compliance is $30,000. However should non-compliance result in serious illness penalties may be as high as $3,000,000, 5 year incarceration and/or damages from civil litigation.

Fire prevention Services

Commercial building owners now have a duty  to ensure that Fire & Evacuation plans are provided for applicable sites, copies of maintenance records are kept in a secure location on site and emergency evacuation procedures are undertaken at least once a year in certain types of buildings.

Additionally insurers are becoming increasingly stringent with compliance issues and have sort to reject or substantially reduce compensation were a deficiency has been found after an event regardless of whether the obligation for these under the lease rested with the tenant or owner.

Occupational Health and Safety

 Alterations to the definition of the responsible entity have been introduced that effectively widen the scope of responsibility to encompass building owners in areas previously managed by the tenant(s).

In essence the amendments seek to recognize that as a building owner you are providing a product to the tenant(s) at a price (rental) and there is a responsibility to ensure that the product (building & associated land or common areas) are safe to use and occupy.

The areas of responsibility are broad and site specific.

Whilst risk can never be totally eliminated, it is essential that these areas are managed in such a way as to minimize the likelihood of any events taking place in the first instance and secondly to mitigate penalties should an unfortunate event occur.

Raine & Horne Asset Management have been seeks to establish a practical and cost effective method to   manage these risks and commercial investments as a specialist commercial property company that also seeks to provide their clients with a complete range of services and advice to ensure that their commercial investment performs to its maximum potential from purchase to sale.

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