Property management companies are hired by HOAs to manage certain aspects of a community such as the enforcement of rules and regulations, collecting late payments and delinquent homeowner accounts and much more. Although these responsibilities are sometimes unpleasant, they are vital to running a successful community.
Property management companies are often misunderstood which leads to the confusion and frustration of many homeowners.
Here at Heritage Property Management, we like to shed some light on the role and responsibilities of a typical property management company. A community’s management structure can be broken down into three main components.
Three Parts of A Community’s Management Team
- HOA Covenants & Bylaws
Your home owner’s association (HOA) is governed by its own set of documents known as Covenants and Bylaws. These documents create the rules for the community in which you live.
- Board of Directors
If you live in an HOA community, odds are your community also has a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is a group of volunteers who are also homeowners, just like you and are elected by the community to represent the total population of your neighborhood. They must adhere to the Bylaws and Covenants of the community.
- Property Management Company
Most HOA communities will hire a professional third-party company to handle the enforcement of their policies as laid out in their governing documents as well as other tasks such as collecting late payments and settling delinquent homeowner accounts, paperwork for new residents, coordinating with closing attorneys during the sale of a property, collecting bids for large projects within the community and/or sending out regular communications to the residents of the community.
Who Makes the Decisions in an HOA?
Many homeowners do not realize that all the important decisions for their community are made by the Board of Directors, not the property management company. The Board of Directors, in turn, is guided by the governing documents.
For many homeowners, if an issue arises or they become unhappy with a decision that has been made, their first call might be to the property management company specifically the Property Manager assigned to their community. In most cases, the Property Manager is simply enforcing a rule or regulation outlined in the governing documents of the community and it is very unlikely that the property management company has control over what those rules and regulations state.
What is a Property Manager’s Role?
A Property Manager is generally assigned to each community to be the main point of contact for the homeowners and board members. This Property Manager can field complaints and direct them to the appropriate person(s) as well as explain any policies, procedures, and rules within the community.
Collecting on late payments, reconciling delinquent accounts, and enforcing rules are not always fun or easy tasks. This is why many HOAs will hire a property management company to handle it on their behalf. These type of tasks are often met with disgruntled homeowners who may disagree with the rules or payments set forth by their communities.
Although these tasks have their challenges, at Heritage, we enjoy helping communities tackle both big and small hurdles because, at the end of the day without these crucial responsibilities, a community could face major difficulties. We also take pride in being a trusted partner to many hard-working volunteer board members who might otherwise be overwhelmed with the amount of work that goes into keeping a community in top shape with well-preserved home values.
A Good Analogy for Your HOA's Management Structure
A community’s management structure has some similarities to our own country’s democracy. Whereas the HOA Covenants and Bylaws function as a community constitution. The Board of Directors are elected officials representing the larger community. And the property management company is like the police, enforcing the rules set forth by the community.
Learn More About What a Property Management Company Does
To fully understand what we do, along with the responsibilities your board is obligated to fulfill when they agree to hold a particular position, we have prepared a list of frequently asked questions which you can read on our Home Owner’s FAQ page.