TOP 3 Complaints of HOA Management Companies
Updated: May 27
Management Companies get a bad rap at times from frustrated homeowners. Yes, there could be legitimate complaints but these TOP 3 items need a little more investigation on the complainants' part.
The Top 3 Complaints are: 1- Insufficient Communications 2- Manager Isn't Doing Enough 3- Fees are Too High
For communication to improve, management companies should be assessing what is already in place. A good manager will make recommendations that would provide for better transparency and sharing of information. Any time a board, or management, shares information as to how money is being spent, it is usually welcomed. Could those receiving the information disagree with the expenses? Sure, but at least they'll admit to having the information voluntarily available.
The perception of the manager not being "around enough" may or may not be valid. I always look to the contract that the association has with the management company. What is the level of service contracted? What amount of time is required of management to be physically present? This mostly applies to HOA's with portfolio managers. It is all too common for an association to contract with a low bidding management company and they neglect to negotiate the actual time for mandated physical presence. Is it possible that a manager is lazy and simply does what he or she can to simply "get by"? Sure, but make sure you confirm the contract's details first.
The fees at your association are set by the budget that the board has approved. If fees are increasing, it is probably due to normal inflation, capital improvements, regulatory mandates, or other justifiable explanations. Most of the time, sharp increases occur when a good set of board members take over and begin to budget properly. The board has a fiduciary duty to properly budget for normal operations and reserve expenses. Due to recent catastrophes and improved structural regulations, many condo owners have seen drastic increases in fees and special assessments. These are events and mandates that one could not have planned for but owners must accept and move forward.
Homeowners need to understand that management companies take direction from the Board. If you have a good management company, with a solid contract in place, and a good manager the board will be receiving guidance. It is ultimately up to the board to implement good ideas, better channels of communication, and proper budgeting.
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