Multi Family Homes

Maintenance Tips
for Multi Family Homes

What does multi-family mean in real estate?

A building or structure that is designed to house several different families in separate housing units. The most common type of multifamily housing is an apartment building. Duplexes, quadruplexes, and townhomes also qualify as multifamily housing. The entire building or structure may be owned by an individual, an entity, or, as is the case with condominiums, by individuals who have purchased individual units.

What is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance should be second nature to every property management and maintenance team.


Living in a multifamily home, it’s important as a tenant, to have real time support when it comes to maintenance. You never really know when an incident will occur in a home, be it big or small. For larger multifamily properties, it is imperative to have a system in place to be able to track and respond to tenant issues in real time. Not only will this give the tenants comfort and peace of mind that someone within the building will respond to their issue in a timely manner, but it also assists your maintenance and office staff in helping track what is going on within the property. In other words, implementing a system to track and monitor maintenance issues on the property is a form of preventative maintenance that should be taken into consideration in order to resolve small problems before they develop into bigger ones.

Maintenance Tips for a multi-family home

The art of preventive maintenance involves noticing small problems and fixing them before major ones develop. A structural or mechanical breakdown is usually preceded by a long period of deterioration, which is often neglected because it is not obvious, according to an Apartment House Institute manual on preventive maintenance.


”Preventive maintenance does not require a high degree of technical skill on the part of the building’s manager or superintendent,” the manual says. ”It is essential, however, that the manager or super understand what services are needed and arrange for competent service.”


Here are some maintenance tips to manage your multifamily property:


Write down all the items you need to address to manage the housing complex effectively. Leave a blank space under each item subhead, which should describe your policies for the rentals; use restrictions, such as no smoking or pets; maintenance responsibilities; and tenant-screening procedures.

Perform periodic walk-throughs of the outside areas of the housing complex. Look for signs of damage or needed cosmetic work. Make repairs and perform touch-up work as needed to keep your tenants happy and avoid complaints.

Perform emergency repairs as soon as you can. Contact your repair person immediately if you cannot perform the work on the complex yourself.

Tackle pest infestations immediately, before the problem spreads. Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that are difficult to eradicate and can get into all the units in the complex if measures are not taken as soon as you are notified of a problem

Correct environmental hazards, such as a mold infestation in a unit, as soon as you learn of the problem. Hazards like mold can make your tenants sick and permeate more areas of the complex if left unchecked.

Ultimately, it’s in your best interest as a property owner to provide a clean and safe environment for your tenants. This will lead to long lasting relationships and residents who will stay for long after you have attracted them.



Multifamily homes are one of the least common residential types. You can have a duplex or a four-plex. Anything more is considered commercial.

A typical definition of an apartment is a set of rooms that form one residence in a building with many similarly shaped units. Multifamily buildings are rental apartments that all the units and the whole building are under one ownership. 

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