A man conducting an exterior inspection at an elderly residents home

HOA Exterior Inspections: What Are They and What Do They Do?

One of the more common procedural tasks handled by property management companies is periodic exterior inspections. These inspections, typically made by management companies, with the assistance of the HOA board members in facilitating them, are an important part of maintaining an HOA’s quality and living standards dictated by state and local laws. 

Management company inspections are usually handled on a rolling basis. These periodic inspections could be anywhere from a monthly to an annual occurrence. The needs of the HOA should dictate the frequency of these occurrences to create a joint agreement brought together between the management company and respective HOA board, following any rules or regulations specified in the HOA’s governing documents regarding inspection times. 

What is an HOA Exterior Inspection?

Although HOA inspections can include all kinds of areas within the HOA, here we are mainly focused on exterior inspections, what those encompass, and how to make sure as a property manager you’re able to inspect the entirety of the HOA’s exteriors exhaustively.

Exterior inspections are primarily focused on the exterior structures of the buildings within the HOA, whether those be individual residences or community buildings. 

These inspections remain important for several reasons:

  1. Exterior inspections allow the HOA to maintain its community standards and property value year over year to attract new residents and keep existing residents.
  2. Inspections work as a good-faith measure on behalf of the management company to ensure that, if aspects of the HOA are deteriorating, they have the records to prove it and subsequently fix those issues.
  3. Inspections are also a way of enforcing standards from the residents’ end and providing homeowners with a scheduled inspection to let them know where there may be violations around their house.

By doing so, the management company and HOA board can further establish whether those deteriorations warrant fixing and whether the HOA or the homeowner will be responsible for doing so. 

What is included in an Exterior Inspection?

This is a fairly relative question (as you will see from this example) that may depend on the HOA you’re inspecting and how your management company and the HOA board decide to consider certain aspects of the community. For instance, many community amenities or common areas within an HOA may be considered “exterior,” such as a community pool or parking lot. Still, they may fall under a completely different type of inspection. However, in almost all cases, exterior inspections will focus on the outside components directly attached to formed structures and buildings around the HOA. 

Examples of what these outside components consist of during an inspection:

  • Gutters
  • Drains
  • Gas lines
  • Windows
  • Exterior vents
  • Roofs
  • Satellite installations

If it is decided that the exterior items list should be expanded to more community-based areas, these inspections could include:

  • Landscaping and lawns
  • Parking lots
  • Playgrounds
  • Fences.

This is where your management company and the HOA board should look towards the HOA rules or agree on how to itemize these inspections and decide where certain HOA structures should fall.

Still feeling a little confused about where to get started on organizing an efficient and thorough exterior inspection? Download our HOA Exterior Inspections Checklist that shows property managers what to be documenting during an exterior inspection and what they should be looking for during their analysis. 

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