Maintenance and upkeep are major components of the HOA budget. The association must make sure that amenities are safe and in good working order, that common areas are maintained, and any problems are quickly addressed. That can involve a variety of different equipment, services, and contractors. But that doesn’t mean managing maintenance needs has to break the bank.
- Stay up-to-date on preventive maintenance.
Conduct regular inspections of equipment and amenities to note any changes or wear-and-tear. Servicing of HVAC systems in the fall and spring are often included in maintenance packages, so ensure that vendors are coming out and doing these checks as scheduled. It can also be a good idea to schedule regular services such as painting, power washing, or cleaning gutters to help extend the life of assets. When they are regularly cared for, it can mean less breakdown and fewer problems because issues are caught early or prevented.
- Get homeowner buy-in.
Homeowners play an integral role in maintaining the community. Reinforce rules regarding proper use of amenities so equipment is used only as intended. If members notice any damage or concerns, they should report these issues to the HOA immediately. If left unchecked, they can not only be a potential safety hazard, but the problem can worsen and become more costly to fix.
Also, encourage homeowners to clean up after themselves and their pets when in common spaces, and be gentle on the grass and landscaping. Try not to damage the lawn, plants, or shrubs, and stick to designated walking paths.
- Compare costs.
Does equipment need to be repaired, or should it be replaced? Sometimes repairs are only quick fixes to temporarily address a problem, and it can be less costly in the long-run to replace the equipment rather than continually pay for repairs. Talk to a professional and understand your options, as well as any warranties or other coverage on components. The association should also shop around for the best deal to fit its needs and budget, and make sure its reserve fund is well-maintained to help cover costs.
- Manage use.
Is the association spending a lot on replacing lightbulbs? Consider investing in motion sensors so that lights only come on (and stay on) when necessary, and use energy-efficient bulbs. When pool season is over, ensure that the pool and all of its equipment is properly shut down and winterized to help minimize any problems come next summer. Not taking necessary steps to do things right can be more costly later on.
The HOA should work with vendors to put the right service agreements in place to not only be proactive about maintenance, but also to keep costs more manageable by only paying for necessary services. Get multiple bids and carefully review options before signing any contracts. Also, pay attention to how HOA funds are being spent, and where the highest costs are when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. This can give the board insight on where to focus its efforts.
If your HOA needs help setting up effective maintenance plans, sourcing vendors, managing its budget, planning projects, and more, turn to the trusted team at Kuester. Contact us today to learn more about the wide range of services and support we can provide to your association.