PMI Shield Property Management Blog

Tips from PMI Alliance to help effectively manage outside vendors in a home owners association

Tips from PMI Alliance to help effectively manage outside vendors in a home owners association

Communities have home owners associations (HOA) for a myriad of reasons. One of the principal reasons is to safeguard the property values within the community. This is accomplished by keeping the neighborhood clean, ensuring properties are well kept and follow the neighborhood rules and covenants, and ensuring that landscaping is not only within community guidelines but also maintained on a regular basis. In order for a home owners association to achieve these goals, they often need to hire outside vendors to assist them in their duties. In this blog post, we will explore some ways that an Arlington HOA can effectively manage its outside vendors to maximize the association’s positive impact on the community.

Common types of outside vendors employed by a home owners association

Most outside vendors will be hired by the HOA as independent contractors. Some of the more common vendors that an association will need to deal with are:

  • Collections – for collecting overdue HOA fees from members of the community

  • Security – for monitoring the perimeter of the community and ensuring the safety of residents and property within

  • Roofing / Gutters – For installation and repair of roofing and gutters within the community

  • Engineering / Developers – For major projects and additions to the community

  • Towing – For removal of vehicles violating community parking regulations

  • Painters – For repainting of both exterior and interior aspects

  • Pressure Washing – For cleaning of exterior surfaces

  • Tree Services – For maintaining trees within the community boundaries

  • Accounting – For bookkeeping and accounting of HOA funds

  • Pool Services – For maintaining pools within the community

  • Janitorial – For cleaning and maintenance of common areas and clubhouses

  • Plumbing / HVAC – For repairs and servicing of these systems

  • Snow Removal – For plowing roads and shoveling walkways in the winter

  • Sanitation – For removal of garbage and recyclable materials

  • Landscaping – For maintenance of the lawns, flowers and shrubbery in the community

Paperwork that all vendors should provide

When an HOA board decides to hire a specific vendor, they should always collect all of the following documentation from each individual vendor:

  • Business License

  • Permits

  • State Licenses

  • Proof of Workers Compensation Insurance

  • Proof of Liability Insurance

  • Surety Bond

Be sure to keep a copy of all this documentation on file, and update it accordingly as policies and licenses expire so that you always have current information on hand.

Establish open communication and set clear expectations with your vendors

The key to any relationship is efficient and effective communication. This rings especially true in business relationships with outside vendors. Be sure that you have multiple ways to get in touch with them and that they have multiple ways to get in touch with you. Provide multiple phone numbers, email addresses and social media channels for them to use to contact the board. Require the same information from them so that you have assurances that you will be able to get a hold of them when needed. It is also wise to clearly map out the duties that will be performed contractually. Include what payment will be and the timing of said payments as well. If the vendor should happen to reach out with questions or concerns, be sure to respond promptly. Nothing is harder on vendors than being forced to wait for the next board meeting for their concern to be addressed.

Payment for services rendered

Just as you expect the vendor to meet the specifications and timelines established for their work, they expect to be paid in a timely fashion. Be sure to pay them on time and in the amount they are expecting for the services they have provided.

In this blog post, we have discussed how to effectively manage the many vendors needed to operate a successful home owners association. Often times, hiring a local property management company to manage your association can alleviate a lot of the stress and issues that come from such a big undertaking. If you think your association could benefit from the assistance of a grapevine property management company, don’t hesitate to bring it up at the next community or board meeting.