Following the Surfside condo collapse, the American Resort Development Association-Resort Owners’ Coalition has released infrastructure safety recommendations for boards overseeing timeshare properties.
The recommendations were developed with input from timeshare industry experts and are intended to provide general guidance for boards to consider for maintaining building safety, managing related costs, and reducing risk.
“In the wake of the tragic building collapse in Surfside, Florida, ARDA-ROC is providing sought-after guidance to timeshare communities in Florida and across the country,” said Elizabeth Baker, Vice President of State Legislative/Regulatory Official Outreach and ARDA-ROC.
“These helpful recommendations will provide timeshare boards and management companies with a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities related to ensuring the structural safety of their properties. By following these recommendations and consulting with industry professionals, we hope timeshare boards and management companies can help mitigate risks with respect to any construction and other infrastructure related issues that may occur.”
There are seven main recommendations in the ARDA-ROC guidelines:
— Associations should schedule regular reserve studies and inspections by a licensed engineer, including inspections of building infrastructure.
— Associations should fully fund reserves for important infrastructure and critical condominium components so repairs and replacements will not cause an immediate financial problem when needed.
— Associations should act promptly and timely to make structural and other important repairs.
— If the repairs are extensive and costly such that they would, in the exercise of the board’s business judgment, constitute a hardship for the timeshare owners, then the board should consider alternative financing arrangements, such as an association loan or a special assessment paid over time.
— Boards and management companies should be aware that insurance costs are likely to increase and become more difficult to obtain in light of the Surfside tragedy, and develop a plan to address this possibility in advance.
— Boards should review their directors and officers’ liability coverage to determine if they are adequately protected in the event they are personally sued for alleged wrongful acts.
— Association counsel should be consulted to refresh the board of directors on the scope and proper exercise of their duties, the applicable standard of care imposed on directors and officers, and the statutory liabilities imposed on, and the protections available to, directors and officers.
“Additionally, in anticipation of several states advancing legislation in this area in upcoming legislative sessions, ARDA-ROC will continue to actively monitor these matters to ensure that the rights of timeshare owners are represented and that they have a seat at the table,” Baker said.
ARDA-ROC is a nonprofit entity funded by contributions from more than 1.5 million individual timeshare owners. ARDA-ROC is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and enhancing vacation ownership through smart policy and sensible regulation. ARDA-ROC advocates for local, state, and federal policies that enable the vacation ownership industry to thrive and provide consumers with an enriched vacation ownership experience.