As the summer wraps up and people's routines change, so do the needs of your community. While the lead-up to the holidays and the new year is busy for most people, it is important not to neglect maintenance tasks and preparation for the winter. Here are some important areas for the HOA leadership to focus on during this time of year.
General Property Upkeep
In most parts of the country, pools are closed due to the cooler weather. This makes the early fall a great time to arrange for any needed pool maintenance. Make a thorough inspection of the pool and surrounding facilities to look for any required repairs or desirable upgrades that can be made before the following summer.
Other areas that should be examined for any needed maintenance or upgrades include playgrounds, walking trails, and landscaping. Accomplishing these tasks before winter sets in makes the transition between seasons smoother and ensures your community is ready to use all of its facilities come spring.
Repairs and purchases need to be scheduled and accounted for in the budget. Planning early allows ample time to compare costs and flexibility with scheduling. It also ensures that things are done properly and gives you time to make sure that funds are available. In the event that your community's current budget does not allow for all the necessary repairs, having cost estimates ready will be crucial for requesting changes in the upcoming year's budget.
Planning For The New Year
The closer you get to the holidays, the busier people are. That is why early autumn is the perfect time to schedule meetings and plan organizational tasks that need to be done before the end of the year.
For many communities, this is a good time of year to hold an annual meeting. Be sure to follow any state laws regarding specific time frames in which homeowners must be notified of meetings, and make sure an itinerary is available to everyone ahead of time. The itinerary should allow time for people's concerns to be addressed while also ensuring the meeting stays on track.
While it is important to think about issues such as community finances, repairs, and the upcoming year's budget, it is also a good time to remind residents of their responsibilities regarding their own property maintenance. It can be helpful to send out a checklist to homeowners encouraging tasks such as:
- Changing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Replacing the furnace filter and ensuring the furnace works properly before cold weather sets in
- Having fireplaces inspected and cleaned
- Draining gasoline from landscaping equipment prior to storage
- Checking the home's exterior for any cracks or holes
Make Time For Community Building
While you are handling all of the responsibilities that come with the end of the year, don't forget to enjoy the season as well. In addition to changing the landscaping to include heartier plants, you can do other things to make the scenery in your community more pleasant. Putting up fall-themed decorations is an easy way to lift everyone's mood as the days grow shorter.
October is a great time for the community to get together and have fun. Some ideas for activities can include a fall festival, a house decorating contest with a Halloween theme, and a community trick or treat. Activities are a great way to bring the community together as well as a means to build pride in your neighborhood.
Handling the responsibilities of leading your HOA can be intimidating and difficult to manage within an already busy schedule. For professional support and assistance with this task, contact us!