Condo projects are making an emergence again all over the country but as a design firm it is important that you are cautious. Some laws have changed in some jurisdictions to help with claims on condos but we don’t yet know how those new laws will play out. Here are some risk management tips with working on condo projects.
The client selection process is very important with condo projects. It is vital that your firm is familiar with the client you are working with. Especially when it comes to condos, due to the risks involved with this project type.
Once you have decided to work on a condo project a good contract is the next step. If it is a client’s contract have your attorney review the contract in detail and negotiate terms that will work for your firm. Also, your Professional Liability Insurance carrier will review the contract for insurability; this is a valuable resource especially when it comes to a condo project.
Now your firm is working on the project, in the contract and during the construction phase be sure you require an inspection. This will help to alleviate any issues and potential claims going forward.
Create maintenance manual on the condo project. This will help the HOA be aware of the required maintenance of the condos and again help to deter future claims.
Another risk management tool is to always document, document, document everything. Change orders, phone calls, emails, etc. This is your best defense to have documentation in case an issue was to arise.
Most Professional Liability insurance carriers provide free pre-claims assistance. So if your firm is running into issues with the project let your carrier know and they will help with guidance on the issue.
If your firm does decide to move forward with designing a condo project look to all of your resources for information to best protect yourself. Your attorney, insurance carrier and insurance agent are here to help with advice and resources for your firm. Please call or email your PUI Agent for any questions you may have.