A homeowners association can be a complicated entity. On one hand, they are responsible for the upkeep of the neighborhood's green spaces, playgrounds, pools, and tennis courts. On the other hand, people often have horror stories about dealing with a homeowners association that won't stop nagging them for dues or other violations of the neighborhood's supposed policies.
While many HOAs operate on strictly a volunteer basis, some HOAs consider hiring a professional company or manager to assist with the duties of the HOA. For people on the boards of their HOAs who are struggling to decide whether to use a volunteer committee or a professional management companies, there are several important factors to consider.
Homeowners associations that function well with volunteers only have several different aspects they need to take care of. The biggest perk of using volunteers is the cost-savings by not having to put up the capital to hire a professional company. Volunteers must be located who can handle dues collections, weekly or monthly newsletters, and the numerous complaints that will undoubtedly arise from neighbors who don't get along well. These volunteers need to make up a board that handles these tasks and several others.
Some of the volunteers need to be skilled in the financial issues of the neighborhood. Other volunteers need to take responsibility for the logistics that encompass the maintenance of pools, golf courses, lawns, and tennis courts. There are volunteers who need to run public relations campaigns for the neighborhood if they are looking for new residents, members of a swim team, or even want to serve as the location for city events. Some HOAs even need to hire an experienced legal team if the neighborhood experiences a rash of break-ins. While some neighborhoods can find the experienced volunteers to handle these tasks, other HOAs are more appropriate for a professional management company.
HOAs that should use a professional management team typically reside in neighborhoods that are large in size with a diverse array of amenities that demand unique management skills. These are typically neighborhoods that may host advanced technological features, expensive buildings, or unusual perks that typical neighborhoods do not have.
Some HOAs simply have trouble finding enough volunteers to sit on the board or just lack the skills necessary to keep the neighborhood HOA functional. Other neighborhoods face insurmountable challenges that they can't seem to handle on their own. These might be neighborhoods with residents who can't seem to cooperate or have a serious safety issue that they can't seem to solve. For HOAs considering going with a professional management company, there are several important factors to keep in mind.
Hiring a professional management team can get expensive. Try looking for ways to save money from certain service providers. Insurance corporations often feature discounts to HOAs looking for a professional management team. There are several contracting organizations that will also offer fantastic deals when it comes to hiring a professional. Do not leave any stone unturned as it will already be difficult for neighborhood tenants to accept the idea of increasing dues to hire a professional to manage the HOA.
Furthermore, all HOAs that are looking to hire a professional management company should hire a lawyer. HOAs that require professionals are typically complicated entities and therefore merit attention from an experienced legal professional. This lawyer will carefully review the contract and make sure that the services that need to be covered by the HOA are included fairly in the contract. If you want to ensure that a professional management team meets the expectations of the HOA, you should consider obtaining the services of a knowledgeable legal professional.