By: Connie Phillips
As the winter quickly approaches, being prepared for snow removal from HOA and POA parking lots and community roads is very important.
Associations are responsible for the snow removal. City or county requirements may differ so be sure that you, as a board member or Association Manager are aware of the requirements for snow removal in the city or county which your properties are located in. Some areas may require that the association is responsible for removing the snow from the roads and sidewalks of the community common areas. Others state that it is up to the association to decide but if the snow is removed from the roads, it has to be removed from the sidewalks also. In other words, an association cannot have the snow removed from the roads of the community but not remove it from the sidewalks of the community. It is all or nothing.
More times than not the landscaping company that is contracted with the association for landscaping services will be the company that the association can and most likely will use if they provide snow removal services. If the community does not have a contract with a landscaping company or the landscaping company that they use does not offer snow removal services, you as a board member or manager will still need to make arrangements for snow removal from the community.
Please remember to work with qualified and licensed contractors. You should obtain a signed contract with a hold harmless clause in favor of the association. Always remember to request a certificate of insurance for BOTH General Liability and Workers Compensation. Be sure to have the association and management firm named on the General Liability as additional insureds.
If you currently do not have a contractor that will offer snow removal, it is wise to reach out to companies that do offer snow removal services as soon as possible to “get on their schedule.” As you can imagine they get very busy and will have numerous communities requesting their services. If you are an existing customer of said landscaping company, you will get priority. Next in line would be the communities that called early to get on the schedule. After that and IF time, manpower and available equipment permits, anyone else will be fit on the schedule.
It is worth a few phones calls this time of year before time slips away. Before we know it they are calling for the white stuff that can cripple cities and counties!
PLAN AHEAD and HAPPY WINTER! ☺
P.S. One last reminder, be sure to inform home owners that you can’t promise or guarantee that the property will be fully protected against hazards associated with snow and ice. You should ALWAYS be cautious. Additionally, make it clear that you are doing everything in your power to make their community safe and free from the elements.