There is an expression, “It takes a village to”… (fill in the blank). In common interest communities, it takes collaboration, consensus and cooperation of three important parties. (1) The Board, (2) The Management, and (3) The Membership (residents). I like to say it takes a three-legged stool. Each party has a responsibility; the board, the management, and the owners. I am making a point. Try to stay with me….
The board is a quasi government, neighborhood watch and a corporation. They are tasked with real responsibility. They govern covenants, rules and regulations, enforcement and penalties. They levy fees (taxes) to run the community, and they are responsible for the maintenance of the common areas, and the health, safety and welfare of the members. In addition, they oversee the distribution of funds to cover the operations of the not-for-profit corporation. It is a unique enterprise.
Professional management provides for the practical day-to-day operations, inspections, personnel management, procurement, preventative maintenance, repairs and replacements, emergency response, and they are the vendor liaison for the association. They also respond to complaints, endeavor to resolve issues between neighbors, and respond to emergencies, to name a few.
Lastly, the owners have a shared responsibility. They are required to pay their maintenance dues on time, report any issues that require immediate attention, and notify the board or management of any unusual events that may, or may not, become a potential problem in the future. They have an obligation to inform management about any issues that arise after hours that may require immediate attention (eg. water intrusion, broken pipes, concrete, trip hazard, lights out, pests) or any other issue that occurs after hours.
It is only by working together as a balanced, three-legged stool, will the center hold. If one of the legs of the stool fails, the seat will not maintain stability. Imagine, a community that understands that each party has a responsibility to each other, and becomes invested in the common goal(s)? What an ideal to aspire to. I’m game, are you?
We need all three strong, solid legs for optimal success. I’m standing. Who will join me? Hello, Board? Hello, Owners?
Endeavor to persevere.
Tanoa Lynne Poirier is the Managing Principal at Poirier Enterprises Inc., specializing in the management of community associations, commercial and investment properties, and individual residences in South Florida.
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