Property owners and managers in South Florida know better than most that preventative maintenance is critical for retaining tenants and property value. One of the main decisions to consider is how to schedule the frequency of the preventative maintenance that’s needed. You also need to decide whether you are absorbing the costs or passing them on to tenants by increasing rent or fees. Also consider whether the work can be completed in-house or if you need to enlist the services of a third-party.
Evaluate Your Maintenance Personnel
When multiple properties are involved, having a maintenance director on the payroll can help make managing preventive care much easier. When faced with geographical constraints, consider subcontracting the some of the preventive maintenance to qualified businesses local to each property. For a small, single building, you may not need full-time maintenance personnel to keep up with the preventive care if it’s only needed on a monthly, seasonal or annual basis.
Perfect Your Work Order System
Establish a system that logs tenants’ requests and alerts personnel immediately, so the work can be completed within 48 hours. Improving the effectiveness of these work orders will help reduce the complications involved with preventative maintenance over the long run. Investing in work-order software can provide seamless integration across apps accessed from employees’ tablets, smartphones and desktops. Preventative maintenance appointments should also be integrated into the schedule, including the lawn care outside as well.
Take Care of Housekeeping
Aside from lawn care, other important tasks that should be included in the preventative maintenance schedule include pest control, trash pickup and appliance repairs. The budget should account for unexpected repairs that may be needed for replacing paint, countertops, flooring, windows and other structural components of the property that deteriorate over time as well. Investing in routine maintenance appointments can help head-off potential hazards like structural damage, infestation or waste overflow before they become overly expensive liabilities or devalue the property.
Prioritizing Preventative Maintenance
Establishing a policy that governs the preventative maintenance protocols and procedures should be one of your first priorities.This is where you identify which preventative maintenance jobs are of the highest priority and detail how you’ll ensure that they’re completed effectively in a timely manner. The professionals providing the maintenance and repairs to the property should all be fully insured, bonded and licensed. Create a checklist for the appropriate personnel for all of their preventive maintenance tasks that need to be completed during the current cycle.
Determining Who’s Responsible for Maintenance
In many cases, property owners or management may determine that certain preventive maintenance tasks are the responsibility of the tenant or unit owner. Maintenance or air conditioners, water tanks and fittings, plumbing fixtures and large appliances like refrigerators or washer-dryers may be passed on to the unit owner. Regardless of who’s responsible, you should verify that the preventive care is getting done properly on schedule. In any case, many property owners benefit from investing in restoration professionals qualified to perform preventative maintenance and manage sudden emergencies.