Posted by IKO Community Management on August 11, 2016 at 8:00 AM
What is the role of a professional HOA management company in a community? Do they work directly with the homeowners association? Which services are regularly offered?
An HOA management company can save a community a lot of time, stress, and money. To help you understand what these companies do for communities, here are IKO Community Management’s 5 things you need to know about HOA management companies:
1. We're not the homeowners association. An HOA is responsible for the community’s governance. This means they create CC&Rs, make decisions regarding the appearance and maintenance of common areas, and determine penalties for non-compliant homeowners. HOA boards can be self-managed by volunteering or elected homeowners.
However, a community might choose to hire a management company. The outside management is responsible for adhering to and enforcing the HOA’s policies, communicating effectively with the board, handling day-to-day operations, and performing ongoing maintenance of common areas.
Because these two bodies run similar operations, it’s easy to get them confused. However, a management company would make an immediate rule change on leashed dogs and public parking. They will simply enforce the new rule, and the HOA board will determine the penalties for misconduct.
2. We try our best to respect environmentally friendly practices. With the forward thinking in eco-friendly living, most HOA management companies respect homeowners’ requests to use solar panels, plant large gardens, xeriscape (a “green form” of landscaping), make compost piles, and more.
However, since each community is different, it’s important to check with the HOA board before making any home adjustments. If protecting the Earth is important to you, your management company might petition for a few modifications in the common areas.
3. No two companies are alike. Different HOA management companies offer a variety of services, depending on location and type of community. Whether it is for townhomes or single-family/master planned living, most basic services include budgeting, management selection and training, ongoing resident relations, emergency service, and common property maintenance and preservation.
However, some companies also offer intermittent services like snow removal, recycling and trash pick-up, towing, seasonal pesticide treatment, and more.
4. We are there to build a sense of togetherness. Though part of our job is to ensure that rules and policies are clearly defined and followed, our overall goal is to enhance the value of the community and the homes within it. Many companies do this by paying attention to detail within the physical community (landscaping, amenities, and parks) and checking in on homeowner involvement and relations.
5. We will freely share information and communicate upon request. Many people believe that the HOA and property management company keep secrets from the community, especially regarding the rules and regulations. However, homeowners are more than welcome to ask for information at any time. This can include:
- Architectural Review Changes (ARC)
- Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws
- Contact list
- Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions and Easements (CC&Rs)
- Future planning documents
- Meeting minutes
- Welcome books, packages, and manuals
If you want more information on what to ask an HOA board before moving in, download a copy of our latest guide, Understanding Everything About Policies and Bylaws by clicking below:
It is important to remember that HOA management companies care about the community as much as homeowners do. Their job is to optimize property values and ensure a safe, harmonious living environment for everyone. At IKO Community Management in Frederick, we make sure that you live in a thriving community that you’re proud to call home.
From all of us at IKO, happy community living!