Homeowner’s associations (HOAs) in New Jersey are tasked to oversee the maintenance and improvement of the neighborhood’s major common areas. And they must execute these tasks in an efficient and financially sound manner. Consequently, they will need a NJ structural engineer to conduct a reserve study to ensure they have enough financial resources to cover the maintenance and repair costs.
Although New Jersey does not implement specific regulations for reserve studies, they are usually performed every few years to keep the information updated. However, because of recent events, HOAs might need to order a new reserve study.
The COVID-19 global health crisis has disrupted the economy, resulting in inflation and supply chain problems. Consumer demand rose to an all-time high, but manufacturing companies struggled to keep up with it. While people were quick to empty shelves, replenishing supplies became a challenge because of production delays.
Additionally, congestion in ports and a lack of truck drivers also contributed to the supply chain mess. These factors further delayed the delivery of supplies to various industries, including the construction and engineering sectors.
With goods and raw materials scarce, HOAs might need to postpone ongoing or upcoming maintenance and repair projects for the common areas under their jurisdiction. Moreover, their current reserve fund might no longer suffice for these tasks since prices have risen drastically. An outdated reserve study might result in special assessments or even mismanagement claims.
By ordering a reserve study New Jersey before starting the project, structural engineers can help HOAs update the information and determine the new amount needed for the task. This allows the association to plan accordingly and avoid scrambling for funds from other sources. It also enables HOAs to factor in unforeseen events like natural disasters to increase the margin correspondingly.
Getting a reserve study promptly shows the HOA’s willingness to uphold its responsibility and ensure proper reserve fund management. It keeps them prepared even in unprecedented times like the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information, check this infographic from Lockatong Engineering that discusses the impact of inflation and supply chain issues on reserve studies and the role of structural engineers in this matter.