IF I HAD ONE WISH…
Published May 4, 2022
Problems are part of life and business; however,
it's how we deal with the problems that separate those that move on
to other challenges and those that continue to repeat the issue. The
best way that I have found to solve simple and or complex problems
is to dig at them until you find the root cause.
I believe that most Board Members would take the
necessary steps to maintain their properties properly and do the
required preventative maintenance and repairs if they had the money.
However, so many associations in Florida struggle to maintain their
properties because of the lack of financial resources.
Unfortunately, I've seen firsthand how necessary repairs or
preventative maintenance get pushed off because money is limited or
The root cause of so many issues within
associations is their ability to waive reserves. If we took that
away from developers, board members, and members, we wouldn't be
having this discussion. In addition, to the ability to waive
reserves, another root cause is associations not being required to
conduct reserves studies every few years, so board members are up to
date on the expected cost in future years.
Businesses worldwide are successful when they
make decisions based on their data. It is no different for our
associations... if you have the data that tells you this is what you
can expect to spend in the next few years, and this is where you
stand today, the decision should be easy, and emotions wouldn't be
I've heard the argument many times before; if I
didn't live in an association and my roof was deteriorating, the law
wouldn't require me to save a reserve fund. I can decide to sell
my home right before, and the new owners will need to deal with it.
That statement is somewhat valid; however, you have to keep in mind
that you decided to move into an association with its own rules. In
most cases, your sale price will reflect a discount because of such
deterioration. However, in an association where roofs impact more
than one family, the new buyer rarely ever knows the actual
conditions of the building when they purchase because most
associations don't have these reports available or are not required
to provide them.
If reserves and reserve studies are not mandated
for associations, we will continue to play this same tune for years,
and nothing will change. Board members and managers will have to
deal with the ramifications of the decisions made by prior boards.
The sad truth is that if they took the time to understand the data
points in front of them and took away the emotions, the decision
would be easy... we will either fully fund our reserves or prepare a
sliding scale to fund over the next five years.
While many will disagree with my opinion, that's
ok. I've seen the impact of not having reserves for fifteen-plus
years now and, unfortunately, continue to live it, so I speak from
experience. I've also seen many associations with proper reserve
funding, and the challenges still exist and may still be complex,
but they are much less charged and emotional.