Elevator Maintenance Contracts

May 2018

An elevator with no more than one malfunction every two months is generally considered reliable.  More frequent malfunctions are an indication that elevator maintenance may not be sufficiently frequent or adequate.

Maintaining condo elevators is a priority for condo corporations.  Frequently malfunctioning elevators are a primary source of frustration for condo residents which should make their maintenance a primary concern for condo management and directors.

With use and time, elevator performance will degrade without regular maintenance.  Identifying performance degradation requires that someone document elevator performance.  This documentation provides a benchmark for comparison.  It also provides elevator technicians with the standards they are expected to maintain.

Maintaining fully operational elevators means ensuring regular maintenance which is typically provided in accordance with an elevator maintenance contract.  These contracts should include clearly stated requirements if a service company is to provide realistic pricing.

  • Frequency of visits should be clearly stated. One approach is to require a monthly visit.  Provisions for compensation when monthly visits are missed can be specified.
  • Specific maintenance tasks and timing should be identified.
  • Response time to elevator malfunctions should be stated. Response time may vary for emergency situations where someone is trapped in the elevator and more routine malfunctions.
  • Maintenance standards should be clearly stated. Original manufacturer’s standards are typical which may include running speed, noise levels, acceleration and door movement times.
  • An elevator malfunction benchmark target should be stated. When malfunctions are more frequent than target, this is an indication that servicing or maintenance may be a problem.
  • Elevator parts covered or excluded from maintenance contracts should be identified.
  • Contract terms are typically no longer than five years. Some contracts may be cancelled with cause at any time during a contract.


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