When you move into any new community you’re bringing a unique skill set with you. That would be all those things you’re good at doing. It might be an extension of your professional life or something you take up in your spare time. Whether it’s bookkeeping or fixing cars those skills can be shared with your neighbors. This is especially true when it comes to volunteering for a homeowner’s association. There are a wide range of skills needed to make a HOA function properly including accounting, leadership, financial planning and contracting vendors. What happens if there isn’t anyone with those skills in your community? Or what if no one has the time to dedicate to working on a HOA? Fortunately, there is a solution to help ease the burden and insure things are getting done: hire a professional management company.
Responsibilities of the HOA Manager
Typically, a HOA doesn’t hire a single manager but a management firm. These are companies who specialize in all aspects of property management. On their long to-do list are such items as:
- Upkeep of common-use areas such as patios, club houses and/or parking structures
- Trash removal
- Fire extinguisher and smoke alarm inspections
- Collecting fees
In other words, all those day-to-day operational items the HOA is tasked with doing.
Is a Property Manager Right For Your HOA?
One of the main reasons why an HOA would choose to hire a property management company would be the size of that community. If there are a lot of houses or condo units on the property, then there is obviously more work needed to keep up those common areas. When there are site amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts or work-out rooms the work increases. Additionally, with a larger community there is more work collecting homeowners’ fees and assessing late fines.
A smaller community could still benefit from a professional property management firm because they’ll be acting as a neutral third party. This will be helpful in settling disputes about rule infractions. The outside manager treats every resident with the same level of fairness when applying those rules. It’s hard to dispute that.
Working with A HOA Manager
Just because a community has opted to hire a professional management team doesn’t mean it has completely turned over all of its responsibilities. There will still need to be a HOA governing board to make many decisions. For instance, when a new vendor or contractor is needed the property management firm can submit bids from licensed professionals but it should be the HOA board that makes the final hiring decision. The same can be said of putting a lien in process or rewriting any part of the CC&Rs; that should be the HOA’s responsibility. The best approach an HOA can take with a professional manager is to treat them like a partner who will be contributing to the quality of life in their community. That’s someone you’ll want to have a very productive working relationship with.