Question: Some of our members would like the HOA to take on maintenance of windows, entry doors and garage doors. Is this advisable?
Answer: It is common for replacement responsibility for these components to fall on the owner. The HOA can and should dictate the standard for window and door style to maintain a consistent look and insist that replacements only be done by licensed, bonded and insured contractors.
In rainy climates, keeping buildings weather tight can be a real challenge. If windows or doors leak, resulting dryrot, structural damage and mold can be very expensive to repair. Owners are seldom prepared to deal with this level of maintenance. To properly secure building envelope integrity, it may make sense for the HOA to assume this responsibility.
Question: Our board struggles with understanding how far the HOA should intrude in unit owner remodeling projects. We have assumed that the owners' contractors are getting proper permits to do the work. Should we verify this before giving the Green Light?
Answer: There are many examples of owners and their contractors who have unwittingly compromised bearing walls or extended utilities in an illegal manner. Any time there is major structural work, utility renovation or demolition going on, a permit is required and the owner or contractor is responsible for getting them. If the proposed remodel includes utility or structural work, the plans and permits should be reviewed by the HOA's architect or structural engineer to ensure the work is in compliance with code and accepted construction practices. The owner should pay the reasonable cost and no work should take place until the architect or engineer approves the plans.
Question: We have a resident with a car that leaks a lot of oil. She has been given several notices to fix the leaking and ignores them. The board is considering banning the car from the HOA. Too extreme?
Answer: Cars leak oil from time to time. But if the leaking is considerable and the owner refuses to fix it, banning the vehicle is reasonable. However, charging the owner for cleanup costs may be enough to make the point and get her to get it fixed. Try the latter tactic first.
Question: As board president, can I abstain from voting on a particular issue? There are several residents that could be offended by my vote.
Answer: The president is entitled to vote but doesn't need to unless there is a tie. If there is a tie, you'll need to vote to break the tie unless you have a conflict of interest. The reason should be stated and recorded in the meeting minutes should the vote be questioned later on.
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