“How are utilities included in the study?”
Underground utility lines (sewer, water mains, etc.), or utilities in the walls (electrical, plumbing, etc.) are not usually included in the Reserve Study due to the unpredictable nature of projecting when the expense may occur and how much that expense may be. It is not uncommon for these components to not appear in the study. However, how we differ from some of our competition is we realize issues may come up in a building or on a property at any given time. When issues beyond a normal Reserve component arise, we will research the issue, in this case sewer lines, with the vendor who is performing the work to get their opinion on how we should address this in the report. If there is not a vendor currently working on the property, then we would investigate the concern with the Board and come to a conclusion/explanation they are pleased with. I do not think your previous Reserve professional made a mistake or intentionally left something out of the report. Please understand this is another reason it is important to update your Reserve Study frequently. When issues like these arise, we can add this to a report if necessary.
Bottom line, we don’t want to Reserve for every “worst case scenario” that is out there. If we were to do that, the recommendation would be so ridiculously expensive, that it would hurt the validity of the rest of the report. I hope my answers make sense. Please let me know if you need more clarity or have any further questions.