Multi-Family Complexes (Apartment and Condo)



Attend promptly to such things as adequate lighting both inside in the hallways and stairwells and outside around parking lots and entrances; repair of deteriorated carpets, sidewalks, and driveways; installation of anti-slip materials on stairs, in lobbies, hallways, and showers or bathtubs; effective elevator, fire protection equipment and alarm maintenance; and the many other things that a competent safety engineer can recommend.

If security personnel are used, be sure that they are properly trained and supervised. Be wary of overselling the value of such services to the residents. There are numerous cases of assault, rape or robbery of residents by outsiders where the residents were able to recover from the apartment owners for failure to maintain adequate security promised by the owners. Nor are condo or co-op apartment management immune from such exposures. It has long been established in courts that unit owners or co-op residents, even though co-owners of the apartment complex, have the right to sue the owners in common and their association or management for bodily injury or property damage due to their alleged negligence.

Additional Occupancies Sometimes Encountered

Many apartment complexes, especially in central city locations, will have non-residential exposures not considered in detail above. Among them are parking garages, sometimes for residents’ and visitors’ use only, sometimes public garages; retail stores where housekeeping can present problems; restaurants with cooking and exhaust vent hazards; and dry cleaners with potentially hazardous or flammable materials in use. Space does not permit a detailed examination of these exposures here, but they should be taken into account and analyzed for their possible impact on the apartment ownership, whenever encountered.

Common Apartment Loss Problems

Among the many problems in loss adjustment commonly encountered in apartment losses are the following: