Category Archives: GA

Should Your Atlanta HOA Adopt The Georgia Property Owners Act?


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(678) 866-1436

www,riversidepropertymgt.com

Why Your Atlanta HOA May Want to Adopt the POA.

In 1994, the Georgia Legislature adopted the Property Owners’ Association Act (“POA”). The POA provides significant advantages to homeowners associations. Here are some of the most important advantages of the POA:

1.   Automatic Statutory Liens

After submitting to the POA, an association no longer needs to file liens at the county courthouse for unpaid assessments or other charges. Instead, the POA creates an automatic statutory lien against a delinquent owner’s lot for any sums owed to the association. The POA provides that the declaration of covenants itself serves as notice that there is a lien on every lot in the community for any unpaid assessment or other charges. As a result, closing attorneys, title examiners, purchasers or owners must contact the association for a statement of any amounts owed to the association prior to concluding a sale or refinance of the lot, or risk the existence of a lien. If the association is not paid out of the proceeds of the sale or refinance, the lien continues against the lot and will generally have priority over subsequent liens and mortgages.

Another benefit of the POA’s automatic lien is that it protects the association even if the association’s records have incorrect or misspelled owner names. Recorded liens are only effective if filed under the correct owner names. If the association’s records have an owner’s name misspelled the recorded lien may be ineffective. The POA makes the lien effective, even if you have incorrect or no information about an owner.

2.   Buyers and Sellers are Jointly and Severally Liable to Pay Assessments
The POA includes another provision that helps strengthen an association’s assessment collection powers. The POA makes buyers and sellers jointly and severally liable for all unpaid assessments. This means that, if the automatic statutory lien is not paid at the closing, the association can proceed against the new owner, who will be personally liable for all amounts owed prior to the closing.
3.   Tenants are Obligated to Comply With Association Regulations
The POA also requires that both owners and tenants must comply with all the provisions of the declaration of Covenants and the association’s rules and regulations.
4.   Fines and Suspension of Privileges
The POA gives homeowners associations a statutory power to assess fines against violators and to suspend the common area use rights of violators, if allowed in the Covenants. Fines constitute a lien against the violator’s lot, and the ability to fine significantly strengthens the association’s powers to enforce the Covenants and the rules and regulations.
5.   Late Fees and Interest
Submission to the POA allows homeowners associations to charge a late fee equal to the greater of $10.00 or ten percent (10%) of the amount due, and interest at a rate of ten percent (10%) per annum on unpaid assessments and charges, if allowed by the Covenants.
6.   Recovery of Attorney’s Fees from Owners
The POA authorizes the recovery of the association’s costs of collection of the delinquent assessments, including reasonable attorney’s fees actually incurred. This provision is extremely helpful with judges who otherwise are reluctant to grant the association its attorneys fees, when it sues delinquent or violating owners.
7.   Perpetual Duration
Prior to 1993, Georgia law at Code Section 44-5-60(d)(1) generally provided that Covenants expire after twenty years. That statute was amended in 1993 to permit Covenants to automatically renew, but the Georgia courts have held that Covenants in communities that were recorded prior to 1994 do not receive the benefit of the new 1994 law. One of the most important benefits of the POA is that it has a provision that states Georgia Code Section 44-5-60(d)(1) shall not apply to any Covenants contained in any instrument submitted to the POA. That means that if a community’s Covenants were recorded prior to 1994, submission to the POA now will eliminate the possibility that the Covenants will expire after twenty years.

8.   Ease of Adoption
In most communities, Board members can quickly and easily adopt the POA by obtaining the consent of the association members by mail or by going door to door, depending upon the specific amendment provisions within a community’s governing documents.

Once in place, the POA provides clear advantages to homeowners associations seeking to maximize their collections.

Riverside Property Management is a Homeowners association management company management company proudly serving Roswell, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Marietta and all of North Georgia. Riverside is also an expert Georgia condo association management company and high rise Atlanta association management company. To find out more about Riverside Property Management and why it is one of Georgia’s fastest growing property management companies, go to www.riversidepropertymgt.com. You’ll be glad you did.

Should Your Marietta HOA Adopt The Georgia Property Owners Act?


Quantcast

(678) 866-1436

www,riversidepropertymgt.com

Why Your Atlanta HOA May Want to Adopt the POA.

In 1994, the Georgia Legislature adopted the Property Owners’ Association Act (“POA”). The POA provides significant advantages to homeowners associations. Here are some of the most important advantages of the POA:

1.   Automatic Statutory Liens

After submitting to the POA, an association no longer needs to file liens at the county courthouse for unpaid assessments or other charges. Instead, the POA creates an automatic statutory lien against a delinquent owner’s lot for any sums owed to the association. The POA provides that the declaration of covenants itself serves as notice that there is a lien on every lot in the community for any unpaid assessment or other charges. As a result, closing attorneys, title examiners, purchasers or owners must contact the association for a statement of any amounts owed to the association prior to concluding a sale or refinance of the lot, or risk the existence of a lien. If the association is not paid out of the proceeds of the sale or refinance, the lien continues against the lot and will generally have priority over subsequent liens and mortgages.

Another benefit of the POA’s automatic lien is that it protects the association even if the association’s records have incorrect or misspelled owner names. Recorded liens are only effective if filed under the correct owner names. If the association’s records have an owner’s name misspelled the recorded lien may be ineffective. The POA makes the lien effective, even if you have incorrect or no information about an owner.

2.   Buyers and Sellers are Jointly and Severally Liable to Pay Assessments
The POA includes another provision that helps strengthen an association’s assessment collection powers. The POA makes buyers and sellers jointly and severally liable for all unpaid assessments. This means that, if the automatic statutory lien is not paid at the closing, the association can proceed against the new owner, who will be personally liable for all amounts owed prior to the closing.
3.   Tenants are Obligated to Comply With Association Regulations
The POA also requires that both owners and tenants must comply with all the provisions of the declaration of Covenants and the association’s rules and regulations.
4.   Fines and Suspension of Privileges
The POA gives homeowners associations a statutory power to assess fines against violators and to suspend the common area use rights of violators, if allowed in the Covenants. Fines constitute a lien against the violator’s lot, and the ability to fine significantly strengthens the association’s powers to enforce the Covenants and the rules and regulations.
5.   Late Fees and Interest
Submission to the POA allows homeowners associations to charge a late fee equal to the greater of $10.00 or ten percent (10%) of the amount due, and interest at a rate of ten percent (10%) per annum on unpaid assessments and charges, if allowed by the Covenants.
6.   Recovery of Attorney’s Fees from Owners
The POA authorizes the recovery of the association’s costs of collection of the delinquent assessments, including reasonable attorney’s fees actually incurred. This provision is extremely helpful with judges who otherwise are reluctant to grant the association its attorneys fees, when it sues delinquent or violating owners.
7.   Perpetual Duration
Prior to 1993, Georgia law at Code Section 44-5-60(d)(1) generally provided that Covenants expire after twenty years. That statute was amended in 1993 to permit Covenants to automatically renew, but the Georgia courts have held that Covenants in communities that were recorded prior to 1994 do not receive the benefit of the new 1994 law. One of the most important benefits of the POA is that it has a provision that states Georgia Code Section 44-5-60(d)(1) shall not apply to any Covenants contained in any instrument submitted to the POA. That means that if a community’s Covenants were recorded prior to 1994, submission to the POA now will eliminate the possibility that the Covenants will expire after twenty years.

8.   Ease of Adoption
In most communities, Board members can quickly and easily adopt the POA by obtaining the consent of the association members by mail or by going door to door, depending upon the specific amendment provisions within a community’s governing documents.

Once in place, the POA provides clear advantages to homeowners associations seeking to maximize their collections.

Riverside Property Management is a Homeowners association management company management company proudly serving Roswell, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Marietta and all of North Georgia. Riverside is also an expert Georgia condo association management company and high rise Atlanta association management company. To find out more about Riverside Property Management and why it is one of Georgia’s fastest growing property management companies, go to www.riversidepropertymgt.com. You’ll be glad you did.

Should Your Atlanta HOA Adopt The Georgia Property Owners Act?


Quantcast

(678) 866-1436

www,riversidepropertymgt.com

Why Your Atlanta HOA May Want to Adopt the POA.

In 1994, the Georgia Legislature adopted the Property Owners’ Association Act (“POA”). The POA provides significant advantages to homeowners associations. Here are some of the most important advantages of the POA:

1.   Automatic Statutory Liens

After submitting to the POA, an association no longer needs to file liens at the county courthouse for unpaid assessments or other charges. Instead, the POA creates an automatic statutory lien against a delinquent owner’s lot for any sums owed to the association. The POA provides that the declaration of covenants itself serves as notice that there is a lien on every lot in the community for any unpaid assessment or other charges. As a result, closing attorneys, title examiners, purchasers or owners must contact the association for a statement of any amounts owed to the association prior to concluding a sale or refinance of the lot, or risk the existence of a lien. If the association is not paid out of the proceeds of the sale or refinance, the lien continues against the lot and will generally have priority over subsequent liens and mortgages.

Another benefit of the POA’s automatic lien is that it protects the association even if the association’s records have incorrect or misspelled owner names. Recorded liens are only effective if filed under the correct owner names. If the association’s records have an owner’s name misspelled the recorded lien may be ineffective. The POA makes the lien effective, even if you have incorrect or no information about an owner.

2.   Buyers and Sellers are Jointly and Severally Liable to Pay Assessments
The POA includes another provision that helps strengthen an association’s assessment collection powers. The POA makes buyers and sellers jointly and severally liable for all unpaid assessments. This means that, if the automatic statutory lien is not paid at the closing, the association can proceed against the new owner, who will be personally liable for all amounts owed prior to the closing.
3.   Tenants are Obligated to Comply With Association Regulations
The POA also requires that both owners and tenants must comply with all the provisions of the declaration of Covenants and the association’s rules and regulations.
4.   Fines and Suspension of Privileges
The POA gives homeowners associations a statutory power to assess fines against violators and to suspend the common area use rights of violators, if allowed in the Covenants. Fines constitute a lien against the violator’s lot, and the ability to fine significantly strengthens the association’s powers to enforce the Covenants and the rules and regulations.
5.   Late Fees and Interest
Submission to the POA allows homeowners associations to charge a late fee equal to the greater of $10.00 or ten percent (10%) of the amount due, and interest at a rate of ten percent (10%) per annum on unpaid assessments and charges, if allowed by the Covenants.
6.   Recovery of Attorney’s Fees from Owners
The POA authorizes the recovery of the association’s costs of collection of the delinquent assessments, including reasonable attorney’s fees actually incurred. This provision is extremely helpful with judges who otherwise are reluctant to grant the association its attorneys fees, when it sues delinquent or violating owners.
7.   Perpetual Duration
Prior to 1993, Georgia law at Code Section 44-5-60(d)(1) generally provided that Covenants expire after twenty years. That statute was amended in 1993 to permit Covenants to automatically renew, but the Georgia courts have held that Covenants in communities that were recorded prior to 1994 do not receive the benefit of the new 1994 law. One of the most important benefits of the POA is that it has a provision that states Georgia Code Section 44-5-60(d)(1) shall not apply to any Covenants contained in any instrument submitted to the POA. That means that if a community’s Covenants were recorded prior to 1994, submission to the POA now will eliminate the possibility that the Covenants will expire after twenty years.

8.   Ease of Adoption
In most communities, Board members can quickly and easily adopt the POA by obtaining the consent of the association members by mail or by going door to door, depending upon the specific amendment provisions within a community’s governing documents.

Once in place, the POA provides clear advantages to homeowners associations seeking to maximize their collections.

Riverside Property Management is a Homeowners association management company management company proudly serving Roswell, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Marietta and all of North Georgia. Riverside is also an expert Georgia condo association management company and high rise Atlanta association management company. To find out more about Riverside Property Management and why it is one of Georgia’s fastest growing property management companies, go to www.riversidepropertymgt.com. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Benefits for HOA and Condo Board Members in Georgia


Georgia Chapter of:

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Click Here for an APPLICATION and INFORMATION!

•Educational Seminars

These seminars provide association board members and homeowners that provide valuable information on issues affecting associations.

•The Community Association Volunteer Leadership (CAVL) Workshop

Designed for association board members and homeowners, this comprehensive training program provides a great overview of the different aspects of running a community association.

•Mini Expo Tradeshows and Educational Programs

Each year we are excited to offer Mini Expo tradeshows in conjunction with our homeowner programs, which offers an opportunity to network with other association leaders and professionals in the industry.

•The Georgia Commons

Our quarterly magazine provides up-to-date information on the operation of associations.

•The CAI Service Directory

Our membership directory features a complete list of service suppliers and professionals who work with associations. We have over 750 members and are growing every day!

•Educational Seminars

These seminars provide association board members and homeowners that provide valuable information on issues affecting associations.

•The Community Association Volunteer Leadership (CAVL) Workshop

Designed for association board members and homeowners, this comprehensive training program provides a great overview of the different aspects of running a community association.

•Mini Expo Tradeshows and Educational Programs

Each year we are excited to offer Mini Expo tradeshows in conjunction with our homeowner programs, which offers an opportunity to network with other association leaders and professionals in the industry.

Or call Riverside Property Management of Kennesaw for more information!

Riverside Property Management, Inc. is a leading provider of Homeowner Association management services in the North Atlanta area.  Including, but not limited to:  all accounting procedures, vendor/contract management, covenant enforcement and management consulting services.

678-866-1436 or www.riversidepropertymgt.com

Benefits for Volunteer HOA and Condo Board Members in Georgia


Georgia Chapter of:

https://i0.wp.com/www.caionline.org/design/CAI_logo.gif

Click Here for an APPLICATION and INFORMATION!

•Educational Seminars

These seminars provide association board members and homeowners that provide valuable information on issues affecting associations.

•The Community Association Volunteer Leadership (CAVL) Workshop

Designed for association board members and homeowners, this comprehensive training program provides a great overview of the different aspects of running a community association.

•Mini Expo Tradeshows and Educational Programs

Each year we are excited to offer Mini Expo tradeshows in conjunction with our homeowner programs, which offers an opportunity to network with other association leaders and professionals in the industry.

•The Georgia Commons

Our quarterly magazine provides up-to-date information on the operation of associations.

•The CAI Service Directory

Our membership directory features a complete list of service suppliers and professionals who work with associations. We have over 750 members and are growing every day!

•Educational Seminars

These seminars provide association board members and homeowners that provide valuable information on issues affecting associations.

•The Community Association Volunteer Leadership (CAVL) Workshop

Designed for association board members and homeowners, this comprehensive training program provides a great overview of the different aspects of running a community association.

•Mini Expo Tradeshows and Educational Programs

Each year we are excited to offer Mini Expo tradeshows in conjunction with our homeowner programs, which offers an opportunity to network with other association leaders and professionals in the industry.

Or call Riverside Property Management of Kennesaw for more information!

678-866-1436 or www.riversidepropertymgt.com

Benefits for HOA and Condo Board Members in Georgia


Georgia Chapter of:

https://i0.wp.com/www.caionline.org/design/CAI_logo.gif

Click Here for an APPLICATION and INFORMATION!

•Educational Seminars

These seminars provide association board members and homeowners that provide valuable information on issues affecting associations.

•The Community Association Volunteer Leadership (CAVL) Workshop

Designed for association board members and homeowners, this comprehensive training program provides a great overview of the different aspects of running a community association.

•Mini Expo Tradeshows and Educational Programs

Each year we are excited to offer Mini Expo tradeshows in conjunction with our homeowner programs, which offers an opportunity to network with other association leaders and professionals in the industry.

•The Georgia Commons

Our quarterly magazine provides up-to-date information on the operation of associations.

•The CAI Service Directory

Our membership directory features a complete list of service suppliers and professionals who work with associations. We have over 750 members and are growing every day!

•Educational Seminars

These seminars provide association board members and homeowners that provide valuable information on issues affecting associations.

•The Community Association Volunteer Leadership (CAVL) Workshop

Designed for association board members and homeowners, this comprehensive training program provides a great overview of the different aspects of running a community association.

•Mini Expo Tradeshows and Educational Programs

Each year we are excited to offer Mini Expo tradeshows in conjunction with our homeowner programs, which offers an opportunity to network with other association leaders and professionals in the industry.

Or call Riverside Property Management of Kennesaw for more information!

678-866-1436 or www.riversidepropertymgt.com

Membership Benefits for HOA and Condo Board Members in Georgia


Georgia Chapter of:

https://i0.wp.com/www.caionline.org/design/CAI_logo.gif

Click Here for an APPLICATION and INFORMATION!

•Educational Seminars

These seminars provide association board members and homeowners that provide valuable information on issues affecting associations.

•The Community Association Volunteer Leadership (CAVL) Workshop

Designed for association board members and homeowners, this comprehensive training program provides a great overview of the different aspects of running a community association.

•Mini Expo Tradeshows and Educational Programs

Each year we are excited to offer Mini Expo tradeshows in conjunction with our homeowner programs, which offers an opportunity to network with other association leaders and professionals in the industry.

•The Georgia Commons

Our quarterly magazine provides up-to-date information on the operation of associations.

•The CAI Service Directory

Our membership directory features a complete list of service suppliers and professionals who work with associations. We have over 750 members and are growing every day!

•Educational Seminars

These seminars provide association board members and homeowners that provide valuable information on issues affecting associations.

•The Community Association Volunteer Leadership (CAVL) Workshop

Designed for association board members and homeowners, this comprehensive training program provides a great overview of the different aspects of running a community association.

•Mini Expo Tradeshows and Educational Programs

Each year we are excited to offer Mini Expo tradeshows in conjunction with our homeowner programs, which offers an opportunity to network with other association leaders and professionals in the industry.

The Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Prospective Community Association Management Company


http://fortuneaskannie.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/job_interview_questions.jpg?w=340&h=255
1. How many households (or units) are each community manager responsible for in your company?

Throughout the industry, Homeowners Association Management Company overload their community managers, giving them too many homeowners associations operate. The industry average is about 1,800 houses by the  community manager, which is about 500 too many homes. If the portfolio manager of a community is very large, some of the clients in the  HOA can be neglected.

2. How many people support the administrator of the community in their efforts?

A management company HOA should not only assign an administrator to a community homeowners association, but a team of people to operate smoothly for the association. A well organized team should include a community manager, accounting manager, a compliance inspector, a customer service representative, and a director of community management .

3. Is the community regularly inspected? How often? Who answers the phone when the community manager is absent or inspecting the property?

The homeowners association must be inspected for violations at least once a month. The compliance inspector should take a picture of the violation, which is sent with the letters of violation.

4. How long does your team take to respond to calls and emails?

The management company must respond to homeowners and the homeowners association board members correspondence as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours. However, Board members must also have the number of community manager’s cell phone for emergencies.

5. Does the community manager have a college degree and / or industry certifications?

Directors of the community must be college educated. They must have training and industry designation as well. Community managers must also attend seminars and industry events to stay current on changes in legislation.

6. Does the management company aggressively pursue homeowners who do not make payments on time for collection?

It is the responsibility of an owner to pay HOA dues in accordance with the rules of the homeowners association. However, when an owner fails to pay their dues, it is the responsibility of the management company to collect the funds. The board of the directors should work with the management company to delineate an HOA collection policy, including the final letters, notices of demand and eventual liening of the home.

7. Is a community web site included in our monthly management fee?

A website for your community association is a great way to help build a sense of community throughout your neighborhood. Other features should include access to forms, governing documents, closing forms, payment online access and emergency contact.  There should also be an option for accounting integration.

8. What hours can the property manager be reached?

A community manager should be available 24 hours a day. During the day which should be available through the office phone, email and cell phone and in the evenings and weekends, the management company HOA must provide an emergency service response, if a situation becomes an emergency.

9. Does the management closing account information before being transferred (sold) from one owner to another?

When a request is escrow by a title company, this information should be shared with the title company and documented in the system of the management company.

10. It is the management company Owners Association a professional team of experts?

The management company should be a team of experts with experience in professionalism and a commitment to quality service in order to properly service its customers the homeowners association.

With over 40 years of combined industry experience, the Executive Staff of Riverside Property Management  knows that the most successful communities are those where there is a sense of unity and pride among the membership; this unity and pride begins with a firm foundation comprised of:

Well defined policies and objectives
A strategic plan and future vision
A proactive Management team
Mutual team trust and respect
Timely and open communication
Excellent customer service
Industry knowledge
“Out of the Box” Thinking
Services designed to meet your needs

Give us fifteen minutes of your time and we can show you how to put your community on a fast track to success; if you don’t believe us, feel free to call upon any one of our satisfied clients.

Find the Best Atlanta Property Management Company


Ten Tips for Finding the Best Atlanta Property Management Company For Your HOA.
HOA management companies in Atlanta range from the mega, big-box companies to the Mom and Pop companies run by families.  Regardless of the size of your association, you should understand the key differences in management companies and how to choose the best management for your HOA or condo association.

Here are ten things you should look for in an Atlanta HOA Management Company:

1.  Find a Locally Owned Company. Working with a locally owned and operated management company means that all management decisions originate in Atlanta and not 800 miles away.  Locally owned management companies are focused on the Atlanta market and their key vendor and banking relationships are right here in Georgia.  Best of all, if you ever have a question or concern, you can personally visit and meet with the company and its highest executive officers and inspect any and all management records.

2.  Make Sure Your Management Company Banks with a Georgia Bank. Banking locally means fewer errors in banking transactions and more efficient depositing of HOA checks without delays caused by interstate bank transactions or delayed mail processing times.  It also means that if you ever have any concerns or a need to withdraw or move funds, you can do without any delay.  If your property management company works with an out-of-state bank, you will have a longer turnaround and less access to records and money when you need it.

3. Find a Company That Delivers Financial Statements at the Beginning of Every Month. If you entrusting your company’s affairs to a management company, you have the right to receive timely and accurate financial statements every month.  If your management company is giving you full and complete financials by the 10th of every month, something is wrong.  Either they are too big and inefficient, understaffed or lack the organization they should have to effectively manage your community.   And make sure the financial statements include a Balance Sheet, Income and Expense Statement, Cash Receipts Journal, General Ledger and Check Register as well as copies of the actual bank statements.  If the management company can’t provide you with all of these basic financial documents (and many cannot), there is something wrong and you need to find another company.

4.  Insist on Complete Transparency. There is nothing magical about what management companies do and nothing should be secret from the Board.  The Board should be able to request records and get them without a runaround.  And the Board should be able to review every property inspection the company performs.  Too many companies claim they do property inspections when in reality they whistle through the neighborhood on the way to Starbucks.

5.  Make Sure You Get to Choose All Vendors. Management companies often have “sweetheart deals” with vendors that enhance their bottom line and cost the HOA more money.  So when it comes to selecting vendors and soliciting bids, make sure you are able to direct what companies you want to receive bids from and that you make the decision of who to hire.   If any management company tells you that they select all of the vendors, pack up your bags and run!

6.  Be Realistic. Management companies deal on a very low profit margin.  Think about what services you want and what you are willing to pay for.  If you want weekly property inspections, you are going to pay a lot more than a neighborhood that wants monthly property inspections.  But are weekly inspections necessary or reasonable?  Most Covenants require that associations provide homeowners a minimum of thirty days to correct a violation.  Weekly inspections would be an unnecessary waste of resources and would only increase the management costs.

7.  Look at the Company’s Insurance Before Doing Business With Them. Is your HOA property management company insured to cover your association in the event of a loss?  Do they have liability insurance in case they hit the front entrance sign on the way into the neighborhood?  Do they have an umbrella insurance policy just in case?  Do they also have fidelity coverage in case one of their employees steals from the association coffers?  Do they have workers compensation coverage in case one of their employees is hurt on the job?  If not, you probably need to find another management company.

8.  Beware of the Big Boys. Bigger management companies often have longer response times and more “red tape” to deal with.  If an Atlanta property management company has to refer your question to someone else in the company or can’t get a bill paid within five days of receiving it, you are going to be frustrated dealing with the company and the delay in response time is ultimately going to cost you time and money.  Also, lack of service and delayed responses put your Atlanta HOA, High Rise or Condo association in situations of extreme liability. If problems concerning the health and well being of the public, lets say a tripping hazard or leaking roof in a community center, aren’t addressed immediately the cost and liability associated with the problems rise exponentially.

9.  Meet the Company Representatives. You will never get a true sense of what a management company does and how companies differ from one another until you meet with representatives.  If all you are doing is collecting bids and comparing prices, you are missing the boat.  If the management company representatives aren’t “liable,” when you meet them, they sure aren’t going to get any better when they talk to homeowners.   And make sure they are willing to return all phones, not just calls from Board members, from all homeowners within 24 hours.  Many companies will give “A+” service to Board members and “D-” service to the homeowners.

10.  Visit the Company Offices Before You Decide. Worried about who you are doing business with?  There is no better way to get a sense of how your management company operates than by a personal on site visit.  Is the office clean, neat, professional and organized?  It should be if that is how they conduct business.  If the office is a disorganized mess with boxes piled everywhere and papers scattered in a heap, you may want to choose another management company.

Old Ben Was Right


One of the earliest advocates of preventive maintenance was Ben Franklin. He wisely wrote: “A little neglect may breed mischief…for want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost…” Old Ben nailed what happens when relatively small repairs. Little things have major impact on homeowner association assets. For example, a small lack of flashing can lead to major dryrot, structural problems and major expense. Ka-CHING!

Preventive maintenance is critical to managing an HOA’s assets. When executed properly, it extends the useful life of buildings, grounds and equipment. Stretching out useful lives means stretching member contributions and reducing downtime from component failures. Preventive maintenance involves fixing something before it breaks. Here are five objectives for a every preventive maintenance program:

  1. To perform maintenance that keeps the property safe and functioning.
  2. To promote the most effective and efficient use of resources.
  3. To estimate the human resources needed for proper operation and maintenance.
  4. To determine long range funding requirements and project scheduling.
  5. To evaluate the effectiveness of the maintenance effort.

Preventive maintenance programs are common with elevators, HVAC and pool equipment, usually because there is a service contract. Other components, like paving, roofing, decks and paint require monitoring and planning.

Functional obsolescence is also a legitimate concern. Lack of parts, improvements in efficiency, computerization and changes in fire and building code can make equipment obsolete even though it’s working just as designed. This is particularly applicable to elevators, boilers, pumps and HVAC. Buying new equipment is often a great investment in reduced operating costs. For example, by replacing all common area lighting with compact fluorescent bulbs, the light level will be significantly increased, the energy consumption reduced by 70% and the useful life of each bulb extended by 10-15 times thereby saving an enormous amount of labor costs. Within 12-18 months, the cost will be recouped in energy savings and then, it’s money in the bank.

So, what is the best way to address major preventive maintenance? Two words: Reserve Study. A Reserve Study identifies all the significant components that the HOA is responsible to maintain, assesses current condition, cost of repair and replacement and charts a 30 year maintenance plan to keep the components in their best condition.

The Reserve Study can provide for cyclical preventive maintenance so components achieve their optimal lives. For example If cracks, minor repairs and sealcoating are performed at least every five years on asphalt paving, major repairs will not be required for 20-30 years. If this relatively inexpensive preventive maintenance is not done, significant and costly major repairs will be required much sooner. Pay a little to save a lot.

A Reserve Study will also guide the board how to systematically accumulate funds without special assessments. A full funding plan will have all owners contribute a fair share relating to the benefits received. A fair contribution plan means no one will get a better deal than anyone else and the money will be there when needed. The Reserve Study is absolutely the best way to prepare for a future which will certainly come to pass.

Remember Old Ben’s nail analogy. Little things have a way of causing great things to happen. But rather than fail in the little things, plan for them and hit this nail right on the head.

by Richard Thompson