Clarifying Your Association Manager’s Role

Your association may employ a highly qualified professional community manager, and we’d like residents to know what the manager has – and has not – been hired to do.  The manager has two primary responsibilities: to carry out policies set by the Board and to manage the association’s daily operations.

Some residents expect the manager to perform certain tasks that just aren’t in the contract.  When the manager doesn’t meet those expectations, residents naturally are unhappy.  Here are a few clarifications to help you understand the manager’s job.

  • The manager works closely with the Board – as an advisor – not as a Board member.  The manager is not your advocate with, or conduit to, the Board.  If you have a concern, send a letter or email directly to the Board.
  • The manager is available to residents.  That doesn’t mean the manager will drop everything to take your call.  If you need to see the manager, call to arrange a meeting or email them if provided their email address.
  • The manager is always happy to answer questions.  However, for routine inquiries, like the date of the next meeting, please read your HOA’s newsletter or check on the association’s website.
  • The manager monitors contractors’ performance, but does not supervise them.  Contractor’s supervise their own staff.  If you have a problem with a contractor, notify the manager, who will forward your concerns to the Board.  The Board will decide how to proceed under the terms of the contract.
  • The manager inspects the community regularly, but even an experienced manager won’t catch everything.  Your help is essential.  If you know about a potential maintenance issue, report it to the manager.
  • The manager does not set policy.  If you disagree with a policy or rule, you’ll get better results contacting the Board than arguing with the manager.
  • The manager is not available 24 hours a day – except for emergencies.  Getting locked out of your home maybe an emergency to you, but it isn’t an association emergency.  An association emergency is defined as a threat to life or property.

Don’t have an association manager? 

A management company is an excellent option to ensure that all homeowners are adhering to basic rules.  However, you should always remember that a management company provides a service to your association and that they serve all residents; not the other way around.  All homeowners should have access to their governing documents, their HOA’s financial status, and access to what decisions are or have been made.  Community association transparency can go a long way toward building community harmony.

MGM Association Management is one of the longest running and largest association managers in the State of Idaho.  With locations in Meridian and Idaho Falls, MGM is an active member with the Community Associations Institute (CAI), a national organization that provides guidelines and association oversight, as well as continuing education. 

For two decades, MGM has mentored HOA Boards, and in many cases, helps provide expertise in community governance and meeting decorum.  For more information, call MGM Association Management at (208) 846-9189 or visit