<- Back<- Back<- Back

Controlling Property Maintenance Costs

Steve Thompson
December 16, 2022

Property managers always need to explore new ways to cut costs to maximize profits. The pandemic and supply chain crisis of the early 2020s created extra challenges that included labor and supply shortages, as well as surging inflation. During the pandemic, tenants across the nation no longer had to pay rent according to state and local moratoriums, so landlords were forced to tighten budgets. Here are proven ideas for controlling property maintenance costs to prepare you for the next economic crisis.

Establish a Proactive Approach to Maintenance

A fundamental key to controlling property maintenance costs is to first assess your short-term and long-term costs. Your business will be much more sustainable if you take steps toward proactive maintenance. Regular operating expenses can account for 35 to 80 percent of an organization's budget. The more you spend on operations, the more you need to manage maintenance carefully and streamline your operation for sustainability.

Owning a rental property such as an apartment complex with even just ten units requires a lengthy list of maintenance costs to pay for services and supplies. You need well-trained personnel to inspect the property and its assets on a regular basis to spot vulnerabilities such as water or air leaks in doors, walls or windows. Practicing proactive maintenance allows you to identify and fix problems early before they become expensive.

Tips to Reduce Regular Maintenance Costs

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported in 2017 that the average annual operating and capital expenses per unit was $9,126. After inflation, maintaining property costs over $800 per month per unit on average. But various factors affect the maintenance costs of any given apartment or condo complex. Here are essential tips to help lower regular property maintenance costs:

  1. Schedule regular maintenance ahead of time so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.
  2. Use historical data to estimate future maintenance costs.
  3. Avoid surprises by staying updated on property issues on a daily basis.
  4. Minimize labor inefficiencies by using maintenance software.
  5. Use automation and machine learning software to monitor real-time financial data.
  6. Give your maintenance crew access to online tech support and research tools.
  7. Instruct your staff to use relevant apps for tracking, planning, inspecting and more.

Outsource Maintenance You Can't Handle

A property management company may not have a staff big enough to handle all necessary maintenance tasks. If that's the case, consider outsourcing work your team can't handle to third-party services. It's a cost-saving alternative to investing in expensive equipment for landscaping and other property-enhancing machinery.

It's imperative for property managers to choose a third-party maintenance provider carefully. It should be an experienced reputable company you can trust and not a fly-by-night operation just seeking fast cash. Another requirement should be that the maintenance company shares your goals in meeting specific requirements regarding quality and deadlines.


Part of successful property management involves controlling property maintenance costs. Operating within your budget is possible without expensive maintenance problems when you take proactive steps to protect your property assets. If you need waterproof deck repair, contact us here at West Coast Deck Waterproofing.