HOA Loan and Insurance Quotes

Subscribe to Blog

Your email:

Follow Us

Looking for answers?

condo association blogCan't find the answer you're looking for?  Ask your question here and we'll post it in our blog.

Browse by Topic

Condo Association Management Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

HOA can't seem to find their maintenance man. Property is a mess.

Posted on Sun, Mar 10, 2013 @ 09:14 AM
Our 100 unit complex has a full time maintence man paid for by our monthly fees. There is no written maintenance plan, no inventory of tools etc.. he just does what he feels like each day. On many days he is no where to be found. Frequently he is in private units doing work for them.... on our dime. ( I pay for repairs in my condo) I want some guidence to confront the current board to put some checks and balances in place where maintenance is concerned. The bldgs are filty and with a full time employee the property should be pristine. This is a Florida complex .



A full time employee should be able to account for his/her time. For maintenance, there should certainly be a log and a schedule for routine chores as well as incidental items. Individuals should be paying for their own work or placing a work order through the HOA and being billed accordingly. As for an accounting of his time.

posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 9:27 AM by c

Does anyone have a list of routine maintenance ?

posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 9:41 AM by Maryella Banks

Maintenance=repairs to property/common area issue. 
Cleaning is a whole different category. Was he hired to do repairs, clean or both? Has he ever cleaned your buildings? That could be the issue as perhaps his duty is just repair. 
On the other issues of repair within private units; maybe they are paying him to fix items which would mean the association is paying him and so are the other individual owners. Or, maybe not? In either case you need to get a hold on this before any more time lapses. If he is doing it on his free time (unscheduled within the complex time), then that is no one's business. 
Do you have a management company or are you self managed. Complain, and don't stop until you get answers. As an owner you are entitled to, in the very least, a clean common area since you pay for that in your fees.

posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 9:44 AM by Another Voice

Our maintenance man is an employee of (is paid through) our property management company (besides his pay that comes from our maint. fees, we also kick in some - half I think - for his insurance. He is set up to receive days off for customary holidays) but he reports to the Board of Directors. He has a duty list that is very specific on what chores are to be done when. If something comes up, a Board member will ask him to take care of it. A board member has to sign his time sheet each week. I don't know of a tool inventory but some residents are very familiar and know what we have and when something is missing. I recommend rallying other residents about the appearance of your property, state your grievances in writing, and ask the board to take care of them immediately. You should be prepared to help the board come up with a duty list. There may in fact already be a duty list that is being ignored. If the board does not make a good-faith effort, all you need in FL is 10% of owners (if you're a condo association) to start a recall of the board. Look at the Florida Statues available on the internet - make sure you're looking at the correct laws that apply to you - are you a condo association or a homeowners association? Believe it or not, the laws governing each are different. Your governing docs will spell out your association's exact name, condo or homeowners. The laws governing condos, trailer parks, and time shares in FL are not the same as for homeowners associations. If you're a condo, see 718 in the FL statutes, if homeowners, see 720. Arm yourself with the fact.

posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 9:48 AM by Kay Borden

In this day and age, hiring a full time person to perform maintenance on behalf of the HOA is not good business. What you have indicated as issues are just a small example. In addition, the HOA has to pay unemployment, social security, and state/federal taxes. 
My recommendation would be to release the maintenance man. Then, based on the tasks at hand, hire contractors. You need the interior common areas clean, contract a cleaning company. You need common area windows washed from the outside, contract a window cleaning company. Get a landscaper, if you don't have one already, to maintain the exterior common areas. Within each of the contracts, specify the details of what is expected of each contractor as well as a clause that if they do not meet the expected quality standards of the Board, they will be notified and have 30 days to improve or the contract becomes null and void. There are plenty of contractors looking for work and people looking for employment so they should be competitively priced and eager to please. 
Our HOA has nothing but contractors and it works well. Our landscaper was willing to purchase an industrial vacuum cleaner to clean the parking area under our buildings just to secure the contract and he is less expensive than our previous landscaper.

posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 9:59 AM by Ron - NC

I am an ex-board member in our HOA which is a New York "not for profit" corporation. I was in charge of snow removal last year so I knew all terms and conditions of the service contract.  
This year there is a new contract and I have been denied the opportunity to see the new contract. Our most recent snow storm has cost us $100k more than the previous contract. Can the board deny me the right to see this new contract

posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 10:07 AM by Ralph Rocha

How do you know he is a full time maintenance man? How do you know they only pay him for incidental repairs? He works at the pleasure of the board of directors and the management , if you have any. Take this up with the board and get some clarification and then see if you have a valid reason to complain. And what do your other unit owners say about this. It sounds like an agenda item at your next annual meeting.

posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 10:57 AM by John Mastro

I believe Kay Borden has the right idea. We have 27 acres and several buildings to maintain. Over the past 10 years we have closed several on-site maintenance positions and switched to outside contractors. The improvement in site maintenance was absolutely spectacular. The problem with on-site maintenance personnel is the lack of supervision. Nobody knows what they are doing and usually over time there is no supervision. When you contract out the maintenance, either the job is done according to contract, or you find a new contractor. The Board of Directors does not get cozy with maintenance personnel and can demand the job be done right or they can find someone that will.

posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 11:15 AM by Don

Any percieved or alleged lack of performance by any employee or contractor of an HOA or Condo Assoc. is going to be have to be addressed by the chain of command and that person s immediate supervisor. That might be your managing agent or the Board of Directors or Administrators. The original poster should start by contacting the board members and the management office, if any and get some answers on how this guy is paid, for how much and what he is expected to do and who monitors him. The original poster also has the option of getting a look at the financial accounts to see how disbursements are made on cleaning, and repairs, and how this employee is compensated. If there is a contract you should be able to review it.

posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 11:31 AM by john_mastro

The Board conducts HOA business on behalf of all the owners. As such, a Board is typically not required to share the details of any contract they have entered into, though in this case there should be no contract for a full time employee. 
Actual degrees of disclosure is dependent on a HOA governing documents as well as state and sometimes local laws.

posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 11:47 AM by Ron - NC

Ron_NC, may be correct. I keep thinking more in terms of my state. I would not like that the amounts and contract terms be hidden from a unit owner.

posted @ Sunday, March 10, 2013 12:16 PM by john mastro

To all contributors - there continues to be the use of HOA for an entirely different legal entity - condominium. Many of the issues submitted receive incorrect replies due to this misuse of HOA - which stands for homeowners association. There are different legal descriptions and in most states separate legislative regulations for the two different entities.  
Across the nation, many well-run condominiums have onsite staff hired by the board and supervised by the Administrator (also an association employee). In smaller communities, perhaps the utilization of management company personnel or outside contractors is more reliable due to better supervision of their services. All employees of an association, full or part-time, should have job descriptions and normally have contracts. Prior to hiring personnel or contractors, the board should determine the responsibility for supervision. Some condos utilize contractors for certain cleaning or specific landscaping jobs while still requiring maintenance personnel.  
Ron, North Carolina may not legislate access to the books and records of an association. However, most states do, and the courts normally hold that these are to be available to members.  
To the original contributor - perhaps a conversation with one board member will open up an opportunity to contribute to the community. Drafting job descriptions may be a challenge for the board and a retired business owner or administrator would be welcomed for this assignment. Then, even with contractors, some homeowners available during the day make excellent resources for providing check-ups on work to be performed or even to being appointed as "the condo" supervisor for specific work. Communities where people participate rather than just complain are more efficiently managed and receive recognition as "good places to live." This recognition may range from good home sales to public acknowledgement.  

posted @ Monday, March 11, 2013 12:36 AM by Nancy Jacobsen

Contributor - I'm an attorney in NW FL that specializes in association matters. This issue isn't uncommon. Couple of quick points/comments:  
first, it seems tough to believe that a 100 unit condo has enough maintenance issues to support a full time maintenance person. I generally discourage associations from hiring their own employees because the benefit doesn't justify the cost (salary, insurance, SS, etc.).  
Second, frequently maintenance people are asked to do things for owners/managers while on the clock for the association. Occasionally, the association will contact out the maintenance person to do owner repairs but it take a far amount of organization from the board/management company.  
Third, to solve the issue at hand, ask the maintenance person to keep a log of their work. It shouldn't be difficult to account for the persons time. You might find that the association doesn't need somebody full time. Most of those guys are hardworking folks trying to make a living and will want to accommodate the board's request and show that they are staying busy.  
I can't tell from the question whether your association has a manager, but in case it does not, I highly encourage it to get a strong knowledgeable manager. The benefit of a solid manager almost also exceeds the cost and would hopefully preempt this issue entirely.  
Best of luck.  

posted @ Monday, March 11, 2013 10:27 AM by Brandon

You weren't afraid to post on this blog so go to your Association meeting and use the same words to the board that you wrote on this blog!

posted @ Monday, March 11, 2013 11:44 AM by Victor

Hear Hear!! Victor. 
So many of these questions that should not be asked on this forum: 
1) The original posters need to first RYDF (Read Your Documents First),  
2) Review your own state states , first, 
3) take up issues with their association manager, their board of directors , first, and their fellow unit owners first. 
Do not people read and understand what they are buying into when they into a Condominium Association?

posted @ Monday, March 11, 2013 12:07 PM by john mastro

The fact that the building is filthy means negligence of your common elements. You have every right to be concerned. Without threats write a letter to your board being very specific about the things that are not cleaned. You might want to keep a photo log of the conditions you mentioned. 
I would suggest that you do not approach the employee, but go to your bod.  
Again be very specific and courteous in addressing these problems. No owners should have to live in filth.

posted @ Monday, March 11, 2013 12:38 PM by serola

Hear, Hear, John!! People generally do not read or understand their governing documents when buying into an association of condo. Here in Maine, for condominiums, state law requires that potential condo buyers be provided with a copy of by-laws, declarations, rules, current budgets, the latest income statements and balance sheets and a "certificate" containing other financial information, all at least five days prior to closing. If not, a potential buyer can back out of the purchase regardless of anything else. But, in my ten years of board members experience, I am quite aware that potential buyers either do not read or do not understand any of that stuff, resulting in a great deal of misunderstanding. Board members usually groan when a new owner appears because we know they will ask for or demand many things and require an education of what community living is all about. Our association also provides potential owners with a "Condominium Living" package with more detail. That does not always work either. You are correct, John, that a lot of stuff would not appear here if folks would just take the time to read.

posted @ Monday, March 11, 2013 2:15 PM by RPB

You might want to just hire a service instead of a maintenance man. You need people that will actually show up to fix things and wash the windows. That's a mark of true professionals. 
Anita Mas | http://www.pristinewindowcleaning.com.au

posted @ Friday, July 18, 2014 6:49 PM by Anita Mas

Even with a self-managed employee, he should still be accountable for how he spends his time. There are a lot of maintenance on a property that can't be put off forever. In my area, the trees that didn't get pruned in time are now ugly and stunted. Have someone on the board open for him to report his time to. A little accountability can do wonders. 
Jenn | http://www.cvltreeservice.com

posted @ Tuesday, July 22, 2014 11:20 AM by Jennifer Davies

Does he have a way to account for his time? A full-time maintenance man should take better care of the property than that. If he can't get the job done, then you need to hire someone else. 
Marc | http://www.solveall.com.au

posted @ Friday, August 15, 2014 11:33 AM by Marcus Fillion

Surely someone has a phone contact number for him? Suggest they give him a call and tell him they underpaid him on his last check, but he needs to pick it up. When he comes to get it fire him. In the mean time suggest they find someone new to do the work not being done and the many other jobs that will have to be done in the mean time. 
No, unless everyone takes advantage of "on site repairs in individual units" as part of your condo fee accountability, then NO one should have the privilege unless they can prove they paid him "after hours" of his condo duties.

posted @ Friday, August 15, 2014 12:23 PM by Another Voice

This sounds like a serious issue. Did he sign a contract with your board? Check if he has set list of responsibilities like window cleaning, broken faucet, etc. I would confront him and ask for help directly. http://www.clearviewkansas.com/overland-park.html

posted @ Thursday, August 28, 2014 8:39 PM by Guy Miflin

This is definitely a problem. I say you fire him and get a new guy! Someone who is a professional handyman and is in the property management business. I think you should talk to your board immediately. Your money is going down the drain. http://www.marcinegroup.com/en/

posted @ Monday, September 22, 2014 8:20 PM by Guy Miflin

I'm not sure the regulations for my HOA that I'm in. We've been lucky so far that we haven't had a problem (it has only been a year though). I hope everything works out. http://www.pennyplumbing.com/services/

posted @ Tuesday, September 23, 2014 7:26 PM by Lars

I have noticed that our repairman has been missing for a few weeks as well. He hasn't cleaned up the windows or the garbage in the streets. Hopefully they are a new one soon. http://www.swindowcleaning.com/#!services/c66t

posted @ Wednesday, September 24, 2014 4:48 PM by Jim

I'd recommend contacting a window cleaning company. For common area I think the association should be responsible, but for tenants windows, it should be their responsibility. Its always good to leave it to the professionals. http://www.swindowcleaning.com

posted @ Saturday, September 27, 2014 12:49 PM by Gary Birtles

I was wondering what to do if this situation ever occurred. We have been looking at different properties and one we saw recently was a mess. Who do you contact to help them clean up the area? It really needs some attention. http://www.acrmechanicallv.com/preventativemaintenance.html

posted @ Wednesday, October 15, 2014 5:32 PM by Lynn Chase

Post Comment
Website (optional)

Allowed tags: <a> link, <b> bold, <i> italics