One of the reasons why a common area is so problematic for maintenance is due to the fact that it’s hard to determine whose responsibility it is. Nonetheless, neglecting it is something that harms absolutely everyone. First of all, the value of the property drops with the maintenance level of the common area. Oftentimes, the owner of the building will charge all the tenants a bit extra for the maintenance of strata, yet, if this is not the case, the tenants themselves must self-organize. Here are several tips that will help you standardize your common area maintenance.
1. What counts as a common area?
Now, before we start discussing the maintenance of the common area, it’s pivotal that we define the term as well as we can. According to the law, common areas may include recreation facilities, outdoor space, parking, landscaping, fences, laundry rooms and similar joint spaces. Needless to say, this doesn’t take place just in residential buildings but in commercial properties, as well. This often happens in malls where shop owners need to make an agreement on how to go on about the maintenance. One more thing worth noticing here lies in the fact that a common area exists both indoors and outdoors, which means that other than cleaning, you’ll also need to think about landscaping.
2. A plan and a fund
The next thing you need to understand is the fact that having a plan may seem like a priority, yet, without a proper maintenance fund, you aren’t going too far. First of all, you need to agree on the dates of repairs and cleaning. In order to work this needs to be routinized, which is why you need to introduce some policies. Then, you need to consider whether you should outsource your common area to a cleaning agency like Premium Cleaning Group or do the cleaning on your own.
If you decide to outsource, you’ll have to make a deal based on how frequently you need their services, as well as what kind of services you need. This will determine the price and in a way even impact the life within the building. On the other hand, if you decide to do this on your own, you’ll still have significant expenses, starting with cleaning supplies equipment. Seeing as how purchasing high-end equipment and supplies for a common area isn’t that cost-effective, outsourcing may be the best option you’ve got.
3. Making it low-cost
The next thing you need to understand is the fact that no matter how important, people simply aren’t willing to commit too much time or too many resources into the maintenance of a common area. The fear of your property diminishing in value (indirectly), isn’t nearly as great of a motivator as the idea of improving the value of a property through positive actions. In other words, whatever you do, you need to make it low-cost in order to A) make it sustainable and B) keep everyone on-board. Therefore, landscaping ideas like using artificial grass, plants that act as natural pest repellents and the introduction of hardscape features may be huge in your efforts to make a difference.
4. Doing an inspection
One of the most important factors here is figuring out what the major points that need to be tended to are. We’re talking about doing an inspection, on a regular basis. Now, this is a job for the owner of the property or at least a property manager. The most logical first stop needs to be talking with the tenants so that they can convey any concerns that they could possibly have on this topic. This will help you set your priorities straight. Also, it might be worth consulting the legal responsibilities of a homeowner, regardless if you’re the homeowner in question or a tenant.
Lastly, it’s important that you understand how any group project works. You see, when it comes to the maintenance of your own property, the work is done whenever you say it’s done and the results are as satisfactory as you believe them to be. With a common area, on the other hand, things are more complex. Therefore, you need an objective metric that will determine whether the job was well done or there’s some extra work ahead of you. Just remember, safety always comes before appearance or property value.