Darren Bagnall from Manage Your Block looks at the importance of planning annual maintenance tasks for your block.
Well planned and executed maintenance is the bedrock of property management. It leads to greater control over service charges, reduced likelihood of serious maintenance issues arising and a greater sense of value for your leaseholders.
Obviously, the upkeep of your block is a legal and statutory requirement, but preventing problems reduces expenditure. A great Planned Maintenance Program (PMP) will get you ahead of the game and reduce time spent being purely reactive. It will also boost trust with residents while safeguarding their investments and their safety.
Here we’ll be explaining what goes into a PMP and how Manage Your Block could support you throughout the process.
Why Set Up a Planned Maintenance Program?
Some of the many reasons you should be setting up a Planned Maintenance Program are:
- To satisfy your legal requirements to adhere to health & safety rules and to maintain and repair the building
- To satisfy your statutory compliance lift inspections and electrical testing are just two examples
- To maintain resident comfort and satisfaction
- Because it’s more cost effective- early intervention is likely to save on expenses in the future.
- For the sake of effective budgeting
- To keep your insurance premiums down (insurers look for evidence of planned maintenance, as well looked-after buildings are less likely to result in claims)
- To maintain resale value- house hunters will always look for signs of a well-maintained building, and existing residents will look after their surroundings if they have a sense of pride in where they live
- To minimise disruption- thoughtful planning can reduce lengthy or unexpected disruption for your residents.
What Should Be Included in a Planned Maintenance Program?
A great PMP should include everything from regular day-to-day cleaning through to major projects such as re-pointing or re-roofing. With everything mapped out across the year, you will reduce your chances of nasty surprises in terms of expenditure, complaints and accidents.
A great place to start is to check the building’s maintenance records. If you or your predecessor has been using Manage Your Block, this should be a simple and easy task as all the records, invoices, reports and assessments should be waiting for you on the system. If the diary and reminders have been kept up to date, then you’re already miles ahead of the game.
From here you can book in any annual or bi-annual checks with your suppliers (whose contact details should be safely stored in your contacts) and get more of an idea of any areas that may have been neglected for too long.
If you’re new to the building and records are sparse, booking a visit from a surveyor is the best place to start. They can give the building an overall health check and advise if any particular areas may need specialist attention.
Health & Safety
From communal area inspections to fire safety risk assessments to working at heights, electrical testing and legionella – the building’s health and safety documentation should let you know if anything needs urgent attention.
Any contractors working on site should also have access to the documentation for the sake of compliance with safety legislation. This is made easy with Manage Your Block as you can contact your contractors directly from the system and your inspection reports and diary reminders should be easy to find.
A periodic health and safety report will identify any specific requirements for the building such as lift inspections, water testing and fixed wiring tests etc. If you find your most recent report is out of date (or if one can’t be found at all) then you should book one asap. It should then be reviewed regularly to ensure your overall plan is being stuck to and is suitably effective.
While booking in any major upkeep, everyday maintenance should not be allowed to slide. Keeping on top of more regular tasks will reduce the need for major jobs in the future and will keep a sense of pride in the building for your residents.
If you need to spread the load a little, look at the regular contractors you have on site such as gardeners or cleaners and consider what routine tasks they could potentially handle for you. For example, checking drainage outlets and gullies are clear could fall to the gardener. Cleaners could let you know about any light bulbs in need of replacement or if they spot any damp appearing.
Planned Maintenance Program Reviews
The plan for your block should be regularly reviewed and adjusted as circumstances change. What may look like a great plan for the year in January may need to be re-evaluated several times before Christmas!
While it may evolve, the plan shouldn’t be adjusted by moving major projects further and further down the line if this can be avoided. You may find yourself with a list of hugely expensive tasks to do within one financial year if you fall into that trap.
How Manage Your Block Can Help
Manage Your Block’s features can support you at every juncture of planning and executing your maintenance plans. Here are a few ways the features can be used:
- You can store contractor information, request quotes and send works orders directly from the system
- Invoices, assessments, reports, procedures- in fact, any paperwork you can think of, can be stored in your documentation section
- When works are booked, you can use the alerts function to notify residents
- You can plan out your assessments throughout the year in the diary as well as setting reminders to nudge you to book when needed
- If paperwork doesn’t quite explain a situation, you can add notes to explain the finer details
- If you choose to add the service charge function, you can send, track and chase your service charge demands directly from the system too
As you can see, Manage Your Block has been expertly designed for Resident Management Companies, Directors and Owners of apartment blocks. The cloud-based, easy to use software provides accessibility 24/7 and ensures your documentation and information is safe and secure- allowing you to focus your energy where it’s needed.
Manage Your Block aren’t here to tell you how to run your block of flats, but we can provide you with highly specialised software to make the management of your block much easier. Call us for more details on 0333 577 9070 or email email@example.com.