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Community associations today employ highly-qualified professional community association managers, and we think residents should know what the manager has—and has not—been hired to do.

Some residents expect the HOA Community manager to perform certain tasks that just aren't part of the job. When the manager doesn't meet those expectations, residents are unhappy. In short, the manager has two primary responsibilities:

Carry out policies set by the board and manage the association's daily operations.

Too many associations have rules that are unduly complicated, are nearly impossible to enforce, and may even violate laws.

So what does that mean for the common questions and concerns from residents?

The manager does not set policy. If you disagree with a policy or rule or fine, you'll get better results sending a letter/e-mail or a call directly to the HOA board. If you have a dispute with your what has been billed to you, you can call the manager to provide that info. The manager will discuss the issue directly with the HOA board.

The manager is trained to deal with conflict, but he or she typically will not get involved in quarrels you might be having with your neighbor. However, if association rules are being violated, the manager is the RIGHT person to notify.

The manager works closely with the board, however, he or she is an advisor—not a member of the board. The manager is not your advocate or conduit to the HOA board. If you have a concern, sending a letter/e-mail or a call directly to the HOA board, would be more effective and provide results.

The manager works closely with the board, however, he or she is available to residents. That doesn't mean the manager will drop everything to take your call. If you need to see the manager, give them a call.

The manager is always happy to answer questions, but he or she is not the information officer. For routine inquiries, like the date of the next meeting, read the newsletter or check the association website or bulletin board a call to your HOA board.

The manager is responsible for monitoring contractors' performance but not supervising them. Contractors are responsible for supervising their own personnel. If you have a problem with a contractor, notify the manager, who will forward your concerns to the HOA board. The HOA board will decide how to proceed under the terms of the contract.

The manager inspects the community regularly, based on your community's contract, but even an experienced manager won't catch everything*. Your help is essential. If you know about a potential maintenance issue, report it to the manager or use the portal provided to do so.

The manager has a broad range of expertise, but he or she is not a consultant to the residents. Neither is he or she typically an engineer, architect, attorney, or accountant. The manager may offer opinions but don't expect technical advice in areas where he or she is not qualified.

Although the manager is a great resource to the association, he or she is not available 24 hours per day—except for emergencies. Getting locked out of your home may be an emergency to you, but it isn't an association emergency. An association emergency is defined as a threat to life or property.

*Please note: The level of Community Manager services is contingent on how your community's contract is structured with your Management company. Check with your HOA board for those details.

>>For more information on the community association manager's role, visit and search “community managers."

©2019 Community Associations Institute. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution prohibited.

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