It’s just a few days away! The papal visit is expected to bring more than 2 million visitors to the Philadelphia area. Our last two articles (here and here) dealt with the positive economic impacts for the region and managing the masses during this event. Here are five (5) tips that should be at the top of the list for landlords and owners of commercial, retail and multi-family properties.
Review your Leases. With an event of this magnitude, it is a good time to take a last minute look at your leases to ensure all items are appropriately addressed. For instance, does your lease have certain notice requirements for limiting access to parking areas designated for tenants and their customers? If you plan on sectioning off certain parking areas, did you send notice out in time? Sometimes leases will have a provision that allows you to circumvent certain notice requirements, if actions are done for health and safety reasons.
Consider Beefing Up Your Property Management for the Next Few Days. If you are an owner or landlord for a smaller shopping center or property, you may not have an onsite property manager. Even if you have an on-site manager, they may be assigned to multiple addresses, and this influx of visitors will leave him or her feeling stretched too thin. With more than 2 million people expected to visit the region this weekend, you may want to contact a reputable property management company to ascertain an on-site person or add to your existing property management team. They say “Cleanliness is Next to Godliness.” Ensuring that trash, landscaping and other property management issues are addressed properly and timely can make your property sparkle to the masses.
Consider Alternate Routes to Access Your Property. Considering this enormous occasion, security and police presence will be high to protect the Pope, as well as ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience. If you are a property owner or landlord, you may want to advise your tenants of possible alternate routes to ensure they can cater to the crowds. Further, you probably want your property management team to know about these alternate routes as well to guarantee they can access your property in the event traffic is diverted.
Check Your Insurance Coverage. It’s times like these that remind you to check both your insurance policy coverage, as well as your tenants’. Have you requested evidence of your tenants’ coverage? As Philadelphia’s own Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” You may want to contact your insurance broker to obtain increased or special coverage.
Always Remember, When in Doubt, Contact Counsel. There are a multitude of issues that can arise when so many people attend a once in a lifetime event like this. The Pope’s visit is a true blessing, highlighting our region. It will be something that we will never forget. Now, more than ever, it is important to discuss your commercial, retail, and other property needs with experienced legal counsel to achieve your goals and resolve any issues.
Restaurants, caterers and vendors will feed the hungry. Retailers will cloth the attendees. And the Pope will provide a spiritual lift to everyone. Make sure that you and your property are well prepared for this fantastic event.