– All too often, we receive phone calls and emails from disgruntled property and townhouse association Board of Directors that have grown dissatisfied with the quality of their managing agents. Such directors state that their managing agents fail to return their phone calls or answer their emails, or return them with long delays; and that the managers do not assist the Boards to meet the challenges of the operation and management of the HOA or Condo property or townhouse association with quality.
– The directors also maintain that most management companies, especially the large ones, have become complacent to the extent that they display a definite lack of care of and attention to the affairs and welfare of the homeowner association or condominium property and townhouse association projects they manage. Most Board members concur that the level of customer service and professional commitment of most property management companies are pronouncedly below par, or, in some cases, almost nonexistent.
– The art of managing townhouse, townhome, condo, condominium, HOA, and homeowner association communities is fundamentally common sense. However, consistently employing common sense in the myriad of emotional attitudes surrounding the day-to-day operations and management of such townhome and townhouse communities requires a lot of patience. In addition, the art of managing townhome and townhouse properties is relatively low. Most of the experience resides within managing agents previously involved in overseeing rental properties. J & N Realty, Inc.’s managers have decades of experience, coupled with proper formal training, in common interest development or planned development management.
– The impersonal and indifferent stance of some homeowner association, condominium, and townhouse managing agents towards the property they manage has created a wall of separation between the interest of the association and that of the management company. Such companies do not make any effort to further the interest of the associations they manage; they are only concerned with increasing the bottom line of their income statements – even if such increases are made at the expense of the operating and management efficiency of the associations such managers are supposed to guide and protect.
– In their search for higher and higher profits, some homeowner association, condominium, or townhouse association property management companies do not employ enough portfolio managers to provide sufficient service levels: the managers are overburdened by handling more associations than they are able to properly manage — not enough personnel to take care of business.
– Board members assert that most condo and townhouse association property management companies manage the real property in a rather reactive, instead of a proactive, manner. Managers fail to guide the Boards through the maze of codes and regulations and the relevant federal, state, and local laws and to aid the Board in avoiding potential operational and managerial errors that are committed daily by untrained volunteer directors.
– Members of condo or townhouse property association communities have been reporting that the property management companies are inattentive and indifferent to the members’ complaints, concerns, and requests, and they offer very low level of customer service.
Learning form the negative experiences to which Boards and member have been regularly exposed by their management firms, we decided many years ago to be pronouncedly different in our corporate philosophy and management style and approach to providing our services from most of the property management companies.
– J & N Realty, Inc.’s Townhouse Managers:
1. Quality of Personnel
– Have a sufficient level of knowledge, training, and understanding of matters such as insurance, accounting, statutory requirements, maintenance, selection of materials, and other technical matters.
J & N Realty, Inc. assures that its employment practices and its professional management skills are continually motivated towards hiring personnel with broadly-based capabilities.
2. Quality of Service
– Perform all activities in accordance with our contract with the Association and within the expectations of the Board. A base-line performance standard will be established to implement the basic operational and functional requirements established by our contract and by the Board.
3. Conflict of Interest
– Do not accept from vendors, contractors, or others who provide services or goods to the Association any remuneration in the form of commission, finder’s fees, service fees, or the like in consideration for such goods and services.
– J & N Realty, Inc.’s property managers strive to keep informed of new developments in property, homeowner and condominium association management, including legal and accounting principles applicable to HOA and Condo associations. Our property managers seek continuing education in property management through attendance at professional courses related to the practice of management of HOA and Condo association properties. We encourage officers and Board members to participate in courses and seminars which may improve their abilities to serve the association and its members.
– We commence our managing effort with a thorough examination and review of the homeowner or condominium association’s governing documents — CC&Rs, Bylaws, Operating Rules (Rules & Regulations) and Policies (Board Resolutions). Our HOA and Condo management will advise the Board if and update or amendment to such documents is warranted. If the Association lacks the required or necessary policies or other documents, we are fully qualified to formulate of to help the Board in the formulation of such polices at a very reasonable cost. Next, we examine the insurance policies of the Association. We will inform the Board if the Association is under insured or if essential coverage is missing. The financial health of the Association is then evaluated. The financial statements will be reviewed for accounting accuracy, and collection proceeding on delinquent accounts, if any, will be initiated. The entire operation and management practices of the Association will be scrutinized in order to identify operations and functional inefficiencies and ineffectiveness; to pinpoint activities and practices that may lead to lawsuits against the Association or the Board of Directors; and to unearth any other matter that needs correction with quality.
Police Drug Complaint
If you homeowners association property has been unsuccessful in its efforts to get drug dealers who are operating in a condominium property arrested, part of the problem may be the kind of information the condo association is giving to the police. To get police attention, the HOA needs to provide detailed information about how drug operation happen so the police can more effectively deploy undercover and investigative officers. Giving them a head start can increase the likelihood of getting police action on a condominium’s drug problems.
A drug complaint form should include basic information about the homeowners association; information about where the drugs are being sold and the specific types of drugs, in known; where the dealers operated; methods of sale; and so on.
Warning to Abusive Member
Have you ever had an HOA member complain to you about another member’s quality of abusive behavior toward him; for example, the other condo member is insulting him, or is a member harassing one neighbor or the condominium community at large?
What if you found out that a member is harassing other members, verified the complaints, met with the abusive member, spoke to him about his behavior, and tried to handle it informally, but the informal approach did not work? The next step is to send the abusive member a strongly worded letter, mentioning the specific incidents. Tell the abusive HOA member that his conduct violates the declaration and bylaws and that you may take legal action against him, which could include the imposition or fines and sanctions, suspension of privileges, and pursuit of the matter in court if the conduct continues. Also, in your letter, be sure to tell the abusive member what he must do to comply.
Board Instruction for Handling Resident Rage
At some time or another, all homeowners association managers and board members encounter an HOA member who is angry, and sometimes that member’s anger turns threatening or even violent. A member may take his anger (or “resident Rage”) out on board members, especially if board members are involved in an incident that triggered the anger; for example, if a board member acted on a noise complaint by breaking up a party.
To reduce the likelihood of violence against board members, give them instructions on how to handle resident rage. The instruction should help educate the board members on sighs to look for that may indicate when an HOA member is about to turn violent and should provide techniques to defuse potentially violent situations and pointers on how to create an escape plan for situations that get out of hand.
Notifying Members of Crime that Occurred at the Community
No matter how diligent you are about keeping your condominium community safe, it is always possible that a serious crime will occur. What you do after such a crime occurs can affect how safe your homeowners association members feel in the property, whether the association’s insurance policy will cover related lawsuits and the degree to which the association may be held responsible for the crime, as well as any future crimes.
There are a number of quality things you should do within 48 hours of any serious crime that occurs at your HOA property, including sending all members a letter notifying them of the crime. Out of respect for the crime victim’s privacy, the individual should not be identified by name in the letter. Also, to comply with language that might exist in the condominium association’s insurance policy, the letter should not contain any admission of fault.
Sending a quality letter is essential because homeowners associations owe their members as much communication as possible during such a difficult time. It is also essential because it can help protect the HOA from liability in case another crime occurs.
The letter should briefly describe the crime and where it happened. It should encourage members to take precautions to protect themselves and should refer to an enclosed pamphlet as a good source of safety information. Finally, it should tell members that if they notice suspicious activities, they should report it to the local police.
Informing Members about Quality Improvements on Common Areas
HOA members sometimes build improvements on common areas or limited use common areas without first getting the association’s consent because they mistakenly believe that area belongs to them. This can lead to an unpleasant dispute between a member and the association, especially when the association tells the member to remove the improvement. One way the head off this type of problem is by sending all members a letter explaining what property belongs to the homeowners association and telling members that building improvement on such property without consent is a violation of the condominium association’s governing documents.
The letter should warn members not to build improvement on common areas or limited use common areas without the association’s prior written consent. The letter would explain the terms “common areas” and “limited use common areas,” and would give examples of each. It should also explain the problems that can arise when members build improvements on these areas and would emphasize that the HOA will take necessary steps to enforce its governing documents should any members violate them in this way. Finally, it should invite members to contact the property manager for more information.
WE WILL MANAGE YOUR ASSOCIATION INTO SUCCESS!
J & N Realty, Inc. — real estate, property, planned unit development (PUD), townhouse, townhome, hoa, condo, condominium, homeowner association, common interest development (CID) management services in Los Angeles.