A major cost for HOAs can come from having to make significant repairs or replacements to community property. This could include things such as installing a new roof on the clubhouse or replacing the HVAC system. While it is impossible to prevent any damage from occurring, being proactive when it comes to maintenance can help curb costs and prolong the lifespan of resources.
- Schedule regular inspections and service.
Make it a point to have the HVAC system or pool system serviced every fall and spring. Have the professionals give them a once over to identify potential problems and ensure they are running efficiently. If problems are detected, the HOA can decide how to proceed with repairing them before they become more serious.
It can also be a good idea to do regular walkthroughs of the community looking for potential issues. This can be especially beneficial after major storms or changes in weather. For instance, rapid rise and fall of temperatures can lead to cracks in the pavement.
- Encourage homeowner input.
Homeowners are on the front lines because they’re out and about in different areas of the neighborhood. Put processes in place that make it easy for them to report any damage they see or concerns they may have. In the same regard, make sure there is someone regularly checking these communications so nothing is overlooked. Also, ensure that homeowners are aware of the important role that they play in maintaining the community and know how to report any potential problems to the HOA.
- Work with vendors.
Understand the terms of vendor contracts and if they include any preventive maintenance services. If they do, ensure that the vendor is upholding their part of the deal and following through with inspections – and letting the HOA know the results. When problems are detected, work with vendors to negotiate pricing for repairs or replacements and discuss available options.
- Make necessary repairs.
Don’t put off minor repairs thinking they’re nothing to worry about. They can quickly spiral into something more significant and costly. Talk to the proper professionals about what repairs are recommended, costs, timelines, and what it means for the lifespan of the object or system. Sometimes it can be more cost effective to invest in a replacement rather than to continue making small repairs which add up.
Stay on top of maintenance records, warranties, and other documents so the HOA knows exactly what was done and when, as well as what parts or services may still be covered under warranty.
By being proactive with maintenance, HOAs can take steps to better manage costs while enhancing the function, aesthetic, and property value of the community. Kuester works with HOAs to put necessary maintenance plans in place, communicate with vendors, resolve problems, and much more.