Preventative Maintenance Legislation Change
With a little under 8 months until the Minnesota legislation changes, it is important for property managers to discuss with boards how this new legislation will affect their associations. Starting January 1, 2019, MCIOA requires associations to implement, fund and follow a written preventative maintenance plan.
Minn. Stat. § 515B.3-107(b):
“ The association’s board of directors shall prepare and approve a written preventative maintenance plan, maintenance schedule, and maintenance budget for the common elements. The association shall follow the approved preventative maintenance plan. * * * The association must provide all unit owners with a paper copy, electronic copy, or electronic access to the preventative maintenance plan, the maintenance schedule, and any amendments or modifications to or replacements of the preventative maintenance plan and the maintenance schedule. If a common interest community was created on or before August 1, 2017, the association’s board of directors shall have until January 1, 2019, to comply with the requirements of this subsection.”
What does Preventative Maintenance mean?
- Preventative Maintenance is considered recurring and on-going maintenance necessary to delay or prevent the failure of critical and non-critical building systems and equipment.
- A Preventative Maintenance Plan (“PMP) is to assess and report on “common elements” but in many associations (particularly townhomes), the association’s maintenance responsibilities are broader and cover parts of the Units. Best practice is to have a preventative maintenance plan address the association’s maintenance responsibilities in the Declaration.
- A Preventative Maintenance Plan should be viewed as a companion to the reserve fund – the elements the Association should do to ensure the building components last their expected useful life.
How to ensure compliance
- Have an attorney review the association’s declaration, physical layout of the property and MCIOA to assess what components must be maintained, and prepare a written preventative maintenance plan for the board’s approval.
- Hire a contractor to perform the inspections and document the findings in writing. Distribute the report to the homeowners.
- Do the work the contractor recommends! MCIOA requires the plan to be followed and acted on. It’s not enough to just get a report.
- Every association’s maintenance responsibilities is different – the components to be inspected will vary from association to association.
- Preventative maintenance is not a forensic inspection. It’s not designed to identify or correct latent or hidden problems or defects.
- If an association does not adopt a plan, there is potential exposure to liability if problems arise that could have been addressed via proper preventative maintenance.
- A Preventative Maintenance Plan gives a “snapshot” of the property’s condition on a particular date, which could be helpful with insurance claims as and if they arise.