Deferred Maintenance – Why it Matters in Real Estate

April 22, 2022 | Posted in brownbuilding

You may have heard the term “deferred maintenance” when talking about real estate and wondered to yourself, “what is deferred maintenance, and why does it matter?” Knowing what deferred maintenance is and how it can affect your property can guide you in making smart decisions about your home. 

Deferred maintenance, also known as backlog maintenance, stems from when you delay necessary repairs on personal assets or property because of limited funds. These repairs have to be done due to damage, safety problems, or malfunction. When these repairs and projects begin to accumulate, it is known as the maintenance backlog. 

Deferred maintenance in real estate matters because the maintenance backlog informs the buyer that the house’s damages eventually need to be fixed. The amount of costs you or the homebuyer will have to spend can impact the home’s value. 

deferred maintenance real estate


Why Deferred Maintenance Matters

You may also ask, “what is deferred maintenance on a house.” Deferred maintenance on a home includes the list of repairs that the owner postpones because of limited materials. This matters because, depending on the issue, it will most likely continue to worsen and impact the home’s safety. 

Backlog maintenance can eventually lead to spending more money in the future. By delaying costs now, you take the risk that products will be more expensive when the time comes to fix the problem. 

Causes of Deferred Maintenance

While not having enough money is one of the leading causes of backlog maintenance, various other reasons and causes can arise. Some of the common causes include: 

  • Inaccessibility
  • Company Policies
  • Lack of Priority
  • Hold Orders
  • Insufficient Information
  • Lack of Human Resources
  • Unavailable Parts 

How To Tackle Deferred Maintenance

While deferred maintenance is not ideal, sometimes it proves unavoidable. Lack of funds, unavailable parts, and inaccessibility can be factors that you cannot control. Luckily, you can take some strategic steps to combat backlog maintenance, such as: 

  • Audit and prioritize your current projects
  • Stay up to date with your maintenance activities with CMMS maintenance software
  • Strengthen your preventive maintenance program 

Taking these steps can aid in not only crossing projects off your list but also helping prioritize your maintenance backlog. In addition, having a thorough plan assists in managing your repairs and can help maintain a budget. 

The Dangers of Deferred Maintenance

Consider the dangers and risks associated with deferred maintenance if you do not take the time to address and tackle the causes. Some of these dangers include: 

  • The increased cost of breakdown repairs
  • Reduced overall equipment effectiveness
  • Entire system failure
  • Health and safety risks
  • Inadequate regulatory compliance 

You should not delay projects that can harm the health and safety of individuals. Instead, you should consider these projects a priority.


If you are still wondering “what is deferred maintenance?” or have any other questions, contact the professionals at Brown Building Contractors in Lacey, WA. We are your trusted and professional contractors with over 25 years of experience, ready to help with your home remodeling or construction needs. Visit our online form or call us at 360-515-3334 to schedule a consultation and receive your free quote.

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