It is not uncommon in today’s day and age to be moving into one of the growing number of Texas communities that is overseen by a homeowner’s association (HOA). But do you know what an HOA management company is, and perhaps more importantly, what it does?
The overarching goal of an HOA is to better serve the residents of a community by ensuring the upkeep of the neighborhood and access to amenities. In turn, an HOA management company is usually hired as a network of additional staff to assist an HOA with actively carrying out their numerous duties.
What is an HOA?
Homeowner’s associations, or HOAs, were created to help identify and serve the needs of a neighborhood community. This typically includes both residents and businesses living within neighborhood boundaries.
There are three things that can make an HOA a unique entity:
- It is usually comprised of individuals who live within the community.
- The individuals making up the HOA are elected to that position as members of the board of directors.
- Being a member of the board is a volunteer only position.
Once in place, an HOA’s main goal is to form neighborhood guidelines and policies that will maintain or improve their community. This generally includes maintenance of grounds and gathering areas such as parks, tennis courts, walking trails, and swimming pools. These community improvements are made possible by the association dues that residents of that neighborhood pay annually.
What is an HOA Management Company?
While an HOA is community based and led, it is done so usually by a small board of directors who perform these tasks in addition to other daily responsibilities such as a regular job. The enormous amount of time involved in running an HOA can become an obstacle for these volunteers, especially in some larger communities. This is where an HOA management company can help.
An HOA management company is designed to assist an HOA with their existing duties. This ensures that HOA duties are carried out in a timely and efficient manner which can benefit the residents and businesses within the neighborhood.
Typically an HOA management company has three main parts to their overall job description:
- Consult with and assist the HOA board of directors as needed
- Offer administrative assistance
- Facilitate financial services such as accounting
What Does an HOA Management Company Do?
The question for many members of an HOA community then becomes, “So what does an HOA management company do?” While it can sound quite general to say they come alongside an HOA to assist them with their board of director duties, in actuality the list of action items an HOA management company can perform is not general at all.
Some of the more common actions performed by an HOA management company usually include:
Maintenance of amenities
Just like a home requires updates and improvements, so do a community’s amenities. Whether the weather has worn away some of the painted lines on the tennis court or the pool needs resurfacing, a management company will check on the state of amenities from time to time to verify they are still in good working order.
Increased access to amenities
In addition to maintaining amenities, a management company can facilitate increased access. For example, if on a site visit to the pool to verify if maintenance is needed, it may come to light that the community is in need of an indoor gathering area adjacent to the pool. This can then be brought before the HOA for consideration.
Enforcing HOA rules to help stabilize neighborhood property values
The HOA generally composes guidelines to keep properties looking well-kept throughout the neighborhood. Not adopting or abiding by such guidelines could result in dilapidated homes and properties that could negatively affect community property values. However, with an HOA management company’s help in enforcing these guidelines, a neighborhood’s property values are generally more stabilized.
Settle community disputes
It is not unheard of for neighbors to be in dispute with one another over a constantly barking dog, loud music, or a similar situation. Although HOA rules typically address these situations in their agreements, an HOA management company may be able to help resolve such disagreements by providing discussion or mediation.
Benefits of Having an HOA Management Company
In addition to the above job description of an HOA management company, these companies also assist with other services such as:
Daily administrative duties
Since an HOA board of directors is volunteer based, these individuals are limited in the amount of time they have to perform daily administrative duties. By relying on an HOA management company to take over those daily duties, it can allow the HOA to run more smoothly.
Whether it is helping to collect association dues, paying vendors, or helping an HOA develop an annual budget, these companies perform basic accounting and financial responsibilities essential to HOA success.
Regardless of if it is putting together a list of vendors for amenity improvements or obtaining bids from vendors, HOA management companies can be instrumental in keeping vendor relationships current and then moving them forward as needed.
An HOA management company is often well versed in critical industry and state regulations that can affect how an HOA operates.
If your neighborhood HOA is considering enlisting the help of an HOA management company to make your community stronger, please reach out to Sterling ASI today to talk about how we might be able to help.
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