The regular maintenance that keeps your salon clean and tidy may come naturally to you and your staff, but what about your exterior surroundings? As a tenant in a shopping center, you probably signed a lease, and sometimes you take on additional responsibilities (more than you might expect) to keep your business’ curb appeal. It is important to understand that your landlord and/or the property manager also have responsibilities with regard to exterior maintenance.
The building management team should maintain both the premises and the structure. If you are in an area where snow accumulates in the winter, snow removal is crucial to keeping the surrounding area safe. The roof, parking lots and sidewalks need to be cleared during and after every storm. Of course, the area you live in creates particular types of liability exposure. The roof, plumbing, electrical and HVAC units are parts of the building that need continuous maintenance. You should discuss with your landlord their current condition and the upkeep of these items prior to signing your lease. A comprehensive annual inspection should be done inside your salon, and repairs should be made in a timely fashion if concerns are found. The building management team should do regular assessments and inform you (and the other tenants) when updates have been completed.
Poor maintenance could cause damage to your salon and neighboring businesses. Think what would happen if a pipe burst: your salon could be flooded. A snow-weighted roof might not be able to handle the storm, and leaks could be disastrous. Take precautionary steps if you see water coming from the ceiling. Stop using any affected tanning rooms, put a plastic liner over the equipment and in the ceiling, then contact your landlord and/or a repair person immediately.
Electrical wiring also needs to be updated to meet the specific needs of tanning equipment. Twenty-year-old wiring is most likely insufficient to properly operate your equipment. When you are having the electrical system updated or repaired, make sure you hire a licensed, insured and bonded contractor. It’s worth spending a bit more money to have a professional handle this type of work. Obtain a certificate of insurance from everyone who performs repairs at your salon and verify that they are licensed and in good standing with your local municipality. Remember that business insurance policies have exclusions for wear and tear as well as for faulty workmanship, but this type of policy isn’t a warranty or a maintenance plan.
Although it’s hard to do repairs when the weather is bad, updates and maintenance still need to be addressed. Regularly scheduled upkeep can help prevent long-term damage to the interior and exterior of the building. Now that some areas of the country are starting to warm up, make sure that building maintenance is completed.
If you’re thinking of moving into a new facility or renewing your lease, consider these items before signing on the dotted line. Call your insurance agent to discuss the insurance requirements of your lease agreement. Also, it is a good idea to contact a legal advisor to review your documents prior to signing. You should be concerned about properly insuring and maintaining your salon. Make sure your landlord is, too!
Jenny is Vice President of Universal Insurance Programs, based in Phoenix, AZ. She works with new and existing salon owners to determine and provide insurance coverage for their unique business models. Contact Jenny with any questions regarding your insurance at 800.844.2101 x1480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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