Small HOA Management
February 24, 2020 2:56 PM   Subscribe

So our HOA Management company is terrible, and we are a small condo HOA. We need options.

We are in Atlanta, GA. Basically, exactly what it says on the tin. We are an association of 12 units. There is an almost entirely new board in place, and we are finding that (surprise) in the last five years there has been significant mismanagement, including:

1) HOA Management Co rep gave legal advice at an HOA Meeting, and that legal advice was wrong. The HOA incurred $30k in expenses because of this advice when we should have been referred to counsel. This matter is pending.

2) HOAMC appears to be paying bills late and claims that they operate on a "Cash basis" and that various vendors (AT&T, our insurance company) sometimes do not collect payment timely. I have a hard time believing this, personally, since AT&T has never once failed to take my money when I offered it to them, and a few times when I didn't.

3) Issues in the community are not taken care of timely and require the individual reporting homeowner or the board to ride the HOAMC to get things done.

4) When things do get done, they seem to be mysteriously expensive.

IMO we are paying them for a service that we are at best not receiving, and they are also pretty incompetent. I know services like PayHOA exist but it seems like we would need an in-person manager, as all the board already have full time jobs. My question(s) as follows:

1) What are other reputable management companies for communities of our size?
2) Is it possible to hire an individual person who would, on a freelance basis, take on the admin and management portion of the HOA management, and manage the HOA through a portal like PayHOA?
3) Other options? Things I'm not thinking of?

At this point paying these people to "manage" the community just seems like throwing good money after bad.
posted by Medieval Maven to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
I'm on my Condo Board, and we've been whispering about potentially replacing our property manager, but he doesn't sound as bad as yours. It comes down to researching property managers in the area and asking them what, if anything, they can do for someone of your scale.

I would also, in the shoes of your Board, get ahold of the condo's contract with the current property manager, and see if either part is now or has been in breach, to the best of my ability.

As for services being expensive, demand multiple bids unless a contract is already in place; board members or owners can get bids themselves if they think they're being screwed by the PM. We just got ourselves a new landscaper because good landscaping is a passion of one particular board member, and she was never satisfied with the PM's efforts to investigate a new one.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:53 PM on February 24, 2020

Small condo owner here. Our current property management company's core business is handling rental properties for landlords. (Our last PM's main business was selling real estate, with management as a sideline, and they didn't know much about property maintenance.)

There's been some friction around getting board meetings set up, bigger "improvement" projects, and long-term planning. Our board should be doing more of that, but we also all work. But they're good at dealing with basic repair requests, supervising site work, and not dragging the HOA board into drama over minor issues. Also, the bills get paid reliably.

Your current company sounds quite bad on several fronts! So anything might be an improvement, but I'd suggest looking at other condos in the area to see who they use, and/or looking for a management company that focuses on managing rental properties.
posted by mersen at 12:04 PM on February 25, 2020

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