What Are HOA Management Companies?
What are HOA management companies?
If you live in a homeowners association community, you know there’s a whole lot that goes into running things behind the scenes.
From collecting monthly dues to fixing common area problems to making sure people follow the rules, it’s a big job for the elected HOA board members. Most of whom have full-time jobs and lives of their own!
That’s why instead of self-managed, many HOA boards hire professional management companies to handle the day-to-day operations of their communities. These management companies handle the administrative work associated with running an HOA. This allows the board members to focus on making the big decisions and steering the direction of the community.
An HOA management company is a business that takes care of your neighborhood. They provide services like collecting payments, coordinating maintenance issues, keeping important records, and assisting with enforcing HOA rules and bylaws. They help keep the HOA running smoothly on a daily basis.
This article explores what HOA management companies do, their key responsibilities, and how their services can benefit HOA communities. Learning about management companies helps HOA boards determine if hiring one makes sense for their neighborhood.
What does an HOA management company do?
It may seem that adding yet another layer of bureaucracy is counterintuitive, but the truth is that HOA management companies are there to help. They provide a variety of services in order to ensure that a community runs efficiently and effectively.
Handling day-to-day operations
One of the primary roles an HOA management company takes on is handling the regular day-to-day operations of the community. This includes a wide range of administrative and facilities management tasks:
- Collecting monthly HOA dues and assessing fees
- Maintain an HOA website
- Paying any shared utility bills
- Managing contractors for landscaping, maintenance, janitorial services
- Coordinating repairs for common areas or amenities
- Processing architectural modification requests
- Maintaining insurance policies
- Keeping records of finances, documents, resident information
- Fielding service requests and complaints from homeowners
- Staffing an HOA office and hotline
Essentially, the management company handles all the routine work needed to keep the community running smoothly. This frees up the HOA board to focus on more significant decisions about policies, budgeting, reserves, capital projects, and enhancing community assets.
By taking day-to-day operations off the HOA board’s plate, a management company allows volunteer HOA members to spend their limited time on more critical governance responsibilities.
Enforcing HOA rules and covenants
Another key responsibility of HOA management companies is helping the community association enforce its covenants, bylaws, and rules. This involves:
- Sending out violation notices and letters to residents who are not complying with rules around issues like noise, parking, architectural changes, etc.
- Tracking fines and fees owed by residents for covenant violations.
- Coordinating hearings for dispute resolution when residents appeal violation notices.
- Maintaining records related to violations and enforcement actions.
- Advising and updating the HOA board on chronic issues or repeat offenders.
- Interpreting the HOA’s governing documents and recommending any changes needed to clarify policies.
Having a professional management company handle enforcement tasks takes the burden off HOA leaders. It also adds consistency and objectivity to the process.
The management company’s experience dealing with covenant issues also brings expertise the HOA board may lack. They know how to tactfully yet firmly enforce the rules to maintain community standards.
Providing professional expertise
In addition to handling day-to-day operations and enforcement, HOA management companies also provide useful expertise from managing many associations.
Some of the critical benefits of tapping into a management company’s knowledge include:
- Guidance on meeting legal and financial requirements for HOAs in that state.
- Advice on establishing appropriate levels of reserves and budgets.
- Assistance in creating clear, enforceable rules and architectural guidelines.
- Recommendations on contractor hiring and best practices for maintenance.
- Access to vetted vendors familiar with providing HOA services.
- Up-to-date information on insurance and liability risks.
- Strategies for collecting delinquent dues from homeowners.
- Training for new board members on their roles and responsibilities.
Having professional community managers available to provide input, answer questions, and point out potential issues can be invaluable for HOA boards. It allows them to avoid common pitfalls and operate smoothly.
How much does an HOA management company charge?
When considering hiring an HOA management company, one of the main factors is cost. Fees for professional HOA management services often range from $100 – $200 per door per month. However, rates can vary based on factors like:
- Services provided – Basic services like collecting dues vs. full-service management.
- Community size – Larger communities with over 100 units can get lower rates.
- Location – Higher costs of living mean higher management costs.
- Amenities – More amenities like pools, and clubhouses require more oversight.
- Staffing – Onsite manager(s) or remote support only.
HOA management contracts outline the monthly or annual fees and specify exactly what services are covered to avoid surprise charges.
The costs may seem high at first glance, but the benefits of turning operations over to professionals with HOA expertise can outweigh the expenses. Their efforts enhance community life and home values.
Why should an HOA hire a property management company?
As you can imagine, running an HOA of any size can be a massive undertaking. By outsourcing the management of your community to a professional property management company, you effectively delegate all the duties and responsibilities associated with HOA operations. Best of all, you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that a team of experts manages your community and its assets.
The best HOA management companies will also have HOA website solutions that give you the features and tools you need to manage your community efficiently. With the help of a website, members can stay connected and up-to-date on upcoming events, important documents, and announcements.
The bottom line is that HOA property management companies are invaluable for any size association—from small residential developments to large multifamily properties. Find out if a company is right for you by looking for one with an experienced team and the features you need to help your association thrive!