Yassir Awan, Director, SBA Property Management
Resident health and safety should always be a top priority for property managers. Be it fire safety, waste management, electrical problems, or trip hazards, all elements should be regularly evaluated to protect residents, visitors, employers, and contractors. At SBA, we are investing in our health and safety by digitalising our management systems, and undertaking a review of security systems, fire safety systems, and CCTV.
The legal duty of the managing agent, Residents’ Management Company (RMC), or Right to Manage (RTM) owner is to comply with regulations. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires arrangements to be in place to control health and safety risks.
Effective management of health and safety regulations is therefore crucial; it protects those with the Right to Manage from criminal prosecution and personal injury claims and supports their reputation.
New legislation, such as the Building Safety Act 2022 and upcoming Protect Duty, are significant milestones that will influence the future role of health and safety operators. However, with constantly evolving regulations, it can be difficult to manage updates and effectively prioritise potential risks.
There are many potential elements of resident safety to consider, such as risk assessment, accident management reporting within buildings, block management, and fire and electrical safety. Therefore, having the right tools to manage this is essential in ensuring a fully compliant service.
New digital technologies can support health and safety operators in performing and streamlining day-to-day tasks. For example, by integrating digital property management software, processes can become automated to help operators filter and prioritise different issues as they arise.
The application of digital technology to the property industry – PropTech – has seen an increased uptake in recent years. Access to large amounts of data through automation enables property managers to monitor their whole portfolio through one integrated system, helping them remain compliant and monitor risk levels and current trends in all their properties or blocks.
Self-service web portals for residents are also beneficial for property managers. By giving leaseholders and tenants access to information and support, they can often solve issues at the click of a button, saving time for the person who would otherwise be responsible for that task.
At SBA, we are introducing our own management software, MySBA, to support our offering and maximise efficiency across the business. This will enable our leaseholders and their tenants 24/7 access to support, alongside our out-of-hours phone service that allows tenants to raise maintenance concerns regarding their safety at any hour.
Online software also enables health and safety managers to keep better track of when security systems need reviewing. At some of our more significant sites, we have recently upgraded our security systems to minimise leaseholder and tenant safety concerns. The system prevents entry fobs from being cloned and allows for more interrogation around who has building access by allowing specific fobs to be automatically excluded from the system.
When reviewing security, CCTV is an essential factor to consider in enforcing resident safety. At SBA, we are implementing CCTV systems that can be viewed remotely, and off-site, meaning our teams can more extensively monitor security in our buildings.
We are also investing in our fire safety systems, with the view to implementing fire door inspection software. With the recent Building Safety Pledge coming into force for developers, this is a timely update to enforce the fire safety of our portfolio.
Our meticulous approach to resident safety is also informed by regular communication with our leaseholders and tenants. Being transparent with our clients and keeping them informed helps us maintain trust and improve their customer experience, as they know they can contact us in any emergency, and it will be tackled efficiently and effectively.
Health and safety and other risk areas have never been more important in property management as its functions continue to advance and improve. Using the latest technologies ensures that our approach is always informed and up to date, delivering the best and, most importantly, the safest and compliant processes for our leaseholders.