Thanks to its tropical climate, erratic weather changes are nothing new to Southern Florida residents. There are cold fronts from November through March, and if that’s not enough, the hurricane season is kind enough to coincide with the wet season. Despite the lack of four distinct seasons, this occasional volatility makes the maintenance of outdoor HOA amenities a year-round proposition.
Steve Cohen, LCAM, vice president of A & N Management, Inc., in Boca Raton says, “Amenities that are used year-round require ongoing preparation and care. The intensity of use increases in the winter and spring and requires more cycles of preparation during those periods.”
In order for residents to appreciate and enjoy their outdoor amenities (and for those amenities to remain value-added assets rather than liabilities), the maintenance of facilities such as sports courts and pools should be recognized as a top priority all year long.
A Busy Season
According to Ellen F. Bonder, LCAM, president of Boca Raton-based management company AKAM On-Site, Inc., “The busier times of year for condominium and homeowners associations are based on the seasons in other geographic areas. This includes the northeastern United States as well as South America. From those locales, ‘seasonal’ residents make their way to South Florida at different times of the year. For example, northern snowbirds flock to South Florida in the winter months, while South Americans typically arrive during Easter week, mid-summer, and toward the end of the year. In general, however, because of South Florida’s climate, amenity preparation and maintenance must be performed year-round.”
According to Bonder, “The only property preparation and maintenance that is seasonally unique to South Florida occurs in advance of—and during—our hurricane season, which spans July through October. In preparation, we lower the water level in outdoor pools because hurricanes typically deliver a great deal of rain, and we secure or remove items in common areas that could get blown around, such as seating, tables, etc. Additionally, we top off the fuel in our generators in case the generators have to run during an extended power outage, and we remove the lower fronds from palm trees in the association’s landscaping because the fronds can act like sails and cause the tree trunks to break in high winds.”