HOAs Can Reduce Conflicts by Creating a “Maintenance Responsibility Chart”

A common cause of conflicts between homeowners’ associations and their members is a lack of understanding whether the association or the homeowner is responsible for the maintenance, repair or replacement of a particular item or component. The lack of understanding is frequently caused by inadequate coverage of the division of responsibilities in the association’s governing documents and/or poor communication on the part of the association relative to maintenance responsibilities. Without a clear understanding of who is responsible there are resulting disagreements between association directors / management personnel, owners, and insurance carriers.

A practical way for homeowners’ associations to minimize conflicts concerning maintenance responsibilities is to create a “Maintenance Responsibility Chart.” A Maintenance Responsibility Chart clearly identifies the various items and components within the common areas and the owners’ separate interests and assigns the responsibility for the maintenance, repair and/or replacement of those items and components. The initial creation of the Maintenance Responsibility Chart requires an investment by the association for an attorney to review and evaluate both the association’s governing documents and applicable state laws in order to determine who is responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement of each component in the development.

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