HOA Your Ultimate Guide to Knowing Your Neighbors

It is extremely difficult to know the people who live next door amidst the brief hellos within our busy life schedules. Making an effort to know those who live beside us may forge lasting relationships that build stronger communities. Getting to know the neighbors creates a sense of belonging to the neighborhood while strengthening trust and connections. Living in an HOA community makes it easier to know the neighbors as you interact in neighborhood activities and meetings. In an HOA neighborhood, it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules and guidelines and adhere to them. It is also crucial to know your neighbors to keep in touch with the ongoing activities within the neighborhood and to have strength in numbers in case you require implementing a new activity

 

Communication

Communication is key in a given neighborhood, which will lead to the peaceful coexistence among neighbors. An HOA facilitates prevention and resolution of conflicts among neighbors without involving the legal system by providing a channel for residents to air their grievances about their neighbors and finding an amicable solution to the raised concerns.

 

Shared Facilities Costs

Become a member of the HOA and pay your monthly or annual dues, as they are requirements for the maintenance of common areas that will ensure your access to common community facilities such as swimming pools, fitness centers. Accessing these facilities will provide the opportunity to know your neighbors better and share information as well as connections while building lasting relationships.it also ensures shared upkeep costs, which may not be affordable if you are living alone.

 

Support

Neighbors are supportive of one another’s needs especially in cases of emergency and tragedies. Neighbors always help with childcare needs as well as preventing hazardous conditions. HOA helps neighbors interact with meetings and homeowners parties that will help neighbors become close and forge relationships. Friendly neighbors will always help with the children when you are in a crisis and respond to an emergency in your home when you are out for work or any other engagement. Forging a relationship with the neighbors also helps to create a social circle providing a place to relax after a hard day work as well as resounding your ideas before a business pitch.

 

HOA Restrictions

Familiarize yourself with the HOA rules and regulations to be able to fit in within the neighborhood without causing conflicts with the residents. Keep presentable the areas visible to your neighbors and update the standards of your home to match the neighborhood value. When planning renovations or facelift to your home consult the HOA to notify others to in case of disturbances such as noise that may lead to misunderstandings.

 

Get Involved

Participate in the HOA activities just like the other neighbors. Attend the meetings and contribute your views to a given project. Take part in joint ventures such as lawn mowing activities, hosting a family yard sale, and cleaning the neighborhood as well as beautifying the environment

Benefits of Hiring an HOA Management Company

Managing a given community requires a variety of skills such as leadership skills, financial skills, accounting skills that may prove too much to individuals that already have a busy schedule with their families and careers. In the initial stages, volunteers may be sought to help with the community tasks, but with time, it is important to seek an HOA management company to help you with management tasks to enable you to enjoy your community.

 

Expertise

An HOA management company will offer their expertise having diverse staff trained and experienced in certain niches such as finance, property management, marketing and human resource. Having the right knowledge of the industry and bearing vast experience, the HOA management company will advise the community on decisions that will enhance the community making it a competitive neighborhood. They will handle administrative and financial responsibilities within the funding and offer advisement on the funding reserves as well.

 

Neutral Third Party

An HOA management company offers a neutral third party to handle issues with residents who do not comply with the community regulations. The HOA management company helps alleviate strife and conflicts among neighbors ensuring that the neighborhood is in harmony. An HOA management company provides an avenue of settling disputes and addressing rule infractions without causing personal offenses. They will ensure the HOA operations are as per the HOA’s governing guidelines providing an avenue for resolving owner complaints. The HOA management company also will give recommendations on how to handle non-compliant residents as well as owner compliance issues. The HOA management company will enforce the rules and policies making sure there are no feelings of unfair treatment among residents.

 

Commitment

An HOA management company provides a sense of security in residents as the company is accountable. The HOA management company will ensure to maintain detailed and auditable records of all transactions guided by the rules and defines the policies that should be consistent. The company should ensure to have clear communication channels and guidelines in place that will build trust among the residents. When the residents trust the HOA management company as well as each other, they become committed to the activities of the HOA. Trust is built when the residents are satisfied with the services of the HOA management company and when they provide an avenue for the resident to voice their concerns. The HOA management company can ensure the organization of events that will ensure the residents get involved in promoting the community

 

Legal Knowledge

An HOA management company will advise on legislation with regards to homeowner associations. They will offer unsolicited advice on HOA policies and the enforcement of the best law compliant activities. The HOA management company also advises on how the implementation of policies and help to define the HOA’s rules and regulations.

 

Property Maintenance

An HOA management company has contacts of trusted professional that can offer repair services such as plumbing fixing of roof leaks, lawns at a manageable cost and within minimal time.

6 Common Failures of HOA Board Members

Far too often associations fail to please their homeowners, making their neighborhoods a place where noone wants to live. That’s why we are listing the biggest mistakes we see board members make time and time again. If your association is experiencing some of these problems please refer to the preventative steps listed below

1.Failing to collect overdue fees on a timely manner

Collecting fees can be a daunting task, especially if some homeowners are reluctant to pay them. As a board member, it is your duty to collect fees in a timely, professional manner, without fear nor favor. Failure to do this can impact your entire association’s cash flow and hinder your HOA.

2.Failing to review financials

It is very important to closely watch your associations spending. Far too often, association’s experience fraud in some way or another. In order to prevent this, accounting for every dollar spent will help ensure homeowners that their money is going towards their best interest and prevent fraud amongst your association.

3.Failing to file tax returns

It is very common for board members in self-managed associations to forget to file important legal documents each year. Every homeowner’s association is required to file a federal tax return (IRS Form 1120-H). Many board members think that the association is not required to file anything because it doesn’t pay taxes. This is not true. You are still required to file this form on behalf of your association. Failure to do so can put your association at risk of losing its non-profit status and will result in penalties and interest that will need to be paid to the IRS.

4.Failing to file Secretary of State documents. Another common mistake is board members forget to file their annual reports with the Secretary of State. Failure to file the required documents can result in a dissolution of the association which can cause potential legal and financial issues. If this does happen, it can easily be remedied by contacting the Secretary of State office to file the necessary forms and pay any applicable penalties.

5.Failing to maintain insurance coverage. Boards need to take special care to review insurance policies; understand lapse dates and renewals; and review coverage amounts. If a claim occurs during a time when insurance has lapsed, it can cause major problems. Do you want to be the one to break the news to the association members that a Special Assessment is going to be required because your board forgot to renew the association’s insurance?

6.Failing to ask for professional help

There is absolutely nothing wrong in seeking help for your association, especially when it comes to accounting and money management. Let the professionals come in and help you with these matters to ensure your association is functioning at its greatest potential.

 

 

3 Ways HOA Management Can Benefit Your Association

At some point, every HOA will turn to the question, “should we work with a homeowners association management company?” It’s an important question that should take time and consideration based on the association.

It can be tempting to do it all yourselves in an attempt to save money on management frees each month, but you also have to account for the amount of time and work you’ll save — not to mention the expertise you’ll gain.

To give your board a better picture of the the positive of HOA management, here are three of the top reasons a management company can provide value to your HOA:

#1 HOA Managers are Professionals.

Those working at an HOA management company are professionals who are trained to handle many different types of challenges HOAs run across. They are dedicated to helping you succeed, and they have the experience to help you think long-term and make decisions based on what is best overall for your community.

Plus, they have the time to dedicate to your association. Most board members are volunteers who have other lives outside of the HOA and who aren’t receiving payment for their time. But for HOA managers, managing your HOA is their job. So they can spend that extra time helping to make decisions and bringing their full attention. They also understand best practices for HOA business and requirements.

#2 They Enforce the Rules

Since board members are also living in the HOA, it can become awkward to always enforce rules that you know are affecting those living around you. When you have a management company, it’s an unbiased third party that can help you navigate tricky conversations and situations you might not know how best to handle. Plus, they can make decisions that isn’t as “close to home” for them since the are seeing the big picture without too much of an emotional attachment.

#3 They are Organized

HOA managers bring good communication, organization, and a solid structure when running your association. For example, they often have full accounting teams to provide accounting services and help with payments. They’ll also have staff available to quickly answer emails and phone calls that come in, as well as help you set up or improve your association website. This makes each process more enjoyable for both the board members and those in the community.

You always want to consider all aspects of HOA management before making a decision about whether or not it’s right for your association. You might find a little extra management is just what your HOA needs to meet its goals.

How to Get the Most From Your HOA Management Company

An HOA management company can provide real value to board members and the neighborhood at-large. But, the partnership needs to be managed properly to reap the best results.

The following tips will help protect your HOA and build a positive relationship with your management company:

If the board did the necessary due diligence during the selection process, they should have found a good match between your HOA’s requirements and the management company’s capabilities. The services provided should be no more or no less than what the board needs to create the best neighborhood environment possible.

Make sure you carefully review everything you need your HOA management company to do and then put it in writing. The contract finalization process should not be rushed. Because everyone interprets things differently, it’s important not to assume anything. So, list all services and fees, as well as highlight exclusions and termination conditions.

Identify due dates for all services and reports. The less gray area between the board and management company, the better chance the relationship has of thriving. With schedules defined and agreed upon, you have an objective tool from which to measure performance. Even if the management company provides excellent services, the value of those services becomes greatly diminished if they are delivered late.

To ensure the proper party handles HOA management functions, the board needs to clarify roles. For example, you need to decide who members call with issues and what determines which issues go to the board or the management company. When everyone knows their responsibilities, you have a much better opportunity for promoting efficiency and creating a beneficial partnership.

Continue to read the Associated Asset Management Blog for information about using a HOA Management Company.

How To Get The Most From Your HOA Management Company

An HOA management company can provide real value to board members and the neighborhood at-large.  But, the partnership needs to be managed properly to reap the best results.

The following tips will help protect your HOA and build a positive relationship with your management company:

  • If the board did the necessary due diligence during the selection process, they should have found a good match between your HOA’s requirements and the management company’s capabilities.  The services provided should be no more or no less than what the board needs to create the best neighborhood environment possible.
  • Make sure you carefully review everything you need your HOA management company to do and then put it in writing.  The contract finalization process should not be rushed.  Because everyone interprets things differently, it’s important not to assume anything.  So, list all services and fees, as well as highlight exclusions and termination conditions.
  • Identify due dates for all services and reports.  The less gray area between the board and management company, the better chance the relationship has of thriving.  With schedules defined and agreed upon, you have an objective tool from which to measure performance.  Even if the management company provides excellent services, the value of those services becomes greatly diminished if they are delivered late.
  • To ensure the proper party handles HOA management functions, the board needs to clarify roles. For example, you need to decide who members call with issues and what determines which issues go to the board or the management company.  When everyone knows their responsibilities, you have a much better opportunity for promoting efficiency and creating a beneficial partnership.