How does your HOA measure up?
A good HOA should not only take care of what is visible, i.e. what is on the surface, but more than anything, a good HOA should ensure that everything in the property under its care is working properly. It is dangerous to have something that look good only on the surface but fall apart from the inside.
There are myriad of things that HOA should oversee. From landscaping to the building signs, everything must work properly to avoid possible hazard.
Landscaping could be costly, especially if there is no ongoing maintenance done to the land. If the grass is diseased and this is unknown until the disease has spread to the whole lawn, for example, it would be expensive and time consuming albeit necessary to replace the diseased sod with new one.
Signs in and around the property must be well maintained, as they are easily stained, weathered, or looked worn. Maintaining the signs on your property not only would make it easier for visitors to get around, they would also help giving your property a nice, clean look.
What about the amenities that you have on your properties, such as exercise equipment or other maintenance such as community room, swimming pool, et cetera? Maintaining everything in a proper, working order not only would keep your tenants happy, but also would keep you from any possible lawsuits.
Board members and committees could help the HOA to be on top of things by requesting regular inspection reports on a monthly or quarterly basis. Utilizing a form that lists the necessary things to be reported can help ensuring that everything on the property is checked properly and that necessary repairs are done when needed.
Tenants living in a community with HOA trust that the HOA will make their life comfortable. The board and the community should work together to ensure that this is happening to ensure that you will have a community of happy tenants, free of any lawsuits threats looming in the horizon.
The author owns and operates a successful property management company in Tampa, FL. He also is a very successful real estate investor purchasing more than 60 rental properties over the last 12 years. In 2004 and 2005, one of David's companies, Apartment Express Corporate Housing, made Inc Magazine's Inc 500 List for the 500 fastest growing privately held companies in America.