There are many benefits for a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) to hire a property management company. A property manager handles the day-to-day issues that arise for homeowners and manages the financial and business needs of the HOA.
Although a property management company can offer a lot of benefits to HOAs, there are still a number of issues that homeowners and residents should handle themselves.
To determine if your property management company is holding up its end of an agreement and how homeowners can contribute to their own property values, here is a quick guide that details the responsibilities of both the property management company and the residents of your HOA.
Responsibilities of the Property Management Company
The Property Management Company is usually contracted to provide services such as:
- Major repairs. This is usually included in every property management contract and ranges from leaky pipes to broken locks. Major repairs must be made in a timely manner to protect the safety of residents, maintain functionality of the property and protect property values.
- Regularly scheduled maintenance. This could be anything from testing the fire alarm system to inspecting the elevator.
- Landscaping. This covers maintaining the existing landscaping and perhaps seasonal improvements, such as annual flower planting. Generally, a property management contract does not include major changes to landscaping, such as creating and implementing a drastic new plan, unless the Homeowner’s Association requests it.
- HOA financials and dues collection. Property management companies typically handle collecting monthly HOA dues, collecting unpaid dues and providing monthly reporting to your HOA board.
- Common area maintenance (foyers, parking lots, etc.). The property management company should maintain common areas by establishing a regular cleaning schedule and making repairs to existing infrastructure.
Responsibilities of Homeowners
For issues that the property management company is not contracted to address, tenants and renters should be prepared to manage such issues as:
- Picking up after pets. We’ll cover several ideas next week for encouraging homeowners and residents to do their part. But scooping the poop is always the job of the dog walker – city ordinances and HOA rules always spell this out clearly. Owners of outdoor cats may require additional rules about keeping the cats inside.
- Building cleanliness. Property management companies contract with cleaning companies to regularly maintain common areas like foyers, lobbies, and common kitchens. But those cleaning crews only come at a regularly scheduled time. They can’t be dispatched for a specific event. You still have to wash your own dirty dishes and wipe your feet when you enter a building.
- Trash in recycle bins and recycling in trash bins. The property management company often has no connection to the trash and recycling process. Either the owner contracts with a private company to pick up trash and recycling, or the residents are responsible for putting their bins on the curb.
- Litter. No one likes a littlerbug. While we maintain the infrastructure and make basic repairs, we can’t respond to every gum wrapper on the ground.
- Vandalism. Vandalism is a crime, not just a nuisance. Vandalism, such as graffiti, should be reported to the authorities, investigated and legally prosecuted when possible. Owners and property managers work together to determine how best to make repairs after vandalism has occurred.
- Free newspaper circulars. Those free newspapers that sit in the driveway, get rained on and turn to mush are ultimately the responsibility of the resident. Because they arrive on your property, just like junk mail, the resident is responsible for putting them in the garbage or recycling bin.
If both homeowners and the property manager understand their respective responsibilities, everyone can work together to improve and maintain the value of your property.
About Ryan Edwards
Ryan Edwards is the owner and property manager for EZR Management. He founded the company in 2006, building on his years of experience managing and renting properties.