As a paying and vested member of your homeowner’s association, shouldn’t you have access to the decisions that impact your community?  You shouldn’t have to arm wrestle anyone to get this information; although, by Idaho law says you should have access.  Homeowners are voicing their frustrations over the lack of transparency and are demanding accountability from those who represent their investment.

How does your HOA management company measure up?  Here are 5 questions that you should ask.

  1. Can I access the HOA records? You have the legal right to access the HOA financial records in a timely manner.  If your HOA management company denies or refuses access to your HOA’s financial records are they don’t understand the law.  Because you are legally bound to your HOA, you share the burden of their mismanagement.  Your management company cannot guard or regulate who sees these records; it’s against the law.
  2. How transparent is your management company? All management companies serve the homeowners and their acting HOA Board and act as stewards of your association.  They do not own property in your association nor are they private owners of any minutes, documents or financial records.  Remember, they work for you; it’s not the other way around.
  3. How does your management company communicate? Even though physical participation may limit your attendance at Board meetings, more homeowners are seeking access via other measures, i.e., emails, texts or websites.  If your management company is not communicating with you, this could be a red flag and chances are they lack the necessary intelligence and resources to keep you informed.  Under no circumstances should a management company run your HOA Board or make any decisions regarding your HOA; that is your Board’s responsibility.
  4. What is our subdivision’s delinquency rate? You need to inquire about the number homeowners who neglect to pay their membership dues?  This is the primary basis for living in a shared community and your management company should be entirely focused on collecting dues.  They should have the necessary resources and procedures to collect 100% of the association’s dues; anything less means that the remainder of the homeowners, who have paid, split the management and maintenance fees.  No one person who owns property in your association has the right to refuse to pay.  Failure to pay is upheld in court.
  5. What is your subdivision’s compliance rate? Forgetting to put away a trash can or failure to mow a lawn are typical violations, but easily enforced.  However, continual noncompliance reflects a culture of apathy, negligence and discontentment.  In fact, recent studies suggest that property values are impacted by as much as 6% with poor compliance rates.  Your management company should be actively influencing a positive culture through a variety of systems and procedures.

Be wary of an HOA management company that operates as a residential property manager or as real estate agent.  The risk of liability and the scope of community ownership is too great to split into other avenues.  An association management company’s primary focus should be on providing your Board with the necessary tools and resources to influence your association in a positive way.  Home values are dependent upon how your association is managed. For more information, please contact MGM Association Management at (208) 846-9189 or visit  MGM is a preferred member of the Community Association Institute.