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QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Who Is Responsible For Code Violations?

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Facility Management, Professional Development, Question Of The Week

Tagged: ,

Published on March 28, 2011 with 2 Comments

Q. Who is held accountable if a building or a leased space within a building is out of compliance with building codes? Is it the building owner? The property management company? The facility manager? The tenant leasing the space? Combination of X and Y? All of the above?

Joe Rousseu
Data Center Consultant
Wright Line
Worcester, MA

This question was originally published in the September 2010 issue of Today’s Facility Manager. Read Elledge’s response here. Share your feedback and suggestions in the LEAVE A REPLY section below.

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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There are currently 2 Comments on QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Who Is Responsible For Code Violations?. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. First responsibilty would be the Facility Manager or Tenant Leasing the Space. They should document and try to resolve the ones they can.
    If the violations are costly to fix, then the violations they know about are documented and the owner or the owners representitive are notified that there is voilations and they need a resolution. Then, if the they are not fixed, they at least they have documentation to prove that they were proactive in trying to resolve the issue.

    But the Facility Manager and tenant have the ultimate culpability making sure the building or buildings are up to code.

  2. This is an issue I encounter often while performing Fire Sprinkler or Life Safety Inspections; the tenants need to have a “Cheat Sheet” of what the landlord is responsible for: ie, roof leaks, electrical sign, etc and what the tenant is responsible for.
    Ideally, a preventative maintenance schedule should be developed based on the “Cheat Sheet” by both parties to ensure that the required tasks are performed.
    There was a recent recall of over 35 million fire sprinklers, which we still encounter on a daily basis. Many missed the free replacement program, because the required inspections were not being performed. The tenant though the landlord was responsible, or vice versa and the lack of coordination results in increased costs and bad relationships between the parties.

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