When we went into full lock down back in March we had to modify a lot of our processes to function without person to person contact. One of the most impacted areas was completing maintenance work orders for tenants. We went to only responding to emergency maintenance issues.
As restrictions started to ease, and we started to carefully reappear at the office we fully expected a bit of a deluge in the smaller maintenance items. The stuff that would generally go unnoticed, but the stuff that people looking at the four walls of their home for three months definitely have time to notice. And we certainly got a large load of those.
However, what we also saw was a corresponding but massive surge in serious maintenance issues and maintenance emergencies. This, while certainly attributable to people being forced to stay in their homes for months on end, comes with a different slant. When you think about it – our homes are actually (mostly) unoccupied approximately 80% of any given week. Work 5 days a week, school five days a week, sports or hobby activities a few times a week, maybe a dinner out with the family or partner a night or two in the evenings - you get the idea.
Homes went from spending most of their lives virtually empty to spending their entire lives completely full. Is it any wonder the dogs were delighted and the cats tenfold as miserable as usual! I’ve decided that when house systems are being designed, they are designed to only last for some predefined period of years based on a carefully constructed estimated frequency of use spread over their life time.
Covid came with its own set of rules. Houses were simply not ready for the change. Let’s just say our homes acted more like our cats than our dogs when faced with the reality that we weren’t going anywhere.