Successfully running an HOA can be difficult, especially considering that most board members are volunteers with full-time jobs, children, and other responsibilities outside of the HOA. For that reason, problems that occur within HOAs are often difficult to solve, especially when those problems start piling up.
As an HOA management company in Phoenix, Arizona, we understand all of the responsibilities that come with a well-oiled HOA and provide our services to help deter issues before they even arise. Below, we’ve compiled a list of common problems that HOAs may face. If the below sounds a little too familiar from your own personal HOA experience, we can help. Our Phoenix HOA management company provides services that work to prevent these problems from occurring. Keep reading below to learn more, and make sure to reach out for a proposal if your HOA is in need of help.
8 Problems HOAs Can Experience
1. Poor Communication
When HOAs do not have the time, knowledge, or resources needed to communicate properly with the members, important information can fall by the wayside. These days, there are various ways to communicate, whether you are sending out updates and reminders through text or email or through an old-fashioned flyer. The method of communication will largely depend on the demographics of the members, but HOAs who do not communicate well often receive complaints from members who do not know where their dollars are going.
2. Maintenance Delays
When members are paying fees for an HOA, they expect maintenance and repairs to be performed in a timely manner. Much of this comes down to budget and organization. If there is a major repair needed, it might have to wait until next month’s fees come in if there is not an adequate reserve fund. On the other hand, it is possible that the board members simply do not have the time to coordinate bids and get maintenance tasks or repairs started.
3. Avoidance Of Tough Conversations
HOA board members are often well-meaning volunteers who truly want to see their neighborhoods thrive. They don’t want to be “the bad guy.” After all, you live next door to these people and you don’t want them to turn on you personally! Thankfully, utilizing an HOA management company can help board members keep their hands clean as the manager will handle those tough conversations such as CC&R violations and collecting late dues.
4. Delinquent Member Fees
Many people who are part of an HOA do not realize that their homes can be foreclosed upon or they can be evicted for not paying membership dues. While we never want a situation to come to that, it is also important that members understand they cannot simply skip their payments just because they feel like it. When someone moves into an HOA community, they are committing to paying their dues for the greater good of the community. When members are delinquent on their payments, HOAs need to find a way to collect those fees and, if a member is in financial need, create a fair payment plan to get them on track.
5. Poor Meeting Attendance
HOA meetings are a place for members to voice their opinions and concerns. Without member attendance, an HOA board might feel as if they are flying blind. To fix this problem, you must first determine why people are not coming to the meetings. Does the HOA not send out regular meeting reminders? Do members feel as if meetings drag on or are a waste of time? Have member complaints not been taken seriously in previous meetings? Are meetings held at inconvenient hours? There are a host of reasons why members might routinely skip meetings, but making meetings organized, purposeful, and concise is a great way to convince members to show up.
6. Dwindling Budget
HOA fees are determined based on the needs of the community and the role of the specific HOA. If your HOA is not adequately managing their finances, they may discover that paying maintenance invoices and keeping up with repairs is getting more and more difficult. As we mentioned above, delinquent member fees can also play a major role in a dwindling budget. Running an HOA is a full-time job, especially on the accounting side of things. Hiring an HOA management company who will handle all accounting tasks for you can significantly improve how far member fees stretch.
7. Lawsuits From Angry Members
An HOA isn’t just some self-proclaimed neighborhood watchdog trying to ruin everyone’s fun. HOAs are legally governing bodies and can rightfully enforce rules and regulations in the community which members have agreed to. When someone moves into an HOA neighborhood, they must accept that they are giving up certain freedoms in exchange for a beautiful, maintained, and uniform neighborhood. Some homeowners, though, try to come after their HOA if they decide they no longer like their rules. Unfortunately for the homeowner, as long as the HOA is acting within their right, the homeowner won’t have much of a case. However, that won’t stop them trying to take the HOA to court. At 360 Community Management, we can handle small-claims in-house and mediate issues to try and prevent lawsuits and court fees which cost the community greatly.
8. Missing Records And Files
If an issue arises with a member, having a paper trail of all communication with that member and any documents they have signed can be essential in ensuring peace in the neighborhood. As your HOA management company, we make it a priority to keep electronic files of all important communication strings, documents, and other paperwork to ensure that anything you or your members need is easily accessible.
Avoid Problems With An HOA Management Service
No HOA is perfect, and at times members can become unhappy, the board can become overworked, and the whole thing can feel as if it is on the edge of disaster. Our goal here at 360 Community Management is to help your HOA run smoothly and, more importantly, help maintain the value of the homes in the community by creating a happy and desirable neighborhood. Get in touch today to inquire about our HOA management services!