5 basic property maintenance tips for commercial owners

By Greg Bell

Once you've invested in commercial real estate, you want to do everything you can to maximise your ROI and preserve your asset. A key way to achieve these goals is to keep your building tenants happy and do routine maintenance on the building to keep it in tip-top shape.

Here are five ways that routine property maintenance — a seemingly nagging task easy to overlook or put off — can help you achieve these key goals.

Start your relationship right
Ensuring that your building is totally compliant with any and all requirements prior to purchasing it will make sure you are able to maintain it properly. Hiring an inspector to be sure the property meets local, regional and national safety standards is a big investment in your long-term management strategy. If any issues arise during the inspection, you'll want to make sure they can be addressed within the budget you have created.

Once all safety and compliance issues are in hand, make sure your tenants know this has been done and that you are the type of landlord who is serious about safety. This reassurance will be a strong foundation for your relationship.

Schedule routine check-ins
Your tenant may have basic responsibilities delineated in their lease agreement, but they are not responsible for the general upkeep of the building you own. The responsibility is yours, as you are the owner. So schedule time for yourself — or a contracted property manager — to visit the space at regular intervals. This will create the opportunity to notice issues before they become an emergency and to ensure your tenant is living up to their end of the lease agreement, keeping their space clean and notifying you of any issues.

Preventing disaster
There are several facets of your building that demand careful watch. Without keeping an eye on these assets, they risk falling into disrepair and causing major damage to the building in which you have invested. Monthly checks are recommended. These assets include:

  • Smoke alarms
  • Sprinkler systems
  • HVAC systems
  • Cooling systems
  • Heating units
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Air filters

Checking them at the same time each month will give you or your property manager the opportunity to notice when cleaning, repairs or other updates are needed.

Watch the weather
After a big weather event like heavy rain and flooding, it's essential to reassess your building's foundation and its roof. Catching problems early could potentially save lives as well as thousands of dollars in repair fees. Even earthquakes off the coast may shift your foundation in a way that is dangerous. So in addition to routine checks a few times a year, having your foundation and roofing checked after significant weather events are also wise. At the roof level, making sure all drainage mechanisms are clear and working properly is also essential.

Maintain structural integrity
Doing regular check-ins will also ensure your tenants have plenty of opportunities to discuss desired changes to the space. While you might expect a tenant to repaint their space, or change out some light fixtures or other cosmetic features of your space, you will not want them making any kind of serious structural changes to the building. Being on site will again give you an opportunity to naturally see if any such remodeling has been done or is in the works.

If you are a busy professional seeking assistance to make sure routine property maintenance is not overlooked, look no further than Ray White Surfers Paradise. Our property managers work tirelessly to care for each property in their portfolio, and we can do the same to help you maximise your investment. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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