Maintenance operations in an apartment complex are an extremely important part of successful and profitable operations. Tenants who can pay premium rent will not tolerate failed maintenance.

Maintenance management is a challenge for an apartment manager because of the trade-off between controlling labor costs and obtaining a sufficient number of competent employees, and because of the trade-off between current profit and expenditure for repairs and replacements. The desires of the owners and the policy of the management company determine the targeted level of maintenance. The on-site manager must then obtain the best possible results from the available resources.

Maintenance requests from tenants for work to be performed inside the apartment should be written and signed. You can print a maintenance request form bearing language that authorizes maintenance personnel to enter the apartment if the form has been signed by the tenant. Your maintenance staff should always place a tag on the door of the apartment indicating that maintenance personnel are working in the apartment. People forget; tagging the door prevents unpleasant surprises. Tenant requests for maintenance, excepting trivial requests, should be performed quickly--very quickly. That means your maintenance staff, or support vendors, must maintain an inventory of repair parts and be available 24/7. Delayed or inadequate maintenance is a sure and certain way to start an apartment complex on a path of decline.