The Remit of Facilities Management
With facilities management firms across the UK often finding it difficult to define their responsibilities precisely, Cathy Spears considers the services offered within a typical portfolio.
Facilities management can be difficult to define with even clients often use the term interchangeably with property management.
A clear remit is therefore essential for avoiding confusion and potential future issues surrounding contracts delivery.
Maintain the property to the standard expected by its stakeholders, who might be its owners, property manager, users and tenants, depending on the type of building you manage. This includes making sure the plumbing, heating and electrics are working, as well as ensuring the structural integrity of the property itself.
Make the major decisions on what systems and products are going to be used to power, heat and generally run the building. This is the responsibility of the property owner or manager.
Provide cleaning for communal areas, shared facilities and any other part of the building that is deemed as its responsibility, often in conjunction with specialist cleaning service providers (examples of such providers in London include Ideal Cleaning Services).
Clean spaces that are leased or owned by a separate business or individual. Their contract is with the building’s owner and operator: anyone who leases space from them is responsible for their own cleaning and the care of their space.
Enforce any of the agreements that leaseholders have made with regards to the use of their property. This might include security arrangements, the number of parking spaces they’re allocated and the use of communal areas.
Create contracts and dictate the terms of them. This is the responsibility of the owner of the property or their property manager. In some cases, they might refer to you for advice on aspects such as security and use your expertise to inform their decision.
Health And Safety
Implement heath and safety procedures for staff and users of the property. You’re responsible for all health and safety in the communal areas of the building and need to be aware of the health and safety regulations that apply to the property they are responsible for.
Regulate the private equipment and practices of leaseholders within the property. Any property dweller or user who owns a lease should be managing their own health and safety. In some cases, the facilities management team may advise or even support the safety of leaseholders, but this will depend on the contract that is in effect.
The exact remit of a facilities management firm will depend on a combination of their services offering and specific contractual obligations, however, addressing any client misconceptions from the very start of negotiations can often be a useful starting point.