It’s likely that you and your fellow board members haven’t really paid much attention to your warranties—unless something has broken down. However, not knowing what your warranties cover—and even more importantly, what you are required to do to maintain that protection—can hurt your association.
“Board members often don’t realize that most warranties require the association to fulfill certain obligations,” says Bill Worrall, vice president at FirstService Residential. “By not knowing what those obligations are, the board risks invalidating the warranties.”
No matter what a warranty covers—whether it ensures the quality of a contractor’s workmanship, that major equipment will function properly or that components are free from defects—your association should do everything it can to keep it valid, beginning with these five steps:
Certain warranties, such as those provided by some roofing companies, require that you register the warranty. If this is not done within a specific time period, the warranty may no longer be valid. The same person who reviews your warranties should also take responsibility for meeting registration requirements.
Before handing it over, however, Worrall recommends separating out the easy-to-understand sections so you are only providing those portions that require legal expertise. This precludes your attorney from spending time (and your association’s money) reading and evaluating sections of the document you already understand.
Keep a log detailing what services were performed and when. Get a signature and contact information from the person who performed the service. You may need this if you ever have to invoke the warranty.