planned preventative schedule ppm property management guideYou’ll sometimes come across Planned Preventative Maintenance reports and programmes in an abbreviated form of PPMs.

Often with more significant buildings such as multi-let commercial properties or apartment blocks – they help look at what future maintenance and repairs are due at the property.

Although simple in principle, they can get complex and also expensive. To complete a proper one, they need a lot of detail and can be scary to help realise what nitty-gritty works are required at a property interest.

The secret is to ‘get’ them.

To have a comprehensive version of one is one thing, but to see what the takeaway and urgent issues are is another.

What are Planned Preventative Maintenance Schedules

The RICS has recently issued a guidance note on PPMs, which has a handy definition of what is a planned preventative maintenance schedule:

“Maintenance that is performed purposely and regularly to keep the structure and fabric, facilities, plant and equipment of a building in satisfactory operating condition”

Or as they put it another way:

“Providing for systematic inspection, detection and correction of failures, either before they occur, where actually present or before they develop into major defects.”

Plus, also:

“Helps identify items reasonably deemed to have reached end of economic life.”

Therefore, they’re helping to clarify what repairs and maintenance are due and useful now and in the immediate future—important information for those who have to pay and arrange for these and therefore make suitable plans.

What is the best planned maintenance programme report?

In terms of what they look like, there may be sections like an appendix of information of the executive summary, but the main nuts and bolts should be a PPM ‘Schedule’.

This logically lists all the items of repairs and services, with a breakdown of what this will cost and involve over future years. It’s an initial form of PPM checklist you can use to see what’s needed quickly.

The RICS document also has some examples of cost headings which helps place them in context.

Also, be aware of the disadvantages of a PPM as well. In addition to the original cost, they can have a limited remit and not be as extensive as say a separate Condition Survey Report or Technical Due Diligence (TDD).

Is there a statutory duty for a PPM?

In short, no.

This is just good practice and common sense that you carefully consider what repairs are around the corner. For larger and more complex properties with, say, a service charge to recover these costs, it’s essential to know – such as an apartment or office block.

Therefore, in a lot of cases the obligation may arise within property leases.

However, this may refer to separate statutory duties, such as electrical compliance, asbestos survey, and fire precautions. Such a PPM

Planned Preventative Maintenance is not a replacement or excuse for not doing these basic duties.

How is a PPM provided?

They’re usually bulky documents with lots of details, either a hard copy or digital PDF version. They may be based on a simple spreadsheet or a more complex piece of software, but whatever it is, it must make sense when you read it (obviously).

Plus, ensure it’s the correct one in the first place that was instructed. There may be different types and scopes of work focusing on specific aspects of the property, budget costs, and agreed levels of intrusive inspections and analysis of existing documentation.

Some PPM lessons

In terms of how you practically instruct and apply Planned Preventative Maintenance schedules in the day-to-day management of properties, here are some keys issues to remember:

1. Remember that they cost

A proper PPM is not cheap; therefore, you must be clear on who pays, whether the landlord owner directly or indirectly through a service charge.

Look out for extras such as disbursements, VAT, and additional involvement and sub-consultants – even the timing of payments, for example, and on-account charges.

2. Understand how long they last for

Usually, they can be up to thirty years long, but often for five to ten years.

Even if you still have many years to go on an existing one, check when they need updating, as ideally, this is every few years. This may require a full re-inspection, and any new surveyor is advised to do a new one rather than update one from another.

3. Get the correct information together

To some degree, the report will only be as good as the areas of the property that can be inspected and related documentation that is checked.

Whether land titles or existing risk assessments and reports, make sure these are readily available and understood.

Plus, be ready for this needing to be updated, separate from the PPM you’re looking into.

4. Arrange practical quotes and specifications afterwards

They will tend to be risk-averse and cover every eventuality, whereas, in reality, things can be delayed or completed on a more competitive basis.

One of the best ways to do this is to discuss the PPM with the surveyor who completes this, along with others like a regular contractor or separate risk assessor or expert in fire compliance.

That way, you can chat through the options, communicate the findings, and agree on a sensible course of action.

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