Demetree Real Estate Blog

What are the Costs of Maintaining Your Office Building?

[fa icon="calendar"] 01.31.2017 / by Keni Flowers


Understanding operating and maintenance expenses is crucial when leasing or buying commercial properties. Building owners need to be aware of what these costs are so they can set up a proper monthly budget.

Here are some of the more prominent costs of maintaining your office building to take into account:


Obviously, you’ll need to keep the building clean if you want to attract and retain tenants. Cleaning costs depend on a variety of different factors including:

  • Location
  • Scope of services
  • Frequency of services
  • Size of the building

As a general rule, you can expect to pay between $18 and $35 per hour for a quality cleaning service.

Repairs and Maintenance

Repairs and maintenance are usually divided between the tenant and the landlord. This can be kind of a tricky situation though, so make sure the lease is clear on who is responsible for what. In most cases, the landlord will be responsible for any repairs or modifications done to the building’s structure such as the foundation, walls, roofs and floor structures.


On average, utility costs will take up around 22% of operating expenses for a commercial building. This number, of course, will vary between different properties, but building owners should be aware of the general cost.

There are lots of ways to cut back on utility costs, too. For example, building owners can try the following:

  • Use energy efficient lighting
  • Check air conditioning temperatures
  • Utilize demand-controlled ventilation
  • Use white or reflecting paint on the building’s exterior


This is generally the lowest expense related to building maintenance, but an important one nonetheless. Building owners will need to repair any potholes in the roads/parking lot and fix any other damages such as broken tree limbs.


Your tenant’s business is very important to them, so you need to make them feel safe and secure in their building. Installing security systems and surveillance cameras and hiring security personnel to patrol the premises at all hours is a must.

While security costs aren’t as expensive as utilities or cleaning costs, they can vary greatly depending on the size of your building and the sophistication of your security system. Building owners should expect to pay a minimum of $2,000 per month on security costs.


You’ll probably want to hire a property management company at some point to help out with the paperwork and other day-to-day tasks. Just be aware that you get what you pay for and the lowest cost provider will probably not have the highest quality service.

Know Your Cost

The cost of owning a building goes well beyond the initial purchase price. Building owners will have to keep the property well maintained and in good condition in order to retain tenants. Keep in mind, though, that the costs of operating and maintaining your property will increase as the building ages, so these are not fixed costs.


Topics: Office Space

Keni Flowers

Written by Keni Flowers

Keni Flowers-Baird is the Senior Property Manager for Demetree Real Estate Services. She joined the company in December of 2016 with more than 13 years of experience in managing residential, retail, office and mixed-use assets.