Condo Safety: What owners need to know about maintenance and reserves

By Dawn Bauman
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Following the tragic partial collapse of Champlain Tower South in Surfside, Fla., in June 2021, CAI convened three task forces to explore changes to laws and best practices for the community association housing model that may help other communities avoid this type of devastation and to provide solutions for legislators seeking to address building safety in their districts.

Over a three-month period, more than 600 people participated in CAI’s process through conversations, surveys, research, interviews, and identifying clear recommendations. Reserve analysts, attorneys, insurance and risk management professionals, developers, engineers, architects, community association managers, and homeowner leaders contributed. The teams also engaged stakeholders across the globe and from a wide range of disciplines, expertise, interests, and organizations.

The task forces vetted ideas with experts in their field and local practitioners, including board members, managers, and business partners, to ensure practical, reasonable, and meaningful recommendations. The teams were guided by data, inclusivity, and transparency.

The teams knew they needed to meet the demands of multiple stakeholders—state legislators seeking to introduce legislation in 2022 sessions, congressional representatives looking for immediate solutions for their constituents, federal housing finance agencies hoping to mitigate their risks, the private insurance market trying to mitigate their risks, and homeowners and residents of condominiums and housing cooperatives expecting to feel safe in their homes.

The final public policy positions were reviewed by the CAI Government and Public Affairs Committee and approved by the CAI Board of Trustees in October.

CAI’s Condominium Safety Public Policy Report provides very specific recommendations on reserve studies and funding, building maintenance, and structural integrity. A summary of the recommendations is included below. The complete report—with an overview of how the recommendations were developed and a detailed explanation of the recommendations—is available at www.caionline.org/condosafety.

HOAresources.com explores questions and comments from community association members living in condominiums, homeowners associations, and housing cooperatives. We then assemble trusted experts to provide practical solutions to your most commonly asked, timely questions. We never use real names, but we always tackle real issues. Have a question or comment about your community association? Submit here for consideration:

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Dawn Bauman

Dawn Bauman, Senior Vice President of Government & Public Affairs. As CAI’s lead advocate for federal and state legislative and regulatory affairs, Dawn works with volunteer leaders throughout the country serving on CAI legislative action and government affairs committees to advocate for strong and sensible public policy for America’s community associations.