In a perfect world, homeowners associations would be relatively silent entities. Dues would be collected, projects would be planned and carried out, things would work effortlessly and neighbors would all get along. Of course, as any seasoned HOA manager knows, we don’t live in a perfect world and these associations are rarely “seen but not heard.” Knowing some of the most common complaints launched from these groups can help make it easier to resolve and sometimes even prevent them altogether. Let’s take a look at five of the biggest HOA complaints below.
Not responding to inquiries in a timely manner
Ineffective HOA managers cause unnecessary and often frustrating delays due to lack of timely response. In fact, this relatively minor infraction is actually the single biggest complaint. To avoid this, detailed contact reporting on a regular basis is strongly recommended. Companies that submit these reports tend to outperform others because verifiable records provide a higher degree of accountability.
Delays in resolving homeowner’s problems
Occasionally dropping the ball is one thing, but HOA managers that routinely ignore or are slow to resolve issues that are brought to their attention by homeowners eventually end up having to answer to the Board. Again, record keeping and reporting that includes a list of all requests and their ultimate resolutions can help keep HOA managers honest and accountable.
Let’s face it. Dealing with angry and often unreasonable homeowners isn’t easy. It takes a strong, highly optimistic person to be a good HOA manager – one who doesn’t let situations escalate and remains calm regardless of external circumstances. It’s important that HOA managers be firm but fair and always maintain a high degree of professionalism. Communication and diplomacy are key.
Delays on maintenance and repairs
Maintenance issues that may seem small and insignificant can actually pose a huge problem to the homeowner, which is why all complaints should be given ample attention. Delays on repairs, regardless of size, can have a negative impact on the entire community. HOA maintenance software can help track and manage requests from homeowners so issues are resolved in a timely manner.
Poor quality vendors
If an HOA manager wants to lose the Board’s confidence, he or she need only select vendors of low quality and/or questionable character. Care and attention should always be applied when choosing which vendors to work with, as they are essentially a representation of the manager.
Successful HOA managers understand the critical importance of timely and professional support. By preparing ahead for the five most common HOA complaints listed above, things will run much more smoothly for everyone involved.