It’s a Wednesday evening in spring. As you walk the few blocks from your home to your monthly HOA board meeting you find yourself smiling at what you see. The sun is setting, giving just enough light for residents to finish walking their dogs. You hear the giggles of kids playing catch in their front yard. The smell of freshly cut grass, coupled with someone barbecuing, is in the air. Amidst the mundane details of budgets, laws, rules, and maintenance waiting for you at your meeting, you are reminded that you are an HOA board member because you value your community. You care about the quality of life in your neighborhood, and making it a safe place for residents.
This is what you’ll say at tonight’s meeting when you address the issue of hiring an HOA management company. You’ve noticed that while everyone seems to have the Association’s best interests at heart, there have been many important questions asked lately that really need the expertise of a management company, and it’s your duty as board members to be informed as best as you can.
Here are some questions that your HOA board might be asking too:
1. What should the role of an HOA board be?
2. What is the process of changing the CC&Rs?
3. What does California HOA law say we have to do when...[you fill in the blank]?
4. What is a reserve study and how do we do one?
5. We don’t have enough money to do a project, what are our options?
6. What is the best way to deal with an owner that will not comply?
7. We’re being sued, what do we do?
8. After the annexation of property, when or can we charge a new development fee?
9. How do we work with a developer?
10. Can we change the bylaws?
Your next steps for finding a trustworthy HOA management company:
It’s important to have some basic knowledge of the general role a management company plays.
An HOA management company DOES:
- Advise the board
- Manage daily operations in the Association
- Carry out policies set by the HOA board
An HOA management company DOES NOT:
- Become a member of the board
- Act as the information officer
- Supervise contractors
- Set policy
Once your HOA board is ready to begin interviewing potential HOA management companies the above questions are important to keep in mind, along with any questions that are specific to your homeowners association. As you prepare to start the process, survey residents about issues that are most important to them, and discuss as a board the qualities that a company must have.
As an HOA board member, you want to keep your community a great place to live, so residents can enjoy the simple things like warm spring evenings – and that’s the ultimate responsibility of the Association.