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Ask The HOA Expert: Manager Fees & Services, Quorum

Written by Richard THompson Posted On Thursday, 19 May 2022 00:00

Question: Our professional manager charges a 5% oversight fee for renovation and insurance repair projects that the homeowner association enters into. Is this common?

Answer: The manager should not be expected to work for nothing. Extra work justifies extra pay. It's common for an HOA manager to charge an hourly rate for project oversight. However, it's important to have someone that is knowledgeable about the particular work being done.

Oversight of straight forward projects like painting could be done by the manager but complex structural or roof work, for example, demand a higher degree of expertise. If the project is lengthy and multifaceted, it makes sense to hire a construction manager to schedule the phases, coordinate material delivery, perform progress inspections, process change orders and approve payments. The cost is more than worth the expense to ensure competence, good work and timely completion.

Question: What should a homeowner association expect to pay for a professional management and what services does that include?

Answer: The cost of professional management is based on the size and complexity of the property and the scope of work. For example, a 100 unit condominium association with pool and clubhouse is more labor intensive than one without pool and clubhouse. A 100 unit condominium is usually more labor intensive than a 30 unit complex. For common wall communities, average fees range from $15 to $30 per door per month. To solicit quotes from companies that specialize in HOA management, you need to develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) which outlines what level of service you want. A form for this purpose is available to Gold Subscribers of in the Manager Issues section.

Question: Our property manager told the board that no more than two can meet at a given time. If three of us get together, we have to post the meeting because we have a quorum.

Answer: If the board is deciding HOA business outside a formal board meeting (in the parking lot, by email, etc.) it qualifies as a board meeting and should be noticed to the homeowners. Emergency meetings sometimes need to be called but lack of planning does qualify as an emergency. Hold meetings in a visitor friendly location to encourage participation. Open meetings and frequent communication promote trust.

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