Many residents, whether they are owners of townhomes, condos or single-family homes in a community that is governed by an HOA, are often confused about the roles that the board and the management company have. In order to take some of the confusion out of the air, here are some of the most important roles that each play to keep the community running.
A property management company is often called in to handle the day-to-day running of the community in the form of maintenance. Examples of this would include getting the grass cut, handling any small repairs as they come up, making sure that the gardens look nice and much more. As well, the HOA property company will also be available to handle any emergency situations.
The management company will hire the contractors to do the job and will check in to make sure that they are getting done properly. When contracts need to be negotiated the board will be called in to approve them. If there are any problems with contractors or the services they have offered the HOA managing firm will get right on it and have things straightened out right away.
On a day-to-day basis, there are many problems that can potentially arise. In an ideal world, a homeowners association wouldn’t have to rely on a property management team because everything would be running as smoothly as silk. Unfortunately, there are bound to be problems when a community is trying its best to run efficiently. That’s when a property management team for a homeowners association steps in. They take the problems away so that the board can concentrate on their own responsibilities.
Enforcing the Rules
A property management firm ensures that residents are complying by the rules and enforces them. It is the homeowners association, however, that sets the rules and determines what the consequences will be if they aren’t followed. The sole responsibility of the management company is to enforce the rules. If there is any problem with a certain rule a homeowner would have to talk directly to the board to air a complaint. Consider the managing firm as a type of security guard that doesn’t set the rules or bylaws but just makes sure they’re followed.
At any time the board of directors can ask the property management company for professional referrals. When an engineer, an accountant, a lawyer, etc. need to be called in the property management company can refer the board to these advisers. Residents should not think of the management company as a personal consulting service, however, and should direct their questions directly to the board in most cases.
The HOA management company can keep the records straight for the association by maintaining owners and association files and records. This documentation is kept up-to-date and orderly through state-of-the-art technology in the form of the latest property management software.
HOA Fiduciary Responsibility
The board of directors ensures that the property is maintained, preserves the value of the property, establishes the rules, stays in communication with residents about any news or changes, makes sure that the common areas are insured and handles the finances of the organization.
It’s a good idea for any homeowners association to let the residents know the roles that each play so that there is no confusion. When there is a problem with plumbing, for instance, the homeowner should know exactly who to call and how to reach this person. When a neighbor is playing loud music at 3:00 in the morning and the matter can’t get resolved civilly, does the resident call someone from the HOA association, the property management company or the police? When things are laid out clearly things will go a lot smoother for everyone involved.
City Property Management
4645 E Cotton Gin Loop
Phoenix, AZ 85040