Five Tips for Successful Community Projects in Your Homeowners or Condominium Association

 

Negotiating contracts with vendors is rarely an easy process.

Because many people are involved — some who aren’t familiar with your community — misunderstandings are extremely common. But there are some simple steps you can take to ensure negotiations on your next Atlanta HOA or Condo Association community project runs smoothly.

  1. Create a subcommittee. By forming a subcommittee, you ensure there’s a clear understanding of each piece in the proposed project. This single step will save you time because it helps avoid confusion when you begin the bidding process.
  2. Consult a specialist in advance. If you’re not clear on how a specification should be drafted for your project, bring in an expert who can give you precise guidelines. Of course, once the project is complete, you’ll want that same specialist to come back and confirm the work is performed to your specification — before you make a final payment. (For example, you want to be certain the drainage patterns are correct and the substructure is intact on an asphalt replacement project.)
  3. Keep detailed notes of all contract negotiations. To avoid any possible conflicts, the specifications should be attached to the final contract.
  4. Appoint one person to work with your Atlanta Property Manager. Typically, when you hire professional management, you allow the community manager to draft the specifications and get the bids.  If you designate one board member to work with your Atlanta Property Manager during the bid solicitation process, you can then bring the entire bid package (with recommendations) back to the board.
  5. Work with people you like. You’ll often enjoy the process — and avoid disputes — when you get along with the people performing your project.  So bring in bidders for an interview and request references.

Remember, when you receive a contract, you — as a board — have the right to add addendums and counteroffers. Also, always must make certain you’re completely clear about the product or services being offered. That way all parties involved know exactly what is expected.

For more information on how Beacon Management Services can assist your Homeowners Association or Condominium Association in the Atlanta area, please call: (404) 907-2112 or email Lisa Simmons at lsimmons@beaconmanagementservices.com. Our complete list of services is available at: www.beaconmanagementservices.com.

Thank you for your time!

Why Should Your Atlanta Condominium or Homeowners Association Have a Reserve Study?

The purpose of a reserve study is to give the Board Members of the Homeowners Association and the property manager written guidelines for properly maintaining the common elements. The Governing Documents of most Association-governed communities require the Board of Directors to set aside an “appropriate” amount of money on a regular basis to offset the ongoing deterioration of the common areas.

All physical assets deteriorate with time and most of the “major” components which an Association is responsible to maintain will require repair or replacement in a predictable manner. A credible, current Reserve Study makes it possible to prepare well in advance for these inevitable expenses, spreading out the reserve contributions evenly over time, rather than funding reserves through special assessments or loans

An effective reserve study plan must meet the following five key objectives:

  1. To preserve the investment of the owners.

Preventive maintenance can extend the useful life of building components, in turn, maintaining and enhancing the value of the property.

  1. Buildings operating at peak efficiency.

Preventive maintenance ensures that building components are operating as they were designed, which helps to reduce inefficiencies in operations and energy use.

  1. Prevent failures of building systems.

Properly functioning building systems allow occupants to enjoy the property as planned. Preventive maintenance includes periodic inspections and replacement of equipment that are crucial to operations.

  1. Maintain a safe and healthy environment.

Protect the physical integrity of the building; maintain a safe environment for residents.

  1. Provide cost effective

Preventive maintenance can prevent small problems from becoming major failures and costly repairs. Preventive maintenance can be handled relatively inexpensively, efficiently and systematically.

What should be included in a reserve study?   There is a four-part test, now part of National Reserve Study Standards, to determine if a component is appropriate to designate for reserve funding. To be funded, a component must pass all four of the tests.

  1. The component must be a common area maintenance responsibility, as defined in the Association’s governing documents or a well-established Association precedent
  2. The component must have a limited Useful Life (UL)
  3. The component must have a predictable Remaining Useful Life (RUL)
  4. The component’s Replacement Cost ($) must be above a minimum threshold amount

If consistently followed in conjunction with a proper funding model, the components will enjoy their maximum useful life and repair costs will be held to the minimum. This is how the successful homeowners’ associations operate.

For more information on how Beacon Management Services can assist your Homeowners Association or Condominium Association in the Atlanta area, please call: (404) 907-2112 or email Lisa Simmons at lsimmons@beaconmanagementservices.com. Our complete list of services is available at: www.beaconmanagementservices.com.

Thank you for your time!