Take a Walk!

Written by Cathy Turner, Spectrum Enterprises

I spend approximately 10 to 12 weeks a year inspecting LIHTC properties in several States.  As I walk through various sites it often surprises me how unfamiliar property managers are with the sites they manage.    They are often shocked to see what has been left in basements, boiler rooms, and storage closets.  I realized the job of a site manager is enormous.   However, I strongly encourage all property managers to take the time to walk the property as often as possible.

Here are some of the areas often overlooked.

Grounds

  • Check for uneven pavement and trip hazards.
  • Closely inspection the condition of playground equipment. Check for broken equipment, sharp edges, and trip hazards.  Could a parent or child in a wheelchair enter the playground area?

Basements

  • Check for garbage and debris left by staff and tenants.
  • Storage items/trash should not be located near boilers and water heaters.
  • Be sure gasoline cans are properly stored.  We often find gas cans with covers missing.
  • Does your maintenance staff have a fire proof cabinet for flammables?

Common Halls

  • Check back up systems for emergency lights and exit signs.  Don’t forget to check the lights in the management office and community room.  These lights are often overlooked.
  • Are the electric panel breakers clearly labeled?
  • Check all storage areas/janitor’s closets.  You may be surprised about what you find.
  • Do the trash chute doors self close?
  • All fire doors must self close and latch.  Is the hardware intact and working properly?
  • Fire Extinguishers must be re-inspected annually.  Check the tags.  When were the fire extinguishers inspected last?  Are any of the extinguisher tags missing?
  • Check laundry rooms.  Are unused sewer drains capped?

The site staff has access to grounds and common area every day.   I encourage you to take advantage of the lovely summer weather and take a walk around the property.

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