The team at Block in a Box look at the importance of having effective lift maintenance and breakdown cover in place. For resident leaseholders in a block of flats, the lifts in the building can hold varying importance. For some, they’re a welcome convenience. For others, a lifeline. For everyone using a lift, a lot of trust is placed in the managers of the block of flats. Neglected lifts can lead to serious accidents causing entrapment or injury, as well as stress for those whose access to the outside world is hindered or cut off entirely by breakdowns. Planned, professional maintenance of your lift can not only ensure the safety of your residents, but it can also massively extend the life of your lift. It can also affect your insurance premiums.

The Importance of Lift Maintenance

Lift maintenance is vital for the safety and satisfaction of your residents, but it’s also a legal responsibility, As a Property Manager or Residents Management Company you are an ‘owner or operator’ and are legally required to have your lifts inspected by a competent person once every 6 months (see the Health & Safety Executive website for more information). It’s also paramount in terms of your insurance. Your buildings insurance policy will insure your lift in the event of damage caused through ‘insured perils’ such as fire, accidental damage or malicious damage, but this cover does not extend to general breakdowns or maintenance works. Your 6-monthly inspections and any maintenance works suggested by your competent person are the key to warding off any catastrophic breakdowns and therefore any unexpected costs.

Lift Inspections

As well as your legal duty to maintain the lift, you are also required under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) to have your lift “thoroughly examined by an independent ‘Competent Person’ who will assess the safe operation of your lift”. These inspections are often referred to as Insurance Inspections and also need to occur every 6 months (as well as prior to new equipment going into service and after any major alterations). A “thorough examination” is defined as a “systematic and detailed inspection of the lift and all its associated equipment”. The aim of the inspection is to identify any current defects as well as anything that may become dangerous in the future. The competent person must then report these issues to the owner/operator/duty holder for them to rectify. They must also report certain issues or circumstances to the relevant enforcing authority such as the Health and Safety Executive or the Local Authority.

How Do I Know if My Lift Isn’t Functioning Properly?

Other than the obvious breakdowns, here are a few signs to look out for that may indicate your lift isn’t as happy as it could be:
  • The lift isn’t stopping perfectly in line with the landing floor (it’s stopping just above or just below)
  • The doors open and close a few times before the lift moves
  • Residents report noises that indicate the lift may be touching the walls of the lift shaft when in motion
  • Unusual noise or heat coming from the machine room
  • The lift indicates the wrong floor designation when called
If any of the above are experienced or reported, an inspection should be carried out as soon as possible to avoid any further issues.

How Can We Help?

Block in a Box partners with and is sponsored by trusted professionals from across the industry who are best placed to support you as a property manager or RMC. For Lift Insurance and Inspection cover, we highly recommend Flat Living Insurance. Their policies in a nutshell:
  • Lift Machinery Breakdown Insurance: Available with AVIVA Insurance and starting from only £112.00 for one lift up to 5 floors, this policy includes ‘failure to services’ with a Limit of Indemnity of £250,000
  • Lift Inspections: These are available with a range of providers with prices starting from £280.80 for one lift up to 5 floors.
Head to Block in a Box for advice and signposting to competent professionals who are ready to help with all roles to help you keep your block of flats maintained. Block in a Box not only provides information on how to protect your block of flats against emergencies over winter. We can also help with utilities, repairs, insurance, health and safety, and just about any other issue a flat owner or manager might face. To learn more about leasehold management companies or freehold management companies, contact our friendly and professional team today on 0333 0154 145.