Amidst the Covid19 crisis it is extremely easy to set aside an established Planned Preventative Maintenance position, to take a consolidatory position in the management of a block of apartments or commercial property buildings. The life of these buildings probably extends far into the future and a key strategy of the property management should be to ensure the long-term sustainability of the building which is vital.
This is achieved by taking a proactive approach to property management and hopefully just continues the strategies already in place. Significant cost savings can be made by identifying the condition of the building and its common parts, its fabric and the decoration and finishes overall. These buildings can be large and complex, and this requires more than a cursory inspection but detailed knowledge of the condition of the roof, windows, lifts and plant which may provide heating. The maintenance of these each carry significant costs and some considerable.
If decisions are made to remove maintenance work, taking a view that the work is not essential this can often lead to more significant work, even after a short deferral, in terms of the scope of the work required generally incurring greater costs. The effects can compound, pressures mount as do the tasks to be faced.
Adopt planned preventative maintenance (PPM)
By adopting a policy of Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) with an initial survey which will identify work needed. Repairs and works can be assessed and plan and sometimes relative minor works can extend the period of a material or item deferring the time when perhaps replacement is unavoidable. This key document will inform the budgeting, looking to balance the cost over the serviceable life of an item.
The use of PPM is increasingly a cornerstone of a strategic property maintenance policy within a pragmatic and realistic property management approach.
The PPM requires a sound knowledge and understanding of the buildings to assess the life expectancy of the various areas and their components and then an understanding of the repair requirements. Alongside this work needs to be realistic financial assessments in order to allow financial planning. This is essential and the financial impact of any delay or underestimation can have far-reaching consequences which can affect the viability of the management company, the enjoyment of the building by its residents and potentially sales and marketability.
Not spending money is not saving money. Complacency can lead to a false sense of security but there is nothing more certain the need for the maintenance will not disappear and the costs will not reduce; the contrary.
Of course any spending must be relevant, needed, transparent, fair and value. Adopting a realistic and proactive culture through a Planned Preventative Maintenance and prudent management of the Service Charge budgets and planning the whole environment will benefit.