Monthly Archives: October 2021

Assessing Maintenance Responsibilities in an HOA

Some owners may believe that their annual or monthly dues cover every aspect of maintenance, but the truth is, keeping an association in top shape falls in the hands of the Board and owners.

Every maintenance and repair situation is unique, but it’s important for everyone involved to have an idea of the responsibilities involved when maintenance or repair needs arise.

What Are the Different Areas in an HOA Community?

Before we delve into the specifics, let’s take a closer look at the actual areas that make up an HOA community.

Separate Interests

Separate interests include the parcel of land that a home sits on. In a condominium community, separate interests include the unit as well as the airspace that surrounds the walls, floors, and ceiling of a unit.

Common Areas

Common areas are the community buildings, parks, and swimming pools that every owner is eligible to use. Many people recognize these as common areas, but don’t realize that common areas can also be the rooftops of a condominium building and the landscaping that decorates the community.

Limited Common Areas

Limited common areas can be seen as a bit of a grey area that can easily cause confusion when repairs must be made. Limited common areas may seem like a part of a separate interest but could be used by one or multiple members of a community.

Limited common areas can include:

  • Wiring inside of a unit
  • Door frames
  • Patio areas
  • Screen doors
  • Fences dividing neighborhood yards
  • Single unit air conditioners

Who is Responsible for Maintaining Each Area?

Three areas with a substantial amount of blur between them can leave owners and board members confused. However, with the help of a property management team on your side, your community can always stay on track with the right approach to maintenance and repairs.

Keep in mind that the biggest details regarding responsibilities can be found in a community’s CC&Rs, which are accessible to all members of the community. Turning to the CC&Rs when a maintenance dispute arises is the best way to determine who is actually responsible for a specific repair or improvement (i.e. painting a damaged door, replacing window shutters).

General HOA Responsibilities

As a whole, common areas are the HOA’s responsibility when maintenance and repairs are needed. However, if an owner is someone that caused the damage, they may be responsible for helping to cover some of the costs associated with repairs.

An HOA is also responsible for properly insuring the property against natural disasters like fires, floods, and tornadoes.

General Owner Responsibilities

These responsibilities are pretty clean-cut. In general, individual owners are responsible for taking care of their own interests. So, if an owner experiences a plumbing clog, or needs to have their interior flooring replaced after their negligence or damage, those maintenance responsibilities usually fall on them.

What About That Middle Ground?

Limited common areas can be difficult to assign fault to when it comes to maintenance and repairs. In most cases, owners are responsible for general maintenance (i.e. chimney cleaning, maintaining shutters) and HOAs are responsible for handling actual replacements.

Once again, referring to your community’s CC&Rs is the best way to resolve limited common area maintenance issues.

Keep Association Maintenance Under Control, With Goodwin & Company

If your association is in constant battles with owners about maintenance and repair responsibilities, now is the time to partner up with a qualified association management company.

At Goodwin & Company, we have decades of experience under our belts helping HOAs and condominium associations improve communities and relationships between the Board and owners.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your association. We’re ready to make your HOA a wonderful place to live!

Top HOA and Management Myths That Scare Off Owners

HOAs are popular entities that often garner unwanted attention from potential association owners. There are several unfortunate myths that house hunters tend to listen to that scare them away from the benefits of living in a properly managed association.

Don’t let misinformation drive off excellent future HOA members. Trust the team at Goodwin & Company to give your board the knowledge it needs to bring in quality and long-lasting members.

The Board is Just Power-Hungry

An HOA stays organized through the rules and regulations that drive its success. Unfortunately, this means that the association’s Board of Directors often has to make decisions that feel controlling for community members.

Following the rules is just part of being part of an HOA. Your Board isn’t a group of power-hungry villains eager to control every aspect of the owner’s lives. In fact, a board is purely a group of volunteers that have the best interests of the community in mind. These best interests include enforcing the rules of the Association that all owners agree to when purchasing a home in an HOA.

We’re Just Here to Make Money

Many people believe that HOAs and HOA management companies are just there to make money for the people at the top of the organization.

Yes, associations require monthly or annual payments from association members, but these funds don’t go into the pockets of board members.

Organizational leadership oversees maintaining the appeal and success of an association. So, let us help your community save money and prepare the budgets that prove your association funds go to projects that benefit the owners who pay for them.

HOAs Railroad All Home Improvements

HOAs give owners the opportunity to live in a clean, beautiful, and organized community. However, this often means that the exterior of a home must remain compliant with the association’s requirements (i.e. paint color, manicured landscaping, a certain number of cars in the driveway).

So, in a sense, this myth is partially correct when it comes to making alterations and renovations to the exterior of a home. However, going through the process of getting board approval often results in a positive outcome for those wanting to give their home a little extra curb appeal.

Keep in mind that all interior decor is a homeowner’s right and rarely falls under any regulations that hold owners back.

High HOA Fees Aren’t Worth the Investment

Sure, we understand that high HOA fees can be an eye-opener for some first-time homeowners. However, as we’ve said before, all HOA fees go towards community improvements and events that benefit homeowners.

We can help you convince new homeowners that higher HOA fees are an investment in their happiness and that when they go with a lower fee, they only get what they pay for (which may not be much).

Board Decisions Are Made in Secret

Yes, it’s true, one of the different types of board meetings are closed sessions that general homeowners aren’t privy to. Keep in mind that these sessions aren’t where the big community decisions are made, but where private legal matters and internal committee issues are discussed.

Any decisions that directly affect owners and community members are made in public board meetings that have minutes any community member has the power to review.

Dispel HOA Myths With the Help of Goodwin & Company

If you know that your HOA isn’t growing because of these and other myths, let Goodwin & Company help you deliver the truth to your community members.

We are an association management company that knows our industry from the inside out and can help you manage your association in the smartest way possible. Contact us today to learn more about our services.