By Curtis G. Kimble.
The deadline for all HOA and condominium boards in Utah to conduct a “reserve analysis” is fast approaching. By July 1, every board (except developer-controlled boards) needs to obtain or perform a reserve analysis if no reserve analysis has been conducted since March 1, 2008.
A reserve analysis is an analysis to determine:
(a) the need for a reserve fund to accumulate money to cover the cost of repairing, replacing, and restoring common areas and facilities that have a useful life of three years or more, but excluding any cost that can reasonably be funded from the general budget or other funds of the association; and
(b) the appropriate amount of any reserve fund.
So, each board must:
- determine which improvements have a useful life of 3 years or more, then
- determine what the cost is for maintaining those improvements over the next several years, and then
- determine what they think the appropriate amount of the reserve fund should be.
There are no requirements in the law as to who has to perform the reserve analysis. So, a board can perform the analysis or it can engage a professional to perform it. There are several competent reserve study professionals serving the state of Utah. There are also websites that will create your reserve study for you based on your input, and some will allow users to run “what if” scenarios with their components and funding plans. A simple Google search will lead to those sites (I cannot vouch for the quality or value of such online services since I’ve never personally used them or analyzed their results).
There are many options when it comes to fulfilling the requirements of this law. Each association should find the option that works best for them.
Don’t forget the law also requires each board to, annually, present the reserve study to the homeowners at the annual homeowner meeting or at a special meeting of the homeowners, and provide an opportunity for homeowners to discuss reserves and to vote on whether to fund a reserve fund and, if so, how to fund it and in what amount. The association must also prepare and keep minutes of the meeting and indicate in the minutes any decision relating to funding a reserve fund.