Over 14.07 million California residents live in a Homeowners Association (HOA) community. Every HOA community has a board of directors other homeowners elected. Their job is to run the community, ensuring the neighborhood operates efficiently and smoothly.
How many duties each person on the board has depends on the HOA management. There are two main types: an HOA management company or a self-managed HOA.
Deciding whether your HOA needs professional help or if they can keep managing themselves can be a hard decision. Understanding the differences between the two is important. This guide will go over everything you need to know about self-managing an HOA or hiring a professional HOA management company.
What’s an HOA Management Company?
With an HOA management company, a manager is a primary individual who’s responsible for handling maintenance services and daily operations. They also handle all communications with city officials, homeowners, and vendors. They can also assist the board with the management of the finances and legal advice.
Even when you hire an HOA manager, the elected board is still part of community matters. HOA managers do most of the work, but the board members participate in vital decisions for their community.
What’s a Self-Managed HOA?
The elected board officials are the ones who handle the daily operations and maintenance of their community. They’ll also communicate directly with the homeowners. A self-managed HOA member is also responsible for the following duties:
- Collecting the HOA fees
- Answering homeowner phone calls
- Facilitating maintenance requests
- Resolving conflicts
- Issuing violations
They’ll also work directly with vendors to schedule required maintenance services. A self-managed HOA will also speak with city officials to ensure they’re in compliance with local regulations and laws.
One of the biggest responsibilities of a self-managed HOA is financial management. They’ll manage their community’s funds, prepare various financial statements, and perform budgeting and accounting.
Pros and Cons of an HOA Management Company and a Self-Managed HOA
When evaluating whether a self-managed HOA or HOA management company is right for you, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages.
The Pros and Cons of an HOA Management Company
A professional HOA management company has years of experience in handling HOA communities. They’ll have the expertise and tools to run your HOA efficiently. An HOA management company will also have access to different resources, strategies, and management tools that a self-managed HOA won’t have.
Running an HOA can be a heavy burden for those on the board. With an HOA management company in place, it’ll improve the quality of life for everyone involved. Board members will have more time to focus on the important aspects of running their community.
The residents in the community will also enjoy having an HOA management company to deal with. They won’t have to try to reach board members to talk to about their requests or inquiries. The management company will always be around for them to talk to.
There’s also less risk for the community when there’s an HOA management company involved. Their job is to ensure that the regulations and rules of the community comply with local laws. They’ll also serve as a buffer between residents and the board in the event of any disputes.
There is some investment involved when you hire a reputable management company. While it may result in an increase in HOA fees, you can’t put a price on the convenience and security an HOA management company provides.
The Pros and Cons of a Self-Managed HOA
Having to self-manage an HOA is incredibly time-consuming. For some, it may feel like they have a full-time job with the amount of work they have to do on a daily basis. The members of the board are volunteers, so they’re not getting paid to maintain the community.
Board members have lives and other jobs outside of running an HOA. If they cannot devote the amount of effort and time necessary, the community will suffer. They won’t be able to focus on important decisions in the community like they would if there was an HOA management company.
Another thing to consider is that not every board member has expertise or experience in running a community. They need to have a basic grasp of insurance, local laws, financial management, and how to resolve conflicts. If they’re not able to do those things, your community won’t run smoothly.
When your HOA is self-managed, there are no checks and balances. The board of directors holds all the power. This can be detrimental to your community.
With no one to hold them accountable for their actions, they can use HOA funds and manage the community however they like. This can result in legal problems and lawsuits.
There are lower monthly costs when an HOA is self-managed. But, just because something is a less expensive option doesn’t mean it’s the right one. There’s a lot of risk with a self-managed HOA that you won’t find with an HOA company.
Things to Consider in Your Decision-Making Process
As you decide whether to self-manage your HOA or go with an HOA management company, there are some things you should take into consideration. Ask yourself and others who are involved the following questions:
- Is everyone comfortable with handling violations and homeowner requests without a third party involved?
- Does everyone have time each day to manage the community’s daily operations?
- What’s everyone’s expertise with local community association laws?
- Are you able to hire an attorney if needed?
- How large is the community?
The average community doesn’t have the expertise needed to run an HOA community. An HOA management company provides board members and homeowners with reliable and expert services tailored to their needs.
Partner With a Trustworthy HOA Management Company
Trying to self-manage an HOA is very time-consuming and difficult. Take the burden off of your board members and improve everyone’s quality of life by hiring a qualified HOA management company. As your community starts to run smoothly, you’ll wish you had made this decision sooner.
Contact us at Silvercreek Association Management today to request a proposal.