Associations are responsible for maintaining the common areas. Because routine maintenance schedules are hard to estimate and vary widely from year to year AND the board is made up of volunteer elected officials that are property owners in the development (not real estate experts)- it makes sense to get some outside help for this. Responsible reserving “smooths out” the big-ticket items, that, if not planned for, can give the association’s budget a real shocker one year!
Some examples of notorous ‘budget busters’ are roof replacement, elevator replacement, exterior painting, exterior re-stucco, replacing all the balconies, updating community amenities like pool plastering, tennis court resurfacing, gym remodel, lobby remodel etc). For these big-ticket items, it can the HOA several years to save enough funds.