HOA management complaints range from minor inconveniences to impending signs of HOA management failure. When you start seeing a pattern with the homeowners association management complaints you’re getting, then perhaps it’s time for a closer look. Here’s how to tell if certain issues with HOA management companies are fixable, or if it’s time to seek better service elsewhere.
The 5 HOA Management Complaints You Should Watch Out For
If your board is looking for a property management company or not completely satisfied with your current one, you’re likely looking to meet the specific needs of your association. Just as important, you’ll want to be aware of some common reasons HOA management companies fail, which will help you be cautious in your search.
1. Low-Quality Vendor Service
At first, these complaints seem to indicate that the issues come from certain vendors in your area. If so, your HOA management should be able to fix this rather quickly by alerting the vendor.
However, if there are complaints coming in about several vendors at once, then it may not be so simple. It’s either the vendors in your area are all subpar (a very unlikely possibility) or there could be something wrong in the vendor selection process.
When your HOA management brings in unscrupulous service providers, everyone involved suffers. The residents lose confidence in their HOA board. The HOA board also loses confidence in their HOA management. In the meantime, everyone starts to develop a low opinion of vendors in their area. That’s unfair to the vendors that do their job well.
So it’s important to determine if it’s a vendor issue, or if your HOA management is bringing in low-quality vendors. If it’s the latter, then that’s a serious blow to the image of the HOA management involved.
2. Lack of Bookkeeping
One aspect a property management company should always have is a skilled bookkeeper, even if the company is small. Some management companies will be tempted to try and handle bookkeeping themselves to save money, but this can have disastrous consequences and should be avoided.
Be wary of any companies that aren’t willing to invest the money to hire a proper bookkeeper, as this could lead to inaccurate financial information in terms of income, expenses, and tracking of rent collected.
Is your HOA management becoming a liability to the financial stability of your HOA? Listen to the HOA management complaints, and check the quality of their HOA bookkeeping to make sure.
3. Long Delays in Resolving Maintenance and Homeowner Issues
The longer that HOA management complaints sit and wait, the worse it gets for the board members. Residents certainly will not appreciate having to follow up on their complaints.
These issues can already generate friction between homeowners and the HOA board. Any unreasonable delay is like adding gasoline to the fire.
It can be that the HOA management company is itself waiting on the necessary things to fix the issue. It can be due to lack of funds, or lack of qualified vendors to do the job. Make sure, however, that your HOA issues are getting the attention they need.
Sometimes, it can be the case that the HOA management company is overbooked. If a company is getting a lot of business, that’s good for them—to an extent. It becomes a bad thing when the HOA management company takes on more than they can feasibly be responsible for. This can especially be a problem if the company manages properties that are spread throughout a city, or an even larger area.
Pay attention to the ratio of properties the company is managing to the number of staff employed. Having an understaffed property management company can mean your issues won’t get the attention it deserves.
4. Disrespectful or Inconsiderate Manner of Dealing with Residents
HOA managers get to meet all kinds of people. So sometimes, they get the occasional irate homeowner and the unreasonable demands that come with them. However, it’s important for the HOA manager to remain firm and respectful at all times. They need to attend to an issue and make sure that they give it the appropriate response.
There is no appropriate time for an HOA or condo manager to be rude to a resident. It’s part of their job to properly handle homeowner’s complaints and concerns.
5. Lack of Communication
Lack of communication is perhaps the biggest sign of HOA management failure. HOA managers who fail to respond to inquiries in a timely manner are managers who are failing at their jobs.
So not only are the residents not getting the acknowledgment they need, but the HOA manager is also giving the impression that the HOA board is not listening.
Communication delays are perhaps right there on the top of the biggest complaints against ineffective HOA managers. Then again, it could be a sign that the HOA management company is taking on more than it can handle.
If a company is small or getting too much business for what they can handle, as mentioned above, they run the risk of struggling to maintain management of their properties at all. This means tenant requests and homeowner calls getting ignored or pushed aside and forgotten. which can cause tenants to begin looking elsewhere for places to live and leave homeowners upset and disgruntled.
One of the highest priorities of property management should be to respond to resident concerns ASAP.
Avoid HOA Management Complaints: Get the Right HOA Management Company
If your board is encountering the issues above, it’s time to consider a new HOA management company. If you are still retaining one, don’t settle for a company with these problems. Your residents deserve better when it comes to HOA management, so the HOA board needs to review the complaints they get and identify patterns in them.
Some of them can point to signs of an HOA management company that’s starting to fail at its job. Also, understanding what not to look for in a management company will help you know when you’ve found the right one.
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