Hoffman Weber Helps Condo Boards, Community Managers Meet New Minnesota Preventive Maintenance Law
by Hoffman Weber Construction, on February 12, 2019
Effective last month, Minnesota’s Upkeep of Common Interest Communities law applies to all residential communities such as condo and townhouse developments, not just those created after Aug. 1, 2017.
The revised statute requires condominium, townhome and certain other homeowners’ association communities to prepare, fund, and execute preventive maintenance plans for common areas and surfaces. If they fail to comply, they cannot hold their community developer liable for 10-year warranty claims.
Hoffman Weber Construction’s Minneapolis-based multi-family division is assisting community managers, property managers and association boards to meet the new requirement in three ways.
- Inspecting exterior common surfaces and components (such as roofs, siding, gutters, windows, doors and ventilation) to document their current condition and identify problems.
- Preparing a report that establishes a timetable and cost estimate for initial repairs and ongoing maintenance.
- Managing and performing acute maintenance, repair and replacement services that require immediate attention.
Ryan Arvola is multi-family director at Minneapolis-based Hoffman Weber Construction. He also is a board member of his own HOA and holds the distinction of Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA). He says older common interest communities appreciate Hoffman Weber’s convenient, professional support as they work to satisfy the new law.
“Many board members are homeowner volunteers who often lack experience and deep knowledge of construction and maintenance. Community managers are able to add to this level of understanding to a degree, but many choose to lean on a professional industry expert when it comes to components like building maintenance and construction. That is where we come in,” he said. “Hoffman Weber is able to draw on its deep exterior construction and multi-family experience to help communities address the new law.”
CIC Upkeep Law Goal To Motivate Developers
The new law was enacted to encourage proactive and regular building maintenance of homeowners associations, and to limit the warranty exposure for developers of these common interest communities. While it imposes new requirements on the impacted associations, it also creates transparency to the current and potential new homeowners by providing a written document that details exactly when and how the association intends to maintain the common elements of the community. If this maintenance is not being done as required by this new law, the developers are no longer on the hook for warranty claims.
“The truth is many property owners are completely unaware what routine maintenance is customary to extend the life of exterior surfaces and avoid much more costly replacement and repairs. With our independent assessment and recommendations, the boards now have the tools to fulfill their duties to property owners, set reasonable budgets and justify association fees,” Arvola said.
Although the new law requires preventive maintenance plans for common areas and surfaces, it does not specify the duration or content of the plans. Moreover, association responsibilities can differ between condominiums and townhomes. For instance, common siding and roofing maintenance may be included for condominiums but considered the responsibility of individual townhome owners.
“Most boards want to do the right thing. Armed with detailed information Hoffman Weber provides they will be able to make a stronger case for spending on preventive maintenance and repairs to protect everyone’s investment.” Arvola said.
CIC Preventive Maintenance Plans Help Everyone
- When someone purchases property in a common-interest community they will benefit from knowing that the developer or the association has a properly funded property maintenance plan.
- Preventive maintenance should cost less over time than restoring long neglected structures.
- Well-maintained communities should have higher appeal and resale value.
- Property owners will enjoy peace of mind knowing that their collective investments are in good hands.
Arvola said Hoffman Weber charges for comprehensive maintenance inspections based on the size, age and materials of the community and the needs and desires of the Homeowners Association.
Preventive maintenance agreements range from one to five years with two years being most typical. Annual re-inspections are common for multi-year contracts. And priority storm damage inspections are included. Arvola said proper inspections and preventive maintenance should help homeowners association minimize costs compared to homeowners association boards and community managers reacting to individual homeowner property concerns.
When a condo or townhome association contracts with Hoffman Weber Construction to conduct inspections and prepare a preventative maintenance plan it is not obliged to hire Hoffman Weber to perform the needed maintenance and repairs.
“A preventive maintenance plan should not guarantee that all work would go to the company that developed the plan. At Hoffman Weber, we earn our relationships every day,” Arvola said.
Watch this video to see how informative even a roof inspection can be.