Drawbacks of Being a Self-Managed HOA

HOAs come in all shapes and sizes. Some oversee very large communities with hundreds of homes, while others are very small neighborhoods with just a handful of people. But no matter the size, it is critical that the HOA be in compliance with governing documents and federal/state laws while also acting in the best interest of members.

Many HOAs turn to property management companies like Kuester to support them in operating as effectively and efficiently as possible. However, there are still HOAs who choose to be self-managed. While some associations function very well this way, others are less successful. Here are a few of the drawbacks of being a self-managed organization:

  • You don’t know what you don’t know.

Unless the board actively stays abreast of any changes coming the down the road or is very familiar with how an association should operate, there is a lot of potential for error. The HOA may think it is in compliance or following best practices, when really, it is not. Plus, there may be areas where it could significantly improve its operations, but since there is no one providing support or assistance, opportunities go overlooked.

  • The workload for the board is greater.

Property managers can take on a lot of the day-to-day responsibilities of running an HOA such as handling member inquiries, dealing with vendors, responding to emergencies, enforcing rules, and processing payments. Without this support, self-managed HOAs are left to do all of this work on their own. That can put additional strain on board members who are trying to get all of the association work done while still managing their professional and personal obligations.

  • There is increased risk and liability.

Without a thorough understanding of governing documents or legal regulations, the HOA could unknowingly be putting itself at risk. It opens itself up for legal action from homeowners when things don’t go right or they have an issue with decisions made by the HOA. A property manager can help the HOA to maintain compliance, ensure rules are reasonable and enforceable, and identify areas of concern.

  • There is no mediator.

When disputes arise between homeowners, or between members and the board, there is no neutral party to help mediate a resolution. The board is left on its own, or must find a neutral third party. A property manager can work with both groups to find a mutually agreeable solution before problems escalate.

  • There is less access to resources.

Self-managed boards must find ways to stay up-to-date on the latest trainings and regulations. Many property management companies offer educational sessions and seminars, a host of resources, and the expertise of their property managers to help board members be as knowledgeable and successful as possible. Board members have somewhere to turn when they have questions or when issues arise.

Partnering with a property management company is an investment that many HOAs find worthwhile because it allows them to function at their best and receive valuable guidance and support. Learn more about how Kuester assists HOAs throughout the Carolinas by contacting us today!

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Bryan Kuester

Bryan Kuester

Bryan is the CEO of Kuester Management Group. He has over 15 years of managing community associations throughout North and South Carolina.

His specialties include Community Association Management - maintenance, budgeting for operational and reserve funding, long-range planning, covenant enforcement, amenity management, onsite management, large scale management.