Commercial Property Management - Essential Maintenance Practices Part 1

When it comes to managing a commercial or retail property, maintenance aspects must be well controlled and actioned. Failure to do so can see the property manager and or landlord exposed to litigation.

The visitors to a property and the tenants within the property expect safe usage and access. This is where maintenance management is integral to the property management strategy implemented by a real estate agent on behalf of the landlord.

Maintenance is important; a landlord should choose an experienced property manager and a real estate agency that understands the property type and the required maintenance management processes. It is quite incorrect and counterproductive for the landlord to choose a property manager based on low fees; the best property managers cost money, but the service and attention to detail for landlords is far superior. This allows a property to function well and improve financially.

Here are some of the main maintenance concerns and strategic practices involved in commercial or retail property management today. They are:

The tenants within a property should understand how to connect with and contact the property manager when any maintenance events arise. In most circumstances maintenance will be of an ordinary nature and repairs can be undertaken within a few hours or a few days without threat of injury or danger. A paper trail is important here when it comes to maintenance response and actions taken. A paper trail will help protect you in cases of dispute; always keep good records.
Unplanned major maintenance events can expose the landlord and property manager to legal pursuit and litigation. In simple terms, if the maintenance failure of the property can injure any person or disrupt occupancy, then matters of response and safety need to be strategically implemented immediately.
The terms and conditions of most leases will place obligations on the landlord to undertake the maintenance work in a timely way. Check the lease to see what it says in this regard.
Every property under management should be inspected regularly and frequently. At the time of inspection accurate notes and records should be kept. This will also involve photographs of any damage or circumstances, and any associated interviews with tenants as required. In situations of major property breakdown of all maintenance failure, the records of previous inspections will be critical to support the investigation and possibly protect you from litigation.
Matters relating to workplace health and safety and risk management within the property should be carefully managed. Specialist contractors should be engaged to implement the necessary maintenance procedures with the buildings essential services. In most cases log books are required to allow compliance with property and building codes. Do not overlook the tenant occupied space in this regard as the tenants will have compliance issues to deal with.

If you want some more tips and ideas to help your commercial real estate property management, you can get a free eBook of tips and tools at

John Highman is an experienced Commercial Real Estate Agent, International Speaker, and Sales Coach.

Original article