The Good, Bad and the Ugly HOA

The operations of a subdivision that is run by a volunteer homeowner’s association Board requires certain skill sets on different levels.  In addition, the Board may change each year which makes it challenging for effective prolonged operations.  Leadership philosophies change, the managing style and awareness of resources vary, and it’s an unpaid position, make governing very challenging for a Board of directors.  It is unrealistic to think that a self-managed HOA can stay on top of all of the legal requirements imposed on homeowners associations, and quite often, a self-managed HOA will have problems that stem from the Board’s failure to govern properly over time.  The problem gets compounded with the passage of time, and it’s hard for the Board to get back on track.  This ultimately results in a dysfunctional history, and subsequently, a reluctance to participate on the association’s Board of directors.  Nonetheless, the investment in a professional association management service is a prudent decision.  The key is to find a competent manager who is affordable and aligns with the Board’s governance style, taking all of the below factors into consideration.

  1. Is the business listed with your Secretary of State’s office?  How is it listed, who is the registered agent, what is their address or place of business, is the registered name the same as the business name, and how long have they been in business?
  1. Does the management company have a reasonable process for contacting you or for you to contact them?  How fast do they respond during the business week or during the weekend or holidays, do they have multiple systems for communicating, i.e., email, voice mail, physical mail, phone, fax, text messaging, website comments section, and is it available to both Board members and your homeowners?
  1. Are you provided a clear description of the management service provided? Standards of practice, core business objectives, service areas of focus, business operations and hours of operating, and what’s included in your service plan?
  1. Do a simple, online word search for the company, as well as, the owner and pay attention to what shows up. Are they present or found when you look for them, what does your search say about the company, their philosophy or mission, and is there a method of online communication like an email service?
  1. What are the characteristics of your common interest development?   How many homes in your CID, how many and what kind of shared amenities are there; what is the percentage of delinquencies and non-compliant members, how effective is the leadership of your Board; have the property values been effected by situations of mismanagement of your CID, and is there a sense of community.

For the past 16 years, MGM Association Management has supported and assisted homeowner’s association board members in a variety of community-interest developments, i.e., subdivisions, neighborhoods, community developments that include single family homes, townhouses and condominium associations.  MGM Association Management has been helping homeowner’s association board members to better manage their neighborhood, so that they can focus on more relevant issues to keep their community thriving.  To learn how MGM Association Management can assist your homeowners association, we encourage you to contact us at or call, toll-free (866)