With the changing season, associations across the country will be dealing with the Three Ps – Pools, Parking and Pets. The Three Ps tend to pose problems for most associations during the spring and summer months. With a little advanced planning and regular attention to these issues, associations can reduce the headaches these common issues cause.
Prior to opening the association pool, boards should conduct a “Pool Contract Checkup.” Boards should review pool contracts with special attention to: (i) Cost – is the cost within budget? How much did it increase from last year?; (ii) Inclusions – what is included, are chemicals extra? How often is the pool company going to clean and balance the pool? If the pool needs additional maintenance, how much is the additional cost?; (iii) Pool Monitors – are these costs included in the contract? What are the minimum qualifications of a pool monitor?; (iv) What is the term of the Agreement? When does the association have the ability to enter into new contracts? ; (v) Are the Association’s pool signs clear, legible, Federal Housing Act compliant? By answering these questions in advance, boards will be able to enjoy the summer breezes by the pool.
Summer brings barbeques, guests and the inevitable parking headaches. Prior to the influx of family and friends, boards should: (i) Make sure guest parking is clearly indicated in the parking lots so private spaces are not taken; (ii) Ensure parking spaces clearly marked, including lines and numbers; (iii) If the Association tows vehicles, signs should be clearly posted throughout the parking areas indicating the towing company and a phone number to contact the company; (iv) Fire Lanes and no parking areas should be clearly marked; (v) At the beginning of Spring, boards should send reminders to all owners of the association’s parking rules. The rules should be made readily available to all owners and tenants and must be implemented in a fair and non-discriminatory manner. Boards may also want to review the rules to make sure the parking rules are in compliance with the association’s governing documents. This will avoid any claims from angry owners that boards may have acted inappropriately.
While dogs are undoubtedly the best friends of many residents, the faithful companions can wreak havoc on lawns and common areas. Prior to the commencement of the warmer months, boards should review the association rules for the following: (i) association policy in relation to off leash pets – may pets be off leash in the common elements? What is the consequence? How is it enforced?; (ii) Removal of all waste and the consequences for failure to do so; and (iii) Strays – who receives the complaints? How does the association respond? Remember that the association is not animal control. Boards should never attempt to capture stray animals, even if only temporarily while waiting for animal control, since boards can never be sure of the temperament of the dog nor how the owner will react. Association policies should clearly state that complaints regarding stray dogs should be forwarded to the county animal control agency; (iv) Are the rules consistent with the Declaration?