April 21, 2020

Tapi's tips for dealing with maintenance during and post COVID-19 lockdown

Maintenance plays a complex role in Property Management, and things got a little more complicated with the NZ level 4 lockdown. At Tapi, we have put together some tips to work through maintenance requests during and after this time. This way, it will be easier to manage the surge of workload for you, your team and suppliers.

What you can do now to ease the maintenance workload post-lockdown?

During the NZ Level 4 lockdown, ordinary routine maintenance has been deferred until further notice, this may lead to a backlog of maintenance requests that need to be dealt with post-lockdown. Rather than letting all work orders pile up, you can get on top of organisation them now for the future.

1. Categorise jobs in levels of urgency

You can customise this based on the operations of your business by having a clear understanding of which jobs you want to tackle straight away and which jobs can be dealt with further down the line. Here are some examples of levels we have put together.

Quick tip! Having maintenance requests recorded and time stamped will help in the long term, especially if these are able to be covered by the owners insurance.
Urgent maintenance during NZ Level 4 lockdown

If a repair falls under essential services, jobs can be completed by the contractor. Be sure to caution your suppliers about best practises when they are doing essential repairs. Here is a curated list of resources to ensure you are up to date with the latest information surrounding COVID19 in your area.

2nd Priority: “First off the mark”

Includes repairs that are not causing significant damage to the property but are necessary to be repaired in a timely manner. For example, clearing blocked gutters, the slow dripping kitchen tap or a slow draining sink (but not blocked).

3rd Priority: “Slight inconveniences”

Repairs of fixtures or appliances that don’t affect usability but need attention. For example, washing machines that seem to be working but making sketchy sounds or damage to internal walls that need to be fixed.

Non-Urgent:   “Nice to have”

Includes repairs that have no deemed level of urgency. Maintenance which doesn’t affect the everyday lives of tenants or cause long-term damage to the property. These could be issues that are more cosmetic for example a house wash, replacing curtains, repainting bathroom ceiling or redoing the tiling in the bathroom.

2. Assign suppliers to the maintenance requests.

Once you understand what the work entails, assign the supplier that you want to do the work. This means when it’s time to send off the work order, you will have all the information ready for a quick turnaround. If you need to get the owner’s approval for any of this work, ask in advance to decrease repair wait times.

3. Be transparent with your tenants and landlords.

Now that you have a better understanding of urgency levels, you can be transparent with your tenants and landlords on your process. Set clear expectations and keep them updated when changes occur, significantly increasing service levels. Clear communication can make the difference in client experience.

We want to continue to support you through these uncertain times, so feel free to reach out at any time if you have any questions or queries on how to deal with maintenance during or post lockdown and we will try to advise you the best we can.


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