It’s a big challenge to efficiently run a community. A Homeowner Association (HOA) is usually tasked to handle the business activities of the association while ensuring that it creates a balance in the needs and wants of the neighborhood community. These responsibilities are often not as easy as you may think, and for a volunteer organization like the HOA’s board of directors, it can be overwhelming. Professional support is therefore worth seeking. If you are the HOA board managing affairs of your community, you may find it crucial to seek an HOA management company to take care of some of the tasks so that you effectively realize the end-goals of the community.
Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are formed within communities, neighborhoods of single-family homes, and multiple-unit buildings such as condominiums. An HOA serves to make and enforce rules and regulations governing the properties. A board of directors runs and oversees the activities of an HOA. Typically, HOAs work to collect monthly or annual fees intended to pay for common areas maintenance as well as the upkeep of facilities.
When the volunteer board of directors is overwhelmed by the tasks, a majority of HOAs turn to an HOA management company to help with the management of their community. However, it is sometimes difficult to draw a clear line between the responsibilities of an HOA, an HOA management company, and the homeowners. Here we look at what an HOA management firm does and the ways it benefits your community association.
HOA and HOA Management – Drawing a Line Between
Both HOA and HOA Management involve business operations and the building of the community. They both have a common end-game, but their roles are different when you look at them in the big picture.
Roles and Responsibilities of the HOA
The homeowners and HOA’s roles and responsibilities are guided by the governing documents, state, federal, and local laws. A volunteer board of directors runs your HOA and is elected by the homeowners. So your HOA oversees the maintenance of common areas as well as any amenities in the community. Your HOA may also take care of shared services including trash collection in the community. Besides, your HOA collects dues and enforces the governing documents. It covers ongoing expenses while saving for large capital expenditures. The HOA’s board of directors oversees these functions and makes decisions. It adopts policies and hires vendors.
Roles and Responsibilities of HOA Management
Given that the board of directors governs the HOA and comprises members of the communities that perform their duties as volunteers, often, HOAs seek the help of professional HOA management firms to take care of some of their responsibilities. Generally speaking, an HOA management company is responsible for:
- Guidance and consulting with the board to help fulfill their duties
- Enforce and execute the directives, decisions, and policies that have been approved by the board
- Document transactions and accounting activities and records of the HOA
The HOA’s board makes decisions and the HOA management team helps fulfill the collection of dues, maintenance of common areas, and vendor payments. Again, HOA managers serve as the main homeowner’s point of contact. A community management company would therefore have four responsibilities and they are:
- Carrying out administrative service
- Managing accounts receivables
- Site management
- Offering accounting services
When an HOA involves an HOA management company, it means that an experienced manager takes the role of the community’s primary contact. An HOA manager is a professional in community management. The manager is able to navigate through any issue or situation that the community encounters by ensuring an effective and proper means of communication. The HOA is able to get easily accessible support from the HOA management team. An HOA manager will, therefore:
- Schedule and take part in board meetings
- Prepare and provide monthly community management reports
- Consistently enforce the rules, policies, and regulations that the community’s board of directors puts in place
- Assist the board in preparing an annual budget
- Act and respond to homeowners inquiries promptly
Managing Accounts Receivables
Any professional community management company should be knowledgeable in the collection of delinquent accounts. The team should understand the state laws governing collections and it should ensure that any notices to delinquent owners comply with those requirements. As part of the debt management roles, an HOA management company will be involved in:
- Giving a report on delinquent accounts and updating the board
- Notifying delinquent owners by sending them notices as per the directives of the board
- Initiating legal actions to collect funds as directed by the board and the HOA’s policies
- Engaging closely with the attorney of the community when coordinating legal action
Managing the Community Site
Part of the community management tasks is site management – it’s an extremely important element of HOA management. When the homeowners don’t follow the rules set by the association, the values of the homes run a risk of reducing, and the community at large may be perceived in a negative light. So the board, in conjunction with the HOA management company, needs to enforce the rules of the community or association in a consistent manner among the members.
The HOA manager needs to familiarize themselves with the association’s rules. They do this by making regular on-site visits. During the visits, the manager is involved in:
- Checking maintenance issues
- Inspecting for violation of rules
- Coordinating various actions approved by the board
- Ensuring vendor tasks including lawn care and pool cleaning are done according to the specifications of the contracts.
Ensuring accuracy with the association’s finances and their budget can be a complex thing. It’s a highly demanding task that needs the helping hand of a professional in accounting. An HOA management firm should have the experience to handle the complexities of community finances. A reliable HOA management company is able to:
- Manage the community’s bank account
- Do accurate estimates of the maintenance costs
- Assess and review the community’s billing for monthly dues
- Prepare a comprehensive record-keeping of the community’s accounts payables and receivables
- Prepare monthly financial statements in time
- Offer guidance on long term funding for the board and the community
Responsibilities of the Homeowners
When it comes to the responsibilities and roles of the homeowners, they are quite simple. First, homeowners need to pay their dues on time. Additionally, they need to focus on simple things like:
- Follow association rules
- Keep shared spaces clean
- Put trash and recyclables in designated bins
- Avoid littering and vandalism
- Pick up the mess after their pets
When the HOA board, homeowners, and property managers work together and remain on the same page, it is possible to see the community grow. All these parties need to recognize their responsibilities and play their part to achieve a common end-goal.
Hire An HOA Management Service to Manage Your Community!
Now that you understand what an HOA management firm is able to do and how it can move your community on the uptick, you may want to hire their services. Don’t bury your head on sand and assume that things will be okay. Your HOA board members are overwhelmed and lack the expertise to manage your community. At myHomeSpot.com, we have a qualified team of professionals to take care of your HOA’s administrative duties, accounting tasks, site management, and accounts receivables. Visit https://myhomespot.com/hoa-association-management-services/ to find out more about our HOA management services.
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