Whether you’re constructing a new apartment building, taking over an existing one, or maintaining one that’s been yours for years, you’re tasked with serving the needs of multiple tenants. And when it comes to making upgrades or repairs, it’s incredibly important that you don’t cut corners – otherwise, you could be looking at big problems down the road – including being on the receiving end of legal action. Here, Muller Insurance will help you understand pertinent apartment building codes so you can always be in compliance.
The Importance of Codes
Apartment building codes are in place not only to protect your tenants from physical or financial risk but also to protect you from lawsuits. These codes are created for safety, energy efficiency, accessibility, and many other reasons, and may be specific to the town in which a building is located. In general, the codes are designed to keep up with technology and societal advancements without causing an unnecessary increase in costs. After all, if you need to spend more, you’ll likely need to charge more, making your apartments harder to rent out.
Some landlords or apartment owners will try to skirt the law by making repairs and changes without a permit. While DIY projects can feel like they’re saving you money, they can actually have negative effects in the future. If you try to sell a property and it’s found that your updates aren’t up to code, you’re going to have to pay even more to have them done properly in the future.
Code Violations that Must Be Addressed
From codes involving discrimination to the language you’re allowed to use in advertising or when showing apartments, it’s important to be familiar with all the applicable ones in your jurisdiction. You can’t afford to ignore them, as doing so can result in hefty consequences. If you have any issues on your property pertaining to the following codes, be sure to address them right away:
Fire Safety Inspections
Make sure to get an annual fire safety inspection to maintain working sprinklers and fire alarm systems.
It’s important to stay up-to-date with codes regarding accessibility. Checking the ADA’s current codes can help you provide units and common areas that are accessible to those with disabilities. A renter with a disability is allowed to have special accommodations made to their living space, so long as they are deemed reasonable. It’s a good idea to speak with your attorney to clarify each of these instances.
Over time, you’ll need to update electrical components. Whether storms or fires have caused little or significant damage, keeping your electrical units safe and working properly can prevent harm to your renters and keep you out of hot water.
Asbestos and Lead Paint
Asbestos can cause a health risk if not dealt with properly. You cannot simply rip up and toss away items with asbestos, so do your research and look to a professional solution. Lead paint has been illegal for years, so ensure any renovations that involve removing it are handled with care.
Get Protection from Muller Insurance
There’s no replacement for abiding by all of the apartment building codes you’re required to follow. But as an owner, you can gain additional protection from these risks with an apartment building insurance policy from Muller Insurance. Based on our more than 100 years of experience, the right plan can go a long way in helping you run your business confidently. For more information, contact us today.