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

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

Homeowners’ association (HOA) exterior inspections are a common procedural task for managed communities across North America. These inspections, usually facilitated periodically by a professional community management company, HOA board of directors, or third-party inspection service company are an essential part of preserving and maintaining a community’s quality of life, property values, aesthetic appearance, and safety standards. Read on to learn more about exterior HOA inspections, HOA exterior inspection requirements, HOA inspection checklists, and more.

What’s an exterior HOA inspection?

An exterior HOA inspection is when the board of directors, professional community management company, or third-party inspection vendor inspects the community’s exteriors, external systems, and common areas. They’ll conduct an in-depth, detailed review of all elements to identify current, potential, and future maintenance issues and confirm parts are in good working order, safe, and in compliance with the HOA’s governing documents, federal, state, and local laws, and other community guidelines and standards.

Are exterior HOA inspections necessary?

Depending on the location of your HOA, inspections may or may not be necessary. Some states require HOA inspections, and others don’t. Your governing documents and relevant laws will dictate what should be inspected, who should do the inspection, and when and how often an exterior HOA inspection should occur. Some communities need inspections multiple times a year, while others only need them every couple of years. For example, older communities with aging structures in areas prone to natural disasters and extreme weather may call for more frequent inspections than newly built developments and communities with fewer planned improvements in mild climates.

Why are HOA exterior inspections important?

A key component of a successful HOA, HOA inspections should be performed consistently and taken seriously. They’re a valuable tool that ensures your community remains desirable and a great place to live. Here are a few reasons why HOA inspections are important:

  1. Protected property values. Exterior inspections confirm the community not only looks nice, but also functions correctly. This protects property values year over year to attract new residents and keep current residents proud and happy.  
  2. Cost savings. When deteriorating components and other maintenance issues are caught early, you can get ahead of them and save your community from costly expenses, increased dues and fees, and special assessments down the road.  
  3. Enhanced safety. HOA inspections can identify and resolve hazardous conditions and safety concerns before they turn into bigger, more dangerous problems.
  4. Reduced risk. Inspections work as a good-faith measure on behalf of the management company to guarantee that, if aspects of the HOA are deteriorating, they have the records to prove it and subsequently fix those issues.
  5. Fewer violations. Inspections can locate and inform residents of instances where their property may not comply with community standards and prevent violations and fines.

What’s included in an HOA exterior inspection?

What’s included in an HOA inspection will vary by community, location, and the type of inspection. For instance, many community amenities or common areas within an HOA, such as a community swimming pool or parking lot, may be considered part of an exterior inspection; or 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 community.

HOA inspection checklist

Every HOA inspection is different, but these items should typically be included in your HOA inspection checklist:

  • Gutters
  • Drains
  • Gas lines
  • Windows
  • Exterior vents
  • Roofs
  • Foundations
  • Walls
  • Driveways
  • Stairs
  • Vents
  • Satellite installations
  • Landscaping and lawns
  • Parking lots
  • Playgrounds
  • Fences
  • Swimming pools
  • Fitness centers
  • Various utilities

Your professional community management company, community manager, and board of directors should look to the HOA rules for guidance and a complete HOA inspection checklist. This data will help inform the board on what items to inspect and what HOA structures require the most attention.

Effortlessly Manage Exterior HOA Inspections & Other Operational Processes with TownSq

Exterior HOA inspections are crucial to the success and longevity of an HOA and its members. Requirements, laws, and guidelines vary by community, but professional HOA inspections should be conducted thoughtfully, thoroughly, and regularly.

Groundbreaking, cutting-edge HOA software, like TownSq, can make processes, including HOA exterior inspections, easier than ever. With our industry-leading digital platform, users can seamlessly manage vendors, store important documents, communicate with neighbors, and more. To learn more about TownSq and explore our top-tier comprehensive offerings and features, request a free 30-day trial now.