COVID-19 vaccines and boosters have been gaining momentum, and because of this, we are seeing an uptick of properties being more and more interactive with more people, more tenants. There’s still some pushback, though, as not everyone is comfortable with vaccinations for COVID-19.
What We Already Know
Some property managers and commercial landlords have clients who are essential workers who are all vaccinated, including boosters, for the most part. This isn’t everyone, though.
It is challenging to keep residential and commercial operations functioning well because people have been remote or in a hybrid space for over a year now.
New Designs Property Managers Need
One of the struggles has been creating new designs and allowances in these spaces as a practical application to address diverse workplaces, people, and beliefs about vaccines.
We know that many organizations, both in and out of healthcare settings, have imposed vaccination requirements. This requirement has caused debates and upheaval.
However, there’s one area that hasn’t been a facet of this debate.
Why are Commercial Landlords and Property Managers Not in this Trend?
Vaccination debates will probably begin and end with employers, not with property managers or commercial landlords.
The reason is that this might fall into a grey area where it is politicized, and this discrimination might be problematic in some instances.
It feels like forever ago, but we used to commute and live in congested and crowded buildings, and our most significant complaints were often that the elevator was full.
The complaint is now a frustration that the elevator has a max of four people even if it fits sixteen individuals, and the wait is longer and more tedious.
Floor stickers and decals reminding people to stay spaced apart are already peeling and need to be replaced not only for aesthetics but for safety as well.
We were Grumpy but Arrived Safe and Sound
Gone are the days of touching elevator touchpads and shaking hands.
Now, it’s a nod, and a focus of “Where’s the hand sanitizer?”
Common areas in buildings need to focus on safety. While employers and owners might enforce a certain level of mask-wearing or vaccinations, the rest of the safety falls – to the individual in the building.
Property managers are now responsible for alerting tenants when there’s been a case of COVID or its variants like Delta and are also not always, but often, responsible for ensuring those in the building follow protocol like masking up and wearing gloves when it makes sense.
Advanced Property Manager Liabilities?
Property managers and commercial landlords never had to be as versed in occupations and demographics as they do now. A general overview was enough; now, the property manager is best served in more profound knowledge.
For instance, knowing how many frontline workers are occupying or interacting within a space. Perhaps also knowing how many tenants are required to be vaccinated vs. those who are not required.
- Of those, when it pertains, how many are refusing the vaccine or even masking?
- How does this create potential increased liability with the property manager, and how will this be mitigated by increasing safety features?
- What are the costs of mitigating these features?
While it is not (at this juncture) the place of a property manager to insist that tenants be vaccinated, it is in the property manager’s best interest to consider that this is a new task, to know who might be vaccinated even if it is an informal hypothesis, to best serve the tenants and visitors, as a whole.
How have you handled this situation? We’d love to get feedback and potentially highlight you.
For more information, please contact iRestify to review the ways we can help you keep liabilities at bay.