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Can A Homeowner Be An HOA Manager?

Can a homeowner be an HOA manager without the association running into problems? While it may seem like an easy job, an HOA manager juggles several different responsibilities. And not all associations want the potential conflict of interest that may arise from a homeowner-slash-manager.


Can a Homeowner Be an HOA Manager?

Homeowners associations come in all shapes and sizes. Some only have a few units with less than 50 owners, while others have several hundred owners, even going up to the thousands. Regardless of the size of a community, though, they all share one thing in common — an HOA board.

The HOA board manages the entire association, from the smallest of details to larger-scale projects. Board members have a fiduciary duty to do what’s best for the community, but the workload isn’t always manageable. The board has to balance a multitude of responsibilities, including but not limited to dues collection, rule enforcement, vendor management, budget preparation, legal compliance, and resident communication. Because the job can be overwhelming, many associations end up hiring an HOA manager.

An HOA manager shoulders most of the board’s day-to-day work, leaving the board to make more important decisions. More often than not, professionally managed communities also receive the help of back-office personnel who take care of all the administrative work. While it doesn’t happen frequently, it’s possible that an association may run into a situation where their HOA manager is a homeowner in the community. However, a homeowner as an HOA manager does have certain implications.


For Self-Managed Homeowners Associations

conflict of interest in HOASelf-managed associations are already managed solely by the HOA board. In this case, there would be no opening or need for an HOA manager. However, even a self-managed board might want to assign a volunteer homeowner to act as a manager. This volunteer would assume the role of a community manager, though they will likely receive no compensation since they are a volunteer (similar to board members).

Additionally, since it’s still considered volunteer work, there is no telling if the homeowner can add anything of value to the community’s operations. The board already runs the community, after all. If the homeowner really wishes to help out, they can do so by volunteering for committees or running for a position on the board themselves. If the board finds that they lack officers, it is worth exploring amending the bylaws to allow for another position on the board to open up.


For Professionally Managed Homeowners Associations

Professionally managed homeowners associations, on the other hand, have no use for a volunteer manager. This is because the association already employs a management company or manager to do the work.

It is unwise for an HOA to insist on having a homeowner as a volunteer manager in this scenario. The existing professional manager or management company likely already has its own system or way of doing things. A difference in opinion or management style will only result in a clash between the homeowner and the manager.


Possible Conflict of Interest in HOA

What if a homeowner in the community already has a career as an HOA manager? Would the board be right to employ them or their management company? After all, it could result in cost savings for the association.

This is a slippery slope, though, as it opens the HOA up to a conflict of interest. The same homeowner/manager may prioritize issues that matter to them personally. They may also favor resolutions that suit their own agenda or benefit their neighbors or friends. It is also much easier for them to circumvent certain procedures, giving them an opportunity to break the rules without penalty.


Refer to the HOA’s Governing Documents

Beyond examining your individual circumstance, it is imperative that your board refers to the association’s governing documents. Your bylaws and CC&Rs may contain language that can speak to this specific problem. In certain instances, you may also need to secure the agreement of other homeowners.

Regardless of the situation, though, board members must exercise caution and restraint. Study the possible pros and cons of having a homeowner be an HOA manager for the community. If the cons outweigh the pros — even if it’s just a single con that carries a heavier weight than the many pros — then perhaps it’s best to simply hire a professional outside of the association.


Skills of an HOA Manager

There are certain qualities and skills that only an effective HOA manager possesses. When looking for the right candidate, make sure to consider the following:

  • homeowner as hoa managerA good HOA manager is a natural leader. They must be confident in their decisions yet still open-minded to ideas.
  • Professionalism is utterly important. An HOA manager should approach everything with a calm and professional demeanor. No bias or favoritism is allowed.
  • A good HOA manager knows how to communicate well. They use the tools available to them to keep people in the loop.
  • Not all associations are made equal. An effective manager should have a deep understanding of their community’s bylaws, covenants, and rules. They must also be familiar with the laws that apply to associations.
  • An HOA manager should have good mediation skills. Disputes are unavoidable in a community, and mediation is critical to resolving disagreements.
  • Considering the wealth of responsibilities a manager has to juggle, a good HOA manager should know how to multitask. They should also have excellent time management skills.
  • Ideally, an HOA manager should have accounting experience. Accounting and financial management comprise two of the largest aspects of community management.
  • Finally, a good HOA manager is willing to learn and is always hungry for knowledge.


Can a Homeowner Be an HOA Manager?

Ultimately, there is no universal answer to this question. Board members have to examine the situation from every perspective to arrive at a decision. It is also critical to check the governing documents for any provisions on this matter. Beyond that, it helps to ask for the input of homeowners in the community to avoid ruffling any feathers.

As an alternative, an HOA community can skip the professional manager and opt to use management software instead. Condo Manager offers comprehensive management solutions to homeowners associations and HOA management companies. Call us today at 800) 626-1267 or contact us online for a free demo.



9 Of The Most Important Duties Of An HOA Property Manager

An HOA property manager fulfills several important responsibilities that are essential to the smooth operation of a community. Whether you’re thinking of hiring a manager or becoming one, make sure to familiarize yourself with these duties ahead of time.


The Importance of an HOA Property Manager

Managing a homeowners association, especially larger ones, can come as a huge challenge. While there is an HOA board responsible for this undertaking, board members face difficulties all the time. They have personal and professional lives to juggle, which means time is usually a luxury. Board members also don’t always have the right skills needed for the job. After all, they are just volunteers.

This is where an HOA property manager comes in. Also known as a community association manager or a condo association manager, an HOA property manager essentially shoulders most of the board’s burden. But, rather than acting autonomously, the HOA manager works with the board to manage the community. It is worth noting, though, that the HOA manager is not a part of the board.


The Duties and Responsibilities of an HOA Property Manager

A homeowners association manager performs many tasks that keep the community in good condition. These include common area maintenance, invoicing and collections, homeowner and board communication, rule enforcement, vendor management, financial management and reporting, board education and assistance, risk management, and administrative duties. Let’s break each of these down below.


1. Common Area Maintenance

HOA property managers must make sure all common areas and amenities remain clean and well-maintained. This often means conducting site inspections, fielding maintenance requests, and hiring vendors when necessary. Safety is also a top priority, as a lot of things can happen to residents while using common areas. Any injuries that occur on-site could hold the association liable.

Additionally, preventive maintenance is paramount and always trumps corrective maintenance. By following a preventive maintenance schedule, managers can keep structures and equipment functional for a longer period of time. It also avoids breakdowns, which can cost the association a lot of money to repair. If there are any special projects underway, the manager also holds the responsibility of carrying out the contracts, ensuring the project remains on schedule, and making sure the HOA stays on budget.


2. Invoicing and Collections

Homeowners associations collect regular fees from homeowners as a way to fund their expenses. The HOA property manager carries the burden of sending out invoices to homeowners ahead of time and making collection efforts. This includes any collections done online and offline. The manager should also track and manage delinquencies to keep the association and its members in good standing. This could mean imposing late fees, offering payment plans, placing a lien, and initiating foreclosure proceedings.


3. Homeowner and Board Communication

community association managerCommunication plays a significant role in the success of an HOA community. The HOA manager is responsible for keeping an open line of communication, whether with residents or the HOA board.

This includes sending out notices on time, facilitating the creation and distribution of newsletters, and making sure residents gain easy access to relevant information. It also means manning phone lines and email inboxes for any concerns coming from homeowners. Though, it is often better to have a website or management software that allows for a more streamlined method of communication.


4. Rule Enforcement

Every HOA manager should have a good grasp of the association’s bylaws and CC&Rs. This will allow them to enforce the rules more consistently and thoroughly. Part of the job description is to perform frequent inspections for any violations, send violation notices, and organize disciplinary hearings. Keep in mind, though, that the manager does not have the final say on these matters. Managers still have to defer to the board’s decision and implement it accordingly.

Additionally, an HOA property manager should have more than just a working knowledge of the law. That doesn’t mean they should be lawyers. But, a deep understanding of the federal and state laws that apply to HOAs is critical in ensuring the association keeps out of legal trouble. Some examples of federal laws that apply to HOAs include the Fair Housing Act and the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act.


5. Vendor Management

Homeowners associations don’t work alone. Oftentimes, it is necessary to employ outside help to carry out different functions. For instance, an HOA would need to hire a contractor to perform repairs or a landscaper for landscaping. The manager would be responsible for preparing requests for proposals (RFPs), helping the board choose a vendor, coordinating with existing vendors, and ensuring vendors do a good job.


6. Financial Management and Reporting

For many homeowners associations, financial management is the most difficult aspect of HOA management. But, an HOA manager can help with this, too. The manager would be in charge of accounting and bookkeeping. They would also prepare the monthly financial statements for the board’s review. Managers can also help the board plan and stay on budget.

Reserve studies, though, are often outside of an HOA property manager’s expertise. For that, the manager would need to hire a professional but still possess an understanding of the study itself. Other than that, an HOA manager can assist the board with tax filing.


7. Board Education and Assistance

Board members don’t always come equipped with the skills and knowledge required for successful community management. Fortunately, an HOA manager can help the board understand and implement the best practices. They can also help assess the current policies of the community and recommend any changes. After all, some boards just create policies on a whim without considering whether or not they comply with the law and the association’s governing documents. Several management companies also offer board education and training programs.


condo association manager8. Risk Management

Homeowners associations assume a lot of risks, too. It is the job of the HOA manager to help mitigate these risks through careful evaluation and planning. By determining the possible risks, an HOA manager can help the board prepare for the worst-case scenario. This also means ensuring the association has the right insurance policies in place.


9. Administrative Duties

Aside from those listed above, there are several other tasks that managers have to fulfill that are more administrative in nature. These include planning and attending board meetings, contract reviews, answering homeowner concerns, emergency after-hours services, organizing events, and maintaining the community website.


The Best Choice You Can Make for Your Community

Many homeowners associations struggle with community management on a daily basis. While self-management is certainly an option, it is often best to outsource the job to an HOA property manager.

Condo Manager is the best HOA management software provider you can find. Whether you’re a self-managed HOA or an HOA management company, we have a solution for you. Call us today at 800-626-1267 or contact us online for a free demo.



HOA Manager And Property Manager: What Do They Do?

HOA management and property management are very similar industries — so much so that most people interchange an HOA manager and a property manager. However, these are two distinct professions with different roles and responsibilities. Though there are some overlaps, it’s important to understand the distinction between the two.


What Does an HOA Manager Do?

An HOA manager, also known as a community association manager, is responsible for managing different types of residential communities such as homeowners associations, condominium associations, townhome communities, golf and country club communities, and seniors communities.


HOA managers perform a wide range of duties and responsibilities including:

HOA managers also handle the day-to-day operations to ensure that the association runs smoothly and efficiently. An HOA manager and condominium association managers collaborate directly with the board of directors but they work for the entire community of homeowners.

When it comes to maintenance issues, though, HOA managers are only responsible for shared assets such as the HOA swimming pool, basketball court, park, and gym. Homeowners are responsible for maintaining their individual properties.


HOA Manager vs Property Manager: What’s the Difference?

A community association manager and property manager may perform very similar duties. However, one key difference is that the latter is hired by a property owner to handle rental properties such as apartment complexes, townhomes, vacation homes, and single-family homes.

The key responsibilities of a property manager include:

  • Managing the Entire Property
  • Setting and Collecting Rent
  • Managing Budgets
  • Handling Accounting and Finances
  • Screening Tenants
  • Advertising and Showing Vacant Units
  • Handling Maintenance and Tenant Requests
  • Evicting Delinquent Tenants
  • Enforcing Rules and Regulations
  • Performing Specific Tasks Assigned by the Property Owner

Though property managers frequently deal with tenants in a rental property, they are hired by property owners and answerable to them. One of their main goals is to ensure that the properties or units are rented and profitable.


Can a Property Manager Operate Within an HOA?

hoa manager vs property managerThere are some cases where a property manager is assigned to handle several homes in an association. In this case, property managers may act as a proxy for the actual property owners.

They are required to comply with HOA rules and regulations, as well as work with the HOA manager to address concerns that they may have. However, if the tenants have issues with the property they are renting, they have to consult the property manager — not the HOA manager.


Importance of Knowing the Difference Between HOA Manager and Property Manager

HOA managers and property managers have become interchangeable to the general public. This is understandable since the two professions have some overlaps. However, the issue is that even in the state legislature, we see that community association management and property management are being treated as one and the same. But why is it important to differentiate them?

HOA managers and property managers have unique responsibilities. As such, they will also require specific training or education. For example, for HOA managers to be effective, they need to be knowledgeable about the different aspects of community association management.

Certified community managers have expertise when it comes to financial controls, reserve planning, risk management, legal management, and human resource. These qualifications provide them with the necessary skills to fulfill their HOA responsibilities.

The same goes for property managers. Since property managers perform renting and leasing duties, some states require these professionals to obtain a real estate broker license as well. This includes states like Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Ohio. Alaska is the only state that requires community managers to also have a real estate license.

By establishing the difference between HOA managers and property managers, individuals who want to pursue these professions have a clear understanding of the requirements and certifications they need. Likewise, homeowners and landlords will know which professional to call on to assist their community.


Do You Need an HOA Manager or a Property Manager?

With a clear understanding of what HOA managers and property managers do, it’ll be easier to decide which is better suited for you. Take time to think about the specific needs of your community. Do you need the services of an HOA manager or a property manager? Whichever professional you choose, make sure that they have the qualifications and experience to serve your community properly and efficiently.

Need help with your HOA management or property management? Condo Manager USA has the tools and resources you need! Call us at (800) 626-1267, email us at sales@condomanagerusa.com, or contact us online to learn more about our management software solutions.