Deferred maintenance This week’s word is Deferred Maintenance.

Deferred maintenance means postponing the maintenance of a community’s common elements. Deferred maintenance can be due to an oversight or to a lack of funds needed to conduct routine maintenance of the common elements. Therefore, the maintenance must be pushed back until money becomes available. Deferring the maintenance can have a negative and long lasting impact on the community. The outcome of deferred maintenance will often be a net cost much higher than if the work was completed when needed.

Deferring maintenance which should be done on a regular basis, on a schedule, such as painting, annual cleaning of rain gutters, annual inspection of roofs, power washing, annual inspections of community signage and annual inspections of recreational areas (such as playground equipment) will decrease the useful life of these common elements. By not maintaining the common element item, your association will need to replace the item sooner, which can set your whole budget off.

Painting is one of the largest elements of routine common area maintenance for many associations. Painting of common area buildings should be done every 5-8 years. A poorly maintained paint finish will cost the association more when the maintenance is eventually completed.

Rain gutters also need to be inspected and cleaned annually to insure proper water run-off. Clogged drainage systems are a common cause of mold. Deferring the maintenance of the rain gutters could lead to unwanted and unexpected costs.

Every association should develop its own schedule for maintenance of the common elements. It is also smart to have a deferred maintenance fund within the operating budget to provide money for your routine maintenance should a lack of funds become an issue.

One item that should never be deferred is the Reserve Study. This study should be completed annually and will help your association to budget properly and to work with its vendors in keeping the association in tip top shape.

by Dan Tiernan, COO, Campbell Property Management

  1. Betty Ross says:

    Seeing timely maintenance and upgrades in the common areas show the residents that their BOD is working for the good of the community. We all like to see “our dollars” at work

  2. Thomas says:

    I own a condo on the beach, on the second floor. I have a view of the ocean but not the sand on the beach. there is a dune and on the dune grow sea grapes. This question has do with how the dune/sea grapes are maintained. In the past I have provided the board with information regarding the laws (state & county) that regulate and protect the dune and the sea grapes. have also provided opinions of experts as to the best practices regarding the pruning of the sea grapes. The experts state that the sea grapes should be aggressively pruned. This promotes the growth of the root system and strengthens the dune. Also pruning promotes a tick leafy from the ground up which can catch the sand in the wind and it falls to the dune. The laws allow for pruning to six feet no lower. The board in past has agreed to fund and prune twice per year to six feet each cutting. This optimizes the few of the units on the second and third floors ( 10 % ) of owners along with the unit market value. The question is, if the current board decides to allow these plants to grow to the point that our view of the ocean is gone, what recourse do we have?

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