Now more than ever maintenance has become a top priority for communities around the country. To streamline and optimize maintenance, a maintenance program is necessary.
So, what is a maintenance program?
Also known as a Common Area Maintenance Program (CAMP) or Building Maintenance Program, a maintenance program is the vehicle that implements and directs the performance of the inspections and maintenance outlined within the maintenance plan (click here for What is a Maintenance Plan?).
The maintenance program is the vehicle that implements and directs the performance of the inspections within the maintenance plan, specifying the preventive maintenance work and corrective maintenance resulting from the inspections. In a single-family home community or a horizontal condominium community, the general maintenance contractor is responsible for ensuring that the inspections and preventive maintenance are performed and that whatever maintenance tasks emerge are completed. In a mid-rise or high-rise, the building engineer will be responsible for overseeing the maintenance plan and program.
A maintenance program for a Homeowners Association (HOA) community is a program for maintaining and servicing the common areas and amenities of the community, such as the exterior of buildings, roofs, clubhouse(s), landscaping, swimming pools, and other shared facilities. The goal of the maintenance program is to keep the community attractive, safe, and well-maintained, and to minimize the costs associated with repairs and breakdowns.
Similar to a landscape maintenance program, in a building maintenance program, the building maintenance contractor supplies the labor on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending on how much work is needed. A building maintenance program account manager will perform inspections as needed. He or she should also provide quarterly building condition reports to communicate to the manager and board what work has been completed and what remains. In mid-rises and high-rises, a building engineer performs these activities.
This program offers a comprehensive solution that includes a dedicated technician(s) and an account manager, providing a range of maintenance services, for a predetermined number of hours each month. The technicians' responsibilities encompass tasks outlined in the maintenance plan, as well as addressing any other corrective maintenance needs identified within the community.
Determining the appropriate number of hours for each community depends on several factors. These include the community's size, the number and condition of common area components, and their complexity. By tailoring the service to meet the specific needs of each community, the Common Area Maintenance Program ensures efficient utilization of resources.
Key Components of a Maintenance Program:
Technician(s): The core of the Common Area Maintenance Program are the scheduled services of competent dedicated technician(s). These skilled professionals are dispatched to the community regularly, allowing them to develop familiarity with the property and its unique requirements. They execute tasks outlined in the maintenance plan, such as repairs, inspections, and preventive maintenance, ensuring the community's assets remain in optimal condition.
Account Manager: In addition to the technician(s), the program includes an account manager or maintenance manager. This individual acts as a liaison between the technician(s), the community manager, and the board members. His other primary role is to facilitate and oversee all maintenance-related activities. The account manager ensures necessary inspections, work orders, and repairs are completed promptly each month.
Communication & Transparency: The account manager regularly updates the community manager and board members on the progress of maintenance activities. The Maintenance Manager should provide detailed reports on completed tasks, ongoing projects, and any pending issues. This collaborative approach helps keep all parties informed and ensures everyone is on the same page regarding the maintenance efforts within the community.
Quarterly Inspections: To evaluate the effectiveness of the program, quarterly inspections are conducted by the account manager alongside the community manager and board members (if possible). These inspections offer an opportunity to review the progress of ongoing work, address any concerns, and identify additional projects that need attention.
Benefits of a Maintenance Program:
- Ensures the maintenance plan is being implemented.
- Extends the useful life of common area components and reduces the likelihood of costly repairs or replacements.
- Helps avoid special assessments.
- Improves the lifestyle and safety of community residents.
- Reduces accidents and minimizes disruptions to the community.
- Improves real estate values.
- Provides a single point of contact for all work requests. This streamlines the process, enhances efficiency, and ensures that all maintenance needs are promptly addressed.
- Helps reduce insurance premiums.
For more information on maintenance programs, maintenance plans and their interaction with the reserve study you can read CAI’s Best Practices: Community Association Maintenance.
J. David Rauch is the president and CEO of ProTec Building Services in San Diego. He was the committee chair that wrote Best Practices: Community Association Maintenance. www.ProTec.com