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8 Questions HOAs should ask Property Managers


There are questions to be answered before finalizing a list of potential Property Managers for Condo Association or HOA projects and work.

1. Are property managers or contractors licensed or certified and experienced in their field of expertise?

2. Does the property manager have worker's compensation, liability, and property damage insurance coverage? What are the limits and are they sufficient? You may require that they add you as an "additional insured" on their liability insurance as part of the property management contract.

3. How long has the property management firm been in the business? Have they had industry related experience with
your type of community (size, construction, layout, issues)? Have they had any complaints
lodged against them? Don't just take their word for it. Check with local business bureaus.

4. Do they have adequate references? If a large firm can only give you 3 references, you might be wary. The larger the company, the longer the list of references should be. Yes, when you check, most of the references will say good things about the vendor (or they wouldn't be giving out that person's name and number) but it is worth the time. Have your questions ready for the reference checks. "How long have they worked with this contractor?" "What is the largest contract the contractor has completed?" Be sure to ask
open ended questions. "What is the best thing about the contractor?" "What challenges have you had in working with the contractor?"

5. Will the property manager handle permits for the project, as required?

6. Who will supervise the project? Having one point of communication can help reduce problems and increase the response time when problem solving. If the job involves entering individual homes, who will be working on the project? Are employees bonded?

7. What is the timeframe for starting and finishing the job? If the project is large in scope, are interim payments tied to phased completion dates? Is there a penalty clause for not meeting project deadlines? How are retainers or progress payments billed, approved, and made?

8. Are you satisfied with the property manager's level of communication and response in the bidding and interview process? If not, don't assume it will get better if you award the contract. Trust your experience and give intuition some weight. Mutual respect, prompt responses, and good communication are keystones to success.

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