Elevator Mafia

RedlineBrett

Senior Forum Member
REIN Member
So I bought a building with an elevator. First elevator I've ever owned.



The existing owner had a service provider coming by for a fixed cost of $450/month doing 'inspections and routine maintenance'. No contract in place as the previous one they had signed had expired, yet they were still paying and the service was still being performed.



Since I didn't know anything about elevators I continued under the same arrangement.



In the last two weeks I've had two elevator issues requiring service calls. One totalling $650 and the other, more serious one totalling $2075.



I was billed for these on top of my $450/month which I learned today covers one site visit per month (which entails a ride in the elevator and the serviceman's 'notes' for the month.) not any actual maintenance.



When I baulked at paying the invoices figuring they should at least be partially covered in my monthly maintenance plan I was told the following:



1. Alberta law requires monthly service constracts for all elevators.

2. The union sets the charge-out rates for service calls... which is $250/hour for this company. Interestingly enough if I sign with these guys for another monthly contract at $450 they will cut my call outs to $130/hour UNLESS they have to get back in the truck and go back to the shop at which case I'm back to $250/hour.



Anyone familiar with elevator contracts care to chime in? I'm new to this but it seems crazy to me. I'm waiting for calls back from a couple other companies now.
 

Thomas Beyer

Senior Forum Member
REIN Member
Welcome to an oligopoly. What you experience is not unusual. You can get more comprehensive monthly plans if you want , or higher hourly rates for sporadic callsShArpe ding on the number of floors, shutting down the elevator is an option or raising rents on higher floors. Just wait for the 6 digit invoice if it has to be replaced .. Before the decimal point ! Big building .. Big profit .. Big bills ! Welcome to the big boys club !
 

RedlineBrett

Senior Forum Member
REIN Member
Yeah I'm familiar with replacement costs from a similar sized condo building I have a unit in. Really hoping we don't have to go down that road and it doesn't sound like we do.



Since making my first post I've learned that some companies aren't unionized and their hourly rates are coming in a lot cheaper. $150/hr vs $250.



Any pronounced benefits to going with union labor vs. non union labor?



I've recently learned that only quarterly inspections are required by law, which helps.
 

dplummer

Inspired Forum Member
Registered
A apt building had a fire in the electrical room. My company is doing the clean up & repairs. We asked the elevator company for a estimate to include in our estimate for the Insurance Co. It read " Repair elevator $ 60,000.00 plus HST. Half down balance in 12-16 weeks or when completed" Ya right! I'm in the wrong business.



Doug
 

Thomas Beyer

Senior Forum Member
REIN Member
Unions provide no customer benefits .. Just benefits for its members at the exclusion of all others, such as owners, customers or the unemployed. Keeping elevator costs low is the goal ... But possibly at the expense of longevity. A risk worth taking to some.
 

bizaro86

Frequent Forum Member
Registered
[quote user=ThomasBeyer]Keeping elevator costs low is the goal ... But possibly at the expense of longevity. A risk worth taking to some



Would you expect the non-union guys at $150 per hour to do a worse job than the union guys at $250 per hour? It seems to me that $150/hour should be enough to get someone qualified to do elevator maintenance.
 

RedlineBrett

Senior Forum Member
REIN Member
[quote user=ThomasBeyer]Unions provide no customer benefits .. Just benefits for its members at the exclusion of all others, such as owners, customers or the unemployed. Keeping elevator costs low is the goal ... But possibly at the expense of longevity. A risk worth taking to some.




Thanks for your insight.
 

housingrental

Frequent Forum Member
Registered
Brett

There's an occasional poster here, who used to have invovlement with elevator's in Alberta (Waterloo prior). He might or might not be able to provide meaningful answers for you - if you've not been able to learn enough yet on this give me an email and I'll forward along your email address to him.
 

brentdavies

Inspired Forum Member
Registered
Hi Brett,



I had a lot of elevators in properties we managed over the years. Depending on the age and make of elevator can make a big difference in maintenance costs. Like buying an English car vs North American car. The english cars are sportier, but the parts are non existent and very expensive.



With old elevators, stay with the manufacture if possible, as they maintain parts.



Go to a BOMA meeting or the old Calgary Apartment Rental group meetings and talk to the PM's. You will get a real insight on the elevator business, that I cannot repeat here without getting sued for slander.
 

RedlineBrett

Senior Forum Member
REIN Member
[quote user=brentdavies]Hi Brett,



Go to a BOMA meeting or the old Calgary Apartment Rental group meetings and talk to the PM's. You will get a real insight on the elevator business, that I cannot repeat here without getting sued for slander.




Thanks Brent. I definitely didn't like the attitude of the sales guy I met with last week so I think I know where you might be going.
 

wealthyboomer

New Forum Member
Registered
[quote user=RedlineBrett]



Any pronounced benefits to going with union labor vs. non union labor?






Depends how much you like your kneecaps!
 

RedlineBrett

Senior Forum Member
REIN Member
[quote user=wealthyboomer]



Depends how much you like your kneecaps!




ha... well lets hope vinny and rocco are in better moods this week.
 

NorthernAlex

New Forum Member
Registered
This year I purchased with my partner a building with an Elevator.



We gave notice to Schindler and their automatic new owner renewal and are using now an Elevator Consultant (!! NO JOKE, they are out there!!) to shop around for a new contract- incl. fighting against those long contracts or automatic renewals, high fees aso. Even if they told us that NOTHING is negotiable, most of it was.
 
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