Could You Manage an HOA? Maybe Not, Expert Warns
Larger communities like Mystic Shores pay property-management companies to help them anticipate issues, solve problems, meet residents’ expectations and protect property values.
Smaller communities with less money are more likely to be self-managed by volunteers, which makes them more likely to run into the kinds of problems you’d expect if the only requirement for serving on a homeowners’ association is to be at least 18 years of age with no felonies on your record.
“And these communities are like mini-municipalities, basically,” says Patricia Katchinoski, with Community Associations Institute’s (CAI) Austin Chapter. “There’s a governance issue there. And if you don’t understand this stuff, you can really make a mess.”
Her organization helps neighborhoods develop and maintain homeowners’ associations (HOAs) and property-owners’ groups (POAs) to manage their neighborhoods.
Katchinoski has worked closely with Jen Crownover, Comal County Commissioner Pct. 4 at previous seminars at Tye Preston Memorial Library.
She’s just opened up registration for the next CAI Board Leadership Development Workshop, scheduled from 9:15 to 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 23 at the library, 16311 South Access Rd., Canyon Lake.
Space is limited, so Katchinoski urges anyone who sits on the board of a homeowners or property owners’ association or, serves as a committee member in a community, to register now. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crownover Weighs In
Crownover, who plans to attend the meeting, says Canyon Lake’s rapid growth creates new problems, such as builders “turning and burning” houses, and plopping them down with little regard to bylaws.
In some instances, she says builders even go so far as to build duplexes instead of single-family residences mandated by neighborhoods.
“With proper training, HOAs and POAs can understand the job at hand a lot better and they’ll be better equipped to serve their neighborhoods.”
She also would like to help homeowners develop a more comprehensive approach to managing growth so that Comal County doesn’t step on the toes of HOAs and POAs. On the other hand, she would like to ensure these groups don’t overstep their authority and get sued by the residents they represent.
“We need to understand jurisdictional issues, where the boundaries are,” Crownover says. “The county can’t enforce deed restrictions, but they can help in some areas.”
Topics to Consider
Areas to be covered include:
- Governing documents and roles and responsibilities
- Communications, meetings and volunteerism
- Fundamentals of financial management
- Professional advisors and service providers
- Association rules and conflict resolution.
Residents who complete the workshop will receive a certificate of completion.
CAI is an international membership organization dedicated to building better communities. With more than 35,000 members, the organization has 63 chapters worldwide.
CAI provides information, education and resources to the homeowner volunteers who govern communities and the professionals who support them.
For more information, visit caionline.org.