Repairs & Maintenance (from The Complete Guide to Shopping Center Management, 5/e)


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From The Complete Guide to Shopping Center Management, 5/e--Chapter 21: Repairs & Maintenance

When a tenant reports a problem in its space that needs repair—say, a leaky ceiling or lack of heat—you will want to respond within a reasonable amount of time.

This Chapter Includes: Four Steps to Follow:
1. Check Lease
2. Give Oral Response Immediately
3. Keep Records
4. Send Letter Confirming Oral Response
Also Included Are: A Model Letter: Send Tenant Letter Confirming Your Assurance to Make Repairs; A Repair Tracking Form; A Model Letter: Get Tough with Tenant that Will Not Give You Access; and more.

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Repairs & Maintenance (from The Complete Guide to Shopping Center Management, 5/e)

  1. 1. Chapter 21 Repairs & Maintenance Document Efforts to Make Repairs W hen a tenant reports a problem in its space that needs repair—say, a leaky ceiling or lack of heat—you will want to respond within a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise, the tenant may claim that it is entitled to a rent abatement and withhold all or part of its rent until you make the repairs. Or it may try to break its lease. Step #2: Give oral response immediately. If you are responsible for making the repair, call or visit the tenant immediately to tell it that you are aware of the problem and that you’ve made, are making, or will be making arrangements to make the repair, says Gordon. If you will need access to the tenant’s space to make the repair, try to schedule a date and time when your repair person or employee can gain access. And if you have any information about who will be making the repair or when the repair will be made, tell the tenant, he adds. This will show the tenant that you are taking its repair request seriously. But even if you do respond within a reasonable amount of time, a tenant may sue you, claiming that you did not respond soon enough. If you do not have documentation of when and how you made the repairs, you may have trouble proving that you responded within a reasonable amount of time— and you may end up losing the lawsuit. Step #3: Keep records. Document every repair request you get and the action(s) you take in response to the request, says Gordon. You can use our Repair Tracking form to do this. Start a new form for each repair request you get, and keep it in the tenant’s file. Here’s the information you should document on the form. To prevent this situation, we have given you a Repair Tracking form you can adapt and use to document repair requests and the action(s) you take to make repairs. And we have given you a Model Letter you can adapt and send to a tenant, documenting your oral assurances that you will make the necessary repairs for which you are responsible. ♦ General information. Write down the tenant’s name, the tenant’s location in the center, and the date and time you received the repair request. Four Steps to Follow ♦ Needed repair. Enter information about the repair needed (for example, fix leak, heat, electrical, and so on). When a tenant reports a problem in its space, take the following four steps, say attorneys Howard Gordon and Marc Ripp. Note that in an emergency situation, you should make the repair immediately, says Ripp. ♦ Location of problem. Enter the exact location of the problem and any other locations to which you will need access to repair the problem—for example, the utility room, if it is an electrical problem. Step #1: Check lease. First, check the lease to see if you are responsible for making the necessary repair, says Ripp. ♦ Response to tenant. List details of your conversation with the tenant—for example, who reported 389
  2. 2. 21: REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE the problem; the nature of the problem; whether it is an emergency; steps to be taken to fix the problem; and the dates and times the tenant agreed to give you access to the space. ant reschedules, document this on the Status of Repairs section of your Repair Tracking form. That way, if the tenant sues you, claiming that you did not make the repair within a reasonable amount of time, you can show the court that the reason you did not was that the tenant did not give you access to its space, he explains. ♦ Contact with repair person. Indicate which repair person you’ve contacted. Document details of the conversation with the repair person, such as when the repair will begin and end, and any special arrangements needed to complete the repair (for Model Letter: Send Tenant Letter Confirming example, access to utility rooms, Your Assurance to Make Repairs tenant’s space, or the roof area during nonbusiness hours). This letter, put together with the help of attorneys Howard Gor ♦ Status of repairs. Write notes don and Marc Ripp, is an example of a letter you can send to a tenon the progress of the repair, ant, confirming your oral assurance that you will make repairs. including rescheduling the dates The letter reminds the tenant of the conversation in which you of access, problems with completwere made aware of the problem. It also confirms the date and ing the repair, the date the repair time the tenant has orally agreed to give your repair person or is completed, and tenant satisfacemployee access to the space to make the repair. And it asks the tion. Attach to the Repair Tracking tenant to notify you if it must reschedule the date and time of form any copies of invoices for the access. Send this letter by certified mail, return receipt requested. repair. That way, you will have proof that the tenant got the letter, in the event it claims that it did not. You can adapt this letter to suit your Step #4: Send letter confirmsituation. But first, show it to your attorney. ing oral response. Send a letter to CERTIFIED MAIL—RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED the tenant by certified mail, return receipt requested, confirming your [Insert date] oral response to its repair request, Dear John Tenant: Ripp advises. Your letter, like our On [insert date], you informed us that [insert a description of the problem tenModel Letter, should: ■ Summarize your initial conversation with the tenant regarding the problem; ■ Confirm the date and time the tenant has orally agreed to give your repair person or employee access to the space to make the repair; ■ Say that the tenant should notify you immediately if it must reschedule the date and time of access, says Gordon. If a ten- 390 ant reported]. We notified you on [insert date], that according to Section 9.4 of your lease, we are responsible for this repair, and we will make this repair within a reasonable amount of time. This letter will confirm that in our conversation on [insert date], you orally promised to give us and/or our repair people access to your space on [insert date], in order to make the above-mentioned repairs. We have also agreed that additional time will be scheduled as needed. If for any reason you are unable to provide us with access on this date, please contact us immediately at [insert management’s tel. #] so that we can reschedule. Yours truly, Joan Manager COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT
  3. 3. 21: REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE REPAIR TRACKING TENANT’S NAME TENANT’S LOCATION DATE & TIME OF COMPLAINT LOCATION OF PROBLEM (Also indicate any other location to which you need access to repair the problem.) REPAIR NEEDED RESPONSE TO TENANT (Explain in detail your conversation with the tenant, including the name of the person with whom you spoke.) CONTACT WITH REPAIR PERSON (Write down which repair person was contacted, what was said, when repairs will begin and end, and any special arrangements needed.) STATUS OF REPAIRS (Document progress of repairs, including rescheduling dates of access, problems with completing repairs, date repairs are completed, and tenant satisfaction.) COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT 391
  4. 4. 21: REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE Require Tenant to Give You Access to Make Repairs T here may be times when you will need access to a tenant’s space to make necessary repairs. For example, you may need access to a tenant’s space to repair the roof. But a tenant may refuse to give you access to its space or may try to restrict when you can have access, which can make it difficult—if not impossible—to make the necessary repairs, says New York City attorney Gary A. Goodman. Most leases require the tenant to give the owner “reasonable access” to make repairs. So, if your leases do and a tenant does not give you such access, it is violating its lease and you may be entitled to certain remedies, including eviction. But exercising your remedies can be complicated—particularly, if the lease requires you to first notify the tenant of a lease violation and give it time to cure—that is, correct—the violation, notes New Jersey attorney Marc L. Ripp. And you may not want or need to pursue your formal remedies under the lease when an informal approach is likely to get the tenant to give you access. We’ll tell you why getting access to a tenant’s space to make repairs is important and what steps to take if a tenant refuses to give you access. And we’ll give you a Model Letter you can adapt and send to a tenant to get it to do so. Importance of Getting Access A tenant’s refusal to give you access to its space to make repairs can cause the following problems: ■ Increased damage caused by the problem in need of repair; ■ Additional problems—for example, a roof leak that’s not repaired could lead to a mold infestation; ■ Inability to repair a problem affecting another tenant’s space, possibly putting you in violation of that tenant’s lease; ■ A building code violation if the problem in need of repair involves, say, the center’s sprinkler or fire alarm system; ■ A violation of the center’s insurance policy; or ■ A default under the center’s mortgage or ground lease. Take Three Steps to Address Access Problems Here are three steps you should take if a tenant refuses to give you access to its space to make repairs: 392 Step #1: Check lease. First, check the lease to make sure that it gives you the right to get access to the tenant’s space to make repairs, suggests Goodman. Most leases give the owner the right to reasonable access when the owner has given the tenant reasonable notice of the need for access, he says. But some leases may also limit the right to access to reasonable hours, he notes (see box, “Access Requests Must Be Reasonable”). Step #2: Make oral request. If you need access to a tenant’s space to make repairs, first call or visit the tenant, advises Ripp. During your conversation: ■ Describe the repairs that are needed; n Explain why you need access to the tenant’s space to make such repairs; ■ Tell the tenant which areas of its space you will need access to and when you would like such access; and ■ Inform the tenant of the pertinent lease provisions requiring it to give you access to its space to make repairs. Step #3: Send get-tough letter. An oral request for access is usually all that’s needed—especially if the problem in need of repair directly affects the tenant, says Ripp. But if the tenant fails to comply with your oral request, send the tenant a get-tough letter, says Goodman. Your letter, like our Model Letter, should: ■ Explain why you need access to the tenant’s space; ■ Remind the tenant of your earlier oral request for access to its space to make repairs; ■ Tell the tenant it is violating its lease by not giving you access. Point out the specific lease section that it is violating. Also, if you believe the failure to make this repair could be a violation of a local building code, cite the applicable law; ■ Say that the tenant’s refusal to give you access is preventing you from making the necessary repairs and could lead to further damage or additional problems; ■ Warn the tenant that its continued refusal to give you access to its space would be a lease default; and ■ Inform the tenant that, if necessary, you will take legal action against it—including terminating the tenant’s lease and evicting it—if it does not COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT
  5. 5. 21: REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE Model Letter: Get Tough with Tenant that Will Not Give You Access This Model Letter, put together with the help of New York City attorney Gary A. Goodman and New Jersey attorney Marc L. Ripp, is an example of a letter you can send to a tenant that has refused your oral request for access to its space to make repairs. The letter explains why access is needed; reminds the tenant of your prior oral request for access; tells the tenant it is violating its lease by not giving you access and gives the specific lease section it is violating; warns the tenant that if it does not give you access immediately, it will be in default of its lease; and informs the tenant that you may take legal action. Speak with your attorney about adapting this letter for use at your center. [Insert date] Dear John Tenant: As I discussed with you on [insert date], there is a leak in the center’s roof that is causing damage to the roof and to the tenant’s space adjacent to yours. In order to repair the leak, we need access to your space, specifically to your rear storeroom. Although I requested such access on [insert date], to date you have failed to comply. This is a very serious matter. If the roof leak is not promptly repaired, additional damage will occur to the roof and to the adjacent tenant’s space. Also, additional problems could develop, including damage to your space and the growth of mold in the center’s ceiling and walls. Refusing to give us access to your space to fix the roof leak violates Section 9.4 of your lease, which requires you to give the center reasonable access to your space to make repairs. You must give us access to your space to make the necessary roof repairs. Please contact me immediately to discuss the details. Continued failure to comply with the foregoing shall constitute a default under the terms and conditions of your lease. Should such a default continue, we reserve the right to take legal action to protect our interests under the lease, including, but not limited to, terminating your lease and evicting you from your space. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. Yours truly, Joan Manager COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT 393
  6. 6. 21: REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE give you access to its space to make the necessary repairs. If Tenant Does Not Comply In most cases, your get-tough letter should persuade the tenant to give you access to its space. If the tenant does not comply with your get-tough letter, you can, as a last resort, send the tenant a default notice. Then, if the tenant fails to correct the situation within the lease’s cure period, you can start an eviction proceeding against it. The fact that you have followed the three steps above is likely to strengthen your eviction case because it shows that the tenant had an opportunity to address the issue informally but failed to do so, notes Ripp. But before you take such a drastic step, consider whether it is worth your time and money, and whether you have a tenant ready to replace the income you will lose, he says. Access Requests Must Be Reasonable Most leases require the tenant to give the owner “reasonable access” for repairs, but do not define that term, notes New York City attorney Gary A. Goodman. Even if the lease does not limit access to reasonable access, a court is likely to impose such a limit anyway, he adds. Goodman explains that what a court decides is reasonable access will depend in part on the following: ■ ■ ■ 394 Whether the repairs are necessary, such as in the case of a roof leak, or cosmetic, such as in the case of replacing a cracked floor tile. A court is likely to expect you to be more flexible for cosmetic repairs, says Goodman. But a court will very likely give you greater latitude for necessary repairs, he notes. The type of business the tenant is in. For example, it’s probably reasonable for a medical office tenant to refuse to give you access during business hours because making repairs during that time may disrupt patients and their treatment, he says. And it’s probably reasonable for a medical office tenant to insist that your staff be accompanied by one of its employees while making repairs after hours to protect confidential patient information, Goodman adds. But a court may consider such restrictions by a retail tenant to be unreasonable. Whether you gave the tenant reasonable notice of your need for access to its space. Even if the lease does not require you to give the tenant reasonable notice, a court may find your request for such access unreasonable if you gave it, say, less than 24 hours’ notice. Of course, in the event of an emergency, you may access a tenant’s space without notice or the tenant’s consent, Goodman notes. If a tenant imposes reasonable limits on your access to its space to make repairs and you fail to comply with those limits—and fail to make the necessary repairs—it could cost you. Example: An owner requested weekend access to a tenant’s space to repair several leaks. The tenant, the U.S. Postal Service, said the owner could have access after business hours only if a postal employee was present. The tenant also requested that the owner notify it in advance when the owner wanted such access. The owner never notified the tenant that it needed access and never made the repairs. So the tenant made the repairs itself and withheld the repair costs from its rent due. The owner then sued the tenant for the rent due, claiming that the tenant had denied it access to make the repairs. A federal appeals court in Kansas ruled that the tenant had not denied the owner access to its space. The court said that the owner’s access demands were unreasonable. It noted that, “for obvious security reasons,” the tenant could not give the owner unsupervised access. The court also noted that the tenant was willing to give the owner access after hours upon advanced notice—but the owner never gave such notice [McClure v. United States of America, 1974]. COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT
  7. 7. 21: REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE Comply with Escalator Safety Requirements to Prevent Injuries E very day millions of people safely ride escalators. Still, every year many people—particularly children—are injured in escalator accidents in shopping centers, office buildings, train stations, and sports arenas across the country. And some of these injuries, particularly those caused by “entrapment”—the trapping of clothing or limbs in the escalator—lead to permanent disfigurement or even death. To understand how entrapments happen, you need to understand how an escalator works, says Donoghue. An escalator is essentially a moving staircase within two stationary sidewalls, called a “skirt,” he explains. The skirt houses the internal mechanisms that make the escalator run and protects riders from those mechanisms, he says. In order for the steps to move between the skirt, there must be a small space or gap between them and the skirt, says Donoghue. Without the gap, the steps would rub against the skirt, causing damage and ultimately rendering the escalator inoperable, he explains. The gap, while necessary, may be dangerous because it creates the risk that something—for example, a shoe, piece of clothing, drawstring, hair, or limb—could get entrapped in it, notes Donoghue. Entrapment Lawsuit Can Be Costly While entrapment injuries account for a relatively low percentage of escalator-related injuries, they tend to be more severe than other types of escalatorrelated injuries, such as trip-and-fall injuries, says Donoghue. Thus, a lawsuit by a victim of entrapment could be costly. EXAMPLE: A four-year-old boy’s sneaker got entrapped between an escalator step and skirt. The shearing movement ripped the sneaker, skin, and toes off his foot. After the accident, the child had to have three toes amputated, a pin inserted in his foot, and skin grafts to save the remaining toes and the ball of his foot. The boy’s family sued the building owner and escalator maintenance company for negligence. A Texas court ruled that the escalator maintenance company was negligent and ordered it to pay the boy and his family $5.4 million [Schindler Elevator Corp. v. Anderson, 2001]. Although the jury in this case found that the owner was not negligent, you may not be so lucky. Thus it’s best to take measures to prevent entrapment accidents on your escalators. Comply with ASME A17.1 The American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ (ASME) Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators— known as ASME A17.1—is the basis for all state and local escalator codes throughout the U.S. You can get more information on the ASME A17.1 requirements and on escalator safety in general at the following Web sites: ♦ American Society of Mechanical Engineers ♦ Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation ♦ National Elevator Industry, Inc. ♦ U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT 395
  8. 8. 21: REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE Give Staff Written Procedures for Daily Escalator Inspection T o prevent accidents and damage to your escalators, require your staff to inspect the escalators each day before putting them into operation, says Edward A. Donoghue, code and safety consultant to the National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII), an association for the elevator and escalator industry. And to help you make sure your staff conducts these daily inspections properly, have written procedures saying what to do—and what to look for. The American Society of Me­­ han­cal Engineers c­ i Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators (ASME A17.1), which is the basis for all state and local escalator codes throughout the United States, lays out required procedures for your staff to follow as part of a daily in­ pection. You should incorporate these s procedures—called “start-up procedures”—into your written procedures. We’ll tell you why daily inspections are so critical, and what to say in your written daily inspection procedures. We’ll also give you a Model Memo you can give to your staff that lists the daily inspection procedures for your center’s escalators. Importance of Regular Inspections Although you may have an escalator company service your escalators, you and your staff are responsible for their daily operation, says Donoghue. That’s where regular inspections come in—and the best time to conduct an inspection is at the beginning of each day, before the escalator is turned on and people are allowed to use it, he explains. By requiring your staff to regularly inspect your escalators prior to their use, you will accomplish the following: ■ Confirm that your escalators and their safety features are functioning properly and as designed; ■ Detect any damage, problems, or malfunctions before they become more serious, and more costly to repair; and ■ Prevent accidents caused by a malfunctioning escalator. What Written Procedures Should Include Putting your daily escalator inspection procedures in writing helps avoid ambiguity and confusion about what your staff should be doing and looking for when they do their daily escalator inspection, says Donoghue. Like our Model Memo, yours should list these procedures and explain: When to inspect. Tell your staff that they should follow the procedures at the beginning of every day, 396 before letting anyone use the escalator, says Donoghue. If your escalators run 24 hours a day, ASME A17.1 requires your staff to briefly shut them down and inspect them once a day, notes Donoghue. How to inspect. Lay out all the inspection procedures your staff should follow, in the order they should be followed, advises Don­ ­ hue. Be sure og each procedure is clear about what areas and parts of the escalators it applies to, and what the staff should look—and listen—for. Here are some procedures he suggests including in your memo: ■ Test the starting switch or button, as well as safety devices, such as the stop buttons and alarms, to make sure they function properly; ■ Visually inspect the escalator, including the steps, combplates, skirt, and handrail, for damaged or malfunctioning parts; ■ Ride the escalator, listen for unusual sounds, and make sure the handrail and steps run at substantially the same speed; and ■ Check areas or items near or related to the escalator, such as the lighting, signs, and safety zones. What to do if problems are found. Tell your staff to shut down any escalator that fails any aspect of the inspection, advises Donoghue. If you allow the escalator to run when there’s a problem, the problem may get worse—and you risk someone’s getting hurt. Instruct your staff to block off the top and bottom of the escalator, prevent anyone from using it, and notify both management and your escalator service company. Train Staff It’s not enough to simply lay out these daily inspection procedures, warns Donoghue. Your staff must be properly trained to use them. Most escalator service companies will do this for you. So contact your company and arrange for it to train the appropriate staff members—usually your maintenance and security staff. This training should teach your staff the following: ■ How escalators work when functioning properly; ■ An escalator’s basic parts and related terminology; ■ Common escalator problems and how to recognize them; ■ Your daily inspection procedures and the purpose of each; and ■ What they should look and listen for. COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT
  9. 9. 21: REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE Model Memo: Lay Out Daily Escalator Inspection Procedures for Staff Here’s a Model Memo you can adapt and give to your staff. It lays out the inspection procedures they should follow before starting up your center’s escalators each day. This Model Memo is based on the recommended procedures set out in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators (ASME A17.1) and was written with the help of escalator expert Edward A. Donoghue. The memo tells staff when to follow these procedures, lists the specific procedures, explains what to look for, and says what to do if the escalator fails any aspect of the inspection. DAILY ESCALATOR INSPECTION PROCEDURES To: ALL XYZ MAINTENANCE & SECURITY STAFF From: XYZ CENTER MANAGEMENT Date: [insert date] To ensure the proper functioning of our escalators and the safety of our shoppers and tenants’ employees, the following escalator inspection procedures should be followed at the beginning of every day, before allowing anyone to use the escalator: 1. Before turning escalator on. Before turning the escalator on, check the steps to ensure that no one is on the escalator, and check the top and bottom of the escalator to make sure no one is about to board. 2. Turn escalator on. Turn the escalator on and verify that the starting switch operates properly. Run the escalator so that the steps are running away from you. 3. Test safety devices. Make sure that the stop buttons, alarms, and other safety devices are functioning properly. 4. Conduct inspection. Visually inspect the escalator—both from the landing area and while riding the escalator—looking for the following: ■ Steps that are damaged, missing parts, or improperly positioned; ■ Combplates that are broken or missing teeth; ■ Damaged skirt panels or balustrades; ■ Handrails that are damaged or do not run at substantially the same speed as the steps; ■ Ceiling intersection guards, antislide devices, deck barricades, and caution signs that are not securely in place; and ■ Lighting that is not properly functioning or is not uniform. Also, while conducting your visual inspection, listen for unusual noises or vibrations. 5. Check safety zones. Make sure that the safety zones at the top and bottom of the escalator are clear of obstacles, such as signs, plants, or garbage cans. Also, examine the landing area and adjacent floor area for foreign objects or other slip-and-fall hazards, such as gum, spills, or debris. 6. Shut down escalator if it fails inspection. If the escalator fails any aspect of your inspection: ■ Shut down the escalator immediately; ■ Block off both the top and bottom of the escalator, and do not allow anyone to use it; and ■ Promptly notify [insert appropriate person] in the management office at [insert tel. #] and the escalator service company at [insert tel. #]. COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT 397
  10. 10. 21: REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE Maintain Center’s Appearance by Promptly Removing Graffiti G raffiti at your center will drive away tenants, prospects, and shoppers. That’s because graffiti makes your center look seedy and may attract other types of vandalism and crime. Also, if you do not remove graffiti from your center, you will give the impression that you do not care about it— and you may be breaking the law. You can avoid these problems by promptly removing graffiti that appears at your center. We’ll tell you more about the consequences of not removing graffiti promptly. And we’ll give you four more strategies you can use to effectively remove it and thus maintain your center’s appearance. Consequences of Not Removing Graffiti Promptly Not removing graffiti promptly can have both financial and legal consequences, says Becky Lyons, vice president of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., which runs the Graffiti Hurts program. The Graffiti Hurts program focuses on educating communities, schools, law enforcement, and the media about graffiti and its consequences. Financial consequences. If you do not remove graffiti promptly, you will send out a message that you do not care about the area or your center. This will cause the public to start seeing the area and your center as seedy and dangerous. Once this happens, property values and business growth may decline; vandalism and other, more serious crimes may increase; and prospective and current tenants and shoppers may look to lease and shop elsewhere, explains Lyons. Another reason to promptly remove graffiti is that the longer it sits, the harder—and more expensive—it is to remove, warns Lyons. Ideally, you should remove graffiti within 24 to 48 hours of discovering it, she recommends. Rapid removal is also an effective graffiti-prevention strategy because it clearly demonstrates that your center is being monitored and cared for, Lyons adds. Legal consequences. Some cities and municipalities have laws requiring property owners to remove graffiti within a certain time of its discovery. For example, Albany, Ga., has an anti-graffiti law that gives property owners 30 days to remove it from their property. If an owner does not comply with this law, it can be fined and the city can remove 398 the graffiti and force the owner to pay the removal costs. So check with your attorney to see if your city or municipality has such a law, and make sure you comply with it. Four Strategies for Removing Graffiti While graffiti is unattractive, the results of ineffective graffiti removal can be just as ugly—or worse, warns Lyons. Here are some effective strategies you can use to remove graffiti and thus maintain your center’s appearance. The strategy you use will depend on how much graffiti there is and the surface on which it appears, says Lyons. Your staff may be able to use some of these strategies, such as painting over graffiti or using graffiti-removal products. But you should consider hiring a professional graffiti-removal contractor for more complicated strategies, like sandblasting. Strategy #1: Paint over graffiti. The most common graffiti-removal technique is to simply paint over it, says Lyons. In fact, in a survey of state transportation departments, 90 percent said they removed graffiti by painting over it. When painting over graffiti, Lyons suggests doing the following: ♦ Consider surface first. Do not paint over graffiti on unpainted surfaces, such as brick, stucco, or marble. Use another graffiti-removal strategy on those surfaces. ♦ Seal graffiti. You do not want the graffiti to bleed through the new paint. So before painting, seal the graffiti by covering it with a special primer designed to cover stains or with a colored shellac. ♦ Match original paint color. Cover the graffiti with one or more coats of paint. Ideally, you should use the original paint to cover the graffiti. If you do not have any left, try to match it as closely as possible. If you cannot, consider repainting the entire wall. Different colored patches on your wall will stand out and detract from your center’s appearance almost as much as the graffiti itself. Strategy #2: Use graffiti-removal products. Graffiti-removal products are chemical solvents designed to remove graffiti from a variety of surfaces, says Lyons. While these products are generally effective, many are also toxic. So require your staff to wear rubber gloves and masks when working with them. COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT
  11. 11. 21: REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE ✦ PRACTICAL POINTER: Although environmental concerns have always been an issue when using these products, some of the newer graffiti-removal products —such as the AGS product line made by Swedish manufacturer Trion Tensid AB—are environmentally friendly—that is, nontoxic and biodegradable, says Lyons. Strategy #3: Apply anti-graffiti coatings to center’s exterior. If graffiti is a chronic problem at your center, consider using an anti-graffiti coating on your center’s exterior, says Lyons. This type of coating provides a barrier between the building surface and the graffiti, which makes it easier to remove graffiti without damaging the underlying surface. There are two types of coatings: ♦ Sacrificial. A sacrificial coating is a disposable barrier that comes off when the graffiti on it is removed, so you must reapply the coating every time you remove graffiti. ♦ Permanent. A permanent coating forms a hard, durable finish that will remain even after you remove graffiti. Strategy #4: Sandblast or water blast surface. Sandblasting or water blasting can be effective techniques for removing graffiti if a large area is covered with it. But both methods have drawbacks, cautions Lyons. You should perform sandblasting only as a last resort—and only on durable surfaces that are not easily damaged and can easily be repaired. If you sandblast a soft surface—like brick—you can damage the surface, leave marks, create openings in the wall through which water or insects can get in, and weaken your center’s structural integrity, warns Lyons. Water blasting is better than sand­ lasting b because it does not damage the surface like sandblasting can, and it is environmentally safer, says Lyons. The city of Chicago uses this ap­ roach, p applying a combination of water and baking soda that’s very effective in removing certain types of graffiti, she adds. If you plan to use this method, be careful: The runoff from using baking soda and water can destroy the pH level in the surrounding soil, which in turn can kill your landscaping. Because of concerns about the runoff from water blasting, many cities have laws requiring the use of retaining pools to catch the runoff and prevent it from contaminating the soil or filtering into the ground water, notes Lyons. ✦ PRACTICAL POINTER: For more information on the Graffiti Hurts program, and to purchase a Graffiti Hurts Kit, visit the Graffiti Hurts Web site at www. graffiti The kit in­ ludes an eradication c manual with detailed graffiti-removal information, as well as a video and other educational tools to help prevent graffiti. COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT 399
  12. 12. 21: REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE Use Roof Inspection Checklist to Help Extend Roof’s Life A lmost every roof failure is predictable, says Robert W. Lyons, executive vice president of a roofing company and member of the roofing industry for over 25 years. Roofs often show signs of aging, deterioration, and other problems long before weaknesses and defects develop into leaks, he explains. But many owners and managers only worry about their roof after leaks or other problems appear. This reactive approach can lead to premature roof failure and costly interior damage. You can prevent these problems by regularly inspecting your center’s roof, says Lyons. We’ll tell you the benefits of this proactive approach, when you should conduct roof inspections, and who should do the inspection. And we’ll give you a Roof Inspection Checklist of what to look for during a roof inspection, which you can adapt and use. Benefits of Regular Roof Inspections According to Lyons, regular roof inspections benefit you by: ■ Preventing problems from occurring, and giving you a chance to correct existing problems before they become serious, so that your roof maintains its integrity and lasts longer; ■ Reducing the number of leaks, thus reducing the number of tenant complaints regarding damage to their space, property, and fixtures, business interruption, and so on, caused by leaks; and ■ Detecting problems before they become costly major repairs—or an even costlier roof replacement—down the road, thereby saving you money. When Should You Inspect Roof? Roof inspections must be done on a regular basis to be effective, says Lyons. Since most roof damage oc­ urs during the winter, because of heavy snow or c rain, he suggests that you inspect your roof in both the spring and fall. A spring inspection is essential to evaluate winter damage and plan for any necessary repairs you will make during the spring and summer, he explains. And a fall in­ pection is s important to identify, evaluate, and repair any roof 400 damage bef­ re the harsh winter weather be­ ins, o g he adds. Lyons also suggests that you inspect your roof after major weather events—such as blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes, strong winds, or heavy rain or snow—which can cause substantial damage to your roof. Who Should Inspect Your Roof? Someone who’s familiar with the problems unique to roofs should inspect your roof, suggests Lyons. If no one on your staff is qualified to inspect your roof, consider hiring a roofing contractor or consultant, he says. If you do this, get recommendations for a qualified contractor or consultant from your roof’s manufacturer, other center owners and managers, or from industry associations, such as the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) or the Roof Consultants Institute (RCI), he advises. ✦ PRACTICAL POINTER: You can get information about the NRCA by calling (847) 299-9070 or going to And you can get information about the RCI by calling (919) 859-0742 or going to www. What Should You Look for During Inspections? Our Roof Inspection Checklist lists in detail the areas and parts of the roof you should inspect, including: ■ The roof itself; ■ Its supporting structures—that is, any exterior and/or interior walls, and the roof deck; ■ The flashings—that is, those pieces of sheet metal that tie in the roof system to the walls and penetrations for waterproofing purposes; and ■ Any roof penetrations—that is, items like fans, vents, exhaust pipes, skylights, ducts, or HVAC equipment that penetrate or are mounted to the roof. Our checklist also tells you what types of damage or problems you should be on alert for. You can photocopy the Roof Inspection Checklist and give it to your roof inspector. COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT
  13. 13. ROOF INSPECTION CHECKLIST ROOF CONDITION FLASHING CONDITION (continued) None Minor Moderate Severe GENERAL CONDITION None Minor Moderate ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ Deficiencies ♦ Physical Damage ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ♦ Drainage ❏ ❏ ♦ Open Laps/Fractures ❏ ♦ Attachment Deficiencies ♦ Rusting ♦ Caulking SURFACE CONDITION ♦ Erosion ♦ Cracking/Splitting ♦ Contamination ♦ Blistering ♦ Splitting ♦ Ridging/Wrinkling ♦ Fishmouthing ♦ Loose/Open Laps ♦ Punctures/Slices ♦ Attachment Deficiencies Defects ♦ Moisture Stains Joint Defects ♦ Spalling ♦ Movement Cracks ♦ Splitting ♦ Attachment Defects ♦ Rusting Severe ♦ Open ♦ Punctures ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ Laps ♦ Attachment Deficiencies EXTERIOR INTERIOR ROOF DECK Cracks/ Deterioration ♦ Moisture Stains ♦ Physical Damage ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ FLASHING CONDITION None Minor Moderate Severe BASE FLASHING ♦ Punctures ♦ Splitting ♦ Deterioration ♦ Open Laps ♦ Attachment Deficiencies ♦ Ridging/Wrinkling ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ COUNTERFLASHING ♦ Overlap Deficiencies ♦ Open Laps ♦ Attachment Deficiencies ♦ Rusting ♦ Caulking Defects ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ Severe ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ EQUIPMENT HOUSING ♦ Counterflashing Defects Seams ♦ Physical Damage ♦ Caulking Damage ♦ Open Damage ❏ ❏ ❏ EQUIPMENT BASE FLASHING ♦ Expansion/Contraction ♦ Settlement ❏ None Minor Moderate EXTERIOR INTERIOR WALLS ♦ Expansion/Contraction ❏ ROOF PENETRATIONS None Minor Moderate Cracks/ Deterioration ♦ Moisture Stains ♦ Mold or Mildew ♦ Physical Damage ❏ ROOF EDGING/FASCIA ♦ Punctures SUPPORTING STRUCTURES Damage ❏ WALL ♦ Mortar MEMBRANE CONDITION ♦ Settlement Severe COPING ♦ Debris EQUIPMENT OPERATION ♦ Discharge of Contaminants ♦ Excessive Traffic Wear ♦ Physical Damage ROOF JACKS/VENTS ♦ Attachment Deficiencies Damage ♦ Loose Collars/Clamps ♦ Physical EXPANSION JOINT COVERS ♦ Rust or Corrosion Joints ♦ Punctures/Splits ♦ Rusting Fasteners ♦ Fill Material Shrinkage ♦ Open
  14. 14. 21: REPAIRS MAINTENANCE Use Inspection Checklist to Prepare Your Roof for Winter I t is particularly important to have your center’s roof inspected before the winter. That’s because most roof damage occurs during the winter. Harsh weather conditions—such as heavy rain or snow, strong winds, and extreme temperatures—can cause substantial damage to a center’s roof, says Kent Matteson, president of a commercial roofing consultant company. But many owners and managers only worry about their center’s roof after these conditions cause damage, such as leaks, to the roof. This reactive approach can lead to premature roof failure and costly interior damage. You can prevent these problems by having your roof inspected by a qualified inspector before harsh weather hits, says Matteson. We’ll tell you why a fall roof inspection is so important. And we’ll give you a checklist of items your inspector should examine and things he should look for during such an inspection. Why Inspect Your Roof Before Winter? Regular roof inspections are always important and should be part of your center’s roof maintenance program, says Matteson. He explains that having a roof inspection before the harsh winter weather hits is particularly important because an inspection will: ■ Help you identify potential problems before winter weather conditions make them actual problems; ■ Allow you to address existing problems before conditions such as snow and ice make them worse and more difficult to locate and repair; ■ Save you money in the short-term because it’s always cheaper to repair and maintain your roof than to rebuild or replace it—and it’s even more expensive to have roof work done during the winter; and ■ Save you money in the long run by extending the life of your roof. tem, he advises. If no one on your staff is qualified to inspect your roof, consider hiring a roofing contractor or consultant, he says. Here’s a checklist of items your inspector should examine and things he should look for during a roof inspection: ❏ Active Leaks Your inspector should look for any active leaks in your roof and the sources of these leaks. Locating the sources may be difficult, but it’s necessary and often the most complex part of the inspection, warns Matteson. That’s because the location of a leak inside the building may not correlate with the location of the source of the leak on the roof, he explains. And if you repair the leak but not the source, new leaks will develop. ❏ Field Membrane The field membrane is the surface or covering of your roof, explains Matteson. When inspecting the field membrane, your inspector should look for splits, ridges, eroded areas, punctures, blisters, or separating seams. Although these conditions may not be a problem now, they could quickly become one during the winter. ❏ Perimeter Flashings Flashings, which are usually made of sheet metal, are designed to waterproof the roof. Perimeter flashings, which tie in the roof system to the building, are particularly vulnerable to damage from material shrinkage and movement of building components, Matteson says. And they can be ripped off the roof by strong winds. Your inspector should check that the perimeter flashings are sealed and properly secured, he says. ❏ Penetration Flashings FALL ROOF INSPECTION CHECKLIST Have your roof inspected as early as possible in the fall so that you have enough time to make any necessary repairs before winter, suggests Matteson. And have your roof inspected by someone who’s familiar with the problems unique to your roof sys- 402 Penetration flashings are used in areas where the roof is penetrated by things such as skylights, ducts, and HVAC equipment, explains Matteson. As with perimeter flashings, your inspector should check that these are sealed and properly secured. COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT
  15. 15. 21: REPAIRS MAINTENANCE ❏ Roof-Related Sheet Metal Your inspector should check other pieces of roofrelated sheet metal—like metal coping caps, counterflashing, expansion joint covers, perimeter fascia metal, and termination bars, advises Matteson. He should check if the sheet metal has loose fasteners, an inadequate numbers of fasteners, or poorly maintained caulking at its edges, he says. Sheet metal that has such conditions may develop leaks or get damaged by the wind, he notes. Also, the inspector should make sure the sheet metal joints are properly sealed and that the sheet metal is secured to the roof so that strong winds cannot rip it off. ❏ Drainage Poor drainage is a common problem on low-sloped roofs, says Matteson. If roof drainage devices— including drains, scuppers, gutters, and downspouts—are clogged, water can accumulate on the roof and create “ponding,” he explains. This can lead to leaks and deterioration of the roof system. And if the ponding is severe, in extreme cases your roof can collapse, he warns. It is important that drainage devices are free of debris and other obstructions, he says. So when checking your roof’s drains, your inspector should make sure that all drains are open and allow water to exit and that all gutters and downspouts are secure and free of debris. And if you are in a region that gets a lot of snow, consider putting a red pole near each drain so that your staff members can easily locate them to clear them after a snowfall, suggests Matteson. ❏ Adjacent Conditions Your inspector should check things such as ductwork, skylights, wall penetrations, seals to doors on the roof, and HVAC equipment, says Matteson. That’s because leaks attributed to roof problems are often actually due to defects in these items, he explains. ✦ PRACTICAL POINTER: You should have your roof reinspected after any major weather event, such as a blizzard, nor’easter, or especially strong winds. COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT 403
  16. 16. 21: REPAIRS MAINTENANCE Prepare Your Air-Conditioning System for Summer K eeping your center cool and comfortable in the summer should be one of your top priorities. Although tenants may forget that you were a little late in answering a maintenance call once or twice, they won’t forget the days they had to spend in sweltering heat while your maintenance staff tried to figure out the problem with the air-conditioning system. To ensure that the summer heat does not catch you with a broken air-conditioning system, have your maintenance staff inspect and fix any problems with the system before summer starts. With help from air-conditioning maintenance experts, we have prepared two Air-Conditioning Inspection Checklists that you can adapt and give to your maintenance workers every spring to guide them through their air-conditioning system inspection and maintenance. One checklist is for individual condensing units; the other is for ­ ystems that work off central chills ers with cooling towers. Your maintenance workers should check off each box after they have completed each task and record what corrective measures were taken or still need to be taken to correct any problems. Completed checklists should be filed in the ­ anagement office. m SPRING AIR-CONDITIONING SYSTEM INSPECTION TIPS Individual Condensing Units— Outdoor Maintenance Conduct visual inspection. Your maintenance workers should first visually inspect the outdoor portion of the cooling system. Between 60 percent and 70 percent of all cooling system problems can be discovered and fixed simply by doing a visual inspection of the system’s components, says Paul Crosby, division of maintenance supervisor for Gene B. Glick Company. Your maintenance workers should check for leaves, bugs, bird nests, and anything else that may have accumulated over the winter, says Crosby, and should locate the condenser, compressor, and evaporator and check for any loose electrical connections—making sure to shut off the power to the unit before doing so. They should also inspect the supply and return ducts for damage and seal all 404 openings that they see around the pipes and ducts, he adds. Clean debris from condensers. Your maintenance workers should clear away any debris they notice around the system’s condensers. Clean outside condensing coils. Your maintenance workers can clean the outside condensing coils by spraying them with a coil cleaner and rinsing thoroughly. If using an acid-based cleaner, your maintenance workers should make sure the acid concentration does not cause corrosion in the condensing coils, warns Crosby. Individual Condensing Units— Indoor Maintenance Change filters. Every spring, your maintenance workers should change the filters in each individual air-conditioning unit for which the center has maintenance responsibilities, even if the filter does not look dirty. When doing so, they should make sure the new filter fits correctly, says Crosby. At the same time, take a look at the blower motor. If the motor or blower cage is dirty, it should be cleaned, he adds. Clean each unit’s coils. Next, your maintenance staff should clean the coils in each individual airconditioning unit. For minor dirt buildup, Crosby recommends using a nonacid, self-rinsing coil cleaner. For heavy buildup, a stronger, more thorough cleaning may be needed. Crosby suggests instructing your maintenance workers to fill out a maintenance request form on the spot if they need to return to remove heavy buildup. If it’s necessary to remove the flue pipe (on a gas furnace) to access the evaporator, make sure it is carefully replaced, he says. Insert sludge tabs in condensate pans. Sludge tabs help melt the sludge and buildup that can accumulate in condensate pans over the winter. With sludge tabs in place, once the air conditioner is turned on, the water will flow through the condensate coils over the sludge tabs and soften any sludge that may be blocking the flow of moisture. Clear condensate drains. It is very important that your maintenance workers check the condensate drains. Over the winter, moisture that re­ ained in m the drains may have dried up, forming hard clogs, says Crosby. When you turn on the air-condition- COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT
  17. 17. 21: REPAIRS MAINTENANCE ing system, these clogs may prevent condensate water from flowing into the drain. The result will be water backing up out of the drain pan and flooding your center interiors. This is especially important today, in light of the many mold-related lawsuits. Condensate moisture is laden with mold and mildew spores. Ask tenants to test air conditioners. For centers that take care of air conditioners in tenants’ spaces, after your maintenance staff has done its inspections and maintenance, but before it gets too hot outside, ask tenants to turn on their air-condition­ ing units to see if the units are working. That way, if there’s a problem, your maintenance staff will be able to order any necessary parts and fix broken units before the summer season, says Crosby. If you wait for the first hot day to test the units, vendors may already be out of the parts you need, he notes. Central Chillers with Cooling Towers Grease motor bearings. Your maintenance staff should grease the bearings—the parts that make motors turn—and check them for wear and tear, says Jim Woods, service manager for John C. Cassidy Air Conditioning in West Palm Beach, Fla. He recommends having your maintenance staff check the bearings at least twice a year. Tighten electrical connections. Tightening electrical connections is very important, says Woods. Loose connections will cause a voltage drop to the air-conditioning equipment. Decreased voltage will make the motors and relays run at a hotter temperature and reduce the life expectancy of your equipment. This problem can be compounded during the peak of summer, says Woods, when increased demand lowers the supply voltage anyway. Grease pump bearings. Have your maintenance workers grease the pump bearings and check that they are operating smoothly, Woods advises. Drain and clean cooling tower. Your maintenance staff should drain and clean the cooling tower. Then they should use a pressurized hose to wash the inside and outside of the cooling tower, says Woods. Check fan belt in cooling tower for wear and tear. Have maintenance workers make adjustments to the cooling tower belt as needed and replace the belt if there’s any sign of wear and tear, says Woods. Replace all filters. Also have maintenance workers replace all filters, says Woods. Filters should be checked monthly and replaced as needed. Clean evaporator coils. Evaporator coils should be freed of algae, dirt, bird droppings, and other substances that may have accumulated over the winter, says Woods. Clean drain pans. Clear drain pans of any debris. Also, vacuum out any standing water that may have accumulated in them, says Woods. Check calibrations on thermostats. Have your maintenance workers check the calibrations on the thermostats, advises Woods. If the controls are out of calibration, the air-conditioning system may be using too much energy by running too long and overcooling, he explains. Safety Tips for Maintenance Staff Safety is important when dealing with heavy equipment like a cooling tower system. Paul Crosby, division of maintenance supervisor for Gene B. Glick Company, recommends that your maintenance staff wear protective clothing, like face shields or goggles, rubber boots, gloves, and hard hats. He also recommends installing protective guards around rotating pieces of equipment before inspecting a cooling tower. Jim Woods, service manager for John C. Cassidy Air Conditioning, recommends that your maintenance staff lock all electrical disconnects in the OFF position before working on the cooling tower. Crosby warns that only trained maintenance staffers should service cooling towers. He recommends hiring an outside service company to do the yearly maintenance on a cooling tower system if no one on your staff has advanced training in servicing this type of equipment and air-conditioning system. COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT 405
  18. 18. 21: REPAIRS MAINTENANCE Air-Conditioning Inspection Checklist Individual Condensing Units Center’s Name____________________________________________________________________ Date_ _________________ _ Address_ _______________________________________________________________________________________________ _ Inspector’s Name_________________________________________________________________________________________ INSTRUCTIONS: Check appropriate box for each air-conditioning component. In the section marked COMMENTS, record whether a problem was found, and if so, its location, a brief description of the problem, and what corrective measures were or need to be taken to correct it. OUTDOOR MAINTENANCE A/C COMPONENT COMMENTS ❏  CONDUCT VISUAL INSPECTION ❏  CLEAN DEBRIS FROM CONDENSERS ❏  CLEAN CONDENSATE DRAINS ❏  CLEAN OUTSIDE CONDENSING COILS INDOOR MAINTENANCE A/C COMPONENT COMMENTS ❏  CHANGE FILTERS ❏  CLEAN COILS IN EACH UNIT ❏  INSERT SLUDGE TABS IN CONDENSATE PANS ❏  ASK EACH TENANT TO TEST OPERATION OF UNIT ❏ OTHER 406 COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT
  19. 19. 21: REPAIRS MAINTENANCE Air-Conditioning Inspection Checklist Central Chillers with Cooling Towers Center’s Name____________________________________________________________________ Date_ _________________ _ Address_ _______________________________________________________________________________________________ _ Inspector’s Name_________________________________________________________________________________________ INSTRUCTIONS: Check appropriate box for each air-conditioning component. In the section marked COMMENTS, record whether a problem was found, and if so, its location, a brief description of the problem, and what corrective measures were or need to be taken to correct it. MAINTENANCE A/C COMPONENT COMMENTS ❏  GREASE MOTOR BEARINGS ❏  TIGHTEN ELECTRICAL CONNECTIONS ❏  GREASE PUMP BEARINGS ❏  DRAIN CLEAN COOLING TOWER ❏  CHECK COOLING TOWER FAN BELT REPLACE IF NECESSARY ❏  REPLACE ALL FILTERS ❏  CLEAN EVAPORATOR COILS ❏  CLEAN DRAIN PANS ❏  CHECK THERMOSTAT CALIBRATION ❏ OTHER COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT 407
  20. 20. 21: REPAIRS MAINTENANCE Reduce Health Risks, Save Money with ‘Integrated Pest Management’ Program M any owners and managers routinely use pesticides in and around their centers and the surrounding property to control pests, such as weeds, cockroaches, mice, wasps, and ants. But pesticides pose a health risk to your staff, tenants, and shoppers. Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with existing health problems like asthma are particularly vulnerable, says Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides/National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides. Also, pesticides are often implicated as a contributing factor to indoor air quality problems. There is an innovative program, supported by the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA), that you can use to control pests without endangering your staff, tenants, and shoppers. It’s called “Integrated Pest Management” (IPM). The goal of an IPM program is to minimize pesticide use and the associated risks to human health and the environment, while maximizing the use of alternative anti-pest strategies to control pest problems, explains Feldman. An IPM program has two benefits: It can help you improve your center’s pest management results; And it can reduce your costs, liability, and risks associated with pests and pesticides, says Brad Mitchell, author of the Massachusetts Department of Food Agriculture’s “Integrated Pest Management Kit for Building Managers.” We’ll tell you what an IPM program is, the benefits of such a program, and how to get your tenants to use the program if you decide to implement it. And we’ll give you a Model Memo you can use to notify tenants of your IPM program. What’s IPM? With IPM, preventing pest problems is key. “The idea is to be proactive rather than reactive,” explains Mitchell. Pesticides are only used to manage pests after nonchemical methods of control have failed, says Feldman. The main elements of an IPM program include: Monitoring center and surrounding property for pest problems. One helpful monitoring tool is the sticky trap. Placing these traps in and around your center will help you determine whether you have 408 any pest problems and, if so, the type and number of pests present. Another helpful monitoring tool is a pest-sighting log. Having tenants and your staff log any pest sightings, the location of the sightings, and the number of pests seen will help you focus on problem areas, thus eliminating the need for regularly scheduled pesticide sprayings and unnecessary use of toxic chemicals, notes Feldman. Identifying causes of pest problem. Pesticides are only a “quick fix” and do not prevent future pest problems, says Mitchell. Identifying the causes of your pest problem can help you properly address the causes and prevent future problems, notes Feldman. Pest problems can be caused by poor maintenance, housekeeping, and sanitation practices. Addressing causes by changing conditions. Once you have identified the causes of your pest problem, you need to change those conditions, says Feldman. For example, you may need to caulk cracks and crevices, repair and maintain leaky pipes, and aerate soil. Remember that by changing the conditions that attract pests, you not only eliminate your current pest problem but also prevent future problems, says Feldman. You may also need to change certain practices in your center. For example, if you have a cockroach problem because of poor sanitation in your food court tenants’ spaces, you may have to require those tenants to start using pressurized water to clean their food preparation and service areas. Using mechanical and biological controls. If your pest problem persists after you change the conditions that are causing it, your next step should be to use mechanical and biological controls to address the problem, says Feldman. An example of a mechanical control is a mousetrap. An example of a biological control is the use of safe animals or insects, such as cats or ladybugs, to prey on your pests, explains Mitchell. But some of these options may not always work in a shopping center, he notes. You should try to use creative ways to address pest problems. The idea is to control pests’ access to food, water, and shelter. By eliminating their access to these necessities, you will eliminate your pest problem, explains Mitchell. COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT
  21. 21. 21: REPAIRS MAINTENANCE Applying a pesticide with the lowest risk in the most controlled manner as a last resort. An IPM program permits the use of pesticides in your center only if all the above methods have failed to control your pest problem, says Feldman. If you must use a pesticide, you should use one with the lowest risks possible when it comes to toxicity and exposure, says Mitchell. For example, use pesticides such as tamper-resistant bait traps, silica gels, boric acid, or soap-based products, and apply them in the least intrusive manner to minimize exposure, says Feldman. So if you have wasps in, say, the center’s outdoor courtyard, you should not apply a pesticide inside the center. Benefits of IPM Program Implementing an IPM program benefits your center by: Protecting the health of staff, tenants, and shoppers. The dangers of pesticide exposure—particularly for children—are well-documented. Low-level pesticide exposure can adversely affect a child’s neurological, respiratory, immune, and endocrine systems, notes Feldman. Children are not the only ones at risk. Pesticides can also affect your staff’s, tenants,’ and shoppers’ health. Many pesticides are linked to cancer, such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, and brain cancer. And if a staff member or tenant gets sick because of pesticide exposure in your center, she could sue you—and your insurer might not have to defend or cover you. Saving money. An IPM program will ultimately save your center money in several ways, says Feldman. First, because an IPM program focuses on preventing pest problems in the first place, it will reduce how much your center spends on pest control in the long-term. There will be initial “startup” costs, including training, buying new equipment, hiring an IPM coordinator, and making preliminary building repairs. But, over time, the overall savings of an IPM program outweigh those initial costs. Second, an IPM program will save your center money by eliminating lawsuits relating to your pesticide use. As the California case above shows, your center could face costly lawsuits for pesticide-related injuries. Third, an IPM program can save you cleanup costs that could be incurred if a pesticide is incorrectly applied in your center or creates an environmental hazard. Again, you may think your insurer will cover the cost of such cleanup. But that’s not always the case. Example: A Louisiana pest control operator sprayed several schools and their surrounding areas twice with a chemical pesticide called Lindane to eliminate a flea problem. Two days later, the students were dismissed early because of a strong odor. A government official visited the schools and detected unsafe levels of the pesticide. The district was ordered to immediately address the situation, which it did by extensively cleaning all the buildings, removing and replacing temporary buildings and classroom items, and resodding certain areas. The district then sought reimbursement for the nearly $1 million in cleanup costs from its insurer. The insurer refused to pay the costs, claiming that property damage caused by pesticides was not covered under the policy. When the district sued, a court agreed with the insurer and dismissed the case [Assumption Parish Sch. Bd. v. Mt. Airy Ins. Co., 1995]. Improving environmental conditions. Using an IPM program will help eliminate or reduce the use of pesticides at your center. This, in turn, will help improve the overall environmental condition at your center, says Feldman. When a center is sprayed with a pesticide, the chemical fills the air and settles on floors, counters, shades, and walls. The odor is unpleasant and long lasting. And the residue can remain for days and break down to other dangerous compounds. Also, an IPM program can improve your center’s environment in other ways. For example, using IPM to eliminate weeds in your center’s landscaping will improve the overall quality of the plants, grass, and foliage. ✦ PRACTICAL POINTER: Several states and municipalities require owners to implement IPM programs at their properties. So consult with your attorney to see if your state or municipality has such a requirement. Require Tenants to Use IPM To ensure that your IPM program is as effective as possible, you will need your tenants’ cooperation, says Mitchell. But getting that cooperation may not be easy. That is because each of your tenants may have a different approach to handling pest problems, and each may use different pest control companies. But if, say, one food court tenant uses poor COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT 409
  22. 22. 21: REPAIRS MAINTENANCE pest control procedures, the entire food court—and perhaps your entire center—may suddenly have a pest problem. The best way to get tenants’ cooperation is to include your IPM program’s policies and procedures in your center’s rules and regulations, suggests Mitchell. That way, if your leases are like most commercial leases and require tenants to obey the center’s rules and regulations, you will be able to take action against a tenant that does not follow your IPM program’s policies and procedures, says New York attorney Gary A. Goodman. them. To do this, send tenants a memo and attach your IPM program’s policies and procedures to it. Your memo, like our Model Memo, should: ■ Explain what an IPM program is; ■ Tell tenants they must participate in the program, and cite the lease clause that requires them to do so; and ■ Tell tenants you have attached your IPM program’s policies and procedures to the memo. ✦ EDITOR’S NOTE: For guidance on dealing with bed bugs, see Chapter 20: “Stop Bed Bug Infestation from Spiraling Out of Control.” If your leases give you the right to add reasonable rules to existing rules, chances are you will have no problem adding your IPM program’s policies Model Memo: Notify Tenants of Center’s IPM Program and procedures to your center’s rules, says Goodman. But before Here’s a Model Memo, created with the help of attorney Gary A. you do so, check with your attorGoodman, which notifies tenants about your center’s IPM proney to make sure it is okay. gram. Our memo explains what an IPM program is, tells tenants If your leases say nothing they must participate in the program, and says that your IPM proabout whether you have the right gram’s policies and procedures are attached. Before you send this to amend or add to your center’s memo, check with your attorney to make sure your leases give existing rules, there’s no harm in you the right to impose your IPM program on tenants. trying to impose the new rules, says Goodman. The worst a tenINTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT PROGRAM ant can do is refuse to follow To: Tenants them. But many tenants may be From: Management willing to follow your new rules Date: [insert date] even if you do not legally have the ABC Center has implemented an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) proright to impose them, Goodman gram. An IPM program is designed to minimize pesticide use and the assoadds. This is especially true if you ciated risks to human health and the environment, while maximizing the use stress to your tenants that an IPM of alternative anti-pest strategies to control pest problems. The IPM program program will ultimately benefit will save ABC Center—and ultimately, its tenants—money by reducing pest everyone—including them—and control costs in the long-term. And it will improve shoppers’ overall experiwill improve the center’s overall ence at ABC Center. environment. The IPM program policies and procedures have been added to ABC Cen- Notify Tenants of IPM Program Once you have included your IPM policies and procedures in your center’s rules and regulations, you need to notify your tenants about 410 ter’s rules and regulations. Section [insert appropriate section #] of your lease requires you to follow the center’s rules and regulations. So failure to comply with the IPM program’s requirements constitutes a lease violation. A detailed description of the requirements of the IPM program is attached to this memo. Please insert the attachment into your binder containing the center’s rules and regulations at [insert page or section #]. COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT
  23. 23. 21: REPAIRS MAINTENANCE Ensure Center’s Redevelopment Proceeds Smoothly M ore and more shopping center owners are finding that to stay competitive with newer centers, they must redevelop—that is, significantly refurbish and remodel—their older, deteriorating centers. But a redevelopment can anger existing tenants if it is not handled correctly. New Jersey attorney Evelyn S. Leonard warns that a tenant that is upset about the effect of the redevelopment plans could try withholding rent, or it could sue the owner because it claims that the redevelopment has hurt its business. Or it might ask a court to issue an injunction to stop progress of the redevelopment. Also, a badly run redevelopment could sway community opinion against the redevelopment, and be a turn-off to customers and prospective tenants. There is a way to make sure the redevelopment process runs smoothly, says Leonard, who has worked on many shopping center redevelopments. That is, follow eight procedures when your center is undergoing a redevelopment. With the help of Leonard and Virginia attorney Paulette E. Peltz, who also has worked on many redevelopments, we’ll tell you about those eight procedures. Uncooperative Tenant Tries to Stop Redevelopment When a redevelopment doesn’t run smoothly, you could end up in court, as this Louisiana owner did: The owner wanted to redevelop its aging shopping center. Therefore, the owner notified its tenants— among which was a shoe store—that it would terminate their leases to make way for the redevelopment. The owner offered the shoe store tenant a space at an alternative location, to reduce the redevelopment’s disruption to the tenant’s business. However, the tenant balked, and asked a court to issue an injunction to stop the owner from terminating its lease, evicting it, and demolishing the center. Fortunately for the owner, a federal court in Louisiana refused to issue the injunction. The court said that the owner had violated the tenant’s lease by terminating it. However, the injunction was not appropriate, because the tenant could be adequately compensated by a monetary award. And the tenant would suffer financial harm, even with an injunction, since the mostly abandoned center was not generating much foot traffic or sales. The evidence also indicated that the tenant was holding up a redevelopment project in which the local municipality had invested $13 million, and which would result in substantial tax revenue, more retail operations, and many new jobs for the residents [The Shoe Show of Rocky Mount, Inc. v. Palace Properties, LLC, March 2007]. Although the owner won the case, the owner had to spend time and money fighting one disgruntled tenant that was determined to stop the redevelopment. And the owner will probably be forced to pay the tenant a monetary award for terminating its lease to redevelop the center. EIGHT PROCEDURES Follow these eight procedures to ensure a smooth redevelopment: ❏  et List of Lease, Governing Document G Restrictions Once the owner/developer has decided to redevelop the center, ask its attorneys to give you a list of restrictions and to identify issues in the tenants’ leases and the center’s governing documents that could affect your ability to commence and complete the redevelopment, advises Peltz. For example, you need to know if those leases or governing documents contain: ■ No-build areas, whether express or implied (for example, common areas that can be used only for parking); ■ Requirements concerning the visibility of tenants’ spaces and signage; ■ Requirements concerning access to the center or tenants’ spaces; ■ Parking ratio requirements; ■ Height restrictions on buildings or other improvements at the center; ■ Restrictions on using fencing and blockades; ■ Protected entrances for ingress and egress; ■ Protected open-space areas; ■ Rights to maintain specific signage, corporate logos, or corporate prototype facades; ■ Restrictions on reducing or increasing the size of existing buildings; COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT 411
  24. 24. 21: REPAIRS MAINTENANCE ■ Time periods when construction work is forbidden —such as the tenants’ busiest sales season; and ■ Tenant’s right to approve or restrict design changes to the center and the façade of the tenant’s space. Without this list of restrictions, you may be unable to prevent the construction work from violating any leases and the governing documents, Peltz warns. ❏  ommunicate with and Involve C Existing Tenants The worst thing you can do is leave the center’s tenants in the dark about the redevelopment. Instead, be proactive by making the tenants feel a part of the redevelopment process, says Peltz. The more involved they are, the less likely they will cause you problems. For example, you should: Set up tenant meetings. It is critical for you and the construction company’s representatives to meet with the tenants to let them know what the redevelopment will involve, says Leonard. Make it clear during the meeting that the redevelopment is a positive change for the center and that you need the tenants’ cooperation to make sure the process runs smoothly and efficiently, she adds. Use the initial meeting as an opportunity to: ■ Show your tenants the architectural drawings of the redeveloped center; ■ Explain what changes and upgrades will occur; ■ Establish a time schedule for the construction work; ■ Indicate how the construction will affect the stores, sidewalks, parking lots, and other common areas, as well as signage. For instance, you may need the tenants to remove their signage for the redevelopment while you put up temporary banners and signs; ■ Listen to tenants’ grievances about redevelopment; ■ Resolve tenants’ grievances; and ■ Give tenants the telephone number of the redevelopment hotline, says Peltz. The hotline should be staffed by a person in your office who can answer questions about the redevelopment and resolve any redevelopment-related problems, she explains. You might want to hold monthly or quarterly follow-up tenant meetings, Peltz adds. 412 Create redevelopment newsletter. Create a redevelopment newsletter for your tenants, says Leonard. Send out the first issue before the redevelopment begins, to advise tenants of what will happen during the redevelopment, she advises. Send out subsequent issues during the redevelopment to keep tenants informed and up to date on the progress of the redevelopment. Request tenant recommendations. Make your tenants feel that their opinions matter by asking them for recommendations, says Peltz. For instance, suppose your center is facing a major redevelopment that will result in many empty spaces. To help fill up those spaces, ask your existing tenants for recommendations of prospective new tenants or types of uses—such as a shoe store—for those spaces, says Leonard. You can also get other ideas from the tenants—such as how best to place the contractor’s scaffolding, adds Peltz. Ask for tenant recommendations in your tenant newsletter or at a tenant meeting, says Peltz. Create gimmicks, programs for tenants. To put the redevelopment in a positive light for tenants, make sure you invite tenant representatives to the redevelopment’s groundbreaking ceremony, says Leonard. And create gimmicks and programs for tenants associated with the redevelopment, adds Peltz. For instance, Peltz’s company created a survival kit for tenants at a center that was being redeveloped in Park City, Utah. The kit contained a hard hat, a water bottle, a reduced copy of the redevelopment plans with sketches, a hand/battery-powered radio, a flashlight, and freeze-dried snacks. Give perks for tenant remodeling. Consider offering tenants special perks—such as rent concessions—if they remodel their store and install new storefront signage in conformity with the new look of the redeveloped center, adds Leonard. ❏ Use PR Tactics to Sway Community Opinion You need to put the redevelopment in a positive light for the local community, too, says Peltz; you don’t want the community trying to block the redevelopment or shunning the redeveloped center. Here are some public relations tactics you can use to put the redevelopment in a good light, say Leonard and Peltz: ■ Before the redevelopment begins, communicate with the community’s media outlet to emphasize the positive attributes of the redevelopment; COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT
  25. 25. 21: REPAIRS MAINTENANCE ■ Invite community representatives to the redevelopment’s groundbreaking ceremony; ■ Set up a Web site for the redeveloped center, with information about and photos of the finished center; ■ Have contests for name dedications—that is, name a building at the redeveloped center after a community member; ■ Create a new logo for the redeveloped center and install tasteful signage and artwork to get the new image out to the community; ■ Use the redeveloped center’s grand opening as an opportunity to do something good for the community —such as making donations to local schools or a local war memorial; and ■ To bring customers from the community to your redeveloped center, consider holding drawings for door prizes to be redeemed at your redeveloped center—such as gift certificates to the center’s restaurants. ❏  egotiate Relocation, Termination N Agreement with Existing Tenants If a lease doesn’t give you the right to relocate a tenant, then negotiate an agreement with that tenant to relocate it within the center or terminate its lease if it doesn’t want to relocate, says Leonard. Without the ability to relocate the tenant, you may be unable to proceed with the redevelopment where the tenant’s space is located and could face a lawsuit like the one the Louisiana owner faced. If the tenant balks at relocation, remind the tenant that it must cooperate with you because the redevelopment will make the center more viable. And a viable center will benefit the tenant’s business. ❏ Regularly Check Progress of Construction During the redevelopment, go to the center often and report back to the owner about the progress of the construction, says Peltz. You need to keep an eye on the construction work to ensure that it complies with the center’s leases and governing docu- ments, that it has a minimal impact on the center, and that no problems develop, she explains. ❏  eep Up Center’s Look/Maintenance K During Construction Make sure that you continue to keep the center well maintained during the redevelopment process. Fence off construction areas for safety reasons and to make sure your center doesn’t turn into one big construction site, says Leonard. Dress up vacant windows. Make sure vacant stores—both inside and outside—are kept clean and well maintained, she says. Windows of vacant stores should be washed and have “For Rent” signs where necessary, she adds. ❏  ive Concessions to Tenants Hurt G by Redevelopment For tenants that have experienced a downturn in their business and difficulty in paying rent because of the redevelopment, consider signing a lease amendment that restructures the tenant’s rent, says Leonard. For instance, you might decrease fixed minimum rent for a temporary period—and possibly bump up the rent later on to make up for the decrease. Or you might have the tenant pay percentage rent instead of minimum rent for a temporary period or until a certain sales threshold is reached, she says. ❏  ign License Agreements to Temporarily S Fill Vacancies If you have vacant spaces at the center after the redevelopment, be aware that it might take a while to find permanent tenants. In the meantime, consider signing a license agreement with a short-term licensee. For example, you might be able to attract a seasonal store—such as a Halloween or Christmas store—to a vacant space while you are searching for a permanent tenant, says Leonard. COMPLETE GUIDE TO SHOPPING CENTER MANAGEMENT 413