12 Top Tips for Maintaining a Condo Building
A recent article on Realtor.com explored the pros and cons of self-managed condos. The author, who lived in a self-managed condo for a time, provided some inside info on the topic. One of her key takeaways: It’s a lot of work.
Of course, this should come as no surprise to property and facility managers. There’s always a lot more to managing a property than meets the eye—and condos are no different. Because people own their units and are invested in the building, managing a condominium comes with both unique challenges and raised expectations.
At DPM Care, we’ve worked with a number of property managers over the years who have expertise managing condos. Based on their experience, we’ve compiled a list of top condo building maintenance tips to keep in mind.
Maintenance Wisdom for Condo Managers
Here are a dozen key maintenance tips we learned from our time working with condo managers:
1. Keep track of inspections
The author of the Realtor.com article notes her condo was once cited for failing to have their fire sprinklers inspected every six months. To avoid fines, complete all inspections required by state and local codes and statutes in a timely manner. Developing an inspection calendar is a smart idea to eliminate oversight.
2. Take a preventative approach
To avoid major problems and costly repairs, take a preventative maintenance approach to all your building’s major systems—from HVAC and electric to plumbing and carpets/floors. Perform regular checks and cleanings to ensure you get the maximum life from your building’s biggest investments.
3. Be ready to resolve problems
As the manager of a condo building, you’re often not just in charge of maintaining the building—you’re also in charge of maintaining the peace. Having rules in place and effectively communicating them to condo owners can help prevent problems. Providing a clear process for resolving disputes is also important.
4. Pay attention to vents
One of the most common problems in condo buildings is clogged or blocked vents—particularly dryer vents, which can be a major fire hazard. Do regular and thorough vent checks on the exterior and interior of the building to ensure all vents are clean and clear.
5. Preserve your carpeting
Carpeting in condo lobbies and hallways tends to see a lot of traffic. And dirty or faded carpet is the source of many condo building complaints. In addition to regular vacuuming, be sure to have your condo carpets deep cleaned on a monthly or quarterly basis. This will keep your carpets looking vibrant and help prevent permanent damage.
6. Prioritize security
To prevent theft and vandalism, and give condo owners a sense of wellbeing, don’t sleep on security. Make sure all exterior areas like parking lots or garages are well lit and monitored. Regularly check to ensure all doors and common areas are locked and secure. Consider investing in new technology that can provide better security.
7. Clean pipes regularly
Plumbing is an area where preventative maintenance can make a big difference. Have a professional come out at least once a year to clean all major drain and sewer lines. This can help reduce the risk of backups and clogs, which can create a number of additional problems in condo buildings.
8. Check up on HVAC
Breakdowns in the HVAC system can mean a lot of angry condo owners (especially in peak summer and winter months). They can also cost a lot of money to fix. Make it a point to change filters regularly and give your HVAC system a full checkup with each changing season. Those are the best ways to prevent a meltdown.
9. Look out for cracks
Along with monitoring and managing snow, ice, puddling, and drainage, make sure you’re keeping an eye open for problems like cracks in the sidewalk or parking lot. Repair any uneven or dangerous surfaces to protect residents and visitors, and eliminate eyesores.
10. Refresh your image
What once looked new and fresh can quickly begin to appear old and drab. From painting the lobby and common areas to adding new flowers to the landscaping to re-striping lines in the parking lot, there are low-cost ways to renew the look of your condo building.
11. Lock pests out
Work to keep pests out of your condo building by addressing moisture problems and keeping trash contained. In addition, having a pest management professional inspect the building on an annual or seasonal basis is always a smart idea.
12. Be emergency ready
Have a plan in place for different emergency situations—from fires to natural disasters to utility shutoffs. Know what needs to be done in these situations, how you will communicate with condo owners and any residents who will require special assistance.
Additional Condo Building Maintenance Tips
Property managers – what tips would you add for maintaining condo buildings? Leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!