What Is The Scope Of HOA Maintenance?

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One of the things a homeowners association must ensure is HOA maintenance. Many homeowners, and even board members, though, don’t know which parts of the community fall under the responsibility of the HOA and which parts don’t. Understanding key obligations will allow both the HOA and the homeowners to plan ahead.

The Importance of HOA Maintenance

Homeowners association maintenance is an essential component of achieving an HOA’s objective. Without proper maintenance, an HOA community would fall into disrepair, pushing away both existing and future homeowners.

Here are the reasons why HOA maintenance is important.

1. Enhances Curb Appeal

Proper maintenance and upkeep can enhance curb appeal. Even something as simple as cleaning the sidewalks can already make a big difference. When homes, buildings, and structures don’t receive adequate maintenance, they can quickly deteriorate and look worn. This has a negative impact on curb appeal.

2. Preserves Property Values

When curb appeal is high, property values also remain high. The primary goal of an HOA is to protect property values, and it can’t accomplish this without proper maintenance.

3. Boosts Resident Satisfaction

Regular maintenance can positively influence resident satisfaction. Again, with proper maintenance, curb appeal and property values are preserved. Homeowners are happy because they can protect their investments and potentially earn a return in the future. Residents generally feel satisfied because they get to live in clean and well-maintained spaces.

Understanding HOA Maintenance Requirements

The HOA and homeowners have their own maintenance responsibilities. In general, the HOA is responsible for maintaining its properties and areas – common areas, amenities, and facilities. Meanwhile, homeowners are responsible for maintaining their own properties.

HOA Maintenance Responsibilities

The exact maintenance responsibilities of the HOA should be outlined in the governing documents, particularly the CC&Rs and the community plat. That said, it is common for associations to assume responsibility for the following:

  • HOA Common Area Maintenance. The HOA is responsible for maintaining general common areas, which are elements that all homeowners share. Examples include common amenities such as swimming pools and gyms and common spaces such as elevators and hallways.
  • HOA Exterior Maintenance. Exterior maintenance refers to the upkeep and repair of all exterior surfaces. The HOA is typically responsible for maintaining the exterior of all common areas and elements that it owns.
  • Landscaping Maintenance. The HOA is responsible for maintaining the landscaping in all its common areas.
  • HOA Snow Removal. The HOA normally hires a contractor to remove snow from common areas, including private roads, roofs, sidewalks, and facilities.

Insurance plays a vital role in ensuring the completion of proper maintenance and repairs, especially when it comes to emergencies or unforeseen damages. As such, an HOA should insure all properties it owns and is responsible for maintaining.

Homeowner Maintenance Responsibilities

Generally, individual homeowners are responsible for maintaining their own units or properties. In single-family homes, this includes the actual house, garage, driveway, yard, roof, and other components. In condo communities, this includes the interior of the unit and any attached elements that the owner uses exclusively.

The burden of responsibility for snow removal, trash disposal, and similar services depends on the governing documents or the HOA’s agreement with homeowners. In some associations, the HOA includes these services in the operating budget, even when done on individual lots or properties. Other associations leave the responsibility entirely up to the homeowner, as they can hire their own contractors or do it themselves.

As for insurance, homeowners must purchase their homeowner insurance or HO-2 policy. The HOA’s insurance policy typically does not include the homes of individual owners in the coverage.

Who Is Responsible for Limited Common Elements?

Limited common elements are elements that two or more owners, but not all, share. These elements are more common in condo associations. A good example of a limited common element in a condominium is a balcony that two owners share.

Determining the maintenance obligation can be tricky when it comes to limited common elements. However, members should refer to their governing documents. Those who benefit from or use the element are typically responsible for maintaining it. In some cases, the maintenance responsibility falls on the owners, but the cost of repairs or replacements may fall on the association.

Simple HOA Maintenance Checklist

Maintenance and repairs must follow a regular schedule. A checklist is a good way to ensure maintenance is always noticed and completed. Maintenance needs can vary from one community to another. Here is a simple HOA maintenance plan that can serve as a jumping-off point.

  • Exterior Maintenance
    • Foundation
    • Painting
    • Load-bearing Walls
    • Vents
    • Windows
    • Electric Supply Boxes
    • Cable Boxes
    • Gas Lines
    • Water Faucets
    • Satellites
    • Roofs
    • Gutters and Downspouts
    • Wood Decks and Patios
    • Outdoor Pest Control
    • Porch
    • Driveway
    • Sidewalks
    • Drainage
  • Interior
    • Vents and Screens
    • Flooring
    • Roof Leaks
    • Firebox and Flue
    • Walls
  • Utilities
    • HVAC Units
    • Water Heaters
    • Water Lines
    • Phone Lines
    • Gas Lines
    • Electric Lines
    • Sewage Systems
  • Common Areas
    • Yards/Lawns
    • Landscaping and Trimming
    • Fences
    • Gates
    • Security Cameras
    • Streets and Streetlights
    • Parking Lots
    • Trash Collection
    • Snow Removal
  • Community Amenities
    • Pool/s
    • Playground Equipment
    • Courts
    • Gym Equipment

Hiring an HOA Maintenance Company

Maintenance can quickly turn complicated, especially for a self-managed HOA board. This is something that an HOA can’t do alone. It requires the help of seasoned professionals and technicians. 

While an HOA can hire in-house personnel, employing a maintenance company is infinitely more economical. Plenty of maintenance companies offer packages specifically designed for HOAs and condo associations. Apart from the cost savings, another advantage of hiring a company is that the board does not have to manage workers and oversee payroll personally.

Of course, an HOA should still perform its due diligence even with a third-party maintenance company. Hiring vendors is no walk in the park. It demands careful research, verification, and vetting. An HOA board should ensure that the maintenance company it hires carries all the right licenses, permits, and insurance coverages.

More Than Maintenance

Many board members struggle with balancing HOA maintenance with other duties. Hiring an HOA management company can help keep things running smoothly. Management companies also tend to have pre-vetted contractors with HOA maintenance experience.

88 Doors can make things easier for your HOA community. Contact us online or call us today at (512) 348-8821 to get a quotation!