As a rental property management company, your job is to keep your clients’ rental properties filled. The job of the homeowners’ association is to ensure that all those who choose to live within the bounds of the HOA, obey the rules. Sounds easy enough doesn’t it? In reality, it should be but quite often there are far more difficulties than there should be. It falls on you to take the time to ensure you have a clear understanding of your responsibilities with regard to the HOA’s rules.
It All Starts with Understanding
Your first step should be to meet with the HOA to learn about your responsibilities as the rental property manager. Among the questions you might ask are:
- Whose responsibility is it to organize things like maintenance and repairs for common areas?
- Whose responsibility is the accounting?
- Are there any specific requirements by the HOA?
There may be others such a providing maintaining the pool, clubhouse, the landscaping. The more you know up front, the easier it will be for you to work with any HOA in which you have rental properties.
Where Do the Rules Come From?
The answer to this question can be a bit on the tricky side for both HOAs and property managers. Why? It is the HOAs responsibility to create the rules by working with their residents. It is your responsibility to enforce these rules with regard to your tenants. If one of your tenants have a problem with any of the HOA rules, it is their responsibility to go to the HOA to discuss their issue. It is NOT your job to act as a go-between to help settle disputes or give any type of legal advice, let the attorney’s handle it.
You are responsible for ensuring your tenants meet the required standards as set by your company and the various property owners who entrust their homes to you. At the same time, the HOA is responsible to everyone within the community to make sure you are a property management service they will be able to work with. Be sure you can provide all required credentials and licenses and that they meet with any state or local requirements.
When You Are Ready
When you finally determine the two of you can work with each other, your next step should be to work with an attorney to create a management contract. The typical contract with an HOA lasts from 1 to 3 years. Be sure you thoroughly understand every aspect of the contract, who is responsible for what, any specific obligations listed, and what can be done to terminate the contract in the event thing between both parties is not working out.
There are thousands of very successful property management company/HOA working relationships across the state and across the country. All it really takes is for you to take the time to work with the HOA to make sure both of you are on the same page and that each of you fully understands your responsibilities.