Hiring a new property manager to work in conjunction with your homeowners’ association (HOA) to oversee your neighborhood and elevate the experience of living there requires a dependable contract that accounts for a variety of important factors and considerations.
Property managers need to understand the scope of their responsibilities and obligations to your neighborhood, and you need to understand the exact services being offered by your new partners. Communication is critical when signing a new contract because you don’t want to get stuck with a subpar property manager who fails to fulfill their duties, but you also want to be certain that your new partners are affordable and the perfect fit for your neighborhood.
Therefore, it’s imperative that you understand the qualities of a dependable contract to evaluate whether or not your Tampa HOA property management service is meeting a satisfactory benchmark.
Clearly Stated Services and Fees
Pricing is fundamental to any contract. Before you engage in business with a Tampa homeowners’ association management service, ensure that the contract clearly outlines the services they plan to support and the fees associated with each of these services. Understanding which services are included in the management fee and those which are not can help you determine whether or not a certain property manager is right for your neighborhood. Sometimes, property managers will attempt to sell you on a “basic” package that will require additional costs to reach a premium level, so it’s important to consider companies that charge a higher management fee as their contract may include more services than cheaper competitors.
Breakdown of Property Owner Responsibilities
When you sign a contract with a property management company, you’re not only establishing the scope of their responsibilities, you’re establishing the scope of your own, too. As the property owner, HOA, or another power presiding over the neighborhood, you are responsible for meeting obligations such as:
- Setting up and maintaining a reserve fund for the property manager to use for daily tasks, maintenance issues, and emergencies.
- Obtaining and maintaining the appropriate insurance policy to cover the neighborhood and property management company.
- Rescinding tenant acquisition to the property manager so residents are compliant with management rules and guidelines.
- Forfeiting the right to enter private residences in the neighborhood without gaining permission from the tenant and property manager.
Other Important Considerations
Your contract should also include clear information regarding equal opportunity housing, liability, contract duration, and a termination clause. A liability clause, sometimes called the “hold harmless clause,” protects the property manager unless they have exhibited clear signs of negligence. You can also include a “reasonable care clause” to protect yourself if you contract a property manager who turns out to be less effective than you expected when you did your due diligence.