Proactive vs Reactive

Communication Can Help Alleviate Stress for Property Managers During the Winter Season…

snowed in lot vs cleared HOA

BCLS Snow and Ice Management of Central Virginia

If you are a property manager and manage HOA’s or Apartment Homes you know what life is like during snow and ice events, right? Winter’s wrath is a property manager’s nemesis if they do not have a reliable contractor or if communications with residents are not on par. Want to make your like easier? Here are a few simple steps to help eliminate problems during the upcoming winter season. Following these steps will help you and board members to be better prepared for dealing with resident complaints and questions about removing these natural elements.snowed in cars

To protect your homeowners association from liability and to inform residents properly, there are a few keys steps we suggest you to take.

Send Out Communications

Distribute memos, newsletters, or emails that detail the specifications for snow and ice removal in your association each fall and winter. These communications should detail where in the association you will be plowing, how often, and the measurements that dictating when you’ll be plowing. For example, you could mention that snow will be plowed once it is higher than two inches. It’s also important to let owners know when and if you will be having a contractor shovel walkways or salt or sand areas of the community. Your HOA’s responsibility for clearing away snow may vary depending on the state, so check with your state’s laws and guidelines.

The announcement should also remind residents that you can’t promise or guarantee that the property will fully be protected against the hazards associated with ice and snow, so they should be cautious when driving and walking/running in the conditions. Do make it clear that you are still doing everything you can to keep the property safe and free from the elements.

This information should be sent out to residents and owners alike. Providing these details will give more responsibility to the residents and protect your community from legal matters.

Have a Pre-Game Plan

Before you even have the need to clear snow or ice, make sure you and your snow and ice management contractor have a detailed plan in place. For example, know where you are going to put the piles of snow once they are plowed or shoveled. Consider any possible accumulation of snow or ice on roofs, which can lead to damage that is costly—or even dangerous. Snow and ice buildup increases the chance of snow or ice falling off or causing obstructions. Also, think about important areas on property walkways that should be cleared for safety, such as fire hydrants and keeping key areas such as mailboxes and dumpster areas clear of now and accessible.

apartment with no snowAs a property manager it’s important to understand snow removal basics and likewise snow contracts and contract administration. Even in less snow tolerant areas such as Central Virginia, contractor can offer other types of contract than the typical ‘hourly’ contract. Not all, but some contractors will offer an all-inclusive contract for any amount of snow or an a per event or per push option that charges you depending on the number of inches present and the amount of times plowed. Again, a very good and reputable snow contractor will work with you and design a snow and ice management plan that not only addresses risk-management, it will address meeting your budgetary requirements.

With the dropping temperatures and winter weather approaching here in Central Virginia, it’s important to have a plan in place and prepare for any risks involved with ice or snow fall in your HOA communities or apartment homes. Thinking ahead can save you a lot of worry and will leave your residents and tenants with some piece of mind.

We offer comprehensive commercial snow and ice management for HOA’s, Apartment Homes and Multi-Family communities throughout all of Central Virginia.

Interested in learning more about our BCLS Snow and Ice Management Services? Contact us for your free consultation.

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