Maintenance Manuals: Learn Why Some Developers Are Going Beyond Just “Best Practices”

One of our specialties is writing manuals for master-planned communities. The manuals for these large master associations are unique because these communities typically have more input/oversight by public agencies and the manual is completed in phases over a longer period.

In 1991, ProTec’s Founder and President J. David Rauch invented the very first Community Operation & Maintenance Manual (HOA Manual). Since then, ProTec has produced over 2,500 community-specific manuals for new and existing communities nationwide.

One of our specialties is writing manuals for master-planned communities. The manuals for these large master associations are unique because these communities typically have more input/oversight by public agencies and the manual is completed in phases over a longer period.

We just finished a Maintenance Manual for the first phase of a large master-planned community in Tracy, CA.  As with most master-planned communities, some of the maintenance in the common and public areas will be performed by a Community Facilities District (CFD), using property taxes and Mello-Roos money contributed by the new homeowners.

The maintenance agreement with the city allows for oversight of the landscape maintenance activities by the new Homeowners Association. Given this arrangement, the Developer contracted us to write a Maintenance Manual so the CFD would have written instructions on the “expectations” of the Association. Since they were given written maintenance instructions, the CFD will be held accountable if the quality of maintenance work performed does not match the requirements of the Manual and the Association’s expectations.

One noteworthy element of this community is that our Manual has been publicly recorded as part of the Maintenance Agreement between the City and the Association. To our knowledge, this is the first time one of our Maintenance Manuals will be included in a legally-binding document between an Association and a public agency.

We were also contracted to attend meetings to train the Community Manager, the new Association Board of Directors and the CFD team from the City of Tracy in the use and implementation of the Maintenance Manual.

Preventive maintenance planning (Maintenance Manual) in tandem with a preventive maintenance program is vital in saving Homeowner Associations money. It’s much more cost effective to take care of and prevent your common area components and assets from prematurely deteriorating by applying intelligent proactive preventive maintenance. Now, instead of just being a “best practice”, the developer has taken the extra step of mandating this program. This may become a more common practice in the future in similar situations.


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