Construction defects can be an overwhelming issue for a community manager. They pit homeowners versus the Association versus the board members versus the developer and sometimes, versus the community manager. That is a lot to handle on top of the other universe of issues community managers juggle on a daily basis.
Help is here. The first step for community managers faced with construction defect concerns is to acknowledge the obvious fact that they are community managers and not architects, engineers, or lawyers. Handling construction defects is really no different from any other problem that arises in a community association – the community manager helps the board members find the best experts to advise the Association’s board members on the problem, and let the board members make the decisions. Community managers usually have to juggle a lot of burdensome tasks without much help. Construction defect claims usually involve juggling a few big tasks, but with a lot of very good help.
Once the Association’s board members have a team in place, including an attorney and construction experts, the community manager gets to take a back seat and let the consultants offer the tough advice and guidance. Community managers should not be expected to advise the Association on what constitutes maintenance or repairs, or whether any given condition constitutes a construction defect or not, or whether the Association even has any valid claims. The manager’s focus is free to shift back to the more routine duties of management.