Zoë Walheim outlines the benefits of putting in place a Planned Maintenance Programme.
EVERYONE who knows about property understands the importance of a Planned Maintenance Programme (PMP). Regular, carefully planned maintenance of a property is essential to minimise deterioration and ensure the building serves its purpose and retains its value over time.
A good PMP covers everything from structural checks to redecorating and gutter clearing. This not only prevents any unpleasant and expensive surprises when things unexpectedly go wrong, but when a group of leaseholders are collectively responsible for repairs, it also prevents expensive and time-consuming disputes. Whether for a single block or a large portfolio, the basic principles of planned maintenance are the same.
The key is to develop a programme of maintenance work that is comprehensive, wellorganised and affordable. A PMP is a vital tool to help managing agents or property owners set reliable levels of service charge, expenditure or reserve funds for the cost of future repair and maintenance of a building. All buildings deteriorate over time, and the entire structure needs upkeep, repair and renewal if the property is to survive and flourish. Moreover, legislation and statutory requirements for property are regularly updated, often pushing up the standards by which properties are judged. This means it can be considered necessary to carry out regular maintenance even on brand new buildings.
Sadly, even some older buildings lack a proper PMP, and it is the case that on many blocks no adequate maintenance works have been carried out for a number of years, with the result that minor defects have been allowed to worsen significantly. The best way to avoid this is to not wait to correct and repair serious faults, but to organise planned maintenance by but setting out a clear, long-term set of measures to keep it in prime condition.
To put an effective PMP in place for your block, you should commission a professional to carry out a detailed inspection and draw up a costed schedule of works that will identify any work that needs to be done urgently and pinpoint future maintenance issues. The first step is for the surveyor to undertake a detailed survey of your building so that any necessary work on the building can be prioritised and to ensure that any other works are carried out at the same time to create economies of scale in terms of fixed costs, like scaffolding.
A good PMP will also take into account the recommendations of other specialist reports such as lift and services upgrades, fire protection upgrades and any asbestos related works.
Zoë Walheim MRICS
Chartered Building Surveyor at Earl Kendrick Associates Limited
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