Homeowners Associations have little choice when it comes to hiring outside contractors. Even the smallest condo complex needs periodic repairs, snow removal, and landscaping. And the bigger the complex, the greater the need’s going to be.
One of the issues that comes up is that condo owners don’t necessarily want to foot the bill for top-of-the-line contractors. While it’s no secret that if you want quality you’ve got to pay for it, condo owners may be concerned that their monthly fees are too high already, and can’t justify paying any more, even though they ultimately benefit from it.
But this low-balling when it comes to finding contractors can really backfire. In finding the cheapest available option, you can end up with a lack of communication, less than stellar work, and a scramble to find someone else to take up the slack when the contractor just isn’t working out.
But the worst thing that can happen when choosing the least expensive option is ending up with an unlicensed contractor. Regardless of how attractive the price might be, an association should never, ever hire an unlicensed contractor. A properly licensed, insured, and bonded contractor is the only way to avoid a myriad of potential headaches.
If you’re the decision-maker on an HOA board, be sure any contractor you hire provides you with a copy of their certificate of insurance, and check to make sure that it hasn’t expired. Also, make sure the association is named as an additional insured under the contractor’s policy. Otherwise, if there’s an accident, the association could potentially be held liable.
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