A common question among HOA homeowners is, what is the HOA supposed to maintain? The duties of the Association can sometimes seem a little bit nebulous to owners, although, ideally, they’re laid out pretty clearly in the CC&Rs.
That’s certainly the first place you should look if you want to know what your own HOA’s maintenance duties encompass; hopefully, you’ll find the answers to be pretty straightforward.
As a general rule—and unless your CC&Rs state otherwise—it falls to the HOA to maintain all common areas within the community. Individual homeowners, meanwhile, are charged with the upkeep of their separate interests as well as any exclusive-use common areas.
How Maintenance Duties are Delineated
As you look through your CC&Rs to get the specifics, you’ll probably find that maintenance duties are lumped into some general categories. Here, roughly, is what you can expect to find.
Owner Entirely Responsible. For most HOA communities with single-family homes, the individual homeowner is responsible for maintaining his/her home and lot, unless the CC&Rs stipulate otherwise. (Some HOAs may provide lawn maintenance services, for instance.)
Shared Responsibilities. In some Associations, there will be provisions made for the HOA itself to provide some basic maintenance services; this is what falls under the Shared Responsibilities heading. In addition to common areas, the HOA might sometimes handle roofing, exterior paint, etc. for individual homes.
Your CC&Rs should also provide some information about enforcement. When owners fail to hold up their end of the bargain, allowing their home or yard to fall into disrepair, the Board is entitled to take action, which might be a violation letter or a phone call.
Additional Maintenance Duties of the HOA
In addition to the above, the HOA is tasked with regularly inspecting common areas—and using the reserve fund to make repairs or to do preventative maintenance as needed. The HOA may also have a responsibility to investigate any complaints that homeowners submit—for example, cracks in the sidewalk, plumbing leaks in public areas, etc.
For homeowners and Board members alike, it’s important to have clarity on where maintenance responsibilities fall. What we’ve outlined here is the norm, but remember that all HOAs are different. The only way to know for sure how your Association works is to check the governing documents. For any assistance with this, or any additional questions, we invite you to contact the Kuester team today!