Are you considering purchasing a second home or investment property? Then you may have heard of HOA property management, but what do they do exactly?
The U.S. has more than 350,000 community associations with homeowners associations accounting for about 60% of them. Most people think of condominiums when they think of a homeowners association.
Did you know that many single-family home communities have homeowners associations? These HOAs often use HOA property management companies.
Are you looking at a home or investment property in Washington? Are you wondering what HOA property management companies do?
Read our guide to HOA property management services. It’ll help you understand what services HOA property management companies offer!
What’s an HOA?
An HOA is a homeowners association. Most condo complexes have homeowners associations (HOA). Many single-family home communities are also turning to HOAs so they can offer community-wide amenities.
The majority of condo complexes come with amenities, such as a pool and clubhouse. This is also the case with single-family home communities with HOAs. Each owner pays a homeowners association fee for the upkeep of the amenities.
This is why there’s a big variation in homeowners fees. The fees depend on the number and type of amenities.
Most condo HOAs handle the outdoor landscaping, communal areas, and even the roof. If you’re buying into a community with an HOA, it’s important you know what’s included.
Are you buying in a single-family home community with an HOA? You’ll most likely be responsible for items such as your roof. The HOA will cover expenses such as the pool and clubhouse.
Some associations have high fees but they also have a large reserve on hand. This means the HOA is able to handle any unexpected expenses like a new elevator.
Other associations have small reserves or cash on hand. This means in the event of unexpected expenses, they have to levy a special assessment.
An HOA special assessment can cost you anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars.
How Does an HOA Work?
An HOA has volunteer board members – usually people living in the community. The board members have annual and sometimes special meetings which everyone in the community can attend. As a community member, you can vote for the HOA officers.
Each HOA has legally-enforceable rules and regulations. If you live in a community with an HOA, you need to know the rules and restrictive covenants.
A restrictive covenant is something you can or can’t do with a property that’s overseen by an HOA. Do you want to paint your door red? Your HOA might not permit it.
HOA rules are many and varied depending on the community. It’s important you understand the rules before you buy a property governed by an HOA. All HOA boards live within laws set by the state.
The HOA board runs the day-to-day business operations of the community. That includes overseeing common-area maintenance and amenities. They also oversee services such as trash collection.
The board collects the HOA fees, enforces all governing documents, and makes sure there’s coverage of ongoing expenses. They’re also in charge of saving for capital expenditures such as new roofs.
This is a lot of work for a volunteer board, so HOAs often turn to HOA property management companies for help.
What’s HOA Property Management?
An HOA property management service helps with the day-to-day community operations. The accounting alone is a huge responsibility for any HOA board.
An HOA property management service can take on several responsibilities for the board, including:
- Accounting services
- Administrative duties
- Site management
There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes with any HOA.
HOA property management includes knowledge of the law for fee and assessment collection. It’s not unusual for some homeowners to fall behind in their monthly fee payments.
It’s tough for board members living in the community to have to collect fees. An HOA property management service can fee collection much easier for the board.
The management service handles accounts receivable. This includes billing, collecting, and dealing with delinquent accounts. An HOA property management service even initiates legal action for fund collection if necessary.
Detailed record-keeping for bank accounts, accounts receivable, and accounts payable is an important part of HOA property management. An experienced management service uses updated HOA management software tools for these tasks.
Most volunteers don’t have time to deal with daily calls from community members. An HOA property management service provides an experienced manager accessible to the community.
The managing company schedules and attends all the board meetings. She also provides regular management reports, guiding the board with the preparation of the annual budget.
The manager’s responsibilities also include timely response to any homeowner inquiries. A big responsibility is making sure homeowners comply with the community rules and regulations which leads to the next point…
HOA property managers keep track of all on-site issues, such as rule enforcement. It’s important that all homeowners receive equal treatment from the board. The manager helps with the fair enforcement of rules.
The manager schedules regular site visits to inspect for covenant violations. He also checks on any maintenance issues. The manager is also in regular contact with the board so no issues fall between the cracks.
Site management includes good communication between the manager, the board, and the community. The HOA property management company keeps the community up to date. She coordinates all board-approved actions and ensures pool cleaning, lawn care, and other tasks get done as necessary.
Property Management VS HOA Property Management
HOA property management is unique because it works with the HOA board and the community.
An HOA property management team does not handle rental properties for an HOA. Its role is to work with the board to handle the financials and ensure compliance with HOA regulations.
Find Your Perfect Living Situation
HOA property management companies keep HOA living smooth and easy. Are you looking at an HOA living situation? Make sure you understand the rules and expectations that come with it.
Whether it’s a condo, townhome, or single-family situation, there’s a lot to be said for HOA communities. They often offer great amenities for a good value when you consider the fees.
Do you have more questions about HOA property management and HOAs? We’d love to help! Contact us today.