Key aspects of block maintenance

London 1 Stop is a leading facilities management company, operating across a portfolio of residential and commercial properties of all sizes in London. Drawing on our considerable industry expertise, we take great pride in offering dependable property maintenance and management services to all our valued clients. We ensure outstanding levels of quality by using the finest hand-picked tradespeople and professionals, and our cost-effective services are available to leaseholders, landlords, owners, block management agents and residential management companies. 

At London 1 Stop, we regularly establish planned maintenance programmes for our clients. Each programme is tailored to suit that building’s unique characteristics, such as its age, construction method, overall condition and any objects that will eventually require repair or replacement. In this article we would like to look at maintenance and the reasons it is absolutely necessary for all buildings to ensure they have an effective maintenance plan:

Reasons for Maintenance

There are many good reasons to keep up with maintenance. too many to list here but the obvious being:

Legal requirements – landlord’s/RMC/RTM etc covenants to maintain and repair.

Statutory compliance - lift inspections and electrical testing are just two examples of this.

Safety reasons – falling tiles or other hazards from lack of maintenance.

Residents’ comfort and safety – a well maintained building should also include a safe well maintained, clean communal area.  This will include keeping hallways clear with appropriate signage and enforcement.  A well maintained communal area allows a well-lit escape route, safe from hazards.  This also promotes pride in the building and better rental and resale value.       

Cost effective - early intervention is likely to save higher costs in the future.

Reduces insurance costs - a building which is not maintained is more likely to incur water damage and claims and will find its premiums rise and costs.

Resale Value we all look for a well maintained building when purchasing a flat. A well maintained building will normal add value.

We could all add to the above but  these alone ought to be more than enough to address opposition against regular maintenance usually to keep costs down. Certainly reasonableness has to be a factor of any well drafted planned maintenance report, but that shouldn’t mean nothing gets done.

 

Maintenance Planning

Maintenance of a building is everything from day-to-day cleaning right through to repairing and painting the external elevations, roofs etc.  A well maintained building should have a predetermined plan of all the maintenance tasks required.

Surveyor Services

I have read previous articles in relation to the value of having a surveyor prepare a detailed Planned Maintenance Report and this would be an excellent starting point, but it shouldn’t stop there.

In many cases blocks will have in place contracts with retained services engineers and lift contractors etc.  Where this is the case, it is worth reviewing the schedule of duties regularly to ensure it is comprehensive to cover legal requirements and effective future maintenance. The surveyor should be able to estimate likely major replacements of major parts from these contractors and their reports.

Health and Safety Reports

Look at any available documentation relating to the building which should be available. Ensure the surveyor has sight of these when preparing the plan. Those responsible for the day to day management should work through these as well to be familiar with requirements.  

Health & safety documents are very important in preparing immediate and future planning and as an integral part of the maintenance plan and contractors working on the building should have access to them for compliance with safety legislation. The periodic Health and Safety report will generally identify the specific legislation which applies to lift inspections, water testing, fixed wiring tests etc. If any report is not available it should be commissioned as soon as possible and reviewed as necessary to ensure the various maintenance requirements are actioned on the maintenance plan.

Everyday Maintenance

It is very important not to overlook the basic everyday maintenance as this is essential to the overall maintenance plan. On-site inspections or even contract cleaners or gardeners, consider what routine tasks would be within their reasonable competence. Basic examples should include checking that all drainage outlets/gullies are clear/properly covered and that light bulbs in common parts are replaced when required. Identifying and reporting back defective overflows staining the exterior and creating dampness is another possible use of those on site.

Conclusion

The maintenance plan for each block should be regularly reviewed and adjusted as circumstances dictate. Remember, buildings require a considerable amount of maintenance, ranging from their skeletal structure through to perishable external components, and internal fitments that are subject to heavy use. A planned programme of maintenance is the optimal way to facilitate a building’s upkeep, allowing costs to be budgeted and predicted well in advance of any works being carried out. Planned maintenance programmes also carry the added advantage of helping to minimise disruption by setting a prearranged and carefully scheduled plan of action in place. If you require any assistance on any issue in relation to the maintenance/services of your building please do not hesitate to get in touch with our helpful staff.