What Functions Do Homeowner’s Associations (HOA) Perform?

Potential homeowners, which location sounds more appealing: a neighborhood with clean and maintained parks or pools; a gardened entrance and reliable maintenance; or a community with overgrown gardens, unpredictable maintenance and unsafe parks or recreational areas? Most homeowners would choose the first option. If that's the case then they should probably thank that community's homeowner's…

Potential homeowners, which location sounds more appealing: a neighborhood with clean and maintained parks or pools; a gardened entrance and reliable maintenance; or a community with overgrown gardens, unpredictable maintenance and unsafe parks or recreational areas? Most homeowners would choose the first option. If that's the case then they should probably thank that community's homeowner's association (HOA).

Any new or potential homeowner might get concerned when they hear that term or question what they might be getting into. This article will cover the top three functions that an association like this performances including collecting dues, maintaining community spaces, and keeping the peace in the neighborhood, so that a homeowner has a better idea of ​​what they will be getting into.

Collecting Dues

The phrase “collecting dues” may make some homeowners cringe, but they should know that HOAs are only collecting these dues to benefit the community as a whole. These dues are what pay for: on-site maintenance, shared spaces (parks, pools, etc) upkeep, and extra features that raise the value of the properties like a well-gardened landscape. To put it simply, the overall role of the homeowner's association is to raise the value of the neighborhood or the community. The more well kept the community is, the more good quality residents are likely to want to move there, so making the environment a better place to live.

Maintaining Community Spaces

Depending on the state the homeowner lives in, these community or shared spaces could mean a variety of things: parking lots, dog parks, child play parks, pools, gyms, and more. It is important that all of these areas be properly maintained so that neighbors feel safe when they go to these features. For example, if a resident takes their child to a play park and their child is injured on one of the swings or one of the park features, a law against the HOA is highly likely because it is part of their job to keep these areas maintained. No association likes to admit it, but laws against them are very common because of circumstances similar to the example previously mentioned.

Keeping the Peace

Homeowners associations try to decrease the fights against them from residents, and try to decrease the losses among neighbors. Complaints are often discussed up, discussed, and resolved at meetings. However, if residents feel that they were treated unfairly, a lawsuit could have raised against the HOA. These associations also try to keep the peace among residents by throwing weekly, monthly, or annual get-togethers. These gatherings are ways that neighbors can get to know each other and feel safe in their neighborhood.

These are just some of the main functions of an HOA. Depending on the state or community, they can also be responsible for everything changing from what kind of Holiday decorations homes can have to how long the grass in their lawn can be. While these details may not seem important to most homeowners, they are important to the neighborhood's value as a whole.

Homeowner’s Association (HOA): Preparation for Possible Legal Troubles

Roughly twenty percent of all United States Homeowners belong to a Homeowners Association (HOA). This is a group of professionals that add value to a community or neighborhood by monitoring upkeep of shared spaces (pools, parks, etc.), and issues with homes-from collecting monthly dues to what kind of holiday decorations a homeowner ups up. HOAs…

Roughly twenty percent of all United States Homeowners belong to a Homeowners Association (HOA). This is a group of professionals that add value to a community or neighborhood by monitoring upkeep of shared spaces (pools, parks, etc.), and issues with homes-from collecting monthly dues to what kind of holiday decorations a homeowner ups up. HOAs can be a great benefit to any community; however, these groups also have lots of power, and with lots of power come many legal issues. These issues can raise for any number of reasons including fines for unnoted rule changes, or an argument against a proposed rule change, among other things. If a homeowner decides to take the HOA to court, which happens more often than any association would probably like to admit, these tips will help prepare them.

Keep Everything!

As with any big life changes, when a person becomes a homeowner, he or she should get everything in writing, and keep all of it. Legal issues can not always be predicted so it is important that the homeowner has documentation of all discussions, rule changes, or fines that were charged. Email or social media networks are probably the best correspondence to have with an HOA so that these conversations are saved. Receipts and maintaining checkbooks are also good things to remember in case the legal issue involves a missed, late, or unauthorized fine. Keeping all documentation is one sure way to have an advantage over an association if legal problems arise.

Do not Wait!

Similar to most legal proceedings, bringing an HOA to court should be done within the homeowner's statue of limitations. This will be varied due to what state the homeowner resides in but can usually be found in the association's Policies or Guidelines Handbook. Homeowners should constantly refer to these handbooks to stay updated on the rules and guidelines of the community and to know the process of bringing associations to court if the circumstance should arise. Another advantage to proceeding with legal issues sooner is that the facts and circumstances that are related to the issue will be fresh in everyone's minds. It may seem shady if a homeowner brings up saved paperwork from an issue three months ago and addresses it today. The court will more likely realize the importance of the issue if it is brought up as soon as possible.

Stay Involved!

While this should be obvious to every homeowner, some ignore this tip. Staying involved with an HOA is one of the best weapons against them. The meetings that this association has are open to the public so that homeowners can bring any issues to their attention. The more involved a homeowner is, the less likely these legal issues arise; and if they do still arise, it is more likely the income will be in the involved homeowner's favor.

These are a few tips homeowners should keep in mind if they are thinking about bringing their HOA to court. The whole process of taking an association to court should be found in the Homeowner's Polices or Guidelines Handbook, but these tips should be enough to get a homeowner started.

Assess HOA Management Companies by Asking These Questions

Individuals in any community recognize that putting a group in place that can manage the community properly is a benefit that should not be overlooked. Well managed communities contain properties that are more valuable, residents that are more harmonious, and a higher percentage of dues paying homeowners. This is why residents in any community will…

Individuals in any community recognize that putting a group in place that can manage the community properly is a benefit that should not be overlooked. Well managed communities contain properties that are more valuable, residents that are more harmonious, and a higher percentage of dues paying homeowners. This is why residents in any community will form a homeowners association (HOA) board to oversee the community and make strategic decisions on behalf of residents. Residents will commonly go one-step further and hire one of the many HOA management companies to ensure that the community is run smoothly and efficiently.

HOA management companies help provide vital community association services and keep HOA board members from feeling overburdened. However, some community members do not understand why these HOA management companies are necessary and fail to see how these organizations improve the community as a whole. This article will serve as a tool for residents who want to assess the performance of their community management group, so that they can determine if it might be time to switch to one of the other nearby HOA management companies. To evaluate the organization's performance, consider each of these questions:

Does the company communicate effectively with residents?

This is a good way to determine if company representatives care about the wellbeing of the community or are just there to collect a check each month from the HOA board. HOA management companies that communicate effectively with residents may use resources like printed newsletters, e-mails, or social media channels to keep residents in the loop. These communication channels not only help the HOA board show residents that their dues are being put to good use, but also provide a channel for residents to voice concerns or suggestions.

Has the company built cash reserves?

Most HOA management companies exceed the community's finances, since they have more experience than volunteer board members when it comes to managing money for a community. The company will no doubt budget how much money the community can afford to pay for community association services and may help plan a major purchase like a new amenity. However, even the best laid plans go awry. Repairs and maintenance will be necessary at any time and communities that do not have a reserve fund in place will be unable to fund these vital processes.

Is the community visibly appealing?

The main responsibility of an HOA is to provide community association services like landscaping, trash cleanup, and maintenance. Since finding, hiring, and overseeing contractors is such a time consuming process, HOA management companies are usually the ones in charge of providing these services. If the community is not visually appealing, it can be a sign that a vendor is not doing high quality work or is not doing any work at all. Vendors are more likely to slack off when they are unsupervised, so HOA board members should be worried if it looks like vendors are not providing the community association services that they paid to provide.

These questions will provide a good starting point for assessing the job a current community management company is doing.

Which Community Association Management Services Are Typically Outsourced?

Small upstart communities, large longstanding communities, and all other types of communities need to be run properly. Generally members of a community will volunteer to help exceed the neighborhood, by choosing to serve on a homeowners association (HOA) board that will make decisions for the good of the community. Unfortunately most of these tenants have…

Small upstart communities, large longstanding communities, and all other types of communities need to be run properly. Generally members of a community will volunteer to help exceed the neighborhood, by choosing to serve on a homeowners association (HOA) board that will make decisions for the good of the community. Unfortunately most of these tenants have other obligations like work, family, or school that receive first priority. Those volunteers who are able to devote more time to helping run the community often lack critical skills such as bookkeeping abilities and knowledge of property law. When these HOA boards lack the resources that are necessary to run the community effectively, they outsource some community association management services to HOA management companies.

Bringing in someone with more experience and the time to commit fully to managing a community will pay huge dividends for all dues paying members of the HOA. This is because HOA management companies not only manage the community more efficiently, but they also free up time for board members to focus on decision making by taking care of day-to-day operations. Here are a few of the community association management services that an HOA will typically outsource to a community management company:

Dues Collection

It is absolutely vital for an HOA to collect dues because these funds are what the organization use to pay for community association management services. Typically these dues are the only source of funding for the HOA, so communities with a low dues collection rate will have fewer resources available to maintain, improve, or upgrade the community and its amenities. In spite of all of this, most HOA board members do not want to pursue unpaid dues because they do not want to jeopardize relations with their neighbors. Communities managed by HOA management companies have higher dues collection rates because the organization will take over the role of the dues collector. The company will pursue dues more vigorously than HOA board members will, and threaten eviction if necessary. Usually the board works with delinquent payers to set up a payment plan so that they are still paying into the community.

Communication Services

One of the reasons that residents do not pay dues is because they do not believe that the HOA is using those dues effectively. HOA management companies take care of this problem by communicating with residents through social media, e-mail, printed newsletters, and by making them available in person for a set amount of time each day. These companies explain to residents how their dues are being used to better the community, which saves HOA board members time that would have to be sent communicating with residents.

Financial Services

It is common for an HOA board to lack the skills to handle the organization's finances. HOA management companies will help the organization keep records of its spending, pay bills owed for community association management services, maintain a reserve fund, and set a budget.

These are just some of the services that HOA management companies provide to help communities operate smoothly. HOA board members that do not want to feel overwhelmed by tasks that they are unable to complete on their own should hire one of these organizations today.

Real Estate Investment Advice – What You Should Know Before Jumping On The Bandwagon

Real estate investment provides long term benefits and compared to any other financial instrument this does provide very high returns. But these investment calls for the right mental attitude and foresight not to mention the awful patience you must have to see the deal through. Getting professional real estate investment advice goes a long way…

Real estate investment provides long term benefits and compared to any other financial instrument this does provide very high returns. But these investment calls for the right mental attitude and foresight not to mention the awful patience you must have to see the deal through. Getting professional real estate investment advice goes a long way in ensuring success in your endeavor.

Investment means parking huge sums of money in one place which is why these transactions should never be done in a hurry. Take time to research before you buy and close any deal. Also remember when it comes to real estate there is more to just buying, you need to also look into the repairing, restoration, remodeling and reselling too. One piece of real estate investment advice we can give you right away is to prepare to spend adequately long hours in researching, cultivating effective business relationships and taking critical investment decisions when the time is right.

When investing, you must decide on two things – first are you out there to just buy a property for yourself or are you making an investment on which you expect good returns later. If it is just a property for you like a farm or a house then buying what you like or can afford may just be fine. But if it is an investment you need to look at many things more carefully. Secondly do you want to deal in residential or commercial property business? There is a vast different between the way the two are deal with. Commercial properties take longer to be sold while selling residential property is comparatively easier. Renovation of commercial properties is more complicated and relatively these are harder to sell. The great attraction of commercial properties is the greater rewards it fetches. If you are dealing in this as a business you may want a mix of both but you must remember that the clientele will be very different in terms of their needs, their thinking and their overall dealings.

A good investment advice is to be clear both in your mind and your transactions that you are not some senseless accumulator of properties but an intelligent investor. The basic idea behind investing in commercial and residential property is to reap handsome profits. If you buy any property mindlessly and if it does not produce any profit when resold you might have acquired a property but it can not be called an investment. Associating yourself with reputed and reliable professionals and real estate agents is advisable when making sensible investments.

Real Estate Trends in Hyderabad

Hyderabad is India's sixth most populated urban city and a center of rich cultural heritage. Modern Hyderabad has evolved into an incredible IT hub, which has propelled the growth of real estate in the city. Other than IT, it is also a home to big pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Last decade saw a tremendous growth…

Hyderabad is India's sixth most populated urban city and a center of rich cultural heritage. Modern Hyderabad has evolved into an incredible IT hub, which has propelled the growth of real estate in the city. Other than IT, it is also a home to big pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Last decade saw a tremendous growth in the realty sector as Hyderabad emerged among the favorable destinations of real estate developers and investors. There was a strong demand in the residential market and s healthy appreciation of capital values. The figures revealed that average residential capital values ​​rose from Rs 1,000 per sq ft in 2000 to Rs 3,100 per sq ft by the third quarter of 2008. This data indicates an appreciation of about 15 percent a year.

Reasons for the decline

Despite its shining story, it's true that the global financial meltdown had an adverse effect on the real estate sector. While some markets remain more immune than others, Hyderabad's realty is taking more time to recover. The period from 2008 to 2010 there was a slight fall in the residential capital values ​​from Rs 3100 per sq feet to Rs 2980 per sq feet. There have been fewer project launches than average. Other cities have been more resilient to this crisis and are still registering a positive growth rate although slower than before. The difference between the performances of two domestic markets can be due to any reason. But here, the culprit is the political uncertainty and bureaucracy surrounding the formation of a separate state of Telangana. A long story told short, Telangana region enterprises 10 districts and is the largest geographical bloc in Andhra Pradesh. It alone accounts for 75 percent of the total revenue generated. The activists supporting this movement argument that all this, the region is grossly neglected when it comes to the distribution of water and budget allocation. In 2009 proceedings were made in order to separate it from the state of Andhra. However, three years later the result is now in sight. This uncertainty and lack of decisiveness had created problems for the real estate in Hyderabad.

Revival of the market

Last two years have shown immensely positive trends for both residential as well as commercial property. The buyer sentiments have improved considering and there has been a gradual increase in residential demand and absorption. However, there is still time before the absorption reaches the 2007- 2008 levels. The commercial real estate sector is still very much in the expansion mode. The corporate client did a good job of not letting the political scenario offset their expansion plans in Hyderabad. JP Morgan and Facebook were the two most notable MNCs who choose Hyderabad as their home In India.

How could this be one of the better time to invest in the Nizam's city?

All is certainly not lost for the Realtor s in this Cyber ​​city of India. Hyderabad right now presents the lowest risk to investors all the real estate markets since the price at its financial level. Where other markets are saturating and are marred by speculative market tactics, Hyderabad is relatively free from these vices for now. The realty is seriously undervalued in Hyderabad, which presents an opportunity for buyers.

Invest Wisely – Buy Investment Properties

So you have had a windfall or have some good amount stacked away in savings which you want to put to good use, which is better than buy investment properties. An investment property is an excellent way of making money. It is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme but something that can steadily increase your net…

So you have had a windfall or have some good amount stacked away in savings which you want to put to good use, which is better than buy investment properties. An investment property is an excellent way of making money. It is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme but something that can steadily increase your net worth if you choose and buy the right property. Generally the value of real estate increases slowly over a period of time. With the right advice at the right time you can invest in the right property minimizing the chances of going wrong.

It is important that you use knowledge and expertise when you buy investment properties. If you have got the knowledge and the experience in the field there is nothing like it. But since this is not possible for all you can take the help of professionals and real estate agents. Make sure you check their history, their success rate, their knowledge about the rules and regulations regarding purchase of property and whether they are able to show you any properties in the location of your choice.

When you buy investment properties, locations matter a lot. Areas where there is high growth, good tourism generally lead to good development and most often are veryought after. However remember that such properties are expensive as the returns are high and guaranteed to a certain extent. Unless you have that kind of money ready in hand or have a partner / investor who can pitch in for you, you want to look at other cheaper but viable options.

Ideally you can plan to invest for a few years, may be rent out the property for a few years, wait till the market turns ripe and then sell to make a tidy profit. If so you want to check the development in the area and surrounding areas, check about the future plans and then buy. When investing in such a property look at how is the demand in the area for rental properties? Is the interest only during times of high season or is it year round? Renting out the property will help maintain and upkeep the building and also keep fetching you returns even if only a tiny amount every month.

To make the best profit from investment properties, look for those that are being sold for a price that is less than the present market value. There may be a little work to be done on such properties like renovation, repairing and remodeling but whatever you spend on it will be easily outweighed by the profit you make from it.

Property Management: 10 Ways to Measure Your Success

Have you set the professional bar for your property management team? Do they know when they have hit the mark? Are responsibility centers clear? Let's discuss some measures that let you identify positive progress with a multifamily asset. Following is a short list of high value areas to commit “thinking time”. We are applying these…

Have you set the professional bar for your property management team? Do they know when they have hit the mark? Are responsibility centers clear? Let's discuss some measures that let you identify positive progress with a multifamily asset. Following is a short list of high value areas to commit “thinking time”. We are applying these benchmarks to stabilized assets.

1. The “So what” question? Every PhD student knows about the “so what” question. Having spent months and perhaps years on a very succinct research question, a committee member says to the student – so what? The follow up question being: “why is this relevant”? Keep the “so what” question in your mind as you work through this list. If your answers make you feel warm and fuzzy, look good on paper but have no functional use- so what?

2. Occupancy . Is your occupation at or higher than competitive assets in your submarket? Whereas we are most focused on “our” asset, we must view the leader market and market for intelligence. It is important to know where our competitors are, operationally, to assist in measuring where to place our resources (dollars and manpower).

Concessions and marketing seem to work in cycles. Sometimes price is all important, other times a free $ 100 fuel card kicks over leasing activity. Knowing what your competitors are doing (that's working) on ​​a real time basis is important to know.

3. Collections . Where are you on collections on the first, fifth and tenth of the month? Are systems in place- and in use that positively affect collections outcomes?

4. Resident retention. Is your management team ahead of the curve on renewals; 45, 60 or 90 days ahead of lease end dates? Planning ahead makes for stabilized operations.

5. Controlling expenses . Are you comparing service providers for competitiveness? Do you know line item cost as compared to recent quarters and year-over-year?

6. Response to maintenance . Are you delivering a consistent product to your customers? Have you set up reasonable expectations with you customers and do you meet or exceed those expectations?

7. Personnel turnover . Do you know where your people are … in terms of their commitment to property management and being in your employ?

8. Market presence . Do you know your standing in the marketplace. Have you reviewed apartment review sites to see what people are saying about y0ur asset? Can you answer this question; what is your asset “known for”? Is this positive or negative? If positive how can you promote this aspect? If negative, how can you diminish the impact of this information or turn around the reputational harm?

9. Owner Reports . Are they consistent and informative? Are they concise?

10. Do you maintain a vision? This requires thinking time. Do you have time to think?

Back to # 1. Were your responses useful to you, to your organization, to the assets in your care? We began this post with a few questions. Have you set the professional bar for your property management team? Do they know when they have hit the mark? Are responsibility centers clear? We end this post with the question; “Do y0u maintain vision”? Lots of questions. Take on one at a time.

How to Find a Professional Property Management Company

Whether you are looking to rent a property or rent out a property you own, the first step is to ensure you find a professional reliable property management company that you can count on! Ensure to find a real estate management company that meets your needs and can provide you the client services you need…

Whether you are looking to rent a property or rent out a property you own, the first step is to ensure you find a professional reliable property management company that you can count on! Ensure to find a real estate management company that meets your needs and can provide you the client services you need whenever you are an owner or a tenant.

What is Property Management?

Property management services, mainly the oversight, control and operation of properties and real estate, where the company monitors and cares for real estate on behalf of a client throughout the agreed period. This is where some company's may differ slightly, in the overall service they provide. As subtle as the differences may be any potential impact further down the line may not be obvious at the outside.

How do you find the right company?

Once you have a list of potential company's there are a number of key aspects you should be looking for to identify the most reputable property management company. Most of these aspects form the basic principles of property management services and any company that can not provide these basics should not be considered as a reputable company.

· Does the advertising include geographical location, local amenities and full overview of properties?

· Do they offer a full screening process of potential tenants? Credit checks, employment references, previous landlord references and submission of a fully detailed application.

What to look for next?

If the answers to the above questions are satisfactory to you then you need to consider the daily management and accounting aspects. Any reputable property management company will provide the following services:

· Security Deposit obtained prior to the occupancy of a new tenant.

· Collection of monthly rent.

· Inspections of the property in the move-in, move-out phases of a tenant.

· Total management of tenant payment arrears and debt recovery if necessary.

· Manage requests for property maintenance from landlords and tenants.

· Complaint management.

· Resolution of tenant disputes.

· Management of eviction notices where necessary, in accordance with current laws.

· Property improvement management.

· Deposit and rentals fees directly transferred to your bank account.

· Management of maintenance payments or other payments to vendors.

What else to look for ?

Look for a company that offers thorough communication, good reporting and tracking systems and will provide a monthly detailed statement regarding the services. The statement should include accounting and billing information that will include the current rental balance to be deposited directly to your bank account.

Where to start looking for Property Management Services ?

The Internet is currently the most popular and easiest method to conduct searches to find a reputable property m anagement c ompany, with directories covering most cities and territories throughout the United States and Canada. For example, if your property is located in the city of Edmonton you will find a reasonable number of businesses offering property management services, including REMAX Excellence, The Rental Advisors Team.

Reasons To Hire Property Management Services

You do not need to manage your property on your own. It is understandable that you have many other commitments and tasks to fulfill. You may even have a full-time job that does not even leave you time for a personal life, let alone managing your property, but you still try. You answer the calls…

You do not need to manage your property on your own. It is understandable that you have many other commitments and tasks to fulfill. You may even have a full-time job that does not even leave you time for a personal life, let alone managing your property, but you still try. You answer the calls of your tenants, even when it is not convenient to you and listen to their complaints. You address their issues in the middle of a family vacation and call the plumber or an electrician to sort out their problems. In the process, you invite more stress and gain even less time with your friends and family. It is important to enjoy your life too and you do not have to do all this on your own, when you can simply hire the efficient services of professionals, who are experts at property management.

There are other kinds of property owners too, who thought property ownership and renting it out is such a good investment that now they can relax and not do anything else. Their congratulations are their responsibility and their genuin complaints are your headache, as well. You must give them a proper environment to live in and make sure that the facilities and amenities you provided do not break down, and if they do, then you get them repaired. For the handling of all these concerns, you must be ready and have free time at your hand. There are many other things to address to. There could be financial issues to deal with. The tenant may not be paying the rent in time. The tenant may call you up at a God forsaken hour and disturb you. You could get annoying tenants too; you must be prepared for that. Their complaints are far more troublesome, than the ones who like to live peacefully. If it is not the contracts, then there could also be a land issue. After all, this is your land and property is always a strife-prone zone.

Your property could also face some legal issue. This is because properties tend to overlap each other and there could be a long-lost legal issue, which has suddenly emerged. Disputed zones and even change of zones also affect your property. You can not stop malicious or wayward elements from damaging your property too and you will need to look after the security aspect. The maintenance of the property alone could take up a lot of time and effort and could simply add to the problems. Basically, what this means is that you need help!

A property management service would make sure that all these problems become their job. They will find you an ideal tenant and handle all communications with them. You can reap the benefits of renting out your property, without having to make efforts to deal with the tenants, their problems, property maintenance, repairs etc. A professional, skilled in handling all property problems, simple or complex, would be the ideal choice for your property management. You can save a lot of time and quite the cost of hiring these services is worth it.

Tips To Do Your Own Property Management

Buying property is a huge step for many and becomes a personal thing for them too. They love to take care of the properties that they purchased with certain goals in their mind. They like to be part of the fulfillment of those goals and that, like to be involved completely in the management of…

Buying property is a huge step for many and becomes a personal thing for them too. They love to take care of the properties that they purchased with certain goals in their mind. They like to be part of the fulfillment of those goals and that, like to be involved completely in the management of their own property. They would probably scoff at the idea of ​​getting professional help to maintain something that belongs to them. They would become fidgety with the idea of ​​someone else handling their contracts and getting involved in their finances. Such people are already on their path to property management and do not consider it a waste of time to manage their properties that are giving them a stable source of income. Till these property owners have the time and capacity to manage their homes, apartments, tenants, etc, on their own, they should remember the following things –

* You can not get into a trap by attaching your name to those properties that are rented out. You need to protect yourself, your family and your personal possessions and property in case of a lawsuit.

* Be professional with your tenant. Do not give them an over-friendly behavior because they could take advantage of that. You need to be strict enough to ensure that you get a steady income from all of them and you also need to be civil enough to ensure that they do not spread even a single malicious word about you.

* Make everything clear in recorded documents. You need to record every little to big deal that you had with the tenant. This is simply to ensure your future safety and make you immune in the court, in case of a slander or a false accusation.

* Since you need to deal with all kinds of people, from your tenants to the government authorities, you must be a good communicator and should be able to talk to everyone effectively and in a polite manner. This will be beneficial for you in the long run.

* Know your competition. You should know the rent, the deals, the kind of living conditions and facilities that your fellow-property owners are offering to their tenants. This would help you to make improvements where necessary and also know the rightful rent to ask from your tenants.

* Specify the rent, the tenure, the future or possible changes, the eviction clauses, etc. on the lease.

* You must know the rights that you have, but you must also know the rights that your tenant has. You should not encroach on his privileges and boundaries. Knowing the legal part of the property management is always a good way to be sure of all your decisions and tackle any problems that may arise in the future.

The moment you think that the things are getting out of your hand, you need to take professional assistance. These people understand the demands of your job and the needs of your property business. They would efficiently sort out your problems and give you timely and practical suggestions.

10 Tips for Creating an HOA Budget

As the year winds down, many businesses shift their focus to future and begin preparing next years annual budget. HOA and Condo Associations are no different as we are currently wrapping our budget season for this year. We have prepared thousands of community association budgets over our 25 years and have developed some specific strategies…

As the year winds down, many businesses shift their focus to future and begin preparing next years annual budget. HOA and Condo Associations are no different as we are currently wrapping our budget season for this year.

We have prepared thousands of community association budgets over our 25 years and have developed some specific strategies for preparing an accurate HOA budget. We have come up with 10 tips for preparing an HOA budget.

Do a budget I know this looks like a silly tip, but we have seen many associations fail to create a budget before proceeding to the next year. An HOA is just like any other business or organization. If you do not have a financial plan, you will find yourself in a mess about halfway through the year when you realize that you do not have enough funds to make it through the entire year. Take the time to practice financial responsibility for your association.

Review budget and Financial History – You always want to review the previous two years financials to fully understand were you currently are vs. where you want your association to be. Many people review previous year's budgets to prepare future ones. One problem we see is that many people reviewing past past numbers, fail to make the proper budget corrections when something is way over or under budget from the previous year. Make the proper adjustments to insure an accurate budget.

Prioritize projects – We have worked with any HOA and condo associations that get overwhelmed during budget time because they have so many repairs and projects that they want to handle all at once. Any kind of future projects or repairs, need to be prioritized accordingly. This is where you must separate your associations needs vs. wishes. Everyone wants the landscaping or condo exteriors to look immaculate, but no one gets excited repairing an unsafe stairwell repairing a leaking sprinkler system. You must eliminate any safety or potential liabilities before exploring any community beatification projects.

Utility Increases – We can not recall a time in which utility costs actually went down from the previous year in our 25 years plus experience. Water, gas, and electricity costs have been increasing steadily over the last decade, especially water costs over the last 2 years. We always research our local city and municipalities to see if they have a price rate schedule available. For example the City of Austin is scheduled to increase water costs 70% over the next five years. Because we are aware of this price hikes, we clearly budget for them accordingly. If no information is available, we suggest increasing the budget on most utilities between 5% to 7% each year.

Vendor Contracts – You always want to insure the correct budgeting for all of your normal monthly service providers. Do not be afraid to ask your landscaping company, pool contractor, and even management company, if they plan on changing their current rates. This is also a great opportunity to ask for their updated insurance information to make sure that is good standing as well. Also review current contacts to see if there are any CPI index clauses in their agreement. Nine times out of ten, if they are contractually able to increase their fees, most will do so.

Budget for reserves – All associations should budget for a percentage of all income to go to their reserve or savings accounts. The percentage of income will of course vary depending on your association. The longer long term liabilities and obligations you have, the more you should be putting away. We have some condo associations that are putting away as much as 20% of their total income towards long term savings. Condos generally have much larger financial obligations including external repairs and upkeep and maintaining private streets and roads. Not budgeting for reserves can lead to be big problems and potentialally big special assessments down the road.

Cover your Insurance deductibles – All condo associations need to pay special attention to this one. Make sure you are aware of the deductible levels for different elements of your complex. For example, if your roof replacement deductible is $ 500.00 per building and you have 20 buildings, then you need then or course you always need at least $ 10,000 in your reserves to cover that amount. If a disaster or violent storm strikes your area, you want to make sure your association is ready and that you are not hiring them for a special assessment just to cover basic insurance claims.

Evaluate legal and collection costs – Legal and collections costs can escalate very quickly depending on the collection strategy that you use. Evaluate your current system and see if you can determine your return on investment. If you are on average spending $ 150 dollars to collect every $ 100, then something obviously is not working. We have experienced great success with providing homeowners that are behind with a payment plan with full payment schedule provided to them. When delinquent association members concentrate on affordable monthly payment and not the large amount that they owe, they tend to see the light at the end of tunnel.

Special Assessments are for special projects – We have heard many times suggested “Why can not we have a special assessment instead of raising our monthly dues?” This philosophy does not work in our book. If your association is having a problem meeting it expenses because of some tight cash flow, you need to raise your assessment amount or your assessment frequency. Special assessments are just that, special. They are not for paying your bills. They are intended for major improvements, or in a case of emergency repairs, not to pay the pool contractor.

Stay the course – It's real easy to get distracted through the year with landscaping improvements, new and improved security systems, and other random projects through the year. Your association made a budget for a reason, so try your best to stick to it as best you can. If you do have to make an unexpected expenditure, take your time and make the best decision for your HOA or condo association.

Creating and maintaining an HOA budget is essential part of maintaining a fiscally responsible association. Even associations that are not as healthy financially as they need to be, with some small definitions, they too can be financially fit in just a short amount of time. If you follow some basic steps and continue to evaluate and adjust over time, your community association will thrive financially now and in the years to come.

Ways To Stop A Mad Tenant From Destroying Your Property

Sensible landlords are aware that rent out their property has innate upsides and downsides. One of the main concerns of many landlords is how to put off angry renters from creating damages to your rental property while they still stay in it or before they move out. While it is not absolutely possible to deter…

Sensible landlords are aware that rent out their property has innate upsides and downsides. One of the main concerns of many landlords is how to put off angry renters from creating damages to your rental property while they still stay in it or before they move out. While it is not absolutely possible to deter tenants from breaking or teasing down your property, there are five steps that you can carry out as a landlord to less the chance of having your property destroyed by a mad renter.

Require And Perform A Comprehensive Background Check

Impose and carry out a painstaking background check on every individual that will be staying in your rental property. This includes scrutinizing their criminal records and credit history. Ask for at least three or more rental references and contact each individual to bear out the applicant's previous payment history and to know how they took care of the properties that they have occupied before.

Create A Rental Agreement

Draft a rental agreement that is in line with your local and state laws. Make sure that the rental agreement includes stipulations that protect your welfare as the landlord. For instance, plainly define what is abusive damage to your rental property such as broken windows, purposed flooding, intentional neglect, bare and strewn animal feces and wastes not kept in tightly-closed garbage bins. Lastly, failure to report any damages the instant the tenant learns or perceives the damage.

Keep A Key To Your Property

Keep an access key to your rental property in order that you can effortlessly come into the property upon proper notice to the occupant. If you are given the consent, include a stipulation in the rental agreement that obliges the tenant to give you a copy of a key in case the change the locks.

Visit Your Rental Property Regularly

Visit your property periodically to look over the exterior of it. For future reference, take pictures from the road of any damages that you perceive. If you can not do habitual drives in the vicinity of your property, employ a property management company or a friend to do this task for you.

Consult With Your Insurance Agent

Seek advice from your insurance agent to know whether your insurance provider could protect you against damage to rental property made by mad renters. Consider providing them the list of facilities or appliances that should be kept in good condition.

How To Notify Your Landlord About Property Damage?

Having an open communication is a great factor in establishing a stronger relationship with your landlord. Informing your landlord right away about the damage in the rental property buildings trust and confidence between landlord and his occupant. Your landlord will appreciate your openness and will be happy to know the real situation in the property,…

Having an open communication is a great factor in establishing a stronger relationship with your landlord. Informing your landlord right away about the damage in the rental property buildings trust and confidence between landlord and his occupant. Your landlord will appreciate your openness and will be happy to know the real situation in the property, such as wrecked fixtures or cracks in the wall. Even trivial damages fixed by the renter should be documented, gather all receipts or bills and send it to the landlord. Even if the landlord is not obliged to return the tenant, this simple gesture will demonstrate the tenant's concern for the property. In addition, it will also shield the tenant in case the repairs absolutely fail to resolve the problem.

Review Your Lease

Scrutinize your lease to identify wherever minor repairs, such as a cracked toilet seat or wobbly cabinet handle, are still part of your responsibilities or your landlord's duty. Read through the provisions in your lease to check how your landord wants to be informed about the repairs. Standard clauses need an occupant to report any needed repairs without delay to prevent problems from mounting.

Contact Your Landlord

Speak to your landlord or the appointed property manager if the repair needs urgent attention. Ask the property owner if you need to seek for professional help or you can just leave it to him to do. Make sure that you document your conversation.

Inform the Landlord

Give your landlord a proper notice of the needed repair through writing or follow-up in writing if you first correspondence was made orally. File any receipts or documents that concern the repair in case you hired a contractor to carry out the job after receiving approval from the landlord. Do not perform any repairs without the consent of your landlord because he may personally know professionals he prefers to employ for the job.

Label The Letter And Enclose the Photos Of The Damage

Put a date on the letter; Include your name, address and pictures of the damage. Specify in the letter how the repairs would improve the quality of life of the occupant or why it would benefit the property owner in the long run. For instance, a landlord may ignore toilet that is still functioning, but a persuasive letter can induce the landlord pay attention to this area. Explain to your landlord that fixing such problem could less the water bill in the succeeding months.

Be Polite And Respectful

Be courteous and courteous at all times, even if it is verbal and written requests. Talk to your landlord regarding the reasonable cut-off date for when the repairs should be finished. Document all discussions and provide copies of all documents and correspondence for your files.

Importance of Choosing an Effective Property Management Software

Are you a landlord or a letting agent? You must be on the lookout for effective property management software to help you maintain your monthly accounts in a format that has found approval by your accountants. There are now many such software available to help you. The language used is fairly simple and useful to…

Are you a landlord or a letting agent? You must be on the lookout for effective property management software to help you maintain your monthly accounts in a format that has found approval by your accountants. There are now many such software available to help you. The language used is fairly simple and useful to both the landlord and the agent. Some of the packages offered are of top quality and perfect for the real estate industry. These packages come with a 2 month trial period and guarantee of a refund. Customer service too is brilliant and very effective. These packs give reply to both the landlord and the agent as they do not have to worry about the rents. The best part of it all is that price-wise too, these packs are very reasonable.

Tips On Effective Property Management

When a landlord lets out his property, his concern would be how to track, that rents are being paid on time. That is when a good computer application will come in handy. The input of data should be minimal, but information received should be optimal. All the time vent analysis information, has to be cut down, thus enabling the landlord to spend more time in property management. Simple, uncomplicated and easy to navigate computer programs will find favor with customers. When all records of the tenders can be easily managed and reports are raised automatically when the time is due, the program will be useful. The application will be effective, only when it helps in cutting down landlord invoices and fees for managing the account.

Benefits Of A Good Program To Agents

As an agent, once you have a good computer application in place to handle your accounts and other such details, it leaves you time to give better and more personalized service to your clients. The program should be able to give just one, complete and comprehensive list of all your tenant arrears. This could help you get in touch with the tenants quickly, either through mails or messages to remind them of the same. This is very helpful to the property manager since arrears in rent will decrease and since fewer debts are written off. Much legislation that has to be complied with, by the landlords, will be easy to keep track of, since the proper application will remind the manager when insurance renewals and safety inspections are due.

Importance Of Choosing The Right Software

We have seen the many ways a good computer application can help the management of a letting agency or a landlord. Since a good property management software helps to save time as all the required data is in one place, you would not need to employ an extra hand even if your business expands.