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!