Residents who purchase units in condominiums, townhomes and co-ops, don’t always understand the roles and responsibilities of the Board of Directors and the Property Management Firm. This checklist provides some insights.
TYPICAL DUTIES OF THE PROPERTY MANAGER
- Maintain communication with the board, association members/owners, and vendors
- Respond to letters and log calls from owners
- Send notices of annual meetings
- Collect assessments
- Ensure bills are paid
- Produce financial statements
- Establish a draft budget for the board and implement budget policy
- Ensure tax forms are completed and taxes are paid, as appropriate
ADVICE AND CONSULTATION
- Advise the board on governing documents
- Refer the board to other professional advisors (e.g. attorneys, CPAs, engineers)
- Research insurance coverage and process claims
- Maintain files for each member of the association/owner
- Maintain records for the association
- Process initial Architectural Control Committee (ACC) applications
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT & MAINTENANCE
- Interview, hire, supervise and terminate association employees, when necessary
- Negotiate contracts – with board approval
- Monitor contract vendors such as landscapers and custodial services
- Inspect and maintain comment elements
- Handle emergency situations
TYPICAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Prepare meeting agenda
- Preside over meetings
- Appoint committees
- Execute contracts
- Perform day-to-day administration
- Act as spokesperson for the association
- Maintain membership lists
- Give notice of mailings
- Keep meeting minutes
- Maintain association correspondence
- Preserve association history
- Understand financial accounting
- Review financial statements
- Prepare budgets (works with the management firm)
- Develop investment strategies
- Oversee tax filings and annual audits (works with CPA)
- Report on the financial condition of the association
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE
PROPERTY MANAGER’S DUTIES
Here are some things a property manager typically is not contracted to do.
A property manager does NOT:
- Negotiate disputes between owners
Managers may handle communications in the case of governing document violations.
- Advise on legal matters
Managers may recommend legal advice be solicited. Attorneys should be consulted.
- Have to be available 24/7
Managers should have procedures to handle emergencies and timely communication.
- Have to be on-site whenever contractors are on the property
Managers should do spot checks and a final inspection with a board representative.
- Report to individual owners
Managers contract with the board. Owners should address concerns directly to board members not the property management firm.
The Board of Directors has a fiduciary relationship with its members and is responsible for making good decisions for the association.
Directors are responsible for:
- Preserving property values
- Maintaining the property
- Establishing house rules and regulations
- Overseeing the organization’s finances (including collecting assessments)
- Maintaining appropriate insurance coverage for common area liability and property damage
- Keeping members informed.
More Information on Homeowners Association
Community Associations: A Guide to Successful Management
by Stephen R. Barber, CPM and Vickie Gaskill, CPM, ARM, MPM
IREM Course: CID201 -Common Interest Developments: Managing Condominium Association Properties
Forms and Tools for Homeowners Associations
Download a copy of this Checklist for Homeowners Associations