Are you aware that there are approximately 310,000 Home Owners Association (HOA) governed communities in America? This represents 24% of homes or roughly 63 million Americans living in HOA communities. Therefore, when buying a house, there’s a one in five chance it will be part of an HOA.
Home Owners Associations are run by boards comprised of elected community residents who serve for terms that range from one to three years. Association management is complicated and the elected members also have to juggle their responsibilities with their full-time jobs.
This is why boards hire a condominium association management company to ensure everything runs smoothly. However, finding a property management company that’s the perfect fit for your association can be challenging.
Even if you do, it may take some time before the board and company develop a stable working relationship. If you feel like you are not going anywhere with your current association management company, it’s better to cut ties.
Here are some signs you need a new condominium association management company.
For boards to serve their association residents well through the HOA management company, communication between both parties must be excellent. You need to know that the company is always available, accessible, and responds to your questions or concerns promptly. Otherwise, it will be challenging for the board to make decisions and address residents’ concerns.
It is also important that the company has a contact person that you can reach out to personally. Your contact person should relay information to you on time, whether it’s good or bad.
Issues with Financial Transparency and Hidden Costs
It is common practice for condominium association management companies to handle your bookkeeping, accounts, budgets, collection of fees, and vendor payments. The board should have access to accounting statements and financial reports. Any transparency issues indicate misappropriation or mismanagement of funds. This is a clear indication you need a new management company.
Another thing to be keen on is hidden costs. Your working arrangement and conditions should be clearly outlined. Seek clarification anytime you notice increments in the monthly fees.
Poor Relations with Association Residents
The role of the HOA board and property management company is to serve the members of the Home Owners Association. Therefore, as the management company staff perform their functions, they should have excellent customer service. This will ensure that the residents and board will have a better experience.
Any complaints residents bring forth to the board should be taken very seriously. Though one-off incidents can be discussed and solved easily, consistent complaints from multiple residents may require a different solution.
Unaddressed Issues of Compliance and Violations
Every HOA has its Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) that stipulate the responsibilities of the Home Owners Association and the homeowners. Association boards are made up of residents who volunteer or are duly elected. As such, confronting neighbors with violations may result in hostilities within the neighborhood.
One of the primary benefits of hiring an HOA management company is to ensure that there is a professional and unbiased party addressing violations and monitoring compliance. This ensures that association members remain compliant. It also reduces the chances of unnecessary confrontations between board members and residents.
Lack of Follow Up
HOA boards are required to have regular meetings to make plans for the association, get progress reports for projects, and address issues. A representative from the HOA management company is also required to be present.
The company offering institution management services should ensure that all issues and projects are handled as agreed upon in the meetings. If you notice that there is a delay when it comes to completing projects, it is a clear indication that you cannot count on the company going forward.
The work of HOA boards becomes a lot easier when working with the right condominium association management company. Contact Beck and Company to learn about their association management services and years of experience you can rely on.