Homeowners associations are generally established to maintain the community; ensuring that all homeowner-members follow the CC&Rs and other regulations and by-laws to maintain community standards and protect property value. And as the gatekeeper of the community, homeowners associations must ensure that all common areas and public spaces and facilities are properly maintained at all times, not only for functionality or aesthetic purposes, but also for the homeowners’ safety.
To maintain these areas, an HOA’s maintenance checklist usually has these four items on top of the list:
1. Exteriors and interiors of structures
It’s important to check the integrity of the structures within the community, especially if these receive high-volume foot traffic on a regular basis. First, the walls and foundation of the buildings will need to be thoroughly assessed, and usually, a professional is hired for the job as they have the eye and expertise to detect even the slightest and smallest risk.
Next, the interiors will be checked. This usually includes doors and windows, vents, drywall, and ceiling. Cracks, leaks, loose tiles, and chipped floorings are some of the vulnerabilities checked.
2. Staircase and elevators
Are there loose boards on the stairs? Is the emergency button in the elevator working? These issues may seem small or inconsequential, but one slip or one incident of being locked inside the elevator without any means to alert anyone is all it takes for a lawsuit to happen. Stairwells and elevators are some of the most frequently used facilities in a condominium or multi-housing complex, which is why regular maintenance is critical for everyone’s safety.
3. Public grounds
Parks, gardens, and pathways are likewise some of the public areas in a community that are frequently used by homeowners, and as such, HOAs need to ensure that members can use these at any time without slipping, tripping, or falling. Homeowners associations usually hire a professional landscape artist and gardener to maintain the grounds, making sure that grasses and bushes are regularly trimmed. Cracks on the pavement also need to be patched to prevent tripping accidents.
4. HVAC system and utilities
HVAC systems and other utilities like gas, power, and water lines could likewise be safety hazards if these aren’t maintained properly. HVAC systems that aren’t functioning properly could be energy leaks, too, which means higher utility bills for the HOA.
There are many other maintenance measures that HOA’s generally perform on a regular basis. The ultimate goal is, as always, to ensure the safety of the community.