Standards, Best Practices, and Public Policy Following Surfside Condo Collapse

Standards, Best Practices, and Public Policy Following Surfside Condo Collapse

[ Blog/News ]

Standards, Best Practices, and Public Policy Following Surfside Condo Collapse

The past two weeks have been devastating after witnessing the partial collapse of the Champlain Tower South condominium in Surfside, Fla., learning of the lives that perished, and seeing the tragedy’s impact on survivors and those in the immediate community. An investigation into the cause of the condo collapse is ongoing; standards of practice and legal requirements related to ensuring maintenance and structural integrity of condominiums understandably are coming under scrutiny.

While community associations have been in existence for more than a century, the rise in condominium developments began in the 1970s and has remained steady ever since. Condominiums are home to millions of people in the U.S., and government officials at the local, state, and federal levels have started pondering what changes need to occur to prevent a similar building collapse from happening again.

CAI’s Government and Public Affairs Committee recently convened a special meeting with guests who offer a broad range of expertise to discuss current best practices, standards, and public policies related to condominium structural requirements. This working group will help CAI establish guidance and model language for CAI’s state legislative action committees as well as considerations for state legislators. Below are the overarching themes of the discussion:

Building Inspections & Maintenance:

Several counties in Florida have inspection obligations that require a structural and electrical engineer or architect to conduct a building inspection and certify the safety of the building. New York City and other localities have similar requirements. CAI is studying these requirements to help develop standards for condominiums and other high-rise residential buildings.

Reserve Study Planning:

Reserve studies for condominium associations are currently required in nine states: California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and Washington state. Washington statutorily encourages associations to have a reserve study performed every three years unless doing so would impose an unreasonable hardship. Florida statute does not require a reserve study but requires a reserve schedule for repair and replacement of major components.

The Foundation for Community Association Research has a Best Practices Report on reserve studies and reserves management that was updated in 2020. CAI is reviewing reserve funding best practices and requirements to determine if changes are needed.

Funding For Maintenance, Repair, & Replacement of Major Components:

Condominium associations are required to have reserve funding for maintenance, repair, and replacement of major components in 11 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, and Oregon. CAI will be exploring tax benefits to incentivize association reserve funding as well as for special assessments and loans used to fund component maintenance, repair, and replacement.

Insurance:

CAI is reviewing best practices and standards for adequate insurance coverage for condominiums and individual units.

CAI is uniquely positioned to lead the conversation on these standards, best practices, and policy changes to benefit our more than 42,000 members, the 73.5 million Americans living in community associations, and the millions more living in community associations around the world.

We will continue to engage in conversations with members, experts, and stakeholders in the community association housing model to strengthen existing standards and public policy in these areas.

If you have comments, opinions, or expertise in any of these areas & would like to contribute to the conversation, please email government@caionline.org. End Of Article

Condo Safety - Structural Integrity, Maintenance, And Reserves - Community Associations Institute - Click to Go to CAI's Web Page

Right now CAI is providing information & resources to help concerned residents and board members understand structural integrity, maintenance, and reserves.

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Commonly Ignored Best Practices of Commercial Landscape Maintenance

Commonly Ignored Best Practices of Commercial Landscape Maintenance

[ Blog/News ]

Commonly Ignored Best Practices of Commercial Landscape Maintenance

How you care for your plants makes all the difference in the lifespan and overall look of them. Here are some best practice tips for landscape maintenance:

Pruning

Pruning ClippersThe difference between hard pruning versus using hedge shears is significant when not shearing the correct plants. The more you improperly prune your plants, the more often you will need to be outside pruning them. Keeping the significant pruning to hard pruning in the winter will make a difference in how time consuming your plants are throughout the rest of the year.

Trees

TreeClearing low-hanging branches and overgrown plant material will open up lines of sight into your property, decrease potential hazards and eliminate safety concerns of individuals hiding in your plants.

Mowing

Lawn MowerWith the weight of a commercial mower and mowing in the same direction each week, your turf is prone to having a matted look, unhealthy and unsightly grass. You can help fix that by alternating your mowing pattern each visit encouraging standing turf.

Fertilizer

FertilizerFertilizer can be a great resource for your turf and plants, but too much of it can harm your landscape. Commonly referred to as fertilizer burn, having too much can cause yellow, brown or dead sections. Additionally, the more you apply fertilizer, the more dependent your turf & plants become on that particular fertilizer to look and stay healthy. Leaving your grass clippings is a great way to naturally fertilize your lawn. Organic fertilizers are also a great way to have a more balanced and sustainable landscape.

Seasonal Planting

Flower - AnnualsAnnuals are a great way to add seasonal color to your landscape, whether they are around entrances, signage, walkways or plant beds giving a fresh and updated look to a potentially older property.

Landscape Debris

Wheelbarrow - Yard DebrisCleaning up the landscape debris after you are done maintaining your property, instead of blowing it into the street or a native area will help you to be more responsible as a community association manager or owner and it will make your property and the surrounding areas more appealing and help to reduce pollution problems.

Mulch

GlovesHaving a mulch bed around your trees helps protect the trees’ trunks from mechanical damage caused by mowers and trimmers and improves the overall appearance of the property. Mulching your beds throughout the property can help nourish your plants, increase curb appeal & reduce weed infestation.

Proper Equipment

Gardening ToolsOne mistake seen frequently is people using the wrong equipment for the task at hand. Whether it is hand pruners, string trimmers or mowers, be sure that you or your service provider is giving you the proper and best resources for maintaining your landscape.

Misunderstanding the pitfalls caused by regular landscape maintenance can lead to long-term failure of your landscape. Focusing on the ‘big picture’ of your property and where you want to take the landscape can have a lasting impact on your budget, overall aesthetic and how much effort is required to keep the property looking good long term. End Of Article

(Editor’s Note: This blog article first appeared in the May 2018 issue of Community Associations Journal.)
By Tim Hawkins

By Tim Hawkins

Owner, Brookstone Landscape & Design

Having been involved in the landscape industry for over 15 years, Tim Hawkins takes pride in developing solutions and opportunities for people! In his free time, he enjoys running marathons and spending time with his family.

  • Porter Construction Inc - Building With Integrity - www.porterci.com
  • Barker Martin
  • The Copeland Group - Banner Ad
  • Condominium Law Group, PLLC - General Counsel & Collection Services - Partners Ken Harer & Valerie Oman - Phone: (206) 633-1520 Website: www.condolaw.net
  • Pody & McDonald, PLLC - Ad
  • Alliance Association Bank - Ad
  • Rafel Law Group - Banner Ad
  • Newman HOA CPA - Banner Ad
  • HUB International NW - HOA And Condo Solutions - Web Ad

Search WSCAI


Search Business Partners Directory


Diamond Sponsors

  • Superior Cleaning & Restoration - A COIT Service Company - Logo
  • Rafel Law Group PLLC - Logo
  • Association Reserves WA - Logo
  • RW Anderson Services - Logo
  • HUB International NW - Logo
  • SageWater - Logo
  • CIT - Community Association Banking - Logo
  • Columbia Bank - Logo
  • ServPro Of Seattle NW - Logo
  • Newman HOA CPA - Audit & Tax - Logo
  • Agynbyte - Logo
  • CAU - Community Association Underwriters - Logo

Chapter Magazine

journal-november-december-2022-pumpkin-pie

Nov/Dec 2022 Issue

Journal Advertising Partners:

  • Newman HOA CPA Audit & Tax
  • Rafel Law Group PLLC - Logo
  • The Copeland Group - Logo
  • Bell-Anderson & Associates - Logo
  • Community Association Underwriters - Logo
  • Ruff Construction - logo
  • Charter Construction - Logo
  • Popular Association Banking
  • Association Reserves WA - Logo
  • SSI Construction
  • Sagewater
  • Pacific Building Envelope, Inc - Logo

  • Pacific Western Bank - Small Ad
  • Association Reserves of Washington - Ad
  • Ryan Swanson - Jo Flannery - Flannery @ryanlaw.com