Many communities have both a homeowners association (HOA) and property management companies managing the aspects of the community that affect all owners. A homeowners association, typically made up of volunteer home owners, is formed first. The residents elect board members who are willing to assume the responsibility for the association. Once the board is formed, they interview representatives from property management companies and hire the company that will best support the HOA in meeting the needs of the community.
The property management company works for the homeowners association. It must be honest and reliable since this company usually collects homeowner association dues and manages the community budget. Property management companies charge fees for their services based on the size of the association and the specific services they are hired to do.
Duties of property management companies
A property management company may be responsible for:
Common grounds maintenance including landscape*
Community center maintenance including swimming pools and tennis courts
Collection of homeowner dues
Condominium exterior maintenance including roofs and fences
Major repairs for condominiums and other community buildings
Renting out condos and other properties in a resort area
Work with resort timeshare owners to maintain units in a rental pool
*Property managers generally set a routine maintenance schedule for grounds that includes cutting lawns, trimming trees, cleaning walkways and weeding flower beds. Property management companies may also be responsible for golf course maintenance in a community with its own course along with other recreational facilities.
These are only a few of the responsibilities delegated to a property management company by the homeowners association. The property management company may be asked to provide a maintenance budget and invest homeowner fees. Property management companies must supply a monthly accounting of all expenses to the HOA directors.
Duties of homeowners associations
In most communities the HOA has a board of directors. The board is responsible for creating and amending the codes, covenants and restrictions (CC&R’s) for the community. They must also provide a copy of the CC&R’s to new home or condominium owners. These by-laws are designed to protect the value of each owner’s property. Examples include not leaving your garbage bin outside, picking up after pet dogs, restrictions on pets, etc.
HOA responsibilities include:
Hiring/firing and working with property management companies
Maintaining and enforcing CC&R’s when necessary
Community security which may involve hiring a security company
Determining annual budget and homeowner fees
Scheduling meetings for members
The HOA board of directors is responsible for keeping homeowners informed of all association meetings, events and other developments. This is often accomplished with a secure website for homeowners that may be created and maintained by property management companies.
The concept of a homeowners association started with residential planned communities that included local parks, bike trails and walkways. Residents agreed to maintain these common areas within the community through annual or monthly dues. This program has proven successful in maintaining property values in planned communities throughout the country. Property management companies contribute to the success of these communities.
Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.