Proper building maintenance is imperative to keeping a business or apartment building suitable for occupation and keeping it a sound investment. A comprehensive building maintenance schedule to address any repair issues as well as preventative maintenance will ensure your tenants will stay as happy as your profit margins are high.
Inspect the building. You should have a professional building inspector visit and do a complete assessment of the building from interior and exterior to plumbing and heating. He will give you a detailed list of the areas that need improvement as well as give you an idea of which projects should be prioritized. In some cases, he may be able to estimate repair costs.
List your repairs. Write each area of the building along the top of a piece of paper, such as plumbing, interior, exterior, electrical and appliances, then write down each repair under its appropriate category. This gives you an idea of which areas need the most improvement. You may be surprised at the sheer number of the items on the list, but remember that they do not all have to be done at once.
Prioritize the projects. Any projects that may affect the health and well-being of your tenants should be done immediately so as not to endanger your tenants or expose you to litigation. Outdated wiring and appliances should be made a priority after that, and any cosmetic changes can be done at your leisure.
Make a list of preventative maintenance requirements. Just because the heating and cooling system wasn't on the list, doesn't mean it shouldn't be cleaned or checked out. Scheduling in time to replace intake filters or refill water softener tablets can save you money in repairs later and show your tenants that you are looking out for them and their business.
Draft the schedule. Your list should now be prioritized by section of the house. Look at your finances and financial outlook to see how much you can do right away and what you can afford down the line. Create a plan for the year, if not two years, with goals and objectives for each month, that also incorporates preventative maintenance. (A listing of items to look for during inspection is provided as Reference 2).
Be prepared to make changes as emergencies happen. Something that you may have scheduled two months away may have an issue that requires it to be taken care of right away.
Brock Cooper attended Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill. He was a reporter for seven years with a daily in Illinois before branching out into marketing and media relations. He has experience in writing everything from press releases to features on a variety of subjects and forums. His work can be seen in NewsTribune newspaper, Chicago Parent magazine and several websites.