hoa maintenance improving resident's home

 

Key takeaways

  • HOA maintenance is the collection of tasks that a homeowners association or condo takes up to keep the community in good shape.
  • Examples of places that a homeowners maintenance association takes care of include amenity spaces like pools, roads and sidewalks, and common lawns.
  • HOA maintenance is important because it keeps existing residents happy and it’s one of your primary responsibilities as an HOA board member.

 

A resident interested in HOAs wants to join a vibrant, thriving community — and as an HOA board member, it’s your responsibility to create that environment. One of the tasks that allow you to foster this environment is HOA maintenance, and it’s one of your most important duties.

In this post, we go over what HOA maintenance is and give examples of the kind of space that you would maintain. Then, we explain why HOA maintenance is important.

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What is HOA maintenance?

HOA maintenance is a collection of tasks that a condo or homeowners association has to complete to ensure that each home and property is in good condition.

HOA board members have many responsibilities, and they manage properties of all sizes. Your HOA might cover a large area that contains dozens of homes, or it might be as small as an individual building that sells individual units to residents.

The fact that an HOA takes care of maintenance costs is a benefit for many residents who are considering moving into an HOA building or property. While residents pay their HOAs a monthly fee, it’s the HOA’s job to use that money responsibly.

 

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Types of HOA maintenance

There are three primary types of HOA maintenance your community will oversee:

  1. Common areas
  2. Exterior maintenance
  3. Limited common elements

 

1. Common areas

Many HOAs contain amenity spaces that are meant for communal use. Homeowner fees go towards maintaining these spaces, upgrading them, or even adding new spaces.

Some examples of amenities include:

  • Swimming pools
  • Game rooms
  • Fitness centers
  • Biking trails

While types of amenity spaces differ, common area maintenance for HOAs usually involves ensuring that utilities like lighting and electric work, and that the area is free of any litter.

 

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2. Exterior maintenance

HOAs are responsible for maintaining exterior spaces that give the whole community a unified aesthetic feel. In some cases, it’s up to residents to ensure their individual units are up to HOA standards, but an HOA is also responsible for other elements of exterior maintenance.

HOA exterior maintenance involves looking after:

  • Outdoor walls, roofs, and siding
  • The exteriors of common buildings
  • Gutters and downspouts

 

3. Limited common elements

A “limited common element” is a term that HOAs often use to describe any amenity that is used by a few residents, but isn’t used by all of them.

For example, a driveway shared among a few houses is a limited common element because only a few residents will use it. But maintaining that driveway and other similar common elements is still the HOA’s responsibility.

 

Examples of HOA maintenance

While every property is unique, there are some things that every HOA board will have to deal with to keep the community maintained.

Some areas that require homeowners association maintenance include:

  1. Roads
  2. Lawns
  3. Access control

 

1. Roads

While it differs based on your HOA’s location, many homeowner associations are in charge of road maintenance for their properties. And road maintenance has a lot of pitfalls and complications that require the services of a vigilant HOA.

You should keep an eye out for any potholes that arise on your community’s roads. It’s also your responsibility to maintain parking lots. HOA sidewalk maintenance also falls onto your plate, because these are spaces that are commonly used.

 

hoa community access control

 

2. Lawns

In most cases, homeowners are responsible for maintaining their own lawns and landscaping, ensuring it complies with HOA lawn maintenance guidelines. However, as a member of the HOA board, you’re responsible for maintaining communal outdoor spaces like a shared lawn, you’d be responsible for that upkeep.

If the landscaping is starting to look overgrown or if weeds are overtaking your property, it might be time to hire a landscaping company for some touch-ups.

But depending on your bylines and how an individual homeowner’s lawn affects the aesthetics of the entire community, an HOA might be able to shoulder landscaping costs for individual homes.

 

3. Access control

Whether they’re delivery couriers, service providers, or social guests, your residents are likely to invite their own guests onto the community’s property. That means giving your residents a convenient, simple way to verify a guest’s identity and allow them inside.

If your HOA is a gated community, you might install a video intercom that allows residents to talk to guests using their smartphones. You can also ensure that vehicle access into and out of your community is quick with a sticker-based vehicle access control system.

 

Why is HOA maintenance important?

Here are a few reasons why prioritizing HOA maintenance is in your best interests and that of your entire community.

Prioritize HOA interior maintenance to:

  1. Keep existing residents happy
  2. Adhere to your existing governing documents
  3. Attract new residents

 

1. Keep existing residents happy

As HOA board members, the happiness of your residents is one of your highest priorities. You might get residents who complain about fees or a lack of responsiveness. The best way to appease these residents is to show them that you’re putting their money to good use by keeping every aspect of the property up-to-date.

Plus, if your residents aren’t happy with current maintenance levels, they might organize to replace you during the next HOA election. In the worst case, a resident might even go to an attorney or use a local court system — wasting everybody’s time and money.

 

2. Adhere to your governing documents

HOA maintenance will do more than keep your residents happy — you’ll also be following the law. According to your HOA’s statutes, you might be obligated to provide maintenance.

A lack of maintenance won’t just disappoint your residents and create an unwelcome environment. It’ll also open you up to charges of breaching your fiduciary duties to the HOA.

 

What is an example of a breach of fiduciary duty in HOA?

A common example of a breach of fiduciary duty in an HOA would be failing to provide maintenance. If you collect dues and fail to use them, residents might be able to use your HOA’s bylaws to replace you as a board member.

 

3. Attract new residents

While keeping your existing residents happy is important, you should always be looking towards the future, as well. Keeping up with property maintenance will ensure that your HOA’s properties are always in demand.

All things being equal, a neighborhood with an HOA will cost more than a neighborhood without one because HOAs charge fees on top of living expenses. It’s up to you to make prospects see that their money is being used efficiently by making sure the property is properly maintained.

 

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Ferdison Cayetano

I’m a proptech enthusiast from New Jersey who’s looking forward to the innovations that will revolutionize real estate.

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