Why Create a Responsibility Chart for Your HOA?

Why Create a Responsibility Chart for Your HOA? on vendorsmart.com

Learn what a maintenance responsibility chart is, and how this resource can provide the clarity your association needs for taking care of essential tasks.

Maintenance issues arise regularly in community associations, which is why it’s necessary to create a plan for dealing with such matters. However, even with a plan in place, disputes can arise over who is responsible for what.

One way to solve these disputes, or even to avoid them altogether, is to create a maintenance responsibility chart — which also includes who is financially responsible for specific concerns.

This simple tool will allow your HOA and residents to have a clear picture of maintenance expectations. That makes the upkeep and repairs simpler for everyone in the community, and keeps administration more efficient and streamlined.

What is a responsibility chart?

A maintenance responsibility chart is more than just a list of tasks and corresponding names. Think of this resource as more of a guide or handbook that outlines each and every detail necessary to keep a strong maintenance system running smoothly.

The chart will list all possible responsibilities within the community, including each thing that could go wrong. It will state clearly who is responsible for each of these duties, including maintenance tasks, repairs, replacements, and the like.

The conditions, covenants, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that govern your HOA will usually outline some details regarding these issues, but they often do not have the level of detail you need for complete clarity or adequate problem resolution. Although, they may define certain related expectations and decision-making processes.

When association residents want to dispute whether they’re responsible for something gone wrong, like a burst pipe that impacts multiple units, the chart provides a clear answer. This document makes it easier for the entire community to gather around a plan that works for everyone.

How to create a responsibility chart

First, take a look at your association’s CC&Rs and any other governing documents. If your association has a reserve study, which analyzes the association’s capital and how much it would cost to replace items throughout the community, it’s smart to include this information as well. One important thing to keep in mind is that if an item is included in the reserve study, it’s likely going to be the HOA’s responsibility to replace or repair; however, this also depends on what guidelines are included in the CC&Rs.

Once you’ve gone through these governing documents, you should have a solid start toward defining who should be responsible for what. Then add any additional tasks and responsibilities that have caused, or are likely to cause in the future, disputes between residents or between residents and the association.

Use actual experience to inform these insights. Any issues that have arisen in the last few years can help your association plan for future problems that are likely to come up.

Benefits of a responsibility chart

The benefits of creating and publishing a chart are many, including the following:

  • The chart becomes a resource and guide for both the board and homeowners.
  • Irrelevant or inappropriate requests for repairs will be reduced, as there won’t be near as much confusion about what the HOA is responsible for versus what the residents are responsible for.
  • The board won’t authorize repairs or maintenance that shouldn’t be the HOA’s responsibility.
  • Homeowners won’t take on tasks that should be the HOA’s responsibility.
  • A large part of the board’s overall obligations will be streamlined with a responsibility chart, freeing up time for other concerns, like finances and compliance.

Put simply, a responsibility chart sets a clear policy on who is taking responsibility for what within a condo association or HOA. This chart can be delivered online in one simple format that makes information easy to analyze and process.

Remember that the maintenance responsibility chart should be adaptable to what’s necessary for the community. It may not be perfect on the first try, just like many documents that help form your community association.

Make sure that the responsibility chart reflects the most up-to-date decisions by the board and is always easily accessible to both the board members and the community residents. It’s also a good idea to go over these documents with any managers you may hire for your association or legal counsel you may be engaging. VendorSmart helps you engage with a marketplace of third-party vendors that have been vetted by our experts. Contact our team today to learn more.