What Does An hoa management company do?
Usually, when a real estate developer creates a community, they create a self-governing corporation that is run by a board of directors. Every person who buys a home in the community becomes a member of the HOA and once the community grows to a sizable number, the developer passes the reins of the HOA to the residents, who elect the board of directors. The board is responsible for governance and smooth operation of the community.
However, with the board of directors still retaining significant responsibilities, it can be confusing as to what HOA management companies should or should not do. Understanding the tasks and duties of the homeowners property management company is critical to the board’s ability to efficiently run the community for the benefit of the HOA and its members.
Understanding the Roles of the HOA and HOA Management Company
The homeowner’s association has its own rules and bylaws but it also has to adhere to the local, state, and federal laws. The directors are volunteers, who are elected by the property owners. The board of directors is responsible for governance of the association’s affairs and is the chief decision making body for the organization.
The HOA adopts an annual budget and collects assessments that homeowners have to fund day to day operations and long-term capital expenditures. It is also responsible for enforcing the HOA’s rules. All major and minor decisions pertaining to the community, hiring of vendors, and creating new or amending existing rules are undertaken by the HOA.
Role of HOA Management Company:
An HOA property management company is a third-party company hired by the HOA to handle most of the board members’ responsibilities. The company, however, is not typically a decision maker and instead facilitates enactment of decisions made by the board. The management company carries out the directives of the board and carries out enforcement of the HOA’s rules and policies. The company maintains the HOA’s corporate records and produces regular financial reports.
Based on the roles of the HOA and HOA management company, homeowners should realize that the decisions affecting the community are taken by the board of directors while the HOA management company enforces the decisions of the board, while acting as the primary point of contact for homeowners.
- Common Area Oversight
- Restriction Enforcement
Common area refers to the areas available for use by homeowners for which the association has maintenance responsibility. These can include parks, pools, clubhouses, ponds, etc.
Managing these areas well is an important task as they are the areas most visible to residents and visitors, and therefore often form opinions on the desirability of the community. if the areas are poorly managed, the community will witness a dip in property values and may not be viewed favorably as an investment opportunity for prospective homebuyers. To ensure that property values are not adversely affected, the HOA management company should work closely with the association’s hired vendors to ensure proper maintenance is being performed.
An HOA management company’s involvement in common area oversight includes:
- Regularly visiting the community to check common area conditions and identify maintenance issues
- Assist the board in hiring competent vendors to maintain common areas
- Work with hired vendors to carry out resolution of maintenance issues
- Ensure that contract vendors are abiding by the contract specifications
- Ensure that pool cleaning, lawn cleaning, and overall community cleanliness are up to the expected standards of the HOA
- Scheduling and participating in board meetings
- Providing monthly reports to the board of directors
- Responding to homeowner communications
- Facilitate filing of tax returns
- Coordinate mailing of HOA notices
- Manage the community’s bank account
- Manage vendor work within the association’s designated budget
- Bill and collect homeowner dues
- Follow through in collection of outstanding dues owed to the association
- Compile a monthly financial statement for the board of directors
- Work with the board to compile the annual budget
- Advise the board on long-term funding needs of the association
A critical role performed by an HOA management company is the enforcement of the HOA’s rules. Enforcement of the rules helps to maintain an attractive environment and preserve property values. To ensure that the rules of the HOA are enforced, the HOA manager periodically drives through the community to document it’s condition. During the visit, the manager will usually perform the following tasks:
- Document instances of rules that are not being followed
- Provide written communication to homeowners in violation and advise on the need to remedy
- Facilitate additional enforcement of actions approved by the board of directors, as needed
At times, homeowners believe that since they are paying their dues, they are not responsible for other aspects of their community and the task of maintaining the community lies with the HOA. However, that is not true. An HOA management company can work to its potential only when homeowners realize that they too are stakeholders. It is critical that homeowners not only pay their dues, but work to abide by the community management services and it’s rules, keep common areas clean, and volunteer their time to participate in community governance and activities in order to ensure property values do not diminish.
For an HOA management company to work effectively and carry out its responsibilities, the HOA, homeowners, and community manager must collaborate and work as a team. Now you know what an HOA management company does and how the company, HOA board of directors, and homeowners are partners who want the same thing – being proud of the community and what it represents.