Professional Community Association Management

What is Community Property Management?

Community associations, also called homeowners’ associations (HOAs), are responsible for keeping communal property both beautiful and usable for all tenants. Condos, subdivisions, co-ops, and gated communities all may have these associations. While community associations were not too common a few decades ago, there are now more than 323,600 association-governed communities in the U.S., governing more than 26 million housing units and 63 million people, according to the Community Associations Institute.

Community associations keep property values high and ensure enjoyable community space, from grounds and elevators to pools and gyms. However, if there is not a landlord or landlady onsite, these duties may fall to property owners or tenants who are likely already busy with family, friends, and career obligations. Association property management in Vancouver, WA removes this extra burden so people can get back to daily life.

What Does a Community Association Do?

homeowners association neighborhood vancouver waIn addition to the outstanding property management services we provide, we also work with our client boards to create and maintain outstanding communities.

A board of directors typically governs a community association. EQWEST collaborates with the board of directors to ensure all necessary repairs are made, accurate and detailed records are kept, and properties are regularly inspected. Here are some of the many duties included in community association property management:

  • Meet with prospective residents and show properties
  • Discuss occupancy and lease terms
  • Collect required fees for maintenance and other community operations
  • Check facilities for safety
  • Coordinate repairs, street maintenance, and new equipment purchases
  • Manage relationships with garbage, security, and landscaping vendors
  • Take care of pest control
  • Look into disturbances, complaints, and violations, enforcing restrictions when necessary
  • Prepare budget reports and other materials for HOA meetings

EQWEST’s community property management in Vancouver, WA encompasses three main areas: finances, inspections, and meetings. More details about each of these areas follow.

Finances

With association fees or dues coming in every month, HOA property management must ensure the money is handled responsibly, documented properly, and spent wisely. EQWEST’s team collaborates with the board of directors to complete the following financial management tasks:

Assistance with the Preparation of the Association’s Budget

An association’s budget changes every year, based on needed repairs, economic fluctuations, uninsured losses, vacancies, and other factors. EQWEST’s association property management services include reviewing historical spending patterns to discover trends and predict future expenses, such as utility bill increases or savings from energy efficiency measures.

community association mowed lawn yardEQWEST also helps compute homeowner fees, combining operational expenses and annual reserve contributions and dividing the sum between tenants. Fees typically encompass the following:

  • Landscaping
  • Snow removal
  • Street lighting
  • Sewage/trash collection
  • Amenities
  • Insurance

Finally, EQWEST prepares a year-end financial statement for the HOA or community association board, comparing current year spending with the actual budget. This is an important document, especially when planning the association budget for the following year.

Proactive Planning for Management of Expenses

As part of EQWEST’s HOA property management services, we help forecast future spending so the board and residents are not caught by surprise when it’s time for a major roof replacement or other substantial expense. Our property management professionals are experienced at performing a reserve study, which entails taking an inventory of property aspects that will eventually need repair, such as the following:

  • Roofs
  • Gutters
  • Siding
  • Paint
  • Paving/sidewalks

After taking this inventory, we assess how often repairs will need to be made and create a funding plan. If a small portion of each HOA member’s dues are reserved for major repairs, future maintenance and replacements will not be a financial strain.

Establishment of the Association’s Evaluation Levels

New residents or tenants receive a Public Offering Statement or Condo Resale Certificate, which is an evaluation of the HOA or community association’s health. They evaluate the association’s health based on the following:

  • Minutes from past association meetings
  • Operational budget
  • Reserve study
  • Special assessment (a notice to homeowners before a large, unexpected expense)
  • Regulations
  • HOA insurance policy

Is the association healthy if its reserve funding is 50% of future anticipated expenses, or 70%? What should the insurance policy cover? These are questions EQWEST helps the board of directors answer.

community associations tax prepIn addition to new residents evaluating the association, current residents have a monthly opportunity to evaluate its performance. EQWEST helps define the evaluation standards for residents to use.

Collection of Monthly Payments and Evaluations

Community property management in Vancouver, WA entails monthly collection of paperwork and dues. EQWEST streamlines the process and helps the board of directors stay organized through payment and evaluation collection each month. We also remind any residents who are delinquent on their association dues and take appropriate measures.

Maintenance of Expense Records

Proper records are absolutely essential for reserve studies and tax season. Working with the association’s board of directors, EQWEST carefully and meticulously maintains expense records and makes them easily accessible to all residents. Expense records clearly detail spending on community purchases such as maintenance equipment, roofing or painting supplies, landscaping materials, and more.

 

Property Inspections

No HOA property management in Vancouver, WA would be complete without property inspections. At EQWEST, our property managers perform regular inspections as well as provide precise reports of action needed to the board of directors. In addition, we ensure the maintenance and repair of all common property, using contractors when necessary, in order to protect your investment and improve the value of the property.

Our inspections ensure the following is functional and up to code:

Building Structure
Exterior Features
Interior Features
RoofDrainageHVAC systems
WallsSprinklersElectrical outlets and switches
WindowsSidewalksFire extinguishers
DoorsStepsPlumbing
FloorsPorches or decksInsulation and ventilation in any crawlspaces or attics

community associations meeting neighborhoodMeetings

As part of our community property management in Vancouver, WA, we guarantee our attendance at the association board’s regular and annual meetings, and with that, the discussion of pertaining business matters, including, but not limited to, maintenance requests, financials, insurance needs, and regulatory issues.

EQWEST can also help draft meeting materials such as minutes, as well as other association documents such as bylaws, resolutions, occupancy agreements, articles of incorporation, and the declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs).

Terms to Know

Assessment: A one-time special fee all members pay to cover unexpected large expenses.

CC&R: Short for covenants, conditions, and restrictions. The governing document that details the rules and regulations of living in that specific community.

HOA: Homeowners’ association. Another term for community association. Typically every resident is automatically a member and shares decision-making power.

Minutes: A written record of the decisions and topics covered at an association meeting.

Reserve: The pool of money HOA dues go toward. Saved strategically for future repairs.

Contact EQWEST

Are you ready for professional community association management in Vancouver, WA? Call us at 360-896-5885 or use our contact form to learn how we at EQWEST can help you.

Photos: Jason Coleman, AgriLife Today