HOA service requests come in all shapes and sizes. But, more often than not, associations don’t have the tools and resources to handle each one.
What Are the Most Common HOA Service Requests Boards Receive?
Homeowners and condo associations collect regular dues from their members. They use these dues to fund the various expenses in the community, including insurance and management fees. These dues also go into maintenance and repairs of common elements as well as shared facilities.
Every once in a while, though, these elements can break down or become damaged, resulting in a need for repairs. Boards may not always notice these damages, so it is up to the homeowners to report them.
This is where service requests come in. Service requests, also known as work orders, are requests that homeowners or staff members submit to the association. Typically, the HOA manager or HOA board will review these requests and take action if necessary. These service requests come in different forms, though some are more common than others.
1. Broken Windows and Entryways
Whether it is at the clubhouse or shared as a common element in a condo, broken windows and entryways are nothing to brush off. A damaged door, for instance, might not close or lock properly, making it a security issue. A damaged window is the same way, but with the added risk of being dangerous to others.
No matter the damage or condition, it is imperative that boards inspect these service requests right away. In doing so, they can prevent further damage and make needed repairs immediately.
2. Damaged Sidewalk or Road
For non-gated homeowners associations, sidewalks and roads likely fall under the jurisdiction of the local government. In that case, if an HOA receives a service request concerning sidewalks and roads, it is best to forward it to the correct authority.
There are many homeowners associations, though, that are located inside gated subdivisions. For such communities, the responsibility of repairing sidewalks and roads may fall on the HOA. It is not uncommon for streets and sidewalks to become damaged after prolonged use. These surfaces suffer damages due to accidents, too.
When an owner submits a service request for this, boards must spring into action. That way, no further damages and accidents can occur. Moreover, damaged sidewalks and roads contribute to lower curb appeal.
Potential homebuyers will take one look at the state of these surfaces and immediately walk away. Leaving sidewalks and roads in disrepair for a long time can give the impression that the association does not care about the upkeep of the community.
3. Malfunctioning Elevators
Elevators are more common in condo or high-rise communities, though it is not unheard of to find them in the common facilities of single-family communities. Regardless of where they are located, elevators should receive regular maintenance. Boards must hire a professional to inspect all elevators on a routine basis to see if everything is working well.
But, even with regular inspections, elevator breakdowns can still happen. When an owner reports this to the HOA, boards must act quickly. A malfunctioning elevator is not only a nuisance but can also pose certain dangers to the well-being of members. This can result in potential liability for the association.
4. Water Filter Replacement
Some HOA communities use shared water filters. When these water filters become worn or accumulate a lot of sediment, they can affect the quality of water that comes out of the tap. Before long, the board will receive tons of the same service requests from unit owners simultaneously. Since water filters are more of a health issue, it is best to replace them when necessary and when the board gets a lot of complaints.
Proper landscaping can breathe new life into any space. The added greens and beautiful layout can significantly boost the curb appeal in a community.
As such, it is important to have a professional company maintain the association’s landscaping.
Sometimes, though, bushes will begin to overgrow and the branches on trees will start to droop over. Grass will grow long and hedges will look unruly. An owner may submit a service request to have common area landscaping redone or retouched. In some communities, the HOA will hire a single landscaping company to take care of the common areas as well as individual owners’ homes (for a fee, of course).
6. Lightbulb Replacement
It may seem trivial to report a single dead lightbulb to the HOA, but it is still within the best interest of the community for the board to take a look at such a request. Replacing a lightbulb does not take a lot of time or effort. But, if the board notices that the same bulb always goes out, then there might be a larger underlying problem.
When replacing lightbulbs, it is a good idea to go with an energy-efficient option. Most local home improvement stores sell LED bulbs at affordable prices. These bulbs also tend to last longer, allowing for fewer service requests concerning lightbulb replacement.
7. Plumbing Requests
Whether it concerns a shared facility or a common element, plumbing requests are some of the most common HOA service requests boards will encounter. Plumbing systems can experience wear and tear, resulting in damage over time. When that happens, boards should expect owners to report the problem.
Boards must swiftly address any plumbing concerns. When left unresolved for even a short period of time, plumbing issues can quickly escalate and turn into water damage.
8. HVAC Maintenance
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems require regular maintenance. This will minimize the risk of a breakdown.
But, sometimes, an HVAC system will still suffer damage even with careful cleaning and maintenance. There are a number of things that can go wrong — from clogged air filters and damaged condensers to malfunctioning ignitions and refrigerant leaks. Whatever it may be, it is best for the board to take immediate action and have a professional deal with the problem.
9. Pool Cleaning
There is just something alluring about living in a community with a swimming pool. But, without proper care and maintenance, pools can quickly turn disgusting.
Homeowners associations can prevent this by actively maintaining a pool cleaning schedule. But, an owner might still lodge a request to clean the pool every now and then.
10. General Cleaning
Shared spaces can quickly become dirty in an HOA community, especially the larger ones. Boards should expect owners to file service requests asking for a common facility or area to be cleaned. This may be due to someone spilling a lot of food somewhere or walking inside with muddy shoes. Whatever the case may be, general cleaning is one of the most common requests associations will receive.
How to Handle HOA Service Requests Using Software
Juggling service requests used to be more difficult in the past. But, in the digital age, homeowners associations no longer need to rely on pen and paper. With HOA software, owners can simply submit service requests online through a member portal. The board or responsible committee will then receive these service requests, sorted in whatever way the board chooses.
It is also possible to combine similar service requests into one. This way, there is no need to respond to each request individually. Once a request has been addressed, the board can simply reply and close the ticket. Then, it is time to move on to the next one.
Another benefit of HOA software is scheduling. Homeowners associations can minimize the number of service requests they receive by following a proper maintenance schedule. A lot of software comes with maintenance scheduling options that boards can tailor to their own specific needs. Once a maintenance task comes up, the software will remind the board and contact the necessary vendor/s.
The Importance of HOA Service Requests
HOA service requests are essential to the smooth functioning of any planned community. These requests notify the board of any problems within the community, allowing the board to inspect the problem for any potential damage. In doing so, the board can address these problems before they worsen.
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