3 Common Mistakes in Property Maintenance and How to Avoid Them

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Common Mistakes in Property Maintenance

One of the core tenets of property management is maintenance. It is a crucial part of making sure that your property
is livable, desirable for potential tenants and retains or even increases value for a potential resale. There is a
direct correlation between neglecting property maintenance and a loss of revenue for both the landlord and property
manager alike. Property management may involve one or both of aesthetic and functional aspects. Well maintained
properties not only look appealing to potential tenants but also operate efficiently, fostering a positive living
and or working environment. As with any process, there are common mistakes in Property Maintenance that are
frequently made due to a lack of knowledge and may cause financial or material inefficiencies or even losses. This
article seeks to make clear some of these mistakes and how best to go about mitigating them, making your property
sturdy and desirable in the long term.

1. Common Property Maintenance Errors

Common Mistakes in Property Maintenance

Maintenance in property management is a careful mix of preventative and corrective maintenance. In both aspects, there
are common pitfalls that are frequently made by property managers. They include:

Neglecting Regular Inspections

This has become a rather common error. Typically due to the increasing size of property manager’s portfolios, they
rarely have enough time to visit each property and conduct thorough walk-throughs. Without these regular visits, it
is easy for faults to develop in one of the properties and not be noticed for an extended period. Imagine a Property
A, a residential building which did not have its roof regularly inspected for years. During a rainstorm, an
unnoticed leak began to widen due to water damage and seeped into multiple units in the property, leading to
extensive damage and requiring expensive repairs. Regular inspections of the roof could easily have discovered the
leak before it became a major issue.

Neglecting Tenant Communication

One of the most egregious errors a property manager can make is to fail to
communicate effectively with tenants at their property. Tenants are the lifeblood of the business. Failing to
establish clear communication channels with them regarding maintenance issues, expectations and anything that
may directly affect them can lead to tenant dissatisfaction, increased turnover and potential legal
complications if concerns are not addressed in a timely and transparent manner. Property maintenance and tenant
satisfaction are directly related. Take this example to emphasize the importance of efficient communication.
Imagine a property, a multi-unit residential building, faced with a situation where routine elevator maintenance
was scheduled but the property manager failed to inform tenants of the maintenance dates and the temporary
unavailability of elevators. Residents were caught off guard, leading to frustration and inconvenience. This
lack of communication not only resulted in disgruntled tenants but also raised safety concerns as some
residents, unaware of the maintenance, attempted to use the elevators.

Inadequate Record-Keeping

In this line of work, it is imperative to keep track of
everything that goes on in the course of managing a property, such as maintenance activities, inspections and
financials. If proper documentation is neglected it can become challenging to track histories, leading to
inefficiencies, potential oversights and difficulties in assessing the overall health of the property. Consider
a commercial building, which lacked a centralized system for recording maintenance activities. When a critical
water issue arose, the property manager found it difficult to identify when last repairs or even an inspection
were carried out. These mistakes led to the landlord terminating his contract with that property management

2. Strategies For Effective Property Maintenance

Common Mistakes in Property Maintenance

In order to properly mitigate the above mentioned common errors, it becomes important to implement the following

Regular Inspections and Timely Repairs

Enforcing a regular and systematic inspection schedule for every property in the portfolio is crucial to avoid a
situation where they are each being visited and inspected on a regular basis. Utilizing
property management software
in order to automate inspection scheduling will streamline the entire process and
it will help ensure consistent and timely property assessments. Delegating some of these inspections to on-site staff by
training them to conduct these walkarounds and how to report potential issues promptly. This will go a long way because
the importance of having a vigilant on-site team to identify and address minor problems cannot be understated.

Adopt Digital Maintenance Tracking Systems

Integrating digital tools that enable maintenance tracking should both increase efficiency and enable maintenance
records to be kept long-term. Making use of digital tools that leverage the cloud will ensure that data is kept
consistent and easily accessible over multiple devices. Exploring the use of Internet of Things (IOT) devices for
predictive maintenance will also allow for proactive identification of potential issues.

Establish Clear Communication Channels

This involves establishing clear and accessible means by which the property manager can reach their tenants or the
tenants can send complaints to the manager. There should also be periodic training sessions for both tenants and on site
staff in order to create awareness about reporting procedures. Having this in place could encourage early issue
reporting and prevention.

Smarter Property Management

Find the best Rental Property Management Software in Canada. Transform your Rental property into a cash-generating asset with our user-friendly property management software solution.

3. Budgeting for Maintenance

Discuss the importance of allocating funds for regular maintenance activities.

Having a dedicated budget for maintenance is a smart decision as it is long-term a net positive and an investment in
your property’s longevity. Having what amounts to an emergency fund will eliminate the need to have to source for such
funds if any issues do arise.


Common Mistakes in Property Maintenance

What are the most common property maintenance mistakes?

Neglecting Regular Inspections: The repercussions of infrequent inspections are far-reaching. Crucial components
of a facility may abruptly fail, or the decline could be a lot more gradual, eventually leading to a total
failure in what could be an emergency situation.

Inadequate Record Keeping: Not keeping track of essential information such as the last time things were fixed or
the status of facilities during a walkaround  can lead to tenant dissatisfaction and high turnover on the

Deferred Maintenance: This involves a ‘leaving things to another day’ attitude to maintenance becoming the norm.
As this attitude becomes more prevalent it becomes more and more likely that issues that remain unfixed will
worsen, leading to high costs of repairs when fixing the eventual collapse of the system.

How can regular maintenance reduce long-term property costs?

Preventative maintenance consistently proves cost-effective over the long term due to its proactive nature rendering
major repairs unnecessary. This contributes massively to maintaining property value while minimizing unexpected
expenses. Practice preventative maintenance by budgeting and allocating funds for routine upkeep.

What role does technology play in property maintenance?

Technology plays a vital role in modern property maintenance. The innovations in property maintenance have streamlined
previously tedious or expensive processes via digital tools and software. Internet of Things (IoT) devices have also
contributed to efficient and proactive maintenance practices.

How does proper maintenance impact tenant satisfaction and retention?

Well-maintained properties can only raise tenant satisfaction. No tenant would have any complaints if the property they
live at is maintained regularly. Proactive Maintenance is a great way to ensure that major repairs are never needed,
meaning that there is much lower turnover at properties in the manager’s portfolio.


This article has covered an essential part of the property manager’s remit: maintenance. There are numerous pitfalls
that property managers often fall into. Be it neglecting regular inspections, to deferred maintenance, we have
identified and explained the risks associated with making these mistakes. We have also detailed preventative measures
which include regularly scheduled inspections, technology integration to enable preventative maintenance using Internet
of Things (IoT) devices. There was also discussion of how to integrate digital project management tools into everyday
operations such as communication with tenants. By avoiding these common pitfalls listed above and embracing more
proactive strategies, these mistakes can be a thing of the past and tenant turnover can be drastically reduced.

By implementing the above property maintenance strategies, you can take a proactive step towards cost-effective
maintenance practices. Feel free to reachout to an expert in this field to navigate potential difficulties you may have
implementing some of these strategies. By properly investing in maintenance, you ensure its long term success and
viability in an ever-changing real estate landscape.

Smarter Property Management

Find the best Rental Property Management Software in Canada. Transform your Rental property into a cash-generating asset with our user-friendly property management software solution.

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