Property management and HOAs

2 Replies

Below is an email I received this morning from my HOA regarding trash that had been left outside my rental property from a rehab I have been working on with my property management company...

Thank you for making sure that this was taken care of. I let it go for a couple of days thinking that the city was scheduled to pick it up but come Thursday something had to be done with it. I was getting ready to give you a call when I received a call from your new property management company asking question about the payments. I informed them at that time that it had to be moved immediately and was assured that it would be. I received a call from the President of the HOA Association at 12:30AM Saturday morning wanting to know about it and why it was still there. Later that morning I sent out the Notice of Hearing and the fine for it not being removed by Friday at 5:00 PM, along with the notation that this would be a daily fine until it was removed. I received a phone call at approximately 11:00AM Saturday from a representative of your property management company letting me that there was a "misunderstanding" – I can only assume that I misunderstood that immediately meant whenever they felt like taking care of it. - After all I was told that it was "inconvenient" for them to have had to come back out here and move it. Then I was told that "I know how HOA's operate". Dan going forward I will not work with Touchpoint Property Management especially since they find it inconvenient to follow the rules and regulations that have been in place since 1984 and insist on insulating the Board and its members including me. If you have an issue with this please bring it up at the Board meeting on March 12th that you have been requested to attend.

What aggravates me about this situation is the HOA never communicated anything to me personally about the trash in front of the property until yesterday when I received an email of the incident and a fine and a required meeting with the board. My management team told me the trash from the rehab would be hauled away, not just left in front of the property in one of the two parking spaces. This is the first property I have worked on with this company and already having problem here. I have told the management company they will be reimbursing me for the fine by deducting their fees by the 50 and told them I need full communication on every matter as soon as something comes up. I don't want to overreact by firing a company that I have just started working with (that has amazing reviews) and the rehab process has gone well until this matter. I also know how much of a pain this particular HOA can be.

Any suggestions how to handle this issue? Sorry for the long post.

The underlying tone in the electronic message is insulting, not to mention the poorly written structure. But ultimately, I believe it is the property managers fault; perhaps they were rude with the exchange in ideas over the phone with the HOA which has prompted what I can consider an outrageous and unprofessional reaction from the representative.

I think you may need to refer to the bylaws and see what language is used to clarify level of communication in regards to use of property managers as I feel it is bold that they "will not work with Touchpoint Property Management." You can consider requesting during the board meetings that all interactions going forward are done via some sort of electronic communication, but at this point the HOA is asking you assume the role of the property manager.

I would definitely speak with the property manager to see what exactly happened. I'm not sure how wise it would be to cut them loose during rehab.

To your success!

Thank you for the feedback David. Yes, this HOA has been difficult to say the least, but it is a very profitable investment property, and as long as I own the property, I'll have to deal with the HOA unfortunately. I'm speaking with the management company today to get the full story from them. I won't cut them loose, but I currently have one property and plan on buying two more this year. If I'm having issues with the one property, I don't want three times the headache with additional properties. But, my job is to manage the management company and have them manage the property.

I will meet in person with the HOA board and have a conversation regarding the communication. My goal will be to smooth the whole thing over. If I was included in the initial communication, this wouldn't have been a problem to begin with. The big picture is having a nicer, rehabbed property will bring better tenants which will make it a better community which in turn benefits the HOA as well as myself. I will make them aware of this as well.

Thank you David and a prosperous 2018 to you!

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