Maintenance is critical to the longitivity of buildings either in terms of their physical or economic lifespan. However, there is disparity between property maintenance attitudes in public and private institutions. Despite its relevance, property maintenance has received minimum attention across both public and private institutions. Institutions are mostly concerned with the core business of their organizations to the neglect of property maintenance functions which are incidental to the achievement of organizational goals. The main aim of this research is to assess property maintenance practices in both private and public institutions in Ghana.

The research relied on questionnaires, interviews and field observations to gather relevant data to support the research. The paper analysed the views of 60 building users via questionnaires as well as interviews with staff of the Estate Departments in Kumasi Polytechnic and Christian Service University College.

Data revealed that property maintenance in both institutions was ad hoc in nature and was not guided by any documented maintenance policy. Thus maintenance was mainly unplanned and corrective and undertaken upon occurrence or failure of a component or when it is deemed necessary. The results show that inadequate funds, inadequate staff to undertake maintenance activities, non-involvement of property managers at design stage, delayed-response to maintenance requests and general apathy towards maintenance are challenges to property maintenance.

The paper recommends that maintenance should be guided by a well-documented Maintenance Policy, which supports planned and preventive maintenance; a maintenance fund should be setup, and maintenance departments should be adequately staffed. It further recommends that property managers should be duly represented from inception to completion stages of construction.