Phoenix HOA Management

There are four types of Phoenix HOA management and deciding which is best for your homeowner’s association may require the community to take a deep dive into their needs.  The four types are self management, in-house management, financial-only management and full service property management.  We will provide a brief overview of each.The first Phoenix HOA management option is Self-management. With this option the community association utilizes volunteers to do all the work.  The board members do everything including collecting dues, issuing and following up on violations, creating the budget, hiring vendors for repairs and planning on meetings.  The benefit from this type of management is there are no management costs however there are several downsides.  High board turnover is very common as board members typically don’t have the time for all that is required.  Also, HOA compliance may be an issue as board members may not keep up on  Arizona HOA legislative changes.

Some associations with many members may choose to retain a property manager directly, meaning the association hires the manager as an employee. This is known as in-house Phoenix HOA management and is done because it is cheaper than paying for full-service management from a property management company.   The in-house management may be a volunteer.  However, in-house management can have its disadvantages. If your manager goes on vacation or gets sick, who will step up to fulfill this person’s responsibilities? Also, who is the manager accountable to?

The third Phoenix HOA management option is financial-only management, where the association’s Board of Directors makes the big decisions, but leaves the financial functions to a management company. Tasks such as pulling reports for financials,  processing HOA dues, and paying bills are all handled by the financial management company. They can also offer guidance on decisions and direction for a Board of Directors.  This is a great option for an HOA that is transition from self-management as it offers an introduction to professional property management.

The last Phoenix hoa management option is Full Service Property Management which removes as much of the burden off the Board of Directors as possible, making it the most expensive type of management. Will full service management, the management company does all the same things they would under financial management, plus much more. They help enforce violations, find and coordinate with vendors to complete maintenance issues, create budgets, assist with planning meetings and work very closely with the board to assist with voting measures. As an added bonus, a professional HOA management company has a check and balances system that strongly inhibits theft from the association.

In review; most Phoenix HOA’s utilize full service property management especially for the larger communities.  The really small communities (10 homes or less) tend to use self-management as the work load is manageable.  Interestingly a lot of HOAs that are struggling financially use financial-only management in an effort to save money however full services can really assist in getting things like an HOA dues increase passed which in the long run can help the HOA far more than the cost savings.

Read more

Switching HOA management companies

Phoenix Community Currently Under HOA Management
Phoenix Community Currently Under HOA Management

Switching HOA management companies can be a daunting task however it can prove to be very beneficial and create a cost saving.  Here are things to look for when making the change as well as items that will be needed:

  1. Unfortunately most home owners are not that involved with their HOA so often times more than just a mailing is needed to inform them of the change.  When interviewing new management companies make sure they will call homeowners to advise of the change.
  2. Have a 30-45 overlap in services.  This will allow the new company to notify the homeowner’s of the change.  Additionally, the community will continue to have services while the new company is processing the change.
  3. Be sure to receive monthly financials for the last month the old company will be providing services.  Additionally, make sure you receive the final bank statement (often overlooked) so that the board and the new company know how final funds were allocated.
  4. Make arrangements to pick up the final checks from the current management company.
  5. Provide documents such as CC&R’s, By-Laws, financials, owner contact and bank statements to the new management company as soon as possible as it will assist with accounting set up.
  6. Obtain files for each homeowner so that any previous violations or communications transfer to the new company.
  7. Forward any special assessment information including ballots in case any homeowner’s dispute the assessment with the transfer.
  8. Provide an up to date delinquency list to the new manager so they can stay on top of outstanding accounts.
  9. Forward any outstanding work orders.
  10. Provide copies of any executed contracts currently in place.
  11. Provide invoices for reoccurring services such as landscaping .
  12. If applicable forward utility account usernames/passwords and account numbers (such as power, water, trash).
  13. Pass along any keys and/or access codes to any community areas.

Most importantly everyone has to remember to be patient as the total time too switch HOA management companies will take between 60-90 days.  For information about Real Property Management Phoenix Valley’s homeowner association services visit here.

Read more

HOAs In Phoenix

Phoenix Condo Community Currently Under Homeowner Association Management
Phoenix Condo Community Currently Under Homeowner Association Management

The Phoenix metro area has many planned community developments.  Most of the developments have Homeowner Associations more commonly referred to as HOA’s in Phoenix.  The HOA’s were created to keep uniformity within the neighborhood and are comprised of a board which consists of home owner’s who volunteer and are then elected.  Unfortunately however HOA’s can be costly and in this post we will look at 6 typical costs.

The first cost is the regular assessment which is collected usually annually or monthly.  The regular assessment typically pays for “routine” services such as management fees, landscaping maintenance if needed, pest control services etc.  Assessments can range from $30 to several hundred dollars depending on the type of community and what is needed.  Typically condominium and town home communities have higher regular assessments because their routine expenses  include insurance, roof maintenance & regular pest control to name a few.

The second cost is a transfer fee.  This fee is paid by the new buyer of a property in an HOA community.  The transfer fee covers the expense of transitioning activities and paperwork from the seller to the buyer.  This is a one time fee and is between $100 – $400 depending on the HOA.

The third cost is a disclosure fee which in Arizona must be paid by the seller.  This fee covers the cost of  the seller providing the buyer with the HOA’s governing documents, so that the buyer has full disclosure.  The document package typically includes the communities CC&R’s, Bylaws and current financials and is the most important part of the transfer process.

The fourth possible cost is a capital improvement fee.  HOAs in Phoenix usually have a capital improvement fee of one quarter of one percent of the sales price.  Repairs or improvements to the common area comes from this fee.

The fifth possible cost is prepaid dues.  These are monthly or quarterly dues that are collected up front at closing for future months of dues.  Usually 1-2 months are collected.

Finally the sixth possible cost is a special assessment.  Special assessments are for unforeseen expenses such as a new roof for a condo community.  Typically special assessments are due in the year they are levied unless the HOA offers payment plans.

There is a long standing debate regarding the positives and negatives of homeowner associations.  Those in favor think that they help to maintain the community in good condition by enforcing uniform standards.  Others find them to be intrusive and unnecessary.  One thing is for sure; if you are purchasing in a community with an HOA be sure to carefully review the CC&R’s to be sure there isn’t a rule that you can’t live by.  Also, double check the financials to make sure the HOA is financially healthy.

For information on our HOA management services (full and financial only) please visit us here.

If you are new to an HOA community the following website offers helpful newsletters.

 

Read more

Homeowner Association Property Management

Our July podcast is  now available and is part one of our series about homeowner association property management.  HOA Property Management is divided into financial services only and full services.  Full service includes financial services plus additional services.  Some of the additional services are attending meetings, resale disclosures, site visits, issuing/monitoring violations, emergency services and much more.  This first segment discusses financial services specifically monthly reports, association accounts, receipt of funds and collection of assessments.  We do include recommendations within each category in an effort to maximize your community’s management services.  Our free tip at the end provides suggestions for one of the largest problems for HOAs which is community involvement. Our next podcast segment will finish financial services and begin discussing some of the other services provided.  All three segments can assist a board in interviewing potential property management companies.

 

If your community is located within the Phoenix metro area please visit here for information on our HOA management services.

Read more

HOA’s – Landlord & Tenant Responsibilites

As a Phoenix Property Manager, we know that not all Home Owners Associations (HOA) have policies and procedures in place when dealing rental properties so it is important to check out the HOA rules prior to leasing your home. If your home is in an HOA, you have certain rights and responsibilities whether you are the tenant or home owner. It is important to research and know your responsibilities.   If you are a home owner of a rental property located within an HOA it is important to now that rules and regulations regarding your rental. Contact the HOA and find out their polices on rental properties prior to leasing your home. Be sure to collect any tenant registration forms that the HOA may require, since they can levy fines against you if not completed in a timely manner. Some HOA’s require the tenant to sign crime free addendum so it always a good idea to collect these forms prior to signing a lease.
Once the property is rented, typically the landlord is the first point of contact and the person held responsible for violations and payments of fines. Landlords within an HOA are responsible for ensuring that their tenant play by the association rules so it is important to quickly relay any information to your tenant so that they can remedy any issues and reimburse the landlord any fines. Additionally, when the information is quickly relayed to the tenant the tenant has the right to challenge or dispute violations and fines. The best way to prevent rule violations and fines is to provide the tenant with a copy of the CC&R’s. Since it is not always easy to deal with tenants that violate the HOA rules and regulations it is important to be sure your lease has a clause requiring compliance with all association rules and regulations. 

Read more

Phoenix Home Owner Association Management Rules

Having grass in the front yard of a phoenix rental property requires more maintenance than just mowing.  Around the end of September you need to start preparing to over-seed your grass with winter rye which should be completed by mid-October. Then to ensure the full re growth of Spring Bermuda grass, you should accelerate the death of Ryegrass by letting it dry out in early May.  Typically, two weeks without water is sufficient to kill the Reygrass.  After it has turned brown, resume watering to encourage the Bermuda to come out of dormancy.  Unless you have a tenant who has a green thumb, it is recommended that the property owner include front yard landscaping services to avoid HOA violations or fines.  Alternatively, you can look at removing front yard grass and installing rock (only after approval from your HOA) which has a large upfront cost if done correctly but very little ongoing maintenance cost.

Read more

Home Owner Associations (HOA Management)

So you’re thinking of buying an investment property in the phoenix area and have researched rental prices, crime statistics and probably mortgage rates but have you ever considered researching the Home Owners Association (HOA)?  It may be surprising but often HOAs have bylaws when it comes to such things as placing a tenant and advertising a phoenix rental property.  For example, most HOAs have additional fees for rental properties ranging from an initial tenant fee of $150.00 to annual fees of $50.00 when a tenant is living in a property in their community. Additionally, many HOA’s either restrict or don’t allow advertising at the property which negates your chance of getting any kind of drive by rental interest.  Furthermore, several HOA’s in Arizona are facing major financial crisis so they look to charge additional fines to out of state home owner addresses knowing that the owner can’t just drive by the property and confirm if the violation is even accurate.  As you can see, doing research on and about the property HOA prior to closing is a great way to save yourself potential problems and costs down the road. 
Read more