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Manager of a Home Owner Association
Choosing the right property management company for your home owners association necessitates an understanding of the skills that are necessary for the job. A prospective manager for a home owner association needs to possess knowledge about a multitude of topics that are regularly involved in the operations of a home owner association, including but not limited to such items as:
- The laws of a state that are applicable to common interest developments;
- Basic disclosure requirements;
- Meeting requirements;
- Financial reporting requirements;
- Rights and responsibilities regarding member access to association records;
- Personnel issues relative to topics like employee/independent contractor status, harassment and discrimination;
- Risk management and insurance coverage, maintenance, operations, and emergency preparedness;
- Property protection and the implementation and management of maintenance programs;
- Business affairs of home owner associations and items that require compliance with federal, state, and local laws;
- The governing documents for the common interest development;
- Applicable codes and regulations that relate to the activities and affairs of home owner associations and common interest developments;
- Homeowners association finance issues relative to such things as budget preparation, management, and assessment collections;
- Contract bidding, negotiation and administration;
- Supervision of employees and staff;
- Management and administration of: (i) rules, regulations, and parliamentary procedures;(ii) architectural standards; (iii) association recreational programs and facilities;(iv) owner and resident communications;
- Training and strategic planning for the association’s board of directors and committees;
- Design and implementation of association policies and procedures;
- Ethics, professional conduct, and standards of practice for managers;
- Current issues relating common interest developments.
Being “knowledgeable” about a subject does not mean that the person has the knowledge and experience of an expert, such as a lawyer or an accountant, but it does mean that, through the successful completion of an educational curriculum and experience, the person has general knowledge and familiarity with a topic so as to be able to recognize issues and areas that may require the assistance of experts. A home owner association that requires professional management should not retain an inexperienced person who is seeking “on-the-job” training.
The proper administration of a home owner association is similar to the administration of a complex business that requires a diverse range of skills and knowledge. Accordingly, an association should have properly educated and certified personnel providing the management services.
Choosing the right property management company for your association is a very important task for the association’s board of directors. Evaluate and interview several different candidates for the job. Before entering into a contract with a property manager investigate who you’re dealing with and obtain and speak to references that have had prior experience with the management company.
Generally, the management company will provide a standard form contract that they would like to use. Before signing and being bound by the terms of such a contract, make sure it is thoroughly reviewed, that all of the provisions are understood, and the document is approved in its entirety by the association’s board of directors. Because the association’s directors are not generally familiar with contract law and provisions that should or should not be in the management agreement, it is a good idea to have legal counsel review a proposed agreement for property management services before it is signed.