A common issue within homeowners associations relates to decisions relative to the maintenance of common areas. As buildings and their structural components age, they deteriorate and become in need of maintenance, repairs, and/or replacements. To ensure that the required work is performed as needed, state statutes and association governing documents contain provisions that require associations to maintain, repair and replace the common areas as needed.
Because associations are controlled and operated by their board of directors, the responsibility for fulfilling the association’s obligations relative to maintenance of the common areas falls on the board of directors, acting collectively by making decisions through proper meetings at which a quorum of directors is present. While certain responsibilities can be delegated to one or more directors or other management personnel, the ultimate responsibility lies with the board of directors. In order to properly fulfill their maintenance responsibilities, associations have several duties including:

Inspection– Associations have a duty to make periodic visual inspections of common area components. These inspections are typically performed by qualified people who are retained by the association.

Investigate Complaints– Associations have a duty to investigate complaints regarding the condition of common area components. When complaints about the condition of common area components are brought to the attention of an association’s board of directors, action must be taken to investigate the component(s) in question in order to assess the need for maintenance, repairs, or replacement of the particular component. Such investigations are also typically performed by qualified people who are retained by the association.

Repairs– Associations have a duty to make needed repairs of common area components. Common area components that are determined to be in need of maintenance, repairs, or replacement must be dealt with. Regardless of the underlying reason for the needed work, the common area components must be restored to the proper condition required by the statutes and governing documents. The ultimate responsibility for payment of the cost of repairs may be a homeowner or a third-party who is responsible for damaging the common area, or proceeds may come from insurance coverage, but the association is responsible for seeing to it that the repairs are made.

Assessments– Associations have a duty to levy appropriate assessments on their members in order to generate the funds that are necessary to maintain, repair, and replace common area components. While most expenses relating to common area components are predictable and should be provided for through properly conducted reserve studies, annual budgets, and the payment of regular assessments, other unexpected expenses can be covered through the following mechanisms: (i) special assessments; (ii) emergency assessments; (iii) member approved increases in regular assessments; (iv) temporary borrowing from reserve funds; (v) the reduction or elimination of unnecessary budgeted items.

Issues over who is responsible for the maintenance, repair, or replacement of “exclusive use” common areas are frequently more complicated due to inadequate coverage of the topic in state statutes and/or governing documents. To minimize disputes over the maintenance responsibilities relative to exclusive use common areas, associations should be familiar with applicable state statutes relative to exclusive use common areas and make certain that their governing documents are consistent with those statutes and clearly identify what all of the exclusive use common areas are and who is responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement of those exclusive use common areas.
While association members may respond to inquiries from their board of directors concerning common area maintenance issues and/or provide their input on maintenance issues, the ultimate decision making concerning the maintenance of common area components is made by the board of directors. Nevertheless, associations that fail to perform their responsibilities relative to the maintenance, repair and/or replacement of common area components may be compelled to do so through appropriate court actions that may be instituted by association members.
In conclusion, association directors must be aware of their association’s maintenance and repair responsibilities and diligently perform their duties when they become aware of a need for maintenance, repair, or replacement of common area components. As ignoring or neglecting necessary maintenance issues can have very serious consequences, associations should be diligent about performing reserve studies, inspecting the condition of common area components, and providing for appropriate reserves and assessments to ensure that the funds that are required to properly maintain common areas are available when needed.
A common issue within homeowners associations relates to decisions relative to the maintenance of common areas. As buildings and their structural components age, they deteriorate and become in need of maintenance, repairs, and/or replacements. To ensure that the required work is performed as needed, state statutes and association governing documents contain provisions that require associations to maintain, repair and replace the common areas as needed.
Because associations are controlled and operated by their board of directors, the responsibility for fulfilling the association’s obligations relative to maintenance of the common areas falls on the board of directors, acting collectively by making decisions through proper meetings at which a quorum of directors is present. While certain responsibilities can be delegated to one or more directors or other management personnel, the ultimate responsibility lies with the board of directors. In order to properly fulfill their maintenance responsibilities, associations have several duties including:

Inspection– Associations have a duty to make periodic visual inspections of common area components. These inspections are typically performed by qualified people who are retained by the association.

Investigate Complaints– Associations have a duty to investigate complaints regarding the condition of common area components. When complaints about the condition of common area components are brought to the attention of an association’s board of directors, action must be taken to investigate the component(s) in question in order to assess the need for maintenance, repairs, or replacement of the particular component. Such investigations are also typically performed by qualified people who are retained by the association.

Repairs– Associations have a duty to make needed repairs of common area components. Common area components that are determined to be in need of maintenance, repairs, or replacement must be dealt with. Regardless of the underlying reason for the needed work, the common area components must be restored to the proper condition required by the statutes and governing documents. The ultimate responsibility for payment of the cost of repairs may be a homeowner or a third-party who is responsible for damaging the common area, or proceeds may come from insurance coverage, but the association is responsible for seeing to it that the repairs are made.

Assessments– Associations have a duty to levy appropriate assessments on their members in order to generate the funds that are necessary to maintain, repair, and replace common area components. While most expenses relating to common area components are predictable and should be provided for through properly conducted reserve studies, annual budgets, and the payment of regular assessments, other unexpected expenses can be covered through the following mechanisms: (i) special assessments; (ii) emergency assessments; (iii) member approved increases in regular assessments; (iv) temporary borrowing from reserve funds; (v) the reduction or elimination of unnecessary budgeted items.

Issues over who is responsible for the maintenance, repair, or replacement of “exclusive use” common areas are frequently more complicated due to inadequate coverage of the topic in state statutes and/or governing documents. To minimize disputes over the maintenance responsibilities relative to exclusive use common areas, associations should be familiar with applicable state statutes relative to exclusive use common areas and make certain that their governing documents are consistent with those statutes and clearly identify what all of the exclusive use common areas are and who is responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement of those exclusive use common areas.
While association members may respond to inquiries from their board of directors concerning common area maintenance issues and/or provide their input on maintenance issues, the ultimate decision making concerning the maintenance of common area components is made by the board of directors. Nevertheless, associations that fail to perform their responsibilities relative to the maintenance, repair and/or replacement of common area components may be compelled to do so through appropriate court actions that may be instituted by association members.
In conclusion, association directors must be aware of their association’s maintenance and repair responsibilities and diligently perform their duties when they become aware of a need for maintenance, repair, or replacement of common area components. As ignoring or neglecting necessary maintenance issues can have very serious consequences, associations should be diligent about performing reserve studies, inspecting the condition of common area components, and providing for appropriate reserves and assessments to ensure that the funds that are required to properly maintain common areas are available when needed.

A common issue within homeowners associations relates to decisions relative to the maintenance of common areas. As buildings and their structural components age, they deteriorate and become in need of maintenance, repairs, and/or replacements. To ensure that the required work is performed as needed, state statutes and association governing documents contain provisions that require associations to maintain, repair and replace the common areas as needed.

Because associations are controlled and operated by their board of directors, the responsibility for fulfilling the association’s obligations relative to maintenance of the common areas falls on the board of directors, acting collectively by making decisions through proper meetings at which a quorum of directors is present. While certain responsibilities can be delegated to one or more directors or other management personnel, the ultimate responsibility lies with the board of directors. In order to properly fulfill their maintenance responsibilities, associations have several duties including:

Inspection– Associations have a duty to make periodic visual inspections of common area components. These inspections are typically performed by qualified people who are retained by the association.

Investigate Complaints– Associations have a duty to investigate complaints regarding the condition of common area components. When complaints about the condition of common area components are brought to the attention of an association’s board of directors, action must be taken to investigate the component(s) in question in order to assess the need for maintenance, repairs, or replacement of the particular component. Such investigations are also typically performed by qualified people who are retained by the association.

Repairs– Associations have a duty to make needed repairs of common area components. Common area components that are determined to be in need of maintenance, repairs, or replacement must be dealt with. Regardless of

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