How to Create a Preventive Maintenance Schedule

One of the most useful tools of any rental property to a landlord is a preventive maintenance schedule. Some landlords try to maximize profits by minimizing the work that gets done on their rental units, but this is a strategy that only has short-term gains at best. Over time, every house, apartment, or flat begins to break down and requires some maintenance work to be done. Rather than neglecting these items and paying large costs in the future, spend a little now on this maintenance schedule and you'll keep income levels consistent.

It all begins with your ability to create a list of all your assets. Separate them into groups based on what their job is. Once that is completed, you can list the systems of these assets that are in common with each other. The same apartment building, for example, might provide an HVAC system to every apartment.

You'll Then Need to Set a List of Priorities

There are certain components of every asset that have critical priorities that must be well maintained. If something breaks down, will it affect the safety of the asset? Would a failure prevent a property from being rented? These are the first items that must be on your preventive maintenance schedule. By regularly checking these items and maintaining them, you'll be able to keep your rental units up to code.

You'll also want to make sure to include information about the life cycle of each asset that you have. Paint within an apartment, for example, has a typical depreciation of 3 years. Carpeting, depending on the quality of the item, may last from 5-10 years. By knowing what the depreciated value of any item is, you'll know if it is worth fixing or replacing. Would you put $3,500 of work into a car that was worth $300? Not usually.

You'll also need to make sure that all of your employees are on board with the preventive maintenance schedule. Their eyes will become your tools to help make sure that all of the assets you have are well maintained and operating correctly.

Make Sure You Constantly Monitor Every Asset

The whole point of having a schedule that is preventive is that you can be proactive with the work that needs to be done. Tracking the amount of time a specific piece of machinery breaks down, for example, can show you where it is during its life cycle. If you've got a toilet that is leaking once per month and the rest of your toilets leak once every other year, you'll know that it's time to replace that once per month leak.

Tracking in this way will also help you adjust your schedule as needed. Some items will always require more maintenance than anticipated, while other assets may require a lot less. Adjust your schedule, keep monitoring all of your assets, and repair them when needed so you aren't stuck with heavy expenses that can ruin an entire year of profitability later on.
Posted on Aug 06, 2014


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