- Joe Wise
Helping Owners Understand What Assessments Cover
It’s understood when you purchase a home in a condo or homeowner association that paying assessments is required. Yet, it’s easy to get frustrated with paying assessments when you don’t know exactly where your money is going. While Board members communicate an association’s budget annually, some owners may miss it. Plus, it’s easy to feel that the association can manage with less money when you aren’t familiar with the budget. Knowing where HOA assessments go creates a better overall experience for everyone.
Although assessments vary from community to community, the basics are similar. Almost every homeowner understands that HOA fees go for maintenance and services. Common area upgrades and maintenance are usually straightforward too. However, homeowners don’t always consider the “behind the scenes” costs of keeping the community in good repair. If homeowners complain about an assessment increase, you need to help them understand the true cost in maintaining their property values. Here are some typical expenses that assessments cover:
Association services that may include trash removal, water, recycling and sewage.
Insurance for the external buildings and common areas, liability and workers compensation, directors & officers insurance or other protection that your association may need.
Grounds maintenance that can include landscaping, lawn upkeep, snow removal, tree trimming, asphalt repairs, sidewalks, steps, etc.
Pest control that typically includes monthly inspections in addition to specific pest control treatments that your buildings may require.
External building maintenance that includes roofs and painting.
Professional services that may include an accountant, reserve audit and attorney.
Funding reserves to prepare for large projects, replacements and more expensive future maintenance. This helps protects homeowners from special assessments and/or loans for big-ticket expenses.
Recreational facilities maintenance such as clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, walking trail, playground, etc.
Janitorial and maintenance services for commons areas.
It’s important for owners to know that where HOA responsibility ends, the unit owner’s responsibility begins. Owners need insurance to protect their furnishings. They are responsible for unit upgrades, maintenance and repairs.
When homeowners understand how their assessments are used, most are more willing to pay up….helping your community survive and thrive.
** Wise Property Solutions is a property management company serving East Tennessee with offices in Knoxville, TN and the Tri-Cities, TN-VA. Specializing in Condominium Association Management, Home Owners Association Management, HOA Management and Gated Community Association Management.