Saturday, February 4, 2012

Who is driving your home owner's association (HOA) success?

by Ron Claussen, President of Reno II HOA and member of CAI Nevada Chapter.

When you sit down and reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of your homer's owner's association (HOA), it truly boils down to the saying "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link."  When I sit down and discuss home owner's associations issues with my CAI (Community Association Institute) counterparts, the weakest link always seems to center around the HOA Executive Board and Directors with their lack of knowledge of the Nevada Revised Statue (NRS) 116 or their governing documents as well as their fiduciary duties. 

I learned that the real key to Reno II HOA success was going to be driven by our newly hired HOA management firm and all of those supporting professional experts and consultants. I made those areas of our HOA operation a "priority" on a continuous basis.  Let's face it, you have a multi-million dollar complex with the best HOA adviser's in the world, but if you can not deliver assistance the expertise becomes secondary.

With that thought in mind, Reno II had just terminated the contract of the previous management firm, searching for a replacement started, once the new firm was hired, our whole financial system had to be updated, new legal and CPA/accountant had to be retained, as well as looking at our building maintenance program.

Hence I had to go to our reserve study to look at what was major and minor repairs were programmed and funded for the next five years; plus reviewing our fund balance to ensure we had adequate funds to maintain our property and retain it's value.

All of our maintenance could not be performed by our on site employee, but the larger projects had to be contracted out such as the plumbing updates, the painting and stucco repairs, parking lot and roof being resurfaced.  Now, with the NRS three bid requirement made this task harder as not all bids submitted were apples and oranges.  Now I, and the Reno II board members had to exercise the ordinary and reasonable care of directors of a corporation, subject to the business-judgment rule when making an informed decision.

Might note that you must review all of the terms and conditions of those bids from the vendors and consultants to ensure each line item of costs were entered.  You could end up with some unreasonable charges for phone calls and e-mails as an example.

Remember that your Board members and your maintenance man, next to your management firm see more homeowners than any one else in your association.  Putting some emphasis into this arena can return some big dividends for your homeowners and for the Board too.

NOTE: This article has been submitted to the NV chapter of CAI as part of their requirement to obtain their designated community association leader (DCAL) plus all the required courses.