Many HOA community leaders are unclear on the merits of professional management; after all, can’t their community be self-managed? The short answer is yes. It is absolutely possible to self-manage your HOA. Doing so invites several significant risks, however—and knowing those risks is important for making a wise decision about your management needs.
The Risks of HOA Self-Management
Here are just a few of the more major self-management risks for you to be aware of.
Lack of Legal Compliance
Self-managed HOAs can very easily break the law, completely on accident, simply because no one in the community knows what the laws actually say. Local regulations may offer stipulations about your reserve studies, for example, and it’s important to stay within the bounds of the law.
A good management company will make sure your HOA does everything it needs to do to avoid lawsuits, while also putting in place the right kinds of insurance to defray any potential legal action. This may not be the case in a self-managed community.
There’s a lot of work that goes into managing an HOA community—including scheduling and preparing meetings, coordinating with vendors, handling complaints and requests from homeowners, maintaining finances, and much more. Volunteers can do a lot of great work in these areas, but often can’t match the efficiency of an on-site manager, who can make the HOA his or her full-time pursuit.
Lack of a Mediator
Sometimes, when conflicts arise between two members, or between a member and the Board, it’s helpful to have an unbiased mediator to sort things out. Your management company can provide that mediator—but when you’re self-managed, you risk conflicts with no clear or satisfying resolution.
Lack of Transparency
Finally, when your HOA is self-managed, it can be hard to maintain accountability for the Board members. While most Board volunteers are very well-intentioned, you do sometimes get people who want to strong arm their way into power and influence, and who don’t work well with the other members of the Board. In some cases, this can even result in ethical breaches. A professional management company can offer protection against this.
Weighing the Risks of Self-Management
Some HOAs may conclude that these risks are worth taking—but many will choose to seek professional guidance for their HOA. If you’re interested in talking with a professional management company, we encourage you to give us a call at Kuester Management Group today.