Your Apartment Building Maintenance Checklist

Managing apartment buildings can be a highly profitable venture, but it's vital to ensure that your building maintenance is up to code. If not, you could face fines, your tenants may be able to withhold rent or your apartment buildings could even be condemned. A proactive building maintenance approach keeps your tenants happy and keeps you in compliance with local building codes.

Check Your Local Building Codes: Building codes vary from state to state, and even in some localities, so check your local building codes to ensure your building maintenance checklist covers code requirements. If you're not sure about local building codes, hire a private inspector to come in and make a list of potential building maintenance issues.

Hire an Engineer for an Inspection: Some apartment building managers just don't make repairs, and the building suffers. If you just bought an apartment building, hire an engineer to do a complete structural inspection. You'll need to know if the building integrity is intact and if any of its systems need to be updated or repaired. Engineers often set up a schedule for ongoing maintenance, so you can develop a building maintenance checklist from the engineer's schedule.

Inspect the Plumbing Regularly: Many apartment buildings have old plumbing, which should ultimately be replaced. A responsible building maintenance schedule would phase in plumbing repairs, schedule small projects one at a time to minimize tenant interruptions and defer the costs over time. However, proactive plumbing building maintenance can help identify potential problems before they become huge issues that require you to shut down the building and replace the entire system simultaneously.

Maintain the Heating and Cooling System:  No matter your climate, apartment buildings must have a reliable heating system. You should perform preventative building maintenance on the heating system every summer, hiring a professional to clean boiler, burner and blower mechanisms and to replace any worn parts.

Consider a High-End Maintenance Contract for Elevators: Basic elevator building maintenance contracts only cover breakdowns, so you're not getting any preventative maintenance from those low-end contracts. Sure, they cost less, but you're more likely to experience breakdowns without preventative maintenance, causing your elevators to be down for hours or days at a time. Pay a little more for the next tier of elevator building maintenance contracts to ensure you get the preventative maintenance your elevators need without waiting for an emergency to happen.

Consider Hiring Professionals: If you've never managed apartment buildings before, consider bringing in professionals to handle your building maintenance. You've got a thousand little details to manage, and overlooking just one can lead to thousands of dollars in expenses when a tiny problem turns into a huge issue.

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