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Not all Inspection are the Same.

In this article, we'll discuss some property inspection timelines and rules of thumb.

January-March Property inspections during the winter are best spent meeting with contractors quoting projects for the year, looking for any major damage from storms, and following up from snow removal service. This focus sets you up for success with your projects when the weather changes and is appropriate for the work to begin.

If you want to do anything regarding compliance, this would be the time to confirm the list of issues you want to remedy or prevent and start communicating that information with the community. This proactive approach has been helpful in achieving resolution prior to the enforcement season begins.

April-June – This is generally the busiest time of year for inspections, so setting up committees is really helpful in achieving good results.

The number one priority is landscaping. You are looking at timing for the mowing season to start, lawn care applications to prevent weeds, bed weeding, spring cleanup, and pruning. I recommend meeting with the landscape representative once per month during this time of year to know the plan for the month and to review performance from the prior month.

The second focus is project performance. Make sure to have eyes on the craftsmanship and look for any incidental damage. Performing a thorough inspection with the contractor following the completion of the project and prior to issuing payment will ensure you can put a stamp of approval on the project without unnecessary delay.

This period should also be the most aggressive period for compliance, as this is the biggest window of opportunity to work with owners toward a resolution of any issues. Waiting too long in the season results in temperature changes that may prohibit the completion of some projects. A common example is painting mailboxes that are rusty or peeling paint.

July-September – Most of the time, compliance issues have been remedied and only a few come up this time of the year, so continued focus on compliance should take place, but the time commitment is reduced. This is the same with service performance. If you set the stage and start the year off well, they continue to perform well throughout the remaining half of the season.

You will want to keep an eye on maintenance items though. Owners call about maintenance items more often this time of year, making a budget overrun risky.

Doing an annual budget inspection to create a list of project ideas as well as reviewing property conditions and comparing them to the reserve study projections will be helpful for your budget meeting.

October-December – Time to cleanup so next year can be efficient and productive.

For those lingering compliance items, now is the time to perform self-help (hiring a company to remedy the issue and charge the expense to the owner).

Though not as busy as springtime, landscape seasonal cleanup should be monitored closely so you don’t miss your seasonal window of opportunity.

You should also have a list of projects to perform next year as approved in your budget, so now is the time to take pictures, do assessments, and create thorough job scopes so you can get quotes while contractors are slow.

Special Note: How Many Violation Letters Is Too Many?

If you are sending more than 20% of your association a compliance letter following any one inspection, there is something going on that needs more thought and discussion.

by Arnold Barzak| Capital Property Solutions

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