This checklist is either for HOA associations or boards that need to do property or unit inspections, landlords that need to inspect their units, or tenants that want to ensure the inspection goes smooth.
If you want to skip this post and download the checklist directly, click here.
Whether you are a new tenant or are a property manager, you can be greatly affected by a homeowners association, or an HOA.
A homeowners association can have some effects on the way that you are living in the property. It can also affect how much you pay monthly, the way you have to maintain your property, and the kinds of services you are provided.
If you are not familiar with an HOA, you have come to the right place. Below, we have provided all of the information that you need to know regarding homeowners associations.
What is an HOA?
A homeowners association, or an HOA, is a body of self-governing people that manage several tasks and responsibilities in a neighborhood. These people are typically volunteer homeowners who collect fees and conduct inspections in the community to make sure that everything is in order.
An HOA can govern various types of properties like condos, houses, townhouses and brownstones, apartments, and many more. Just like the types of properties, the way that the HOA functions also differ from community to community. They typically have board meetings where they discuss the current state of the community and report on every HOA violation or course of action.
Every community that is governed by an HOA is subject to different sets of laws and bylaws. These laws are enforced by the members of the association and funded by fees. Depending on the community, these fees can vary greatly, but they also cover various things, discussed later.
We will also discuss the best things to include in an HOA maintenance checklist to make sure that your community stays as clean as possible.
What do HOA Fees Cover?
Typically, HOA fees cover a range of services. These services depend on the property types as well as the community. Although most times, these services are for common areas, they are sometimes for some kind of utility that the whole community uses. Some examples of these services include:
- Water/Sewer Fees
- Garbage Disposal
- Swimming Pools
- Tennis Courts
Apart from maintaining these common areas and providing extra utilities to the community, a community association may also charge a special fee for a repair that is out of their budget, like a roof replacement.
As mentioned before, the fees for an HOA vary drastically. A normal range for HOA fees can be from $100 to $2500 a month, with the average being around $300 to $700. The higher the service fee, the more services you will be provided.
What happens if someone doesn't pay the fees?
In the case that someone doesn't pay their HOA fees, there are many different possibilities of what action will be taken by the association. The actions that the associations take depend solely on the contract between the homeowner and the HOA. These actions may be as simple as charging a late fee or allowing the homeowner to have an extension. However, some contracts give the HOA permission to file a lawsuit against the homeowner or even foreclose on the owner's property.
How to Keep Up With Property Maintenance
As stated at the beginning, HOA maintenance affects both tenants and property management companies as well. There are many things that need to be looked after to make sure that you don't face any action from the HOA management.
If you're not sure what you need to pay close attention to in order to succeed in the next HOA inspection, we have compiled an HOA maintenance checklist (basic condo maintenance checklist) that outlines everything you need to maintain in good condition to pass the inspection.
HOA or Condo Maintenance Checklist
Below, we have listed some of the most important things to keep up to shape on your property to make sure you pass the inspection every year.
Exterior Maintenance Checklist
The first thing that you should make sure to examine before the yearly review is the exterior of your property. Given that it is the part of your property most exposed to the public, it will be where most of the inspection takes place.
One of the first things that the HOA will inspect is the foundation and the walls. You must make sure that there is no structural problem in the foundation and that the paint on the walls matches that of the rest of the houses. If there are any problems with these, the HOA may cover these repairs, or they may order you to do the repairs.
Another thing to look out for in the exterior of your property is windows and vents. Windows oftentimes crack and a repair will be demanded. The vents also break often and if they are not in good condition, they will need to be replaced.
Electrical Supply Boxes
An HOA maintenance checklist should also include any electrical supply boxes in the inspection. This includes any electrical lines as well that run on your property. Sometimes, hiring a company to inspect these may be a good idea since it could be dangerous to inspect them yourself.
Wood Decks and Patios
Wood decks and patios also fall under this category and will be inspected by the HOA. The reason for this is that these kinds of decks run the risk of growing mold or housing termites. This could be a problem and it may lead to repairs, or a complete replacement, of the deck. Some associations may also order members to do a monthly or annual inspection of these for pest control.
Wood decks also have structural requirements that ensure that it would not fly away in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm. These inspections are typically done by a professional or by members of the HOA.
There are also some other components of the exterior of your property that an HOA will probably inspect, but they do not always do. Shown below is a sample checklist of all the things you should review in order to pass your community's HOA inspection.
Interior Maintenance Checklist
Next on your HOA maintenance checklist is the interior of your property. A thorough inspection of the interior would be done to ensure that everything is clean and that there is nothing broken within the property.
Walls / Roofs
One of the most important things that are going to be checked on the inside of your property is the walls and roofs.
When checking the walls, it is vital to make sure that there are no cracks in the walls that can let in water. These cracks can also let in cold air and serve as future structural damage. The paint on the walls will also be inspected as it may be fading or ripping off, and they may need to be repainted.
The roof is also a very important thing that will be on an HOA checklist. The roofs need to be checked thoroughly to make sure that there are no leaks anywhere on the property. If there are any leaks, that is something that will need to be fixed immediately. If there are gutters attached to the roof, those should be inspected as well.
Another component of the interior of a property that will need to be checked is the flooring. The flooring of the entire property would have to be checked for uneven flooring. These uneven floorings may cause falls that lead to injuries. For this reason, the flooring must be thoroughly inspected and replaced if necessary.
Apart from the main interior inspections, there are also some other components that may be inspected as part of the HOA review. Shown below is a list of possible things that may be inspected on your property.
Utilities Maintenance Checklist
The next part of your HOA maintenance checklist is the utilities on your property. These utilities vary in each organization, but we will be listing the most common ones below.
Air Conditioning / Heating
The most important utility that needs to be checked regularly is the air conditioning for your property. All units of the air conditioner must be in good condition and be working, including the condenser. Apart from the air conditioning, the heaters should also be inspected, like the hot water heaters.
Since not everyone has the expertise to perform these kinds of inspections, it is recommended that a professional, or someone with experience, perform these inspections.
There are also many components of other utilities that need to be inspected, including phone lines, gas lines, water lines, and others.
The most important part of checking these is to make sure that there are no leaks within them. As mentioned before, these inspections cannot be done properly by just anyone so it is advisable that someone with experience or a professional conduct them.
Shown below is a list of the possible things that may be inspected by an HOA on a yearly basis.
Common Area Maintenance Checklist
The last section that should be included in your HOA maintenance checklist is the common areas. These could also vary depending on the association, but we have provided the most common ones here.
Yards / Landscaping
One of the most inspected common areas on your property is the yard and the landscaping. One of the things that the HOA association will pay most attention to is whether or not your lawn is trimmed to the right length. If the grass is too long, they will order you to cut it. Also, any trees or bushes should also be trimmed to length to make sure that they don't obscure any other common areas, like the sidewalk.
This service could be done by yourself or by a professional since it does not require much skill or experience.
Fences / Gates
Another component of the common areas of your property that must be inspected to make sure they are in good condition is your fences or gates. There must be no loose bolts or screws and they should appear clean and in good condition at all times.
Other common area components, like security cameras and parking lots, should also be inspected regularly to make sure they appear in good condition and are working properly. Shown below are some other common area inspections that should be done.
HOA Maintenance Checklist Template
Want to use the HOA maintenance checklist that we used in this article?
Simply go to DoorLoop's Resources Page to find this template, plus many others that you could use in property management.
Whether you are renting the property or managing it, it is vital to stay on the friendly side of the HOA. If not, you could face severe legal repercussions that could cost you a lot of money. As long as you follow or download this checklist, you should pass the inspections with no problems.