Conversation on Ask-NCN 6/22/16
Olivia Markham, The Commons
I was just wondering if anyone had a check list or way that they manage reoccurring events such as fire inspections and drills, egress lighting testing, backflow water inspections, ADA accessibility inspections, elevator conveyance certifications, etc?
I’m new to building management and am learning of these events by chance but have been surprised a few times. My goal is to create two check lists (one for internal checks such as monthly fire extinguisher inspections and one for external like our annual fire inspection) and work them into a shared calendar so we can better prepare for future inspections.
Dustin Barrington, HNS Life Center
We do have a checklist. We schedule on a Google Calendar but I am rolling over to a cmms platform called “maintenance assistance”
You can Google “cmms” and there are a lot of tools that will help you with these functions.
From Ask-NCN 3.1.18
Eric Plamandon, Artspace
Sorry if this is a simple answer… but I have not had a tenant leave our building for over 20 years. So am unsure about a technical questions related to damage deposits. Our tenants must offer one months rent as a damage deposit. Thus, when they leave, they would get this money back. However, as I stated, this hasn’t happen in twenty years. My question is, do we owe them interest on the original damage deposit? Or is it simply a return of exactly the amount we held as a damage deposit for twenty years.
Mike Gilbert, The Jones Trust
Deposit only is the standard.
Shelby Fox, Knight Nonprofit Center
I have never heard of paying interest on a security deposit. I guess if the contract says differently then maybe but otherwise I say no interest just deposit minus any cost incurred from them leaving.
Alan Ziter, NTC Liberty District of the Arts
Commercial real estate rules vary from state to state. This is what I found about California, and though about 10 years old, I think it is helpful. There is no interest requirement for security deposits for commercial leases. https://www.kts-law.com/the-commercial-security-deposit-dos-and-donts/
However, one thing you should be certain to do is make sure that the security deposit is equal to the LAST month’s rent in the lease, not the first month. For some tenants, if they have a 5 or 10 year lease, certainly their rent will be higher by the end of the lease term and THAT is the amount you want to have on hand. Each time the lease renews, you should collect the differential from the deposit on hand and the new end of lease term last month’s rent amount. Make sense? With some tenants in place for 20 years, you may not have increased the security deposit while the rent has increased.
Nancy Osborn-Nicholas, Together Center
I am not sure about the laws governing Tenant Landlord relations in your state, but in general terms a security deposit is used for damages that are beyond ‘normal wear & tear,’ e.g. painting walls, carpet cleaning – normal wear & tear, repair to holes in walls, removal of post leased fixtures – unless specified in lease that the renter must put back to pre-modification standard – security/damage deposit is used for this. Holding Security deposits DO NOT require interest.
One thing to keep in mind, the purchasing power of the original security deposit has greatly been reduced over 20 years.
Katharine Moore, The Jefferson Avenue Center
Am I correct that you are in Manitoba? This link (below) has information that seems to indicate that there isn’t a law requiring interest payments. There is a much more defined set of standards there for residential space. In the States it varies place to place – California doesn’t require the landlord to pay interest on the security deposit, but 15 California cities do.
Great question – we should all know a bit more about this!
I believe Artspace projects have residential components.
Meg Sagaria-Barritt, Posner Center for International Development
I’m wondering if anyone has had success with an issue-reporting form in their centers. For example, ‘We were in the Classroom and the technology there didn’t work in these ways’ or ‘It’s really cold in Office 231.’ A few things we’d like feedback on:
1. Have you used a reporting form? With success? Or poorly adopted? For both answers, why?2. Do you still maintain a ‘come and talk to us’ approach as well and essentially let Tenants select their channel?
Any other feedback or ideas appreciated.
We use a ‘come see us/email us’ reporting system. With only 2 staff, plus a property manager, we find the direct approach the easiest.
Shelby Fox, Knight Nonprofit Center
I like people to email me so it is in writing and it is easier to keep up with and forward to appropriate parties ect. But it isn’t anything formal and no forms.
Alexis Paza, Tides
Hi! Here at Tides Converge we have three different options for our 75 tenant organizations:
- For standard maintenance requests (lightbulbs out, drippy sink, etc), we use “Angus AnyWhere”, a service portal managed by our onsite property manager and building engineer. Every tenant organization has a standard log-in and when making a request they list their location, the request type, and can attach photos/docs, if needed. Our building engineer manages the queue and prioritizes requests, though the property manager can check in at any time with his own log-in to manage/support. Simple and functional.
- For Tides’ staff (we’ve got 90 folks onsite), we have built a ticketing system within our Salesforce portal called Internal Service Requests. Our Facilities Coordinator manages the tickets pulled for facility-related requests, our IT department manages tickets for IT-related requests, etc. When creating a ticket, you receive an email with a link, then that link will take you directly to a page where you can track updates, upload photos, “tag” folks who might want to stay updated on the request, etc. Very functional.
- We also have a few subtenants who are within Tides’ internal office space, so their maintenance requests come directly to Tides’ facilities team instead via a generic email. When a subtenant sends an email to this account, it ends up in the entire team’s inbox, though typically our facilities coordinator fields all requests. This is a bit of a holdover from years past when we didn’t yet use Salesforce, but because there are only a handful of subtenants and the number of facilities requests are low, we’ve kept this as the process for now.
We also welcome a “come and see us” approach, but because we want to set a good example, we either help the person pull a repair ticket via one of the above systems or do it on their behalf with them standing there.
Both the Angus Anywhere and Salesforce ticketing systems work really well for a campus our size because you can track updates (like “waiting for replacement part, estimated time 3 weeks”) that are visible to both the staff member and the person requesting the service. The shared email account is less effective simply because it’s email-based, so it’s not always clear who is taking care of it or if it’s been resolved, and updates are also sent via email and can clog folks’ inboxes.
Reach out directly if you’d like more details – hope this is helpful!
Charlene Altehain, Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center
We built a form into our website so the agencies can submit a work order. I’ve attached a link at the bottom. We like that there’s a trail for the order and the form numbers them which gives us additional tracking capabilities. We’ve had a lot of success with this, but that doesn’t mean agency staff doesn’t occasionally call, email, or come by to report an issue. We try to direct them to the website to use the form, but with over 180 staff at the agencies, we have to go with the flow sometimes. Hope that helps.