This blog was originally published on March 28, 2016. It has been updated as of January 31, 2018.
Ultimately, the job of a homeowners association is to make sure that the homes in a residential community are looking their best and running smoothly, for both internal and external purposes. They are very common in the United States today: while only 1 percent of Americans lived in an HOA in the 1970s, 1 in 4 live in one today.
While many people typically think of their HOA as the body that imposes strict rules and regulations upon them, HOAs are also there to help their residents, and part of that job includes addressing resident complaints. From minor upsets to major disasters, these members need to be equipped and read to manage whatever issue arises. While they might have the best intentions, it’s impossible to foresee every complaint. Even the most dedicated and experienced HOA board members can struggle to overcome every challenge brought their way. However, here are five of the most common ones, which can be mitigated with the proper LA HOA Insurance program and certain preventative measures.
Unreasonable delays in tending to homeowner matters.
If your HOA employs a management company, this is often a big cause of complaints. These types of issues generally find their way to Board Members and are a large source of irritation to the residents. Keeping a written record that includes their ultimate resolution is a must-have from an HOA services firm, explains All Property Management.
HOAs have a lot on their plate, but residents do expect their issues to be taken care of in a relatively timely manner. One way that these complaints can be addressed and prevented in the future is creating a comprehensive calendar or other form of documentation of all homeowner matters as well as a clear-cut procedure for dealing with resident concerns. The last thing that HOAs should do is be disorganized and let homeowner matters fall by the wayside.
Poor vendor selection.
Using low-quality or unethical vendors is one of the quickest ways for residents to lose trust in their association. While your HOA might have a contractual agreement with its vendors, it’s important to evaluate the quality when the contract is up, or even beforehand depending on the level of resident complaints. It might be wise to invest more money and allocate HOA fees to accommodate the need to hire better vendors. Listen to your residents; after all, they are the ones making use of the vendors’ services.
Whether it’s a small or large maintenance issue, the delay in fixing it reflects on the entire community. See that these issues are resolved as quickly as possible for the safety and comfort of the residents. These should also be thoroughly planned for, and residents should be kept in the loop throughout the entire maintenance process rather than being left in the dark about when their renovations will be completed.
Some homeowners may excessively contact the board, and some homeowners may not be the most reasonable in their inquiries, but it’s absolutely crucial that board members be fair, firm, unbiased, and diplomatic in their communications to avoid escalation of issues. If a board member is insulting or excessive in their communications to a resident, it could be considered harassment.
Delay in responding to inquiries.
HOA board members and volunteers have their own lives, as well, but responding in a timely manner to inquiries and issues is a must. As this is one of the most common complaints for HOAs, we recommend developing a system that allows a member to respond to an inquiry within 24 hours.
About Scott Litman Insurance Agency
At Scott Litman Insurance Agency, we are dedicated to protecting HOA’s like yours. We have a unique understanding of the industry and the common risk exposures that you face in your daily operations. In fact, we find that 90% of the policies we review are missing coverages that violate the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R), exposing the board, HOA and management to lawsuits– which is why our comprehensive policies are tailored to meet your specific needs at competitive prices. For more information about our products, contact our experts today at (818) 879-5980 ext. 201, or fill out our online form.