Regular maintenance is crucial to the health and longevity of any property, and this is especially true for condominiums. Improper maintenance can lead to serious issues like leaky plumbing, which can quickly cause water damage and result in expensive repairs and long-lasting headaches for everyone. As seasoned experts in the industry, we've seen it all (some of it we’re still trying to forget…)!
Now, here we are, ready to share our collective insights on why regular maintenance is essential and how to address issues promptly. These tips will help you keep your building and homes and buildings in top-notch condition, and your residents more than content.
So, let's take a deep breath and dive into the importance of maintenance—wait, scratch that—we don't want any water in your condo! Ahem, let's just get ready to explore the best practices for keeping your property in top shape… and dry.
The Six Don'ts of Condo Maintenance:
Avoid Expensive Mistakes + Keep Residents Happy
🚩 Don’t ignore the small stuff… it becomes the big stuff:
First and foremost, regular maintenance helps to prevent small issues from becoming major problems. Whether it's a leaky faucet or a malfunctioning HVAC system, neglecting maintenance can cause a small problem to grow into a costly time-consuming and costly repair.
By addressing issues promptly, you can save your condo corporation the headache of having to deal with repairs and restoration processes, which is always a task that takes away time from property management and the board. It is also often the starting point that brews discontentment within a community (no one likes a torn-up lobby, or not using the amenities while they’re being repaired). It should go without saying that you ultimately also save a significant amount of money in the long run… so commit to dealing with the small problems now!
💸 Don’t save that cent today… it costs you a dollar tomorrow:
It's important for condo boards to understand that regular maintenance is actually more cost-effective in the long run - this is one corner you simply shouldn’t cut. While it can be tempting to skimp on maintenance in order to save money, this can actually end up costing more in the long run. By neglecting maintenance, small issues can turn into larger problems that require more extensive repairs, which can be much more expensive.
Additionally, the value of the property can decrease if it's not well-maintained, which can make it harder to sell or rent out units. So, while it may seem like a good idea to “save” on maintenance, in reality, it's much more cost-effective to invest in regular maintenance to keep the property in good condition. This can be a difficult decision to make as a board member, especially because most residents will pressure you to keep maintenance fees “low”. Ultimately, it’s your duty to ensure that the building is properly maintained - and preventative maintenance is key to achieving that and even to maintaining healthy finances for the corporation.
Another key is communication: check out how to communicate with residents about difficult topics such as increased fees, repairs/remediations, and capital projects.
🔻 Don’t neglect the building… it costs your property value.
Another benefit of regular maintenance is that it helps to maintain the value of the property of everyone’s homes. Additionally, regular maintenance can help to extend the lifespan of the building's components, such as the roof, windows, and HVAC system, which means that you won't have to replace them as frequently. This keeps maintenance fees more reasonable and consistent, and avoids the use of Special Assessments - a big (BIG!!!) red flag for potential purchasers and therefore a real concern for any homeowners in the corporation that may be considering selling their unit. When you keep the building’s overall property in good condition, it can also stabilize maintenance fees and therefore becomes more attractive to potential buyers or renters.
📅 Don’t fly by the seat of your pants… sit down and plan it out.
So, how can you ensure that maintenance issues are addressed promptly? The first step is to have a comprehensive maintenance plan in place, such as a “Property Planner”. This plan should outline the tasks that need to be performed on a regular basis, such as inspections and standard preventative maintenance. By having a plan in place, you can ensure that all necessary maintenance tasks are performed consistently.
Did you know that Stratastic has automatically provides users with a suggested Property Planner when registered? They’re property-specific and can be customized! Register now (for free!) and set yours up!
🤝 Don’t tackle it all internally… team up with your property management and vendors.
It's also a good idea to work with a reliable and reputable property management company. A good property management company will have experience in maintaining condominiums and understand what preventative maintenance needs to be conducted, how to best handle repairs, and consider the unique needs of your corporation and community.
Additionally, you should build a network of trusted vendors to call on for repairs and maintenance tasks. It may be tempting to switch to whatever contract is cheapest, but having a reliable vendor with a deep understanding of your corporation is often invaluable. Try to find a company that provides the service level and cost that you’re comfortable with - and stick with them unless you have a reason to switch. Condos aren’t “one size fits all”, so knowing the condo and its history often really matters.
Not sure who to hire? Check out our Vendor Directory, we have plenty of options for consideration!
Don’t exclude the community… it really does take a village!
Another key aspect of addressing maintenance issues promptly is to have a system in place for residents to report issues. This can be as simple as a designated email address or phone number that residents can use to report problems, though many buildings often have portals through building management programs.
We suggest investigating the method for reporting as it’s important to make it convenient and user-friendly in order to achieve consistent and reliable reporting. Once an issue has been reported, it's important to respond promptly (and thank them for their report), take action to address the problem, and follow up with the resident as needed/appropriate. Not sure if the reporting mechanism is working in an optimal fashion? Ask your community for feedback with a simple survey!
As you can now understand, regular maintenance is crucial to the health and longevity of condominiums. By addressing issues promptly, you can save your condo corporation money and maintain the value of the property. To ensure that maintenance issues are addressed promptly, have a comprehensive maintenance plan in place, a system for residents to report issues, and work with a reliable property management company.
With these steps in place, you can ensure that your condominium remains in good condition for years to come, and your condo community is as happy as they come!
🛠️ P.S. Wouldn't you be happier and make the most out of your volunteering experience by joining Stratastic's collective condo community? Register now, we'd love to have you!
Tags: condo maintenance, property management, preventative maintenance, building repairs, condo corporations, vendor management, maintenance planning, Property Planner, Portfolio Planner, building value, resident communication, community involvement, property value, cost-effective maintenance, small issues to major problems, Vendor Directory, condo board responsibilities, building components, property-specific maintenance, condo amenities, long-term cost savings, reliable vendors.