Performing the regular maintenance that keeps your salon clean and tidy may come naturally to you and your staff, but are your exterior surroundings cared for in the same way?
As a tenant in a shopping center, you most likely signed a lease agreement. Sometimes, you take on additional responsibilities (oftentimes more than you might expect or realize) to keep your business’ curb appeal; but it is important to understand that your landlord and/or the property manager also have responsibilities with regard to the exterior maintenance.
Of course, the area you live in creates a particular type of liability exposure – such as removal of snow accumulation – and yours may differ from your salon owner friends elsewhere in the country. Regardless of your location, however, the roof, plumbing, electric and HVAC units are all parts of the building that need continuous maintenance. You should discuss with your landlord the current condition and upkeep of these items prior to signing your lease. A comprehensive annual inspection should also be done inside your salon, and necessary repairs should be made in a timely manner. The building management team should do regular assessments and inform you, along with the other tenants, when updates have been completed or are in need.
Poor maintenance could cause damage to your facility and to the neighboring businesses. Think what would happen if a water pipe bursts – your salon could be flooded. A snow-weighted roof might not be able to handle the storm, and leaks could be disastrous. If you see water coming from the ceiling, it is important to take precautionary steps. Stop using any affected tanning rooms, put a plastic tarp over the tanning equipment and in the ceiling, and immediately contact your landlord and/or repair person.
Electrical wiring also needs to be updated to meet the specific needs of tanning systems, and other equipment inside your salon. Most likely, 20-year-old wiring is insufficient to properly operate your equipment. When having the electrical service updated or repaired, make sure to hire a licensed, insured and bonded contractor. It is worth spending the extra bit of money to have a professional handle this type of work. Obtain a certificate of insurance from anyone 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 is not a warranty or a maintenance plan.
Although repairs are hard to do when the weather is bad, updates and maintenance must still be addressed. This is why it’s critical to do it routinely, so that you are not waiting until it might be too late. Regularly scheduled upkeep can help prevent long-term damage to the interior and exterior of the building, and can help to prevent and prolong disasters from occurring. Now that some areas of the country are starting to warm up, make sure that building maintenance is completed.
If you are thinking of relocating or renewing your lease at your current location, consider the above items before signing on the dotted line. Call your insurance agent to discuss the insurance requirements of your lease agreement to ensure you have appropriate coverage. It is also a good idea to contact a legal advisor to review any lease documents prior to signing. You should be concerned about properly insuring and maintaining your salon. Make sure that your landlord is, too.