A comprehensive planned maintenance programme (PMP) is an essential ingredient of successful property management, whether you are responsible for a single block, a whole estate or a large portfolio.
A PMP can save money – and unpleasant surprises – in the short-term by identifying and addressing potential defects before they become costly disasters. It will certainly increase value in the longer term by minimizing your property’s physical deterioration.
This is particularly important for older buildings, many of which have no comprehensive maintenance programme in place. The entire structure needs to be looked after in order to maximize the useful – and economic – life of the property. Small problems can soon magnify if they are ignored.
New-builds also need proper planned maintenance from the outset in order to remain in excellent condition. In addition, statutory and legislative requirements for property are frequently updated, raising the standards of upkeep that are expected.
A good PMP reduces the incidence of disputes among co-owners or leaseholders suddenly confronted by large repair bills, while providing managing agents and property owners with the information they need to set equitable and adequate service charges. Investors will also be enabled to plan their spending, so they can spread their maintenance costs over several years rather than being hit by sudden large outgoings.
Effective PMP planning involves all aspects of maintenance, from regular cleaning, redecorating and gutter clearance to structural surveys. The first step is to commission a professional to make a detailed survey of the building and draw up a costed schedule of works, starting with urgent measures. The PMP should also take in specialist reports on lifts and services, fire protection and asbestos issues.
Significant savings can be made by careful scheduling of tasks that can be undertaken simultaneously, so that expensive fixed costs such as scaffolding can be used to support two or more jobs instead of being repeated several times in just a few years. For instance, re-pointing of brickwork could be undertaken at the same time as repainting outside walls and repairs to the roof or gutters.