Although Virginia law does not address who can perform a reserve study, it is clearly in the best interest of an association to hire a credentialed professional to conduct a reserve study for the community. Professionals who provide reserve studies include licensed Professional Engineers (PE), Architects (AIA and/or RA) and experts such as a Reserve Specialist (RS) or Professional Reserve Analyst (PRA).
The Community Associations Institute (CAI) awards the Reserve Specialist (RS) designation. The RS designation requires an applicant to have prepared at least 30 reserve studies within the past three calendar years; requires a bachelors degree in construction management, architecture, or engineering (or equivalent experience and education); and requires that the applicant comply with strict rules of conduct outlined by CAI.
The Association of Professional Reserve Analysts awards the PRA designation. This designation is based upon a point system and takes into account the professional’s reserve study experience, professional experience and education.
When hiring a professional to conduct your reserve study, make sure that the individual and not just the company is qualified to analyze your community. Request references and a copy of a recent reserve study. Reserve studies are not inexpensive, therefore it is important for a board to be prepared on hiring a professional and have any agreement with the professional reviewed by counsel.
Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law
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