A lot owner from NSW is wondering how to reduce the cost of their lift maintenance contract. Rex Henning, Equity Lift Consultants provides the following response.
Question: Is it possible or practical to reduce our annual lift maintenance contract costs by increasing the periods between services calls from three months to possibly four or even six months?
I would like to have some light shed upon our lift maintenance contract and our Strata’s obligations for regular maintenance.
One of our strata’s more costly maintenance overheads is the regular (and essential) lift service. Our Sydney building’s single lift services the basement carpark and ground floor entry only (two floors). We have had an ongoing quarterly scheduled maintenance contract with the lift’s manufacturer since its installation 12 years ago. We display the lift’s obligatory NSW Worksafe Registration and Scheduled Maintenance Certification on our community notice board.
Our current contract lists the task completed as follows:
- Buttons, Indicators, Fire Service – Test/ Repair
- Car Door Operation – Check, Lube, Replace as required
- Car Op. Panel & Indicators – check, replace
- Complete Job Hazard Analysis
- Contact site representative, Ride, Floor Level, Noise, Aesthetics
- Door Operator – Clean, Lube, Adjust, Parts as required
- Door Protection – Clean, Test, Adjust
- Emerg. Lighting, Alarms, Communication Check
- Engineering Performance Enhancement
- Hoistway Doors – Clean, Lube, Adjust, Parts as required
Plus filling out the maintenance Log book.
Is it possible or practical to reduce our annual lift maintenance contract costs by increasing the periods between services calls from three months to possibly four or even six months? Or can reducing the number of line items on every other service help to reduce costs?
Answer: Rather than reducing service frequency, it may be worthwhile getting an independent review of your service contract (and current pricing levels).
Your lift is a highly sophisticated piece of machinery and as with any electromechanical device (aircraft, trucks, cars etc), good quality preventative maintenance is essential for ongoing safety, reliability and of course the longevity of the components. Inadequate maintenance will significantly shorten the lift’s life-span, not to mention compromising safety and reliability.
In an average strata apartment building, quarterly maintenance is appropriate, although larger complexes will require monthly service visits.
Rather than reducing service frequency, it may be worthwhile getting an independent review of your service contract (and current pricing levels); lift companies often include tricky escalation clauses that continuously increase service fees above published inflation rates. Over a 12-year period, this could mean that your current quarterly fee is almost double the current market rate.
To protect their position, we recommend Strata Owners consider an independently drafted maintenance contract; in addition to excessive escalation clauses, lift company contracts can be one-sided, low on deliverables and absent of meaningful KPI’s!
This post appears in Strata News #178.
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Equity Lift Consultants
P: 0450 927 909