– J & N Realty, Inc.’s Townhome Managers:
1. Perpetual Property Maintenance Functions
– Are responsible to assure that the common and exclusive use common areas and elements of the buildings, appurtenances and grounds, and the property improvements are maintained according to acceptable standards. This includes but not limited to structural condition, cleaning, painting, decorating, plumbing and electrical repair, carpentry, plastering, and other such normal housekeeping, maintenance, and repair work as may be necessary.
– Yearly prepare a maintenance, repair, and capital improvements plan and submit it to the Board. The plan will be used to identify each of the items characterized as a perpetual property maintenance function.
2. Emergency Maintenance Management Functions
– Maintain a 24-hour, 7-day-per-week emergency call program for vital support systems on the property. “Emergencies” are defined as fire, water leaks, sewage backup, electrical outage, persons trapped in elevators, and any other causes where immediate maintenance action is necessary to prevent personal injury or property damage.
3. Building Operations
– Manage and monitor all integral operations of a townhome, HOA, or condo association facility which have a daily impact upon the owners and residents of the community.
Utility Shutoff Locations Map
If an earthquake ruptures a water pipe at your condominium property, will you be able to find the valve for the pipe and shut it off before it causes a flood? Do you know how to cut electrical power to a building if a tree falls on the wires leading in from the street? Knowing how to shut off water, gas, and electricity to your common interest development can help prevent serious damage in an emergency.
To prevent your HOA property’s damaged utilities from increasing disaster damage, create a map showing exactly where to find the utility shut-off valves and tools necessary to operate them. Create a Utility Shutoff Location Chart that describes exactly how to find and operate the shut-offs.
Insurance Agent Qualification Form
Buying insurance for your condominium property and understanding insurance policies can be complicated. Most townhouse and townhome property managers count on their HOA insurance agent for advice and for help to customize an insurance program that meets the needs of the homeowners association.
The best way to pick an insurance agent is to ask the right question at the beginning of the selection process. Focus on the insurance agent’s experience in the community association industry, the services he can provide, and whether the HOA will be paying a fair premium.
To ask the right questions, send prospective insurance agents a qualification form. In the cover letter, describe the condominium property and explain the management is considering hiring a new insurance agent. Ask the agent to fill out the form.
Verification of HOA Member’s Emotional Support Animal Request
In additional to sending a letter acknowledging receipt of a condominium property member’s request for an emotional support animal, it is advisable to included and Emotional Support Animal Request Verification Form, which the HOA member can give to his healthcare provider. In the letter accompanying the form, tell the condo member to sign the Member release portion of the form and then to have his healthcare provider complete the rest of it and return it directly to the community association.
The form will enable to healthcare provider to confirm the homeowners association member’s disability and need for the animal by asking the provider whether in the provider’s professional opinion: (1) the HOA member is disabled; (2) the member needs the animal to have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the property; and (3) whether the provider would be willing to testify in any proceeding related to the member’s need for an animal.
Response to Member’s Emotional Support Animal Request
You probably know that your condominium property must grant a disabled member’s request to keep a service animal, such as Seeing Eye dog, to help the HOA member with his disability, even if your homeowners association bans pets or bans the type of pet the member wants to keep. However, according the federal fair housing law, you may have to grant some disabled members’ request to keep an animal even if the animal has no training at all relevant to the condo members’ disability. These animals are called “emotional support animals” or “companion animals.” Although federal law does not require you to grant every emotional support animal request, you will need to be able to weed out improper requests from legitimate requests.
A letter should be sent to the disabled HOA member, acknowledging the receipt of his request to keep an emotional support animal. The latter should state the homeowners association’s policy on reasonable accommodation requests and should ask the member to have a healthcare provider complete and return an enclosed Emotional Support Animal Request Verification form and should tell the member that the HOA will respond to his request within 15 business days of receiving the completed form from the condominium member’s healthcare provider.
Members Get Contractor’s Quality Assurance
Before most homeowners associations hire contractors, they require them to prove that they are licensed, insured, and otherwise qualified to work in the property. What about when one of your members hires a contractor to do work in his unit, and the contractor gets injured or another member is injured by the contractor’s shoddy work? Even if the HOA’s liability insurance covers the loss, the community still suffers.
To protect the condominium property from claims, require your members to get from any contractor they hire a signed “quality assurance” agreement before that contractor may start work on the unit. Most homeowners associations require members to get the approval of the board before doing any significant work in their units. So when HOA members seek that approval, you can tell them that in order to get it, they must first get the agreement signed to protect the condominium property from liability when a member hires a contractor to do work on his unit.
The agreement should require the contractor to be properly licensed; have all the necessary permits and approvals before beginning work; be properly insured and furnish copies of the insurance policy; the contractor’s insurance is primary and that the contractor will indemnify the HOA against any damage.
Community Bulletin Board
A homeowners association may use bulletin boards to post meeting agendas, reminders about upcoming events and renovations, and other noteworthy information for HOA members. Letting members post on bulletin board can cause problems. For example, what if the material a member chooses to post is objectionable to others? Or what if members remove other people’s postings to put up their own? One way to avoid problems is to set rules that members must follow to be able to hand postings on a condominium property bulletin board.
The rules ban the posting that may violate fair housing law; posting related to illegal or illegitimate activity; profane or pornographic materials. On an administrative level, the board of directors should be required to approve postings; limit the length of time postings can stay up; limit who is allowed to put up and remove postings; and limit the size of postings.
Common areas play a major role in a homeowners association’s success. They are the neighborhood that all the members share and that visitors and prospective buyers see first. However, your members may be causing problems in your common areas inadvertently or otherwise; for example, leaving garbage out, storing personal property, and so on. You do not want members making nuisances of themselves in you common areas or leaving their belongings in them. Careful development of common area rules reminds members that the common areas are part of the condominium property, and that they are responsible for their actions there, as well as in their own homes.
A letter should be sent to owners. The letter would bar members from leaving garbage, refuse, or personal property in common areas. You would be given the right to remove anything that members leave in common areas and the authority to charge members for storing items that you remove. It would also say that members may not create nuisance in common areas. Finally, it would state that members bear “joint liability” for violations of these rules.
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