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:
Proof of Workers Compensation Insurance
Proof of Liability Insurance
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.