Users’ satisfaction survey on building maintenance in public housing

Anthony W.Y. Lai (Division of Building Science and Technology, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China)
W.M. Lai (Division of Building Science and Technology, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Publication date: 28 June 2013



A building maintenance scheme introduced by the Hong Kong Housing Authority in January 2006 employed contractors and public housing owner's frontline representatives to provide inspection in the public rental housing tenants’ units and arrange corresponding repair works. This study aims to base on the public rental housing (PRH) tenants’ perceptions to measure maintenance contractor service quality performance.


Questionnaire is used as the assessment tool which is derived based on the SERVQUAL approach to measure public rental housing tenants’ expectations and perceptions on maintenance contractor performance.


The findings illustrate that dimensions of “tangible” and “reliability” have the largest discrepancy between expectation level and perception level. They are mainly related to the concern of disturbance to PRH tenants brought by maintenance contractors in respect of manpower arrangement. These findings support that there is a need for maintenance contractors to impose more manpower resources to minimize the adverse impacts to PRH tenants.

Research limitations/implications

The service quality performance survey could provide a reference for conducting the survey continuously which could help develop a systematic benchmark in matching service delivery and expectation for future improvement. The SERVQUAL gap analysis would help identify any gaps between expectations and perceptions among various concerned parties, i.e. services providers (contractors) and direct customers (owner's frontline representatives).

Practical implications

The service quality gap findings could provide a reference for the frontline representatives to organize and improve services of the building maintenance scheme to be implemented in other public rental housing units.

Social implications

The paper promotes the awareness of the building maintenance contractors of the service quality to the public rental housing tenants.


The value of this study could serve as a framework for further study in conducting service quality performance survey in other public housings and extend the performance measurement approach to other similar tasks in construction project areas.



Lai, A. and Lai, W. (2013), "Users’ satisfaction survey on building maintenance in public housing", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 420-440.

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