July 28, 2016 Education
If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s “write it down.” It keeps everyone accountable and helps the HOA determine the right language that works for each community. Each association has their own customized needs so it’s not one-size-fits-all. Everyone should create a maintenance manual to maximize the life of common areas and facilities in a cost-effective manner. The HOA board leadership approaches maintenance and long-term repair and replacement of common area components as a top priority to protect the investment of all homeowners.
The initial manual is provided by the homebuilder, though some associations may choose to have a maintenance manual compiled at a later date. It is critical to the maintenance program that management and the board become familiar with the program. It’s a good idea to provide the maintenance inspection guidelines and expectations to the appropriate association vendors.
Create an annual maintenance calendar to ensure you are not missing anything in any given year. Google Calendars are free and great to share, but you can use what’s best for your association. During the initial manual review, pull out all the maintenance needs that should be addressed and reflect them in the maintenance calendar. The calendar should also note who is accountable for what and how they should report that their task is complete. Date-stamped photos (emailed phone pics are fine), along with the invoice for the service is a great way to document completed work.
As maintenance tasks are completed, it is a good idea to document it in the Association minutes. In addition, some governing documents require the association to provide documentation to the homebuilder. Check the CC&Rs and maintenance manuals for reporting requirements.
Checklists help identify minor concerns before they become major problems. Examples of the types of checklists that might be included in a Maintenance Manual would be: Buildings/Hardscape, Irrigation/Landscape, General Maintenance, Equipment Inspection/Replacement Log, etc.
Maintenance programs should not be set in stone, as the needs of the community change, the weather changes, and the frequency of facility usage changes. Begin by setting up monthly inspections, but there can be areas/items that only require quarterly, bi-annual or annual inspections. Create the timelines that work for your community, but the goal is to evaluate your vendors’ services and your association’s needs.
If you need help with starting your Maintenance Program or a list of our recommended vendors (we thoroughly vet our own list), we can help you customize a program that is efficient and effective for your community.
Remember, successful communities are proactive with all things.
ABOUT MARGO CRUMMACK
Margo co-founded Crummack Huseby Property Management, Inc., over 17 years ago when she saw a need for a more customized and personalized approach to community management. Margo along with co-founder Sandra Woods Huseby's mission was to create a breath of fresh air within their industry: to create an open dialogue with communities, to focus on the core of a community, and to customize management styles to suit what’s best for that particular community.
As an expert in New Project Development, Margo is often invited to consult from day one. Her work ethic is respected and valued—when she says she’ll do it, it gets done. One of Margo’s crown jewels is the beautiful 20-Merchant Builder Master Planned Community in Orange County that she consulted on back in 1999 and still manages today.
Always advocating for continued learning, Margo encourages an environment of “training, motivating, and innovating” for herself, Crummack Huseby’s employees, and their clients. She is also a well-respected speaker and educator within the industry, serving on the Education Committee for CAI-OC and CACM’s Education Review Committee.
ABOUT CRUMMACK HUSEBY
Our team of HOA experts and community managers always puts people first. We know you’re not just a board of directors but you’re a part of the community, working together with your neighbors. Crummack Huseby Property Management, Inc., treats you like a neighbor too, respecting your decisions and collaborating to create a unique homeowner experiences all year long. Our unmistakable team and unparalleled approach to HOA management services sets us apart. Let us help your community stand out. When you’re ready for us, we’ll be here for you. For more information, visit ch-pm.com or call 888-399-9430 Toll Free
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