Not every home owners association is the same. There are, however, a number of similarities shared by most. Likewise, as an HOA manager, there are certain commonalities you’ll share with others of the same title. For instance, many of the day-to-day tasks and duties are the same things that other HOA managers in other cities, states and even countries have on their to-do lists. There are also a number of things that all HOA managers should avoid doing. Let’s explore a few of these ‘don’ts’ below.
Be Lax with the Rules
It’s no fun being the bad guy, but if you’re not willing to enforce the rules fairy and consistently across all HOA members, then you’ll end up with unrest within your community. You might find yourself tempted to give one owner a break on a late fee, but in doing so, not only will you encourage the same behavior in the future, but you’ll also upset other owners who didn’t receive the same break. It’s a slippery slope you don’t want to be on.
Take Sides in a Dispute
Conflict can arise in any community. As an HOA manager, your job is to ease tensions and help the parties involved resolve their issues peacefully. This often involves mediation, at which point you must be completely impartial in how you handle the situation. Do not let personal relationships cloud your judgment or impede your ability to remain neutral. If you feel you can’t do this, then it’s your duty to bring in someone who can, be it another board member or a third party.
Failing to Ask for Help
Speaking of third parties, there are many instances in HOA management when third party resources can and should be leveraged. For example, let’s say an owner is threatening legal action against the association. It’s imperative that you know when it’s time to enlist the help of an expert, such as an attorney. Other resources you may want to have on call include city officials, local authorities, contractors and tax professionals. Keeping a list of these contacts will ensure that you’ll know exactly who to reach out to if and when the time comes.
HOA managers serve a pivotal role in residential associations. They provide assistance and support to the board, as well as individual owners and the community at large. And while different managers may operate differently, or offer different services, there are certain things that should be avoided, regardless. By steering clear of the three no-no’s listed above, you’ll be far more effective in your role.