We have all heard horror stories about the negative and costly impacts resulting from deferred maintenance, and plumbing is certainly no exception.  In fact, one property owner estimated that not fixing their pipes cost them 9X more in the long run, compared with the cost of replacing the plumbing when their pipe problems first started.  But did you know, aside from the obvious flood damage and repair costs, there are numerous other direct and indirect costs that make the decision to defer maintenance on your plumbing system significantly more expensive than finding a way to replace your pipes today?

Direct Costs

  • Increased maintenance staff hours to repair leaks and contain the water damage usually means overtime pay and higher operating costs.
  • Expenditures in plumbing labor and materials to stop the leaks can quickly escalate.
  • If the leaks are frequent and/or catastrophic, water extraction and mold remediation may be necessary, in addition to paying for displaced residents to stay in temporary housing.
  • The costs of repairing damaged property such as carpet and padding, sheetrock and paint, cabinets and vanities, resident belongings and other items can multiply.
  • For each incident, the property owner is responsible for paying the insurance deductibles, which can add up quickly.

Indirect Costs

  • Unhappy residents can have a negative impact on your brand and reputation in the marketplace.  In the digital age, residents can and will use online platforms like apartmentratings.com; apartments.com; yelp.com; apartmentfinder.com; and others to voice their opinions, ultimately damaging your reputation and impacting your rental income. 
  • Residents who are dissatisfied with continual leaks and water shutdowns are more inclined to move out when their leases are up, leading to an increase in resident turnover and a decrease in annual lease renewals.  As a result, occupancy rates are reduced as more units sit empty for longer periods of time costing the property money as a result of reduced rental income or reduced rental rates require to keep occupancy up.
  • Properties will often see a reduction in property value as well as an increase in insurance premiums when leaks are recurring and cause repeat damage.
  • Maintenance and property management staff become increasingly dissatisfied as a result of longer hours and having to put up with angry residents.  And other routine maintenance is often deferred because maintenance staff is handling leaks, ultimately requiring more staff and increasing operating costs.  

Don’t fall victim to the financial fallout of deferred plumbing maintenance.  The positive outcome of replacing leaking pipes far outweighs the costs and frustration of ongoing leaks.  Your residents, property management team, and maintenance staff will all welcome an end to the damaging leaks, resulting in positive financial and operational results – a win-win for everyone.

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