A Complete Guide to Property Maintenance
What is property maintenance?
Property maintenance services provide a service to residential and commercial property owners, by keeping their properties in good condition through maintenance activities including but not limited to:
- Cleaning and repairing the exterior of the property, incl. drains and gutters
- Gardening, including leaf clearance
- Servicing electrics, plumbing, heating systems
- Safety checks (smoke alarms, burglar alarms)
You can of course also maintain your property yourself, and below we’ll be sharing some tips with you so you can do just that.
Benefits of property maintenance
A stitch in time saves nine. It’s a cliché because it’s true. There are lots of different, often small activities that go into keeping a property in good shape, and property maintenance services take care of these small activities so they don’t grow into big problems over time. For example, it’s easy enough to remove leaf litter from a gutter, but once the gutter becomes blocked, this can lead to water ingress and major damage to your property.
From the perspective of the occupant, this is great because they don’t have to live in a substandard property with flickering lights, a clogged up sink, and dirty, rundown communal areas.
From the perspective of the owner of the property, property repair and maintenance ensures that the property retains its value over time and that there aren’t any huge headaches round the corner. It’s also in the owner’s interests to have happy, satisfied residents.
Cost of property maintenance
Rather than calling out a different tradesman every time something new needs doing, it’s less stressful, less time-consuming, and more cost-effective to hire a professional property maintenance service.
The cost of this service will depend on the scope of the responsibilities involved. For example, do you want a generic maintenance service or does your property have specific and unusual maintenance needs?
Once you have decided on a professional property maintenance service and want it as you want them to do, you should ask for a quote. This should be a fixed price quote agreed before the work is undertaken.
How to maintain a property
We find it’s helpful to have a seasonal approach to property repair and maintenance. Creating a checklist of tasks that need to be carried out for each of the four seasons helps to break down the full range of maintenance activities into manageable sections. Below are some top tips ordered by season:
Spring is known for its showers, so unclogging gutters should be your top priority. If the property has a garden, this has normally been neglected over the winter months and so weeding should be another priority.
It’s time to take advantage of the good weather while it lasts by carrying out external maintenance to the property. Whether it’s repainting the property, replacing damaged roof tiles, or resealing the windows to reduce draft, these tasks should all be undertaken whilst the sun is shining.
Winter is coming. Is your property ready? This is the time to check the boiler is working, that the radiators effectively heat the property, and you should also arrange a gas safety inspection. If the property is too cold it will lead to damp and this in turn will lead to mould.
Rats and mice love a warm and cosy property in the long winter months, so plug any holes with iron wool, put down poison, and ensure rubbish is removed quickly so they aren’t attracted by the smell. You might also want to insulate your water pipes to prevent them from freezing.
These are just some of the things you need to look out for when it comes to property repair and maintenance. Also bear in mind that the tasks of home maintenance companies differ from those for maintenance companies looking after commercial properties. The International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) sets out the minimum requirements for property maintenance services in detail and you can read it online.
Commercial property maintenance services
Property repair and maintenance takes time, energy, and it can feel like there’s always something to do. Taken in a commercial context, there is the added dimension of wanting to ensure the property remains commercially viable through regular maintenance.
It can be a huge help to contract out your property repair and maintenance needs. Professional property maintenance will help a property hold or increase its value, reduce medium to long-term overheads, and reduce your workload, allowing you to focus on more important things.
You may think about hiring your own in-house maintenance team to handle the property, but this has advantages and disadvantages.
- An in-house team may be more well drilled on the specific needs of the property
- An in-house team may be able to deal with sudden unexpected issues more quickly
- You will have to directly supervise their work, which can be very time consuming
- You will be responsible for complying with local laws and regulations
- It can take time, effort, and a bit of luck to put a good team together with the right skills
Another thing to consider is whether you can build a strong in-house team of property repair and maintenance people. At Bicester Property Interiors, we have a wide-range of experienced tradesmen in just about every area, so you can be confident in the high quality of workmanship across the range of repair and maintenance tasks.
This in turn saves you money, time, keeps your tenants or your employees happy, and frees up your time to focus on ensuring your business succeeds.