One of the best ways for an HOA board to keep things running smoothly and cost-effectively is to ensure good relationships with local HOA contractors; should some issue arise that calls for repair work or property improvement, you’ll want quick and easy access to someone you can trust to do quality work for a reasonable price. But assembling this list of HOA contractors can be challenging; for every great provider out there, there’s bound to be a couple of lousy or dishonest contractors. How can you, as an HOA board member, keep these disreputable HOA contractors far away from your community?
Here are a few precautionary tips to keep in mind:
- Before signing a contract with anyone, make sure everything’s in writing. Provide the HOA contractor with a written scope of the project, something that outlines your requirements for licensure, for references provides, for start dates, and so forth. Getting this in writing from the get-go will save you plenty of hassle down the road.
- Ask for references, and check them out! Don’t just call the last client the contractor worked for, but actually go and look at the work that was done! And be wary of any HOA contractors who flat-out refuses to provide references.
- Verify insurance, and, if it’s applicable in your state, confirm licensure.
- Inspect the quality of the work that’s being done, as the project progresses; also, set up a payment plan where you are releasing checks in increments, as certain percentages of the work are completed.
- Include a clause in the contract that specifies penalties for tardiness in completing the work—but be lenient and fair when it comes to weather-related setbacks, family emergencies, and so forth.
By being forward-thinking and cautious, you can prevent your association from being taken advantage of by a less-than-reputable contractor—and hopefully establish close ties with some great workers!