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Condo association wants emergency repair policy for common areas

Posted on Fri, Feb 01, 2013 @ 09:56 AM
  
  
  
We are a small 29 unit condo association. We have had an issue with unauthorized repairs to common areas (inside the unit but defined as such) after severe weather. There was a disagreement between the owner and president if it was authorized, so we would like to tighten up this in the future. Does anyone have an emergency repair policy for their association or suggestions for this issue? thanks.

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COMMENTS

What was the emergency repair?

posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 10:29 AM by Victor


1) Read all of your governing documents AGAIN. In most States the legislature took this point into account when writing the CC&R. If you don't find the answer there, go to step two. 2) Sit down with an lawyer who specialzes in Condo law. Avoid an attorney who doesn't specialize condo law because you'll spend a lot of money for no experience. 3) Get a price up front and have the attorney write up a document describing this specific solution and have the association vote to added it to the By-Laws in accordance with your governing documents. GR

posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 10:35 AM by GR


Within our Bylaws it states the following: 
 
*** 
ARTICLE X 
FINANCIAL 
Section 1. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Association shall begin on the first day of January and end on the 31st day of December of every year, except that the first fiscal year shall begin on the date of incorporation. 
Section 2. Financial Controls 
(a) Normal Expenditure Transaction. Payment of Common Expenses for utilities and contracted services, as per member approved, current fiscal year budget, shall be executed by responsible party. 
(b) Exception Expenditure Transaction. 
(1) Payment of Common Expenses, with proper receipts, for amounts of less than one hundred dollars ($100) shall be executed by responsible party. 
(2) Payment of Common Expenses, with proper estimate, billing, or receipts, for amounts of one hundred dollars ($100) or greater shall require Board approval. 
(c) Any Board member(s) who may be associated, in any way, with the payee of an expenditure shall abstain from 
any vote to approve payment. 
*** 
 
Emergency repairs would be those repairs that cost over the $100 limit, Board Directors are not available for an emergency meeting (telephone, email, or in person), and failure to perform could risk safety of residents or further damage. A good example would be if a tornado that blew out windows due to flying debris. The windows need to be covered. Our policy is that in this case is that any Director or the Community Manager makes the call to make the short term repair happen. Worst case any owner could even make it happen. 
 
The operative word is 'emergency'. What does that word mean to your HOA? 

posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 12:19 PM by Ron - NC


on repairs like emergency's should be under the BOD duty - common sense should prevail on this type - if it will cause a problem to injurn someone, take action-

posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 12:38 PM by j


it was my post....our issue is that the owner made approx $4K in repairs after a hurricane. the roof had damage that the HOA had someone on the next day... but the owner had someone doing lots of interior work without board approval.... the owner says the contractor that showed up at her door talked to the president (which he totally denies) and the assn is liable. long story short at the owners meeting they voted to pay by one vote.....we feel we need some type of emergency policy in writing that is clear cut on how to handle an emergency repair.... just wondering if anyone had something to share.

posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 2:04 PM by Susan


Susan, 
 
Your HOA got scammed. 
 
When you say owner, I have to assume you are referring to an individual property owner not a developer. 
 
Check the Better Business Bureau in you area, see if this contractor has any complaints against them. That will tell you if others were scammed as well and your HOA can add to the complaint. If the contractor is on the up and up, just pay it and move on. 
 
The policy you are referring to belongs in your HOA Bylaws under a section you can call 'Emergency Recovery'. The first thing you need to do is list definitions, namely what constitutes an emergency. Then you can add sections on various categories like; roof damage, exterior walls, and so on. You will also need to specify that interior damage is owner responsibility. Perhaps the HOA insurance agent can help you structure the wording and make sure something was not overlooked.

posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 4:09 PM by Ron - NC


What do you mean by 'emergency policy'. Emergency by definition is something that is being dealt with outside of a standard process. If you have a process documenting something it's not emergency - it's simply following a prescribed solution. 
 
The board should've evaluated what work was done and if this is a true emergency. A leak in a roof is an emergency but installing a new roof to repair it is not - you can place a tarp and wait for three days to figure out your next step. Standing water in your basement is an emergency, but replacing carpet or painting walls might not be. 
 
All of this depends on what work was done.  
 
I also don't understand why you had all owners voting for the payment of this bill. Spending money is board's decision in most cases.

posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 6:51 PM by Jeff Ross


We don't have an emergency policy, which works pretty well. There are already policies in place in our declaration and bylaws for expenditures. There is no guarantee of reimbursement to an owner. Owners cannot really authorize and supervise work for the association, only the manager or board can do so following the usual procedures. 
 
For any request from an owner for reimbursement (or request for direct payment to a contractor), the manager and board have to evaluate what they would have done (if they had been given the opportunity in advance). Owners can often be reimbursed for expenses up to this standard, but not usually any more. Some further reimbursement is possible if the manager and president were not available and there was a true emergency and the owner acted to prevent further damage, but this is quite rare.  
 
Any request for reimbursement has to match our usual costs, standards, and appropriateness as a common expense. Some things can be reimbursed after the fact, and some can't. (The work may have to be torn out and redone to meet standards, such as fire safety codes.) 
 
The board has a fiduciary responsibility to not spend the association's money on anything that is not a common expense, even if the board feels sorry for an owner who spent money on repairs, emergency or otherwise.

posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 8:04 PM by JT


"it was my post....our issue is that the owner made approx $4K in repairs after a hurricane. the roof had damage that the HOA had someone on the next day... but the owner had someone doing lots of interior work without board approval.... " 
From what I am reading the board was in control of the repair to the common element (roof). It sounds as if the definition of a common element may be in dispute in this case if an owner cannot do interior work in their unit without board approval, emergency or not.

posted @ Monday, February 04, 2013 7:21 AM by Joyce Murray


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