There are several different services you should expect from an HOA management company. When you partner with professional association managers, you can expect them to facilitate all of the daily operations of your community association, as well as special projects that you need help with. You and your management partner need to lay out a specific scope of work and share expectations with each other before you begin working together.
When the relationship falters and things are not being done the way you expected, you should consider finding new HOA management. Often, a simple conversation can help everyone reset their understanding of responsibilities and requirements, but if you’re not getting anywhere with your HOA manager despite frequent conversations and explanations, you need to find a company that better fits your needs and your community.
If you’re worried about making a switch, we have some simple steps you can take to get the process started in a way that is less stressful. We’re also taking a look at some of the reasons you might want to consider upgrading your HOA management partner.
Steps to Switching HOA Management Companies
Here’s what you’ll need to do when you decide you want to work with someone else:1.0
1. Review your current HOA management contract
The management contract you have with your current HOA management company should have an expiration date. If you’re close to that date, it probably makes sense to wait out the term of the contract. If you cannot wait, take note of how much notice you’re required to give your management company. You’ll also want to research whether a cancellation fee will be required if you’re exiting the contractual agreement early.
2. Provide the necessary notice
Most HOA management contracts will require notice of 60 to 90 days. Send a letter in writing to your current company, notifying them that you will not be renewing or continuing with your contract. Include the date that you will essentially end your professional relationship.
3. Inform your community of the change
Keeping your homeowners informed and engaged is absolutely necessary for a successful association. Let them know that the board has made a decision to seek different representation. This can be announced at your annual meeting, posted on your website, or sent as a letter or email to all HOA members.
4. Sign on with your new HOA management company
Once you’ve given the property notice to your existing management company and signed on with a new management company, you can expect them to coordinate the details of transferring files and information. It does not have to be contentious or difficult, and the HOA board will likely not need to be involved in too many of the details at this point. Make sure your HOA attorney is involved, and have them review the new contract you sign with your management company.
What are the Signs it’s Time to Switch Property Managers?
A lot of HOAs will hesitate before transitioning to a new management company. There’s something to be said for continuity, and it can be difficult to leave the company you’ve known, even if they haven’t impressed you with their services and support.
Don’t wait too long to make the switch, however. You don’t have time or money to waste on mediocre HOA management. Here are some of the most common reasons that HOA boards decide to seek new management:
- Poor Communication from HOA Management
You need to know your HOA management company is available, accessible, and responsive. When you can’t get in touch with your manager and questions are left unanswered, it’s frustrating and difficult to move forward with decisions and resolutions. Without communication, it’s impossible to establish and maintain a good relationship with your HOA manager. When phone calls and emails aren’t answered, you need to find a manager that takes your needs more seriously.
- Lack of Follow Up
Boards need to know they can rely on their HOA management company to take care of necessary projects. Perhaps the landscaping has faltered or the painting projects are unfinished. If there’s no follow-up on action items from board meetings, you may be wondering why you have an HOA management company at all. If you cannot rely on your managers, it’s hard to trust that they will do what they say they’ll do.
- Compliance Issues Aren’t Addressed
One of the reasons to hire an HOA management company is to have a professional and unbiased party monitoring compliance and addressing violations. Most HOA boards are made up of volunteers, and it’s often unpleasant to approach your neighbors with a list of their violations.
Your HOA manager should do that for you. If you notice that there are several problems with community residents violating the rules, regulations, and bylaws without any action from your property management company, you need to find a team of managers who is more proactive and willing to keep your entire community in compliance.
- Lack of Financial Reporting Transparency
Your HOA management company likely takes care of all your bookkeeping and accounting, including budgets and bank accounts, the collection of fees, and the vendor payments. Your board should have access to financial reports and accounting statements. A lack of transparency when it comes to your finances is a huge red flag and a very good reason to find a new management company.
- Poor Homeowner Customer Service
When the homeowners in your association are complaining about the property management company, you should take that feedback seriously. A good management company has a customer service ethic that helps both boards and homeowners have a better residential experience. When you begin to receive regular and credible complaints, you need new management.
It helps to work with a modern, experienced, and tech-driven company that has the resources and tools you need to improve your community. We can help you if you’re thinking about moving away from your current HOA management partner. Contact us at Hill & Co. so we can tell you more about the HOA services we provide in California for HOA boards and community associations just like yours. We can deliver full-service management or virtual management if you’re looking for something more flexible and cost-effective.