Guide to Property Maintenance

A property maintenance program is the set of activities involved in the inspection, repair and upkeep of your organization’s properties. Property maintenance programs can encompass an extremely wide range of tasks and procedures, all of which are directed toward the safety, efficiency, and functionality of buildings, complexes, and infrastructure as well as the exterior spaces surrounding these properties.

Why is an effective property maintenance program essential?

Property maintenance activities may include equipment maintenance, safety inspections, routine cleaning, structural repairs, testing of mechanical systems, exterior landscaping, and much more. Property maintenance programs cover a wide range of activities. This means that an extremely wide variety of industries and professionals rely on  property maintenance programs to do their job effectively. 

For instance, effective property maintenance is essential for real estate professionals, who must have comprehensive maintenance strategies in place for each and every rental property, commercial property, and residential property under their care. Likewise, professionals in the hospitality industry depend on property maintenance plans in order to curate safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing spaces for hotel and resort guests. And facility managers who oversee manufacturing operations depend on property maintenance plans to ensure the upkeep of physical assets, the timely handling of maintenance issues, and protection of the facility’s property value.

And this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Effective property maintenance is essential across countless industries to ensure building safety, facility preservation, the efficiency of physical assets, and regulatory compliance.

In the first section of our property maintenance guide, we’ll look at some of the tasks and activities that constitute an effective property maintenance program. 

What is property maintenance? 

Property maintenance encompasses all the actions and activities required to keep properties such as buildings, land, and infrastructure in optimal working condition. This means your property maintenance program may cover everything from basic cleaning and cosmetic updates to complex repairs and total system overhauls. 

Below, we look at some of the tasks organizations must plan, schedule and execute as part of a sound property maintenance program. 

  • Routine maintenance, with regularly scheduled property upkeep tasks including cleaning gutters, landscaping, painting, HVAC servicing, and replacement of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Preventive maintenance, with preemptive inspection and servicing of physical assets including equipment inspections, structural inspections, weatherproofing, pest control, and regularly scheduled parts replacement. 
  • Corrective maintenance, with maintenance technicians responding to emergent needs including plumbing, electrical, structural, and equipment repairs
  • Cosmetic maintenance, with maintenance teams ensuring their properties retain their aesthetic appeal through tasks like lighting upkeep, interior painting, window cleaning, and signage maintenance. 
  • Compliance and safety checks, with both in-house personnel and third-party inspectors conducting reviews of fire safety, accessibility, waste disposal, hazardous materials handling, and other safety procedures. 

An effective property maintenance plan will also align these activities with comprehensive planning, preventive maintenance scheduling, and a reliable work order system

In the next section of our property maintenance guide, we’ll take a moment to clarify some key terms.

Property maintenance vs. building maintenance

There are many overlapping aspects of property maintenance and building maintenance, but they are not interchangeable terms. The scope of property maintenance may include building maintenance tasks. However, property maintenance will also concern activities that go beyond building maintenance and extend into the upkeep of your exterior property. Building maintenance is limited to maintenance activities performed on or within a given structure.

Therefore, building maintenance and property maintenance both encompass activities such as servicing an electrical system, repairing a roof, recarpeting an interior, and ensuring compliance with building codes and safety standards.

By contrast, only property maintenance will include some of the following activities: 

  • Landscaping and groundskeeping
  • Snow removal and de-icing
  • Pest control in outdoor areas
  • Parking lot maintenance
  • Outdoor lighting maintenance
  • Waste removal

Property maintenance vs. facility maintenance

As with building maintenance, facility maintenance shares a lot of common ground with property maintenance. Both concepts encompass a wide range of maintenance and upkeep activities. The distinctions between these concepts are somewhat nuanced. 

In this case, it may be said that property maintenance and facility maintenance have shared goals (such as the preservation of physical assets and adherence to current safety standards) but that these programs are focused on different aspects of your operation.

While property maintenance is focused on the upkeep and maintenance of the interior and exterior of a given property, facility maintenance also includes oversight of the people, systems, and procedures engaged within these properties. Therefore, in addition to the activities that we have noted in association with property maintenance, facilities maintenance may also include some of the following activity:

  • Safety and security system checks
  • Review of waste disposal procedures
  • Codification of emergency response systems
  • Compliance review of equipment end-users and procedures

Property maintenance in action: industry examples

In the next section of our property maintenance guide, we take a closer look at the important role played by property maintenance in several different industries. As we’ll discuss, the exact tasks and activities associated with your property maintenance program will be determined in large part by the needs, safety standards, and regulatory requirements specific to your industry. 

Below, we list some of the industries that rely on a sound property maintenance program and identify some of the property maintenance activities specific to each industry. 

Commercial Real Estate

Property maintenance is critical for preserving the value, safety, and appeal of a property for both tenants and visitors. Therefore, property maintenance tasks will likely include:

  • Routine cleaning
  • Landscaping
  • HVAC maintenance
  • Safety inspections


Retail spaces like stripmalls, shopping centers, and big box stores depend on well-coordinated property maintenance programs to create safe and inviting shopping environments. Therefore, property maintenance tasks will likely include:

  • Parking lot surface maintenance
  • Exterior lighting upkeep
  • Signage maintenance
  • Public area cleanup 

Residential Property Management

Residential property managers may oversee maintenance tasks for apartment buildings, gated communities, senior living facilities, and other residential space, with a focus on keeping tenants satisfied and properties in good working condition. Therefore, property maintenance tasks will likely include:

  • Systems repairs (i.e. electrical, plumbing, HVAC)
  • Appliance replacements
  • Pest control
  • Common area maintenance (i.e. lobbies, gyms, and laundry facilities)


Maintenance programs for hotel and resort properties are largely focused on ensuring guest satisfaction and safety. Therefore, property maintenance tasks will likely include:

  • Deep room cleaning
  • Guest facility upkeep (i.e. HVAC units, plumbing fixtures) 
  • Amenity maintenance: (i.e. pools, spas, fitness centers)
  • Grounds maintenance


Facilities in the industrial and manufacturing sectors focus on maintaining the optimal functionality and safety compliance of production equipment and other physical assets. Therefore, property maintenance tasks will likely include:

  • Machinery maintenance
  • Safety compliance
  • Warehouse and storeroom upkeep
  • Inventory management

While the focus of property maintenance plans can differ significantly for each of these industries, all share the same underlying goals–ensuring property is safe, functional, and appealing to its users or occupants.

How do organizations manage property maintenance?

Organizations manage property maintenance using various strategies. In most cases, these strategies can be divided into one of two categories: in-house property maintenance; and third-party property maintenance.

The right approach for your property will depend on factors like the size of your business, your specific maintenance needs, and the type of property you are charged with managing. Regardless of which of these approaches makes sense for your organization, emergent maintenance management technology will likely play an integral part in facilitating your property maintenance program. 

Below, we’ll provide a pros-and-cons comparison of in-house and third-party property maintenance strategies:

In-house property maintenance

With in-house property maintenance, your organization will deploy a dedicated maintenance team composed of your employees, and tasked with the upkeep, repair, and management of your properties.

Pros of in-house property maintenance may include:

  • Direct control over maintenance personnel, scheduling, and task prioritization
  • Access to an on-site maintenance team capable of rapid response to urgent repairs
  • Personnel who are deeply familiar with the property as well as its specific systems, protocols, and challenges

Cons of in-house property maintenance may include:

  • Higher costs associated with employing a full-time maintenance team such as training, salary, and benefits
  • Smaller maintenance teams with limited labor capacity
  • Personnel with a narrower breadth of expertise relative to third-party providers

Third-Party property maintenance

With third-party property maintenance, your business will outsource maintenance tasks to external service providers. You may employ a property management company to handle all aspects of your property maintenance program, or you may work with an array of service providers specializing in tasks like landscaping, machine repairs, HVAC system cleaning, and more. 

Pros of third-party property maintenance may include:

  • Specialized knowledge and experience relating to specific types of maintenance tasks
  • The ability to scale maintenance efforts up or down on per-project basis or on a seasonal basis
  • Cost savings in areas like hiring, training, and full-time employment of maintenance personnel

Cons of third-party property maintenance may include:

  • Less control over how and when maintenance tasks are completed
  • Reduced coordination between maintenance teams and other areas of your operation

The role of technology in property maintenance

Today, rapidly advancing technology is helping to improve outcomes regardless of whether you choose to employ an in-house property maintenance team, a third-party provider, or some combination of the two. In fact, some of the top technological solutions in the property maintenance space may help to resolve the cons cited directly above.

For instance, the following technology-based solutions are helping to streamline control, scheduling, prioritization, and coordination of maintenance activities regardless of whether these are provided in-house or through a third-party provider:

  • Maintenance management software for scheduling, tracking, and managing maintenance tasks
  • IoT sensors for monitoring equipment performance and facilitating predictive maintenance strategies
  • Mobile applications for multi-location task tracking and improved real-time communication

5 tips for implementing a property maintenance program

Below, we offer five tips that can help you develop and deploy an effective property maintenance program. 

  1. Create a detailed maintenance plan that includes scheduling for routine maintenance, inspections, and seasonal tasks, taking care to prioritize tasks based on their urgency and impact on safety and operations. 
  2. Perform routine property inspections, equipment testing, and safety audits of all structural elements including electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC systems, and outdoor areas. 
  3. Perform regular, scheduled preventive maintenance to preempt equipment failure and extend the lifespan of property assets, including tasks like cleaning, lubricating, and replacing aging parts on your equipment.
  4. Keep the exterior of your property safe and welcoming with regular landscaping, cleaning of external surfaces, and maintenance of parking areas as well as seasonal upkeep such as leaf and snow removal. 
  5. Implement a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) platform as part of your property maintenance strategy, and leverage valuable features such as automated maintenance scheduling, inventory tracking, and maintenance task work order management. 

The role of CMMS platforms in property maintenance

As noted above, CMMS platforms are helping organizations both large and small streamline their property maintenance programs. Limble CMMS exemplifies the profound impact that the right platform can have on your maintenance program.

Below, we take a closer look at how Limble’s features can support and improve your property maintenance operations:

  • Asset management: Limble allows for detailed asset management by organizing properties into a hierarchical structure, a function which is particularly beneficial for property managers handling multi-unit properties.
  • Multi-location management: Limble’s CMMS makes it easier to manage properties across multiple locations, simplifying the organization of separate units into distinct locations and facilitating tailored maintenance strategies that account for the unique needs of different locations
  • Work requests management: Limble’s mobile-friendly work request portal enhances communication between tenants and property managers, simplifies the submission of work requests, automatically generates work orders, and customizes maintenance request forms.
  • Parts inventory management: Limble’s inventory management feature ensures that all parts are properly barcoded, accurately tracked, and easy to locate in your physical storeroom.
  • Automated preventive maintenance: Limble allows for the automated scheduling, customization, and assignment of preventive maintenance tasks.

Curious how Limble CMMS can improve your property maintenance program? Jump to our comprehensive CMMS Buyer’s Guide to learn more.

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