Spring cleaning isn't just for unit owners. As we move out of the winter months, now is a great time to make sure your property is “spic and span” for the rest of 2016. The New Jersey Cooperator recently spoke with property managers Bill Worrall, vice president of client relations and business development for FirstService Residential, a nationwide management firm; Lurlaine Gonzalez, LCAM, a portfolio property manager with Florida-based Lynx Property Services; Andrea Ammendola, director of community management at Associa, a nationwide management company located in New York; and Lisa Evans, also a community association manager at Associa, to find out which tasks were at the top of their spring cleaning checklists.
Pack Away Your 2015. “Right now, every association should be in their annual financial audit or review process,” explains Worrall. “They’re on a calendar year, they’ve closed the financials for 2015, and now they’ve engaged their third party independent CPA to complete the annual audit, the annual tax returns.”
Worrall recommends an annual archiving of the association’s records, so gather all of your financial statements, deposit slips, and bills that were paid in 2015 in order. “Clean up your files, get everything archived into a separate 2015 compartment, and have everything organized so that when the auditor comes to do their fieldwork on site at your association, they’ll have everything and they can work through the process quickly and efficiently,” remarks Worrall. “By the end of the first quarter you should have everything completed, done and filed away in storage for the prior year.”
Take a Walk. March is a great time to schedule landscape walks and maintenance walks with your vendors, says Evans. “We are looking at what kind of landscape needs you might have for the upcoming season, concrete asphalt, things that would need attention. Those are very commonly scheduled, if you can schedule your landscape walk with your vendor, they can start to prepare your quotes for you moving into spring.” For asphalt and concrete, any areas that the association is responsible for should be reviewed because those areas tend to sustain some damage over the winter. “There may be driveways that need maintenance,” says Evans, “and if the association is responsible for the roads, they may need maintenance after the winter months because salting and plowing can cause potholes. You may have common parking areas or parking lots. Entry ways, stoops, sidewalks, they should all be looked at if they’re the association's responsibility.” For landscaping, be on the lookout for anything that may have been damaged during the snowy season, from turf to dead plants that need replacing, to broken tree limbs.
Clean Out Those Gutters. Cleaning old leaves from gutters, downspouts, and catch basins should be done once the snow melts. “We need to ensure that things are running smoothly before we start getting into the rainy season again,” says Ammendola. Now’s also a great time to do street sweeping. “There’s typically a lot of salt and gravel that’s been brought in during the winter months,” remarks Ammendola. “Usually this is a service that we build into the contract of our snow removal company.”