I recently closed a deal on my first multi-family apartment complex (18 townhouse, 1 single family). I have a resident manager in place from the former owner that I'm inclined to leave in place as he seems to be doing a great job. When I met with him for the first time as owner, he brought up a request to me that he had spoken to the previous owner about and was denied. His request was that we put in a playset of some kind for the children in the community. There are a number of children in the community (some of whom are related to the manager) and he wants to give them a convenient, safe place to play.
The former owner had denied it on the basis of insurance, but when we (the former owner and I) were discussing it yesterday, he mentioned that the insurance agent had been cautious about it, but not killed the idea completely. He hadn't felt comfortable with it, so he said no. Because of the way the deal is structured we are still under the insurance policy that he had in place (his is much less than we can currently insure the structure for).
The manager has offered to put the set in his backyard (he lives in the single family home) so it can be monitored easily.
What advice would you give me in this situation? I'm wondering if we'd be safe enough if he monitored it closely and we restricted it to residents and their guests only? I still need to check with the lawyer, but I'm wondering about posting signs that say something about resident and guest use only, etc... Maybe putting up a simple one that would be better than nothing, but not nice enough to attract the neighborhood kids??
Not sure I would do it on private property. My first stop would be to discuss with my insurance agency regarding liability, both of my tenants and of anyone passing by (attractive nuisance). Large apartment complexes do it, but they also have better access to, and more ability to pay for, insurance protection and maintenance/upkeep on the equipment.
How far is the nearest public park from your property? That would be where I would direct the children. Municipalities have a lot of immunity against lawsuits that you don't have access to in the private sector.
The nearest park is rather far away, not within an easy bike ride or walk, so there really aren't many other options around.
"Attractive Nuisance"! That's the phrase that the former owner used when he referred to what the insurance agent had told him. Thanks for reminding me!
I continue to lament the litigious condition of our society today...so many headaches that we didn't seem to have to deal with even just 25-30 years ago!!!
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