For community associations that fall under Minnesota State Statute 515B (known as “Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act” – or “MCIOA” for short) there is a significant amendment that will go in to effect next year requiring associations to create and adopt a “written preventative maintenance plan” for all common elements.   So, what does this mean and does it apply to your association?

What is a Preventative Maintenance Plan? Under this new law, associations, through its Board of Directors, will need to do the following for all recognized common elements:

1.)    Create and approve a written preventative maintenance plan identifying all common elements; a maintenance schedule for servicing those common elements; and a maintenance budget for those common elements.

2.)    The association then must provide owners with a copy (paper, electronic or simply access to it) of this maintenance schedule, plan and budget. The Board should review and amend this maintenance plan “from time to time” and provide owners with a copy of any changes.

3.)    The association must then follow the Board’s approved preventative maintenance plan and schedule.

The purpose of this preventative maintenance plan is to ensure that associations are keeping the common elements in a good state of repair, helping to meet the anticipated life expectancy. An example of this might be to plan an annual inspection and routine maintenance of the roofing structure.

What this required “plan” actually looks like is quite ambiguous and undefined. Common, and especially Limited Common, Elements vary greatly from association to association. The first step may be to connect with an attorney to identify and solidify these elements. Attorneys and contractors will also have recommended tools to create a “plan” – such as a spreadsheet or inspection form.

What Associations Must Comply with This New Requirement? – All association that are subject to MCIOA. That means ALL associations, regardless of type, incorporated after June 1, 1994. ALL condominiums and cooperatives, regardless of when it was incorporated. Note: Be careful of the term “condominium.” Just because it looks like a townhome structure, does not mean it is incorporated with the State of Minnesota as a “townhome.” It may well be listed in the Articles of Incorporation as a “______ Condominium Association.” Finally, any townhome or planned community built prior to June 1, 1994 that has amended their governing documents and “opted in” to MCIOA.

There will be a number of resources, publications and probably further legal refinement of this new Preventative Maintenance Plan requirement throughout the year. Sharper will work to keep you all informed as definitions and tools become available. Here are suggested further readings on the subject from law firms that Sharper often utilizes.

Finally, Sharper has worked with the law firm of Roeder, Smith, Jaden, PLLC to help identify common elements and provide a schedule template that will satisfy these new statutory requirements for a flat fee of $500. Talk to your Community Manager if you are interested in this offering.