Adventures in Property Management

Differed vs. Planned Maintenance: What’s the difference?

Josh Jamias - Monday, October 22, 2018
Property Management Blog

As a property owner, you may have heard of the terms differed maintenance and planned maintenance. What’s the difference between the two? Does it even matter that you know the difference since they both imply that maintenance is happening?

Yes, it does it matter that you’re at least aware of the difference. Below are quick definitions for the two types of maintenance:

Differed maintenance: The practice of holding off on or postponing maintenance activities such as repairs in stairwells and plumbing. Some of the reasons a property owner chooses to delay action are to save costs, a lack of a budget, or restructuring of allocation of funds.

Planned maintenance: Scheduled maintenance of any item or equipment. This includes yearly carpet cleaning, patching up holes in the wall, and regular plumbing service visits by a competent service agent. One of the key ideas behind planned maintenance is to prevent breakdowns or catch problems before they get too expensive to fix or replace.

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Which type of maintenance should you choose?

The Benjamin Franklin axiom that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true when it comes to maintenance. Planned maintenance may feel more time consuming and requires a commitment of resources upfront but it is the better choice. Would you rather take 15 minutes every couple months to unclog all of the drains with a drain snake in your property or paying $200 to clear a drain clog? The smarter, financially-savvy choice is to take a few minutes to unclog your drains. This mentality and approach to maintenance will help you protect your investment properties.

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Planned maintenance provides several benefits for you:

  • The investment property you have worked so hard to gain is protected. You know how hard it was to acquire your property. Planned maintenance will help you continue to reap the benefits of your efforts.
  • You keep your tenants happy. When you’re on top of maintenance requests and make sure that everything is working from the refrigerator to the toilet, you’ll have satisfied tenants and fewer complaints.

The main takeaway

As with everything in life, the key to successful maintenance is being proactive. Don’t wait for bad things to happen. With the help of a property management company, you can stay on top of your repairs and keep track of the health of your property. You’ll protect your investment and have happy tenants.