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Subject: Exterior post light replacement
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Author Messages
RobertW31
(New York)

Posts:29


11/17/2019 2:38 PM  
I was wondering if anyone has specific approach or process for the following.

We are a 110 unit townhouse community and each home has an exterior post light. The residents are supposed to replace their post lights when they burn out. There are always lights out and it can because some the residents don't check them, perhaps some of the older residents can't do it and others just don't pay attention.

It really constitutes a safety issue for the community because we don't have many street lights. The post lights are on the private residents' property.

Boards have tried several approaches including having post bulb replacements that residents can purchase, a board member posting notices regarding lights that are out by street rather than address, and currently telling residents to report lights out to the property management company and have them send the resident a letter with an eventual fine if it is not addressed.

It occurred to me that if a post light being out is reported if we had the proper rules we could have the property management company simply replace the light and send the bill to the resident or have the charge tacked on to their assessment. Seems like big brother but just a thought at this point.

Does anyone have a solution to this kind of problem?

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2761


11/17/2019 2:58 PM  
This is homeowner responsibility, but as you know, people tend to do things when it's convenient for them and or when it affects them personally. They should be noticing the problem, but if they don't think this is an issue now they"ok change their minds if something awful happens.

You could try sending a letter to everybody saying this is creating a possible safety issue and to please check their lights and replace them. You could also ask the property manager if it could offer a special price to replace the lights, tell the homeowners they have to call to schedule the work and pay in advance (since this is homeowner, I don't think the association should pay at all).
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3362


11/17/2019 3:21 PM  
I question how much of a "safety issue" it really is. That term is trotted out far too often, in my opinion, as justification for something somebody wants to do without any shred of evidence that "safety" would be affected one way or another.

Having said that, if it's the homeowners' responsibility then hold them to it. Use fines, if necessary. I don't think it's wise to put the burden of maintaining the lights on the HOA in the name of "safety". Especially if they're on private property. If you do that and something bad happens, like violent crime or vandalism, then the HOA could find itself in the crosshairs for negligence.
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:195


11/17/2019 3:34 PM  
I would have the property management replace the bulb and the HOA absorb the cost. Every unit has a light fixture and will need the bulb replaced so the cost will be pretty much equal. Do it as a courtesy and leave the responsibility the unit owner to reduce the chances of being sued. Let owners opt out of having their lights replaced if they don't want you to enter their property.

GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/17/2019 3:45 PM  
Appeal to the greed of the common ...

Someone from the Board drop off a free LED replacement bulb (we're not really talking about lights, right?) - to make sure all bulbs (even the old incandescents) are matching I would recommend 2700K LED bulbs.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3412


11/18/2019 5:37 AM  

It occurred to me that if a post light being out is reported if we had the proper rules we could have the property management company simply replace the light and send the bill to the resident or have the charge tacked on to their assessment. Seems like big brother but just a thought at this point.


Well you could do all that work.......

Or a helpful neighbor (board member) could simply walk over and replace the light bulb for free. Walmart $3.88 per LED bulb. 18 year life. Out of 110 houses, cant be too many bulbs out or homeowners who cant replace for whatever reason.

No need to be a robot.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8867


11/18/2019 9:46 AM  
Rob

Can the owner turn the light on and off or are they automatic?
ND
(PA)

Posts:375


11/18/2019 10:17 AM  
Another idea . . .
1) Notify neighbors of the following plan and intent to implement if no objections within a certain time period.
2) HOA buys 110 new LED bulbs.
3) Pay MC or other insured laborer for a few hours of labor to install them at each address. Brings all addresses up to same standard and aesthetic look.
4) Keep a small stock of same bulbs on hand. (Buy more in time.)
5) Upon burn-out, supply owner with a new bulb and give them a time period to self-install otherwise it will be installed for them by MC or other insured laborer for a time & materials cost.
6) Note: Hopefully, someone can account for elderly or other neighbors who can't/shouldn't be doing this themselves and will give them a hand. Only those who are intentionally difficult or noncompliant should be made to pay the high cost of hiring someone to replace a lightbulb.

One of issues involved in this dilemma is that posts are on private property and although chances of incident while changing a lightbulb are slim, it's important to be aware of the possibility and have proper precautions in place (e.g., insured labor).

Best to come up with a process that will minimize need to spend a lot of time and effort trying to get people to change a lightbulb.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:833


11/18/2019 11:04 AM  
I agree with Eric, replace the bulbs and absorb the cost.. Look at it at a practical standpoint, you mail out a letter USPS cost 50 cents.. How much does a bulb cost?
You will also retain community cohesion, because one unit might put in a yellow bulb, another a white one, one unit installs a 45w bulb another 60w.

You say townhome community? If you have grounds maintenance, just add this to their duty list.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/18/2019 11:06 AM  
Good points.

I retract my recommendation in favor of the more simple just get r done approach.
TimM11


Posts:323


11/18/2019 11:55 AM  
We went back and forth on this issue in my HOA over the years. It was always easiest to just have the maintenance crew replace the bulbs as needed and roll it into the maintenance budget. It wasn't very much money, and the time needed to notify and follow up with homeowners wasn't worth it. Plus they were better able to keep the lights looking the same rather than having a number of different bulb types in use.
RobertW31
(New York)

Posts:29


11/18/2019 12:44 PM  
Thanks for all the helpful comments. The more input I get the more I think it would be great if we could do this with a simple approach that does not involve all kinds of letters, charges etc.

If we were to have it done for the residents it would be more than we want to pay for the installs.

I am wondering if we announced a new process in advance why we could not post a list of addresses with lights out on our bulletin boards and tell residents to call the property management company by a certain date if they would like a free light bulb. A board member could then drop one off at their residence. This will happen once a year. We don't buy them for the entire community but only for the ones that are out.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/18/2019 8:03 PM  
Robert ... how many properties are we talking about? Sorry, I may have missed this.
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:195


11/19/2019 5:21 AM  
Posted By RobertW31 on 11/18/2019 12:44 PM


I am wondering if we announced a new process in advance why we could not post a list of addresses with lights out on our bulletin boards and tell residents to call the property management company by a certain date if they would like a free light bulb. A board member could then drop one off at their residence. This will happen once a year. We don't buy them for the entire community but only for the ones that are out.





So if a bulb goes out a day after the give away you are okay with people waiting 364 days for the next give away to replace the bulb? Have you asked people why they don't re[lace the bulbs?
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3910


11/19/2019 9:00 AM  
I agree with those who recommend an informal process of walking around and replacing bulbs that are out.

No community-wide announcement needed. If someone objects, deal with that objection one-on-one.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8867


11/19/2019 9:45 AM  
Posted By NpS on 11/19/2019 9:00 AM
I agree with those who recommend an informal process of walking around and replacing bulbs that are out.

No community-wide announcement needed. If someone objects, deal with that objection one-on-one.




I agree.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8753


11/19/2019 3:13 PM  
Here is how we handled ours. The HOA would replace the light bulbs. We would consider this a maintenance item as it was on common area. However, if the light post itself needed replacing the homeowner was responsible. That being because they are responsible for making sure it stays operational. We also had an assigned supplier and designated shade design. So you could not buy a random post and shade.

The ex-president would charge people a fee to install the light posts. You could hire a handyman service or electrician. The installation cost wasn't covered by the HOA.

Former HOA President
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