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Your condo board is constantly receiving maintenance and repair requests from condo owners. If you need help prioritizing requests, use our pro property management tips to help ensure you are fair, cost-effective, and responsive.
Prioritize Amongst Unit Requests
A common mistake condo boards make is not prioritizing work based on urgency. Prioritization always puts safety first. Assess requests based on the following:
- A repair that jeopardizes the resident will always be prioritized over other requests.
- A request that impacts the habitability of the unit is next.
However, the impact on the overall condo property must also be considered. For example, a burst pipe that will flood not only the unit owner’s home but several others is a higher priority than a leak only impacting a single unit. However, if, for some reason the leak in the single unit is severe enough to put the resident in danger, such as a sewage leak, despite being contained to a single unit, then that request would be given priority.
Prioritize High-Urgency Property Maintenance
You might also find yourself juggling property versus unit maintenance and repairs. Whenever the cost and risks for the entire building are high, that should be handled over non-life or habitability-threatening unit issues. For example, if a unit owner complains of a leak, but at the same time, there is a significant leak impacting the entire building, the building needs to come first. Because it poses the highest cost risks, such as insurance premiums, damage repairs, enjoyment of common areas, etc., it gets priority over a leak covered by the unit owner’s insurance.
Juggling a long list of requests of equal importance is more complicated. In this case, try to weigh the potential impact:
- Is there something posing a greater risk, whether for residents’ safety or the property’s financial risk?
- Is there something that will cause more damage if left too long?
- What or who is impacted the most, the property or residents?
- How many people are impacted, one, a few, or the entire building?
- Can you fix something quickly, such as turning off the water in a unit, before continuing with the next issue?
For example, a leak in a unit or high-traffic common area is given priority over a roof leaking into an unused space. Just make sure the roof leak is addressed to reduce water damage.
Bylaws and Housing Regulations
You must take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the condo declaration and Ontario housing regulations. For example, Under the Residential Tenancies Act, you are responsible for dealing with pest issues and pest infestation of the building. Another example is that a unit without running water or a broken thermostat in the winter would be prioritized over a unit with a torn window screen. Also, while medium and low-priority requests might belong at the bottom of the list, you are likely responsible for promptly taking care of legitimate requests under your condo bylaws.
Although a preventative maintenance plan with effective communication can help reduce requests, you need a strategy to help ensure you treat each request fairly and effectively. At CPO Management Inc., a full-service property management company in Toronto and the GTA, we can provide strategies and manage day-to-day tasks needed to maintain your property’s physical and financial health. Reach out to us today to learn more about our condo management services.