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Property management and maintenance in the multifamily housing sector in Sweden
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Real Estate and Construction Management, Building and Real Estate Economics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2517-6884
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Several studies and government reports have indicated that a large number of apartments in Sweden built during the 1960s and 1970s require extensive refurbishment and that there is concern that some companies in the rental housing sector and in the tenant-owner cooperative (TOC) sector may have difficulties carrying out the needed activities. The overall purpose of the thesis is to increase the understanding of the factors that influence the decisions made within the multi­ faceted property management of multifamily housing in Sweden which would mitigate some of the shortcomings. Econometric analysis and semi-structured interviews as well as questionnaires carried out within the TOC sector as well as the public and the private rental housing sectors provide the basis of the conclusions arrived at. The aim is to contribute to raising efficiency in maintenance and property management within the housing sector in Sweden. The major conclusions presented in the thesis are that: maintenance as a concept is unnecessary from a decision-making perspective as the concept of investment embraces all the relevant decisions; maintenance models in manufacturing industries could be applied within the housing sector but building maintenance is different and should be grounded on a strategy that allows for the continuous adjustment of maintenance plans based on a regularly up-to-date decision support system in the company or TOC; reported maintenance costs within the municipal (public) and the private rental sectors in Sweden continuously diverge mainly due to principal-agency issues of a socio-political character, in the form of political involvement in the operations of public housing companies, as well as the way companies define maintenance together with the timing of the maintenance measures; hidden incentives in the form of cooperative members, managers or service providers that seek short term gains together with the lack of a long-term perspective in the decision-making as well as a high turnover rate of committee members are major challenges to efficient property management within the Swedish TOC sector. Similarly, the information asymmetry between the professionals (constructors as well as service providers) and the amateur decision-makers in the managing committees, especially in cooperatives with newly constructed buildings, is a substantial source of losses in efficiency within the operations of the TOCs. Major contributions of the thesis are that: it promotes the view of maintenance as an investment and highlights the possibility of cost saving through the linking together of several measures as well as the challenges involved; it points to the need within the housing sector for better decision support tools as well as knowledge transfer and sharing; it calls for the government to promote policies that would reduce the degree of information asymmetry between the procurers of services within the TOC sector and the construction companies as well as other service providers. A requirement of formal competence and certification could be a step towards increasing the degree of qualified decision making and efficiency in property management within the housing sector. How this could be implemented nationwide in the different housing sectors is an issue worth further investigation.

Abstract [sv]

Flera studier och statliga rapporter har visat att ett stort antal lägenheter i Sverige som byggdes under 1960- och 1970-talet kräver omfattande renovering och att det finns oro för att vissa företag i bostadshyressektorn och i bostadsrättssektorn kan ha svårigheter att utföra nödvändiga åtgärder. Det övergripande syftet med avhandlingen är att öka förståelsen av de faktorer som påverkar beslutfattning inom den mångfacetterad fastighetsförvaltning av flerfamiljshus i Sverige, vilket skulle mildra några av bristerna. Ekonometriska analyser och semistrukturerade intervjuer samt enkäter som genomföddes inom Brf sektorn samt den offentliga och den privata hyresbostadssektorn utgör grunden för de slutsatser som dragits. Syftet är att bidra till att höja effektiviteten i underhåll och fastighetsförvaltning inom bostadssektorn i Sverige. De viktigaste slutsatserna i avhandlingen är att: underhållet som begrepp är onödigt från ett beslutsperspektiv eftersom begreppet investering omfattar alla relevanta beslut; underhållsstrategier i tillverkningsindustrin skulle kunna tillämpas inom bostadssektorn men byggnadsunderhåll skiljer sig och bör grundas på en strategi som gör det möjligt för kontinuerlig anpassning av underhållsplaner baserat på ett reguljärt uppdaterad beslutsstödsystem i företaget eller TOC; redovisade underhållskostnader inom den kommunala och den privata hyresbostadssektorn i Sverige kontinuerligt avviker från varandra främst på grund av principal-agent frågor av sociopolitisk karaktär, i form av politisk inblandning i verksamheten inom de allmännyttiga bostadsföretag, och hur företag definierar underhåll samt tidpunkten för underhållsåtgärderna; effektiv fastighetsförvaltning inom den svenska Brf sektorn kompliceras av olika aktörer (kooperativets medlemmar, che fer eller tjänsteleverantörer) med dolda incitament, avsaknaden av ett långsiktigt perspektiv i beslutsfattandet, en hög omsättning av kommittémedlemmar samt informationsasymmetri mellan yrkesverksamma (konstruktörer samt tjänsteleverantörer) och amatör beslutsfattare inom Brfer, särskilt i kooperativ med nybyggda hus, vilket utgör en stor källa till effektivitetsförluster inom verksamheten i Brf sektorn. Avhandlingens viktiga bidrag är att: det främjar synen på underhåll som en investering och understryker möjligheten till kostnadsbesparingar genom att knyta ihop flera åtgärder samt de utmaningar som kan finnas; det pekar på behovet inom bostadssektorn för bättre beslutsunderlagsverktyg liksom kunskapsöverföring och delning samt uppmuntrar den regeringen att främja en politik som skulle minska graden av informationsasymmetri mellan beställare av tjänster inom Brf sektorn och byggföretag samt andra tjänsteleverantörer. Ett krav på formell kompetens och certifiering kan vara ett steg mot att öka graden av kvalificerad beslutsfattande och effektivitet inom fastighetsförvaltning i bostadssektorn. Hur detta skulle kunna genomföras i hela landet i de olika bostadssektorerna är en fråga som ytterligare skulle kunna undersökas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , ix, 35 p.
Series
TRITA-FOB-DT, 2016:1
Keyword [en]
Property management, housing maintenance, tenant-owner, cooperative housing, maintenance planning, incentives
Keyword [sv]
bostadsrätt, fastighetsförvaltning, fastighetsunderhåll, underhållsplanering, incitament, bostadsrättsförening
National Category
Construction Management
Research subject
Real Estate and Construction Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-182663ISBN: 978-91-85783-61-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-182663DiVA: diva2:905424
Public defence
2016-03-17, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160223

Available from: 2016-02-23 Created: 2016-02-22 Last updated: 2016-07-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Critical reflections on the concept of maintenance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Critical reflections on the concept of maintenance
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Strategic Property Management, ISSN 1648-715X, E-ISSN 1648-9179, Vol. 16, no 2, 105-114 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the paper is to critically evaluate the conceptual distinction between investment and maintenance. The study starts from a number of definitions in the literature and discusses these from the perspective of standard investment theory. The article argues that the standard concept of investment covers all relevant decisions and also puts the focus on the future consequences of decision and not whether it restores an earlier standard or not. The research implications are that investment and maintenance planning need to be analysed together and that the distinction between investment and maintenance is uninteresting from a decision theoretic and resource allocation perspective. The practical implications of the article are that what usually is called investment planning and maintenance planning need to be integrated. The originality in the paper lies primarily in the questioning of the usefulness of the concept of maintenance in a dynamic age where the relation to earlier characteristics and functions becomes less and less interesting. The role of the maintenance concept is now primarily related to various administrative systems (accounting, taxation) but is not so relevant from a forward looking resource allocation perspective.

Keyword
Maintenance; Investment; Accounting; Planning; Real estate
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-58703 (URN)10.3846/1648715X.2011.626463 (DOI)000305540700001 ()2-s2.0-84862600488 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20120717

Available from: 2012-01-07 Created: 2012-01-07 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
2. Building maintenance strategies: planning under uncertainty
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Building maintenance strategies: planning under uncertainty
2012 (English)In: Property Management, ISSN 0263-7472, E-ISSN 1758-731X, Vol. 30, no 1, 1-15 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose:

The article critically evaluates maintenance strategies and analyses the extent to which models

from other sectors can be applied to building maintenance.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is of a theoretical nature and is based on a number of Swedish case studies and

questionnaires from which a number of stylized facts have been identified. These have then been

used to explain and draw conclusions on maintenance strategies.

Findings

The main finding is that there are a number of specific uncertainties that affect building

maintenance planning, which makes detailed long term plans less meaningful. The paper proposes

a new structure for maintenance that focuses on long term goals for various buildings/components

and then short run adjustments when new information is acquired.

Research limitations/implications:

The case for the new model needs to be strengthened by further studies including some from other

countries.

Practical and social implications

Maintenance activities will become more important as the need to renovate or demolish the large

building stock from the 50s and 60s increases. A rational structure and realistic expectations

concerning maintenance planning are therefore important.

Originality/value

The most important contribution of the article is to underline the importance of different types of

uncertainty for the structure of building maintenance planning.

Keyword
Property Management, Maintenance Planning, Uncertainty
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-58700 (URN)
Note
QC 20120110Available from: 2012-01-07 Created: 2012-01-07 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
3. Analysis of factors influencing reported housing maintenance costs in Sweden´s public and private rental sectors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Analysis of factors influencing reported housing maintenance costs in Sweden´s public and private rental sectors
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-182742 (URN)
Note

QS 2016

Available from: 2016-02-23 Created: 2016-02-23 Last updated: 2016-02-23Bibliographically approved
4. Challenges in property management within the Swedish cooperative housing sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges in property management within the Swedish cooperative housing sector
2016 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The paper investigates the challenges to property management in the tenant-owner cooperative (TOC) housing sector in Sweden which accounts for 22% of the housing stock in the country as compared to an average of 10% in the rest of Europe.

Design/methodology/approach - A qualitative descriptive approach is used in the paper in which semi-structured interviews of governing committee members in 12 TOCs; a questionnaire on operation and management strategies sent to chairpersons in 725 TOCs as well as a questionnaire on issues related to energy efficiency sent to chairpersons in 91 TOCs provide the empirical data. This is complemented by an analysis of financial reports.

Findings – The paper provides indications that most of the challenges identified are related to the lack of a long-term perspective in the decision-making due to various principal-agent related problems. There appears to be an exploitation of the TOC sector by construction companies especially in cooperatives with newly constructed buildings.

Research limitations/implications – Because of the chosen sampling method and research approach, the presented results may lack generalisability. Thus, researchers are encouraged to carry out further studies.

Practical implications - The paper highlights the need for knowledge sharing as well as enhancement of competence in procuring outsourced services.

Originality/value – This paper fulfils the need for more research into the large but rarely studied TOC sector governed by amateurs in property management.

Paper type - Research Paper

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 15 p.
Series
Working Paper Series, Department of Real Estate and Construction Management & Centre for Banking and Finance (cefin), KTH, 2016:1
Keyword
Property management, cooperative housing, tenant-owner, multi-owner housing, Sweden
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Real Estate and Construction Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-181911 (URN)
Note

QC20160225

Available from: 2016-02-08 Created: 2016-02-08 Last updated: 2016-02-25Bibliographically approved
5. Organizational Challenges in the Adoption of Building Applied Photovoltaics in the Swedish Tenant-Owner Housing Sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organizational Challenges in the Adoption of Building Applied Photovoltaics in the Swedish Tenant-Owner Housing Sector
2015 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 7, no 4, 3637-3664 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sweden has committed itself to comply with EU-directive 2009/28/EC on energy from renewable sources and 2012/27/EU on improvement in the efficiency of energy. Measures in the existing housing stock, such as installing photovoltaics (PV), provide a means of contributing to the goals above. The purpose of this paper is to study how the organization of property management and the decision-making structure in tenant-owner cooperatives (TOCs) in Sweden facilitates or hampers the adoption of large-scale residential building applied photovoltaics (BAPV) in this housing sector. Data collected through seven semi-structured interviews of executive board members in seven housing cooperatives were descriptively analyzed and the results indicate that the decision to adopt BAPV in TOCs does not follow the common frameworks of adoption of innovations. The choice by TOCs to adopt BAPV depends more on the wish to lower operating costs than on efforts to promote a sustainable environment and various principal-agency problems during the decision-making process, as well as during the implementation phase create challenges to the adoption of BAPV. There is a need to strengthen the quality and management of knowledge, as well as procurement proficiency in the TOCs in order to harness the potential for BAPV in the sector.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-169371 (URN)10.3390/su7043637 (DOI)000353715400006 ()2-s2.0-84928943165 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150612

Available from: 2015-06-12 Created: 2015-06-12 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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