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Preventive Maintenance - The Property Manager’s Guide | Regular maintenance

Reactive Vs Preventive Maintenance - The Property Manager’s Guide

Being a good property manager means understanding how to prioritise a neverending list of tasks, limit emergencies, reduce complaints and encourage repeat business.  Yes, things will break. Yes, emergencies will occasionally occur. But every other factor that determines your performance as a property manager can be controlled, scheduled and budgeted with the right systems in place. On this article:
  • Is it better to react or be prepared?
  • Taking control with preventive maintenance
  • Gutter and Drain Cleaning 
  • Safety Checks  –  Gas, Electrical and CO testing
  • Smoke Alarms
  • Solar Panel Servicing
  • Commercial Lighting Checks
  • Sensor-Operated Lighting
  • Doing it all on the same day!

Is it better to react or be prepared?  

The most common misconception about reactive maintenance is the assumption that it saves money. Is it possible that an appliance will function perfectly, well beyond the point when the manufacturer would recommend maintenance? Sure, it’s possible. But it’s more probable that a reactive approach will lead to breakages, expensive repairs, the risk of physical harm, and penalties from one of the many regulatory bodies governing the use of electricity, gas and water.  In short, the extended use of unmaintained plumbing, power, devices and appliances will usually lead to high costs. The best result would be a simple repair, but other costs can be far more significant, including fines, the loss of tenants, or even the loss of a licence to do business. Last but not least, the life of a reactive property manager is one filled with chaos. It’s day after day working with a endless to-do list and fielding calls, usually from furious owners and tenants.  Why face the same hassle every day?

Taking control with preventive maintenance

Anyone who deals with property owners knows the thing they hate the most: unexpected costs. Regardless of that old ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ cliche, you know it’s going to be an uncomfortable call when you tell the owner that the guttering on one side of their property just fell into the garden. It’s going to be twice as awkward if the owner starts asking why you weren’t aware of the poor condition of the gutter.  So here’s the way to avoid those confrontations, improve tenants’ satisfaction, lower costs, and dramatically reduce the number of tasks and communications you manage each day. It’s time to take control with a preventive maintenance service. The idea is beautifully simple. You build a team of trusted technicians who can cover every regular test, maintenance or repair that all properties require. You then get quotes in advance, agree on the services that will be provided and lock the dates in. You’ll know the yearly costs, deliverables and quality of service. The right service provider can even create alerts to inform you of approaching maintenance or testing appointments.  So, what are the essentials every property needs in 2022?

Gutter and Drain Cleaning 

Gutters and drains are constantly in the process of blocking. It’s just a fact of life. The better a gutter or pipe is, the slower debris accumulates to build a blockage.  A qualified plumber can regularly send cameras down your pipes and gutters, and clear any blockages with a mechanical jetty. Compared to the cost of excavation, it’s a cheap and quick service. This is the best form of preventive maintenance for most properties because it can eliminate a deep blockage that could require deep excavation.  Recommended schedule: 
Property Type Frequency Notes
Domestic Twice a year, minimum. Once in early summer, and once immediately after autumn finishes
Commercial Twice a year, minimum. Depending on other factors like surrounding vegetation and gutter capacity, you might have to clean out your gutters more frequently

Automate your preventive maintenance process.

We can help you to better manage all the repetitive tasks that are slowing you down!

Safety Checks  –  Gas, Electrical and CO testing

If you haven’t checked appliances powered by gas or electricity, you need to set a strict schedule for regular checks. The rules governing energy usage, particularly appliances that emit carbon dioxide, have changed.  Your primary motivation for organising safety checks should be the welfare of your tenants. But even if you put that important consideration aside, leaking appliances can become incredibly costly. Every certified technician who assesses your property is bound by law to inform regulatory bodies of non-compliance. Compared to a quick check twice each year, it’s not worth the risk. Recommended schedule:
Safety Check Property Type Frequency Notes
Gas and Electrical Domestic / Commercial Every two years, minimum. On commercial or renting properties, it is recommended to get a safety check every time there is a new tenant agreement.
CO Testing Domestic Commercial Every two years, minimum. If your heating system will be running more than 12 hours daily, it is recommended to check it before high peak season (usually winter).

For more information on CO testing please refer to our blog “The importance of servicing heaters and carbon monoxide testing”

Preventive Maintenance

Smoke Alarms

Testing smoke alarms is one regular maintenance item that will be high on every property owner’s to-do list. Unfortunately many property managers aren’t aware that smoke alarms have an expiry date. When an owner weighs up the cost of a major fire against the price of a quick test, it should be easy to justify this simple regular maintenance task.  Recommended schedule:
Property Type Frequency Notes
Domestic / Commercial Every year, mandatory. For renting properties it is advised to run a safety check before a new tenant enters the property.

Improve your preventive maintenance process!

We can help you to better manage all the repetitive tasks that are slowing you down!

Solar Panel Servicing

Twin Electrics & Plumbing know solar panels better than anyone in Melbourne. We’ve been installing panels since Australia first embraced solar energy. That’s why we understand the impact of poorly maintained panels.  With solar being a significant investment, every homeowner relies on a long-term return. And that isn’t possible if panels are performing poorly. That’s why we recommend a regular check of all panels and any water heater powered by your solar energy.  Recommended schedule: 
Property Type Frequency Notes
Domestic / Commercial Every year, minimum. Depending on environmental factors, you may need to clean the panels more frequently; system’s performance depends on it.

You may be interested on Solar System Service: do it before Summer!

Commercial Lighting Checks

It might be scary to walk down a dark alley at night, but if you’ve ever been stranded in a pitch-black stairwell, parking lot or toilet, you’ll know a poorly lit commercial property is just as frightening.  It may be private property, but it’s intended for the public, valued customers and your team. You can’t afford to risk injury, violence or theft. An ignored black spot will be noticed and manipulated by a clever criminal. Even without a crime being committed, darkness can cause serious accidents and anxiety.  Recommended schedule
Property Type Frequency Notes
Domestic / Commercial Every year, minimum. Smart lighting would help to get a better control and programmatically configure for best performance.

Sensor-Operated Lighting

Even a poorly placed sensor can lead to the discomfort of customers, staff and the public. A malfunctioning sensor is a much more severe issue, especially for people prone to injury or anxiety. Apart from possible injury or panic, the risk of crime skyrockets in any area with poor visibility.  Sensors are an excellent way of conserving energy and being aware of the movements of staff, customers and unwanted guests, but a malfunctioning sensor can be incredibly dangerous. When the cost of regular checks is so low, why risk the wellbeing of your team and customers? Recommended schedule: 
Property Type Frequency Notes
Domestic / Commercial Every year, minimum. Smart lighting would help to get a better control and programmatically configure for best performance.

What’s better than regular preventive maintenance? Doing it all on the same day!

There’s no need to schedule 20 events per year. The smart money is on a preventive maintenance package. Twin Electrics & Plumbing is one of the few major plumbing and electrical teams that have packaged all the essential maintenance and tests each property needs.  We love it because we can send a dedicated team to learn your unique needs and ensure you get superior service. You’ll love it because you can plan, budget and minimise any interruptions to your tenant’s business. We’ll even manage schedules and send reminders.  Talk to our customer support team about streamlining and improving your property maintenance. Great for tenants, property managers and owners.

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