Choosing HOA Vendors – Legally and Affordably!
We’re well into the New Year now, which means your HOA is likely thinking seriously about some of the major renovation or repair projects you have scheduled for the next few months. For many community associations, that’s going to mean hiring a third-party HOA vendor —but what’s the best way to do so in full legal compliance, and with the utmost cost efficiency?
Above all else, your HOA board should emphasize transparency in the vendor selection process. That is, you should hear bids from several different HOA vendors — at least five, if at all possible—and you should be open and upfront about the bidding process, both to the vendors and to your community members. This is not just to ensure that everything is above board. It is actually a legal matter. The laws about vendor bidding vary from one state to the next, but it is often a requirement to hear multiple bids.
But legality aside, hearing multiple bids will give you a good idea of the kind of value you’re looking for. As you’re reviewing bids, you should remember that the bottom line price is not the only factor to consider. The lowest bid is not always the one that offers the greatest value. Think about cost, but also about what each community vendor offers in comparison to the others.
Finally, remember that, even once you’ve accepted a bid, it is important to remain transparent and organized in order to minimize the chances of a legal dispute. Hold on to the paperwork from all of the rejected bids, just in case a homeowner ever inquires about them. Also set up a rebidding process for the vendor you’ve selected, ensuring that you will receive new bids every year or two. This is a great way to be certain that you’re always getting the best value possible from your HOA Vendors!