Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Best Practices

Boards usually consist of people of diverse professional backgrounds.  And like the professions that they come from, effective Association management has best practices and principles that should be adhered to. Your Association Manager is a great resource in this area - and responsible Board members will actively implement these best practices in the daily operations of their community.

A great way to illustrate best practices is to review these in action.  The real life examples below provide a glimpse:
  • Adam, Board President, adheres to Roberts Rules of Order. He officially calls the meeting to order. If an agenda topic needs to be reviewed he makes a motion and the other Board members  do the same. He asks angry owners to “please hold their concerns for open session” or he informs them that the forum to address their matter would be in a private hearing with the Board. If people become disruptive or extremely disrespectful, then he advises the audience that “unfortunately this business meeting may have to be adjourned if we are unable to conduct business.”
  • Jamie is a Board Treasurer. She has actively led the Budget Committee meetings the last two years. She has created a spreadsheet that identifies all of the Capital Projects for the following year. She utilizes the Reserve Study and the committee member’s feedback in order to prioritize the projects.
  • Tom is a Board Secretary who attends all of the Board meetings. He has a busy schedule but attending the Board meeting is a priority. He understands that lack of quorum would hinder the Boards ability to conduct business at Board meetings.
  • John is a Board Secretary who takes concise meeting minutes and he distributes them to the Board at least one week prior to the Board meeting.
  • Jackie has served on the Board for over three years. She often consults the Governing Documents before voting on a matter.
  • Jason has served on the Board for almost 10 years. Early in his tenure he had some fixed ideas on how the community should be run:  He did not want to raise dues and thought a lot of services should be brought in-house. He has since discovered that small annual increases to keep up with inflation and to fund the reserves are necessary.  He has also learned that hiring a third party often provides the benefits of quality work and a buffer from constant time demands on Board members.
  • Peter is a contractor who has served on his Board over the last six years.  When the Board is doing vendor selection he announces if he has a relationship with a contractor and abstains from voting.

It’s refreshing to serve on a Board in which the members are committed to injecting professionalism in all aspects of their duties.  The best Board member is an informed Board member.  Your challenge is to read and refer to your Governing Documents more often. You would be surprised at the increased depth of knowledge that is gained about your community! 

Identify the areas that your community is struggling in.  Perhaps it is high delinquency, numerous ACC violations, contentious Board meetings, aging amenities, etc.  Learn the best practices for addressing these areas in Homeowner Associations by tapping into resources such as your Property Manager, Community Associations Institute and similar organizations.  Your community is not the first to tackle these issues and certainly will not be the last. Those Boards that heed lessons from others ultimately enjoy smoother operations, and higher home values.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Well Driven

This is the seventh in a series of postings providing a detailed look at the governing documents for homeowners associations (HOAs).  Our final focus of the Bylaws is on Board duties and responsibilities. 

Just how dysfunctional can a Board become?  Several years ago, a dog was elected to serve on one community’s Board of Directors.  Go ahead and GoogleBeatha Lee’!
The underlying problem is that the Board is often composed of volunteers with limited experience and knowledge.  The result is that many of the basics, such as using Roberts Rules of Order to run productive meetings, are completely overlooked.  There is also very little understanding about the roles of Board officers, with each person ‘making it up as they go along’.  Phrases like ‘Fiduciary Duty’ may not even be on their radar.

None of us would permit an untrained person to drive a car, and it should be no different when placing someone in the driver’s seat of the Association’s business.  However, the disaster of a car accident is immediate and physical, while a poorly driven Association takes longer before the ‘impact’ occurs.

Compounding the problem are Board members who have been ‘cruising’ or are actively destructive or self-serving in their behavior.  You wouldn’t let someone take a ‘joy ride’ with your personal finances, and yet essentially this is what occurs in some Board settings.    
To tighten control, consider amendments that:

Permit more reasons for removal of Directors.   Normally, the only situation that allows removing a Board member is three consecutive unexcused absences.  Sometimes, but not always, he/she can be removed after becoming delinquent on paying assessments.  Barring these reasons, the entire community faces the arduous process of calling a special meeting to vote the person off of the Board.  For the effort involved, everyone decides to just wait it out until the person’s term expires.  A lot of damage may occur over the year or two until the next regular election for that position. 

To deal with a wayward Director, consider providing these additional triggers for removal:
  • If the Director misses four meetings in a year, no matter the reason
  • If he/she takes actions on behalf of the Association beyond the scope of authority and without the consent or knowledge of the other Board members
  • If the person is so contentious as to stymie the Board from conducting ordinary business.  This may require some level of court action.

Require Education/Certification. Mandate that education occur within 90 days of a new member joining the Board, and that each Director signs a statement affirming:
  • He or she has read the Association's Declaration, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Rules & Regulations
  • He or she will work reasonably to uphold such documents and policies to the best of his or her ability
  • He or she will faithfully discharge his or her responsibilities to the Association and the Association's members.

Follow this up with the requirement of continual education courses each year, and a provision for temporary suspension from Board service if these directives are not met.

Insist on a well-educated Board to steer your community along the proper path.

Be sure to share a comment below about this latest series of postings! We'd love to hear from you

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Voting Rights & Wrongs

This is the sixth in a series of postings providing a detailed look at the governing documents for homeowners associations (HOAs).  Today’s focus is on the Bylaws, which detail the internal governance of the Association.

Voting can be a highly emotional event at annual meetings.  The more structure you can insert, the better at controlling contention.  The following procedure will reduce allegations of results rigging:
·               The management company generates delinquency reports the day of the Annual Meeting, to account for any last-minute payments.  Individuals with past-due balances may opt to pay current on the evening of the meeting with certified funds
·               At the time of sign-in, all eligible voters are provided a ballot 
·               The meeting is called to order and the President announces whether quorum has been obtained
·               The President calls for three volunteers (non-Board, non-candidate) to conduct the count, which occurs while the meeting is in progress
·               Those selected to count ballots relocate to the back of the meeting room.  All others who wish to observe the count may do so in silence and without distraction
·               The delinquency report is made available for review by the three vote counters to confirm eligibility – any ballot may be rejected due to delinquency, incomplete information, duplicate conflicting votes (i.e. two owners in a unit each completed a ballot) or suspected forgery
·               All rejected ballots are set to the side.  All three individuals must unanimously agree to disqualify ballots.  Non-unanimous decisions may be referred to the Board to reach a conclusion
·               Eligible ballots are tallied under unanimous agreement by the three volunteer counters.  Those candidates receiving the most number of votes fill Board openings
·               A certification page is signed and dated by the three counters.  All materials are bundled and stored at management office.  Owners may inspect these by making an appointment with the management company
·               Prior to the conclusion of the annual meeting, a copy of the certified results is provided to the Board President for announcement.  The new positions become effective upon adjournment

When it comes to elections, consider amendments that:

Permit Electronic Balloting.  In the State of Georgia, explicit provisions are required to take advantage of the "Internet Age."  Because of protections that need to be maintained, some aspects of the voting process may be barred from electronic messaging.  Rely heavily on your legal counsel to craft the most effective language in this area.

Address Apathy.  No matter the incentive provided, such as conducting a drawing for gift cards, many communities struggle to reach the most basic level of involvement (quorum).  Approval of amendments is impossible in this climate, and the Association becomes the victim.   One possible solution is to permit the vote to be followed by another vote utilizing certified mail.  In this second round of balloting, if the homeowner fails to respond, it is considered a default approval by that owner.  Again, utilize your legal counsel to create this safety net.

Next post: Making Board members more accountable!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Powers That Be

This is the fifth in a series of postings providing a detailed look at the governing documents for homeowners associations (HOAs).  Previous postings focused on the association’s authority to levy assessments; this one expands to look at the association's powers in general.

In most communities, the association retains all rights except for those explicitly granted to the homeowners - or ones that have been shifted by government regulation and court decisions (such as allowing religious displays).  Owner authority is primarily restricted to electing Boards, approving amendments, and rejecting budgets.

Association authority is explicitly outlined in State statutes, Articles of Incorporation, and Declarations & Bylaws - with the last two of these having information peppered throughout both documents.  What many people do not realize is that listing the powers in either the Declaration or Bylaws does not necessarily extend these over to the other document, as each document exists for a different function. 

Under the Bylaws, each person is a member of the Association, while under the Declaration, each person is an Owner – the law treats these relationships as two distinct areas of responsibilities.  Bylaws address internal rights and duties, while the Declaration deals with external obligations.   

When comparing the wording between these two documents, it is important to confirm that wording in the Declaration exists limiting Director Liability.  This protection may only appear in the Bylaws/Articles of Incorporation!  Have your attorney review for this!  Confirm you are acting within the authority delineated in each of these documents.

For example, consider the Association’s ability to take any actions necessary to secure common area items from damage, even if this involves entry into private homes.  A typical situation is the inspection of plumbing connections to reduce the potential for water breakages.
Unless an emergency exists, the Association normally notifies the homeowner and requires him/her to conduct the plumbing repairs.  If the homeowner fails to do so, the Association may have authority to conduct the work and bill the homeowner.

In this situation, the Board needs to confirm it does have the ability to authorize the entry of a third-party vendor into the home.  It also needs to confirm that neither it nor the vendor may be held liable for any damages that occur during the repair process.

While both of these abilities are very commonly listed, here are a couple of amendments you should consider:

Home Access.  What about the expense involved if you hire a locksmith, or must kick-in the door?  Have your docs clarify that if the homeowner fails to provide access, he/she assumes responsibility for any incidental expenses and repairs required to permit entry by the Association.

Reducing Risk.  Often the governing documents permit the association to require basic homeowner maintenance, such as replacing water lines or installing safety features, up to a fixed dollar amount.  Typically this ranges between $200 and $500 per year.  To keep up with inflation, consider changing this cap to a fixed percentage of the annual assessments, such as one-sixth of a homeowner’s dues.

Stay tuned for further ideas on plugging holes in your governing documents!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Whatever group of people you consider, it seems ‘3%’ is the magic number of perpetually dissatisfied individuals.  In homeowner associations, navigating neighbors with narrow-vision is an ongoing challenge for both Boards and managers.  Consider this real-life illustration of one manager’s workday:

·         This morning an email came in from a homeowner in an upscale neighborhood, upset that a candy wrapper was stuck to the asphalt outside her home.  The roadway had just been seal-coated.

·         This afternoon on a drive to conduct a property inspection, the manager was slowly inching his way through Atlanta's infamous traffic.  A man in an old Ford truck pulled up on the grass next to the manager and asked him not to brake so quickly, because it was making the man’s 70 pound dog slam into the dash.  Then the pickup driver went back to distracting himself with his cell phone.

·         This evening on the way to a Board meeting, the manager stopped at a low-end restaurant chain, only to have his meal interrupted by the petty bickering of grey haired siblings.  Despite demonstrating high vocabulary skills, things degenerated to “Mother loves me best” and "I hate you", with the siblings sitting back-to-back in adjacent booths.

It seems that some of us measure our lives by our losses, finding meaning in victimization: Perpetual martyrdom.  Accepting the belief that their value is directly tied into what has happened to them or what is being done to them.

As a Board member or manager encountering this type of behavior, it is important to remind yourself that each person is responsible for his or her own happiness and to not allow yourself to get pulled into webs of conflict. One must accept the notion that there are some people who are resigned to being “rebels with or without actual causes”.

Interacting with such people can be draining and extremely frustrating to say the least. When dealing with these types of homeowners, chances are if they weren’t upset about the present issue, it would be something else.

In an article published by Forbes Magazine in 2013, Kevin Kruse offered 8 poignant tips for dealing with difficult people:

1.) Don’t be dragged down - Do not absorb the negative energy of habitually negative people. It can be toxic and in the long run benefits no one. You do not have to be angry or unpleasant just because they are.
2.) Listen - Although it may be easier to just tune chronic complainers out, actively listening is still the best option. Hear them out and make a sincere effort to identify what their needs are and what they are asking from you.

3.) Use a time limit for venting - Although active listening is an essential part of effective communication, no one should monopolize your time. Limiting complaints to five minutes will allow a homeowner to vent and protect you from being overwhelmed.

4.) Don’t agree - As tempting as it may be to want to agree and quickly pacify a disgruntled homeowner in order to just make them go away, be aware that doing so may put you in the middle of a dispute between neighbors that has nothing to do with the Association.

5.) Don’t stay silent - When it comes to dealing with difficult people or situations it may feel easier to just ignore it or keep putting it off until you are energized enough to address it. Over and over again you may click “dismiss” when your reminder pops up. “I’ll send that email later,” or "one more day returning that phone call won’t hurt”, you may say to yourself. Remember that staying silent does not make the problem go away nor will it make the situation better. It is better to respond and be present than to ignore the person in hopes that they will magically change.

6.) Don’t switch extremes into fact - A common characteristic of negative people is to use extreme statements when discussing their problems. Be sure to pay attention to language such as “never and always”. Switch these into fact-based statements that more accurately reflect the issue.
7.) Move to problem solving - Chronic complainers and Debbie Downers often spend far too much time ruminating and have a difficult time transitioning to active problem solving. Offer ways to move from the problem toward resolution.

8.) Cut them off - Once you have done every reasonable thing that you can to assist a homeowner who is dissatisfied, step away. Accept that there is a great chance that their discontentment has very little to do with their gripes about parking, and that you have done all that you can. Disengage and create some distance from them for a while. Schedule your interactions and conversations with them in such a way that you are able to decompress and regroup after each difficult encounter.

It is inevitable that there will be challenging situations. There is no magic formula for guaranteeing 100% satisfaction. What is certain is that by learning to deal with difficult homeowners and maneuvering through challenging situations you can minimize the amount of stress and frustration that you carry. There are far too many things to get done to expend all of your energy and sanity on situations and people who are only willing to see the glass half empty no matter what. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Amend This

This is the fourth in a series of postings providing a detailed look at the governing documents for homeowners associations (HOAs). 

In our last posting, we discussed assessments.  Board members often request ideas on changes that can be made to the Declaration and Bylaws to strengthen their communities.  Here are some items related to assessments that we are seeing included in brand new communities.  As always, consult with your Association’s attorney before incorporating these ideas.

Construction Deposits.  Because of the potential damage that could occur to the common area, the Association should have authority to establish a construction deposit when an owner is making modifications, alterations or additions to his home.  Costs for repair of such damage may be deducted from the construction deposit and any additional expenses would be specifically assessed against the home.

Special Assessments.  Special assessments historically are capped at $200 before a community-wide vote is triggered.  Due to inflation, this cap may, at some future date, be raised to a higher level by the Georgia legislature, but communities will only be able to take advantage of this if their documents indicate they can do so.

Borrowing. To handle some emergency repairs, rather than relying on a special assessment, the community may want to authorize the Association to borrow up to a certain threshold, such as $10,000, without the need for a vote.

Audit Review. There are different levels of auditing available, and it makes sense that at least bi-annually the community has a CPA provide an independent review. 

Operating Budget.  If the Board fails to establish a budget, or the community votes down a budget, the default is to go with the previous year’s budget.  To avoid deteriorating services, the prior budget should be automatically increased by a minimum inflation rate determined by something such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI). 

Capital Budget.  To ensure that accurate numbers are being used in long range planning, communities are starting to require reserve studies prepared by an independent qualified engineer.  Such study shall be updated at least every 4 years. 

Working Capital Fund.  Often an initiation fee or capital fund is listed as a fixed amount in the documents.  Tying the amount to a percentage of the annual assessment makes more sense in keeping up with inflationary costs. 

Foreclosure Administration Fee.  Foreclosures create substantial administrative and other burdens on the Association, such monitoring the status of mortgages and legal periodicals to determine when foreclosures occur, searching the land records for names of the purchasers, contacting the foreclosure purchaser/owners regarding responsibilities and assessment obligations and updating Association records multiple times.  The Association should be able to assess a fixed rate amount, such as $1,000, at the time of foreclosure to offset these costs.

More amendment ideas headed your way in upcoming posts!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Money, Money Everywhere

This is the third in a series of postings providing a detailed look at the governing documents for the homeowners associations (HOAs). 

So let’s talk assessments.

In the Declaration, the origin of an expense determines how it will be paid.  Some items clearly benefit the entire community, and so are paid through the regular annual operating budget.  Other expenses are linked directly to a subset of homeowners, and are billed exclusively to them.  Some expenses will occur in future years, requiring the collection of capital funds or initiation fees.  And some unplanned expenses require the imposition of emergency funding via a special assessment.

Community-wide assessments may be evenly divided among all homes, or split based on percentage of ownership tables, with larger homes paying a greater share.  They may also be calculated based on utility meter readings.  If the Association is handing the master billing for a particular utility, it has the right to turn off said utility whenever a homeowner becomes delinquent.  For condominiums, this power may only be invoked after obtaining a $750+ judgment against the home.

There are also indirect assessments, which arise if the Association orders owners to conduct repairs or safety-related measures (such as the purchase of fire extinguishers), or to obtain homeowners insurance.  Regardless of the type of assessment, courts have made it clear that nothing mitigates the requirement to pay.  Full payment is required even if a homeowner does not use the community pool, or has incurred personal expenses due to poorly maintained roads.  Any dispute the homeowner has with the Association must be taken up separately.

Individuals who enter in to contracts with a homeowner may also be held liable for unpaid assessments.  If outstanding debt wasn’t collected from the seller of the home at the sale, the buyer may be pursued for the full amount.  The Declaration may also stipulate that tenants in an HOA be required to pay full monthly rents to the Association until an owner’s outstanding balance is cleared.  Facing this, the tenant may decide to break the lease rather than get caught in the crossfire.  To avoid losing tenants, the landlord often settles accounts with the Association.

While many communities offer homeowners the ability to spread out the payment of an assessment over a period of time, technically the full amount is due on the first day of the fiscal year.  When a homeowner becomes delinquent, the Association has the option to call the full annual amount due.  This is known as acceleration, and is normally invoked toward the start of the year, providing a higher dollar amount to be pursued via lawsuits.

During the collections process, the homeowner may enter into an agreement to pay back outstanding assessments over a span of months.  However, remember that payments of fines, late charges, interest, and legal fees often come before the principal balance is addressed.  If the payment agreement doesn’t suspend future late charges, or the homeowner is slow in paying debt, many more months may be required before payments actually start being applied to principal.

Stay tuned for future blogs on specific sections of the governing documents that Boards need to heed!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Can I Have the Definition?

This is the second in a series of postings providing a detailed look at the governing documents for a homeowners association.

One of the mainstays in our public education system is the emphasis on definitions.  For most, a list of definitions is as interesting as reading a list of genealogies.  We already have a general grasp on the meaning of words and phrases, and often gloss over this section in reference materials.

However, homeowner associations are neck deep in contract law, with a very precise use of language that has been agreed to over centuries of legal wrangling.  A misunderstanding of definitions can be a fatal mistake for the Board of Directors.  While Directors should rely on advisement of third party experts (managers, attorneys, CPAs, engineers, insurance brokers, etc.) when it comes to definitions, a basic understanding is also a basic fiduciary duty. 

Here are some interesting terms you come across in the governing documents: 

Boundaries – this item describes the borders of a homeowner’s property, and while more important for townhomes and condominiums, in all instances it is vital in determining maintenance and insurance responsibilities.
Common Elements – lying outside of the boundaries described above, these areas are managed and maintained by the Association, with some maintenance responsibility shared with homeowners when exclusively assigned for use by a single home (such as a patio area).  Often, the Board is empowered to redefine usage (assigning parking spaces) or close off access to Common Elements (shutting down the swimming pool for the winter).
Indemnification – a promise to spend money as necessary to defend another party.  For example, the Association will agree to defend the management company if sued, since the management company has been designated as an agent of the community.
Self Help – the power of the Association to send in agents to correct a violation or address a safety issue on a homeowner’s property, without the homeowner’s consent.  While typically invoked to mow the lawn, more frequently the Association will first obtain a court order before conducting more intrusive actions, such as repainting the home.
Grandfathered – an exemption from a regulation for a homeowner who qualifies via time limits.  Newly adopted leasing restrictions frequently see use of this concept:  Owners who are leasing out homes at the time of the leasing amendment are permitted to continue leasing.
Lien – a claim against property (in this instance, a home) for funds to be collected when a sale or refinance occurs.  In addition, homeowners may be personally liable for delinquency amounts.  A bank foreclosure removes the association’s lien, but the homeowner remains personally liable unless he or she successfully goes through a bankruptcy process.
Proxy – a person appointed by the homeowner to act in his or her absence when casting votes
Quorum – the minimum number of people who must be represented in a meeting, either in person or via a proxy, before votes may be cast.  The quorum is established at the start of the meeting, and failing to reach the required threshold bars formal business from being conducted.
Majority – while this usually is 51% of all homeowners, to approve items such as budgets, some governing documents may define it differently, or limit the pool of owners to those not delinquent in paying assessments.
May/Shall – one of the most abused terms in governing documents.  ‘May’ indicates that the Board has the option of acting on an item, where ‘Shall’ is a command to take action.  Too often, a Board obligates the community to work not required, or refuses to do required work.  Both errors lead to costly results.

Stay tuned for future blogs on specific sections of the governing documents Boards need to heed!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Do Declare

One of the fundamentals of homeowner associations is the presence of a binding agreement on obligations and rights between neighbors.  Similar to the Mayflower Compact, these promises are established in a document that goes by various names, such as Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&R) or a Declaration of Protective Covenants.

For those new to the homeowner association concept, we are beginning a series of blogs to provide a framework for understanding how these obligations operate.

At the basic level, an association is an agreement governed by contract law.  Because many of the regulations mimic civic law, it is easy to forget that the two are not the same.  Civic law creates the foundation that permits property ownership, along with restrictions on the use of that property.  Some of these restrictions are imposed by civil government, such as zoning ordinances. 

Other restrictions are created by the persons who buy and sell the property.  For example, an area of farmland may be sold to a housing developer, with the stipulation that 10% of the acreage be dedicated to parks.   Depending on how this restriction is structured, the park land may have to exist ‘forever’ or it may be removable under certain conditions.

In homeowner associations, this same concept is utilized on a larger scale.  Some of the use conditions are easier to alter than others.  In some cases, a restriction may be considered a violation of public policy, and be voided by the civil authority.  For example, the Right of First Refusal was a common restriction in many land exchange transactions going back a century or more, and permitted prior owners the option of buying back a home to prevent it from being sold to non-white Americans. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some civic laws may be ruled as an impairment of contract and not enforceable against homeowner associations.   An example of this would be a state law permitting an individual homeowner to use the courts to bypass the community’s amendment process for changing the governing documents.

Future posts in this series will drill down into specific sections of the Declaration and consider their implications...so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Feeling Social?

Do you really need a Social Committee? The answer is YES, YES, YES!

The power of a strong social committee is easily overlooked in communities. When reviewing the annual budget, the social event line item is often dismissed as an unnecessary expense. Apathy amongst community members is a common frustration of community association leaders. The dictionary defines apathy as the lack of concern or interest. How do you combat apathy? You generate interest! How do you generate interest in the community? –You act. Action cures fear—and apathy. The first step is finding one or more members who are willing to plan a social event.

Social events help to build relationships among community members.  As owners begin to forge relationships with one another it will increase their level of commitment to the community. The events do not have to be extravagant in order to be meaningful; but they do need to be well planned, so members will want to come to the next event. Some of the common social events that are easy to implement are as follows:
  • Ice Cream Social
  • Movie Night
  • Pizza Party
  • Cupcake Social
  • Holiday Celebration
Social events promote owner involvement. As owners begin to develop a positive rapport with one another they begin to engage in more conversations about the community. Positive dialogue leads to progress and ultimately an enhanced quality of life for everyone. Ideally, others will want to become a part of a committee or serve on the Board as a result of being present at community functions.

Ultimately, strong communities are built on strong relationships. The true essence of a community is togetherness. Actions that break down a community are social cliques, apathy, and secrecy. Actions that build community include social events, owner involvement, and communication. Knowing this, we should move to increase the funding of community social events. Failed functions in the past should not dictate future efforts to plan an event. Some owners are pleased with knowing that there are people who simply care enough to make an event available for them to attend - even if they are unable to attend an event. The impact of a social event for a community is often intangible but it’s also invaluable. The action you take today determines the quality of life for your community tomorrow. Cheers!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Advantages of a Property Management Firm

The task of running a homeowners association or condominium association can put undo stress on property owners. There are specific bylaws, covenants and financial document preparation that must be administrated. Following the law and preparing financial statements, such as operating budgets and receiving fees, can be an untold burden on property owners. 

The advantages of a professionally managed association are numerous. We take the daily administrative tasks out of a board's hand and let them concentrate on maintaining the integrity of their community. We will work side-by-side to govern and address any issues as they arise.

Our Pledge to You
Access Management Group is committed to providing 24/7 services our clients. We can be counted on to be contacted at any time for emergency situations. We are available via our Web Portal, the telephone, or by email. With our over 30 years of professional management experience, providing outstanding services to over 50,000 satisfied homeowners, Access Management Group is a group of skilled and talented professionals who are adept at handling any challenging situation. Our vast knowledge of bylaws and covenants, as well as our intensive knowledge of a financial reporting ,makes us a trusted name within the Atlanta metro area.

We Can Help
Our goal is to provide homeowners with a peaceful and community-focused place to live. Our services are tailored to provide homeowners with a set of professional services that promotes good relationships amongst neighbors and allows community members to live in harmony.
Homeowners Association
Here’s what we provide:
  • Guidelines to homeowners on architectural questions and field maintenance requests.
  • Plant maintenance and scheduling services, code, and project review as well as recommendations.
  • Design assistance as well as construction management and oversight.
  • A professional team that offers payment confirmation and approval, sub-contractor coordination, risk management assessment, insurance claims assistance and review as well as offers architectural review and compliance.
  • In-home repair services, such as carpet installation, electrical work, plumbing services, chimney repairs, heating and air systems, foundation and roof repairs.   Our in-home repair services are provided by a group of pre-approved and licensed trade professionals.    

Board of Directors
Our professional team partners with your homeowners association to provide expert guidance on its fiduciary responsibilities, financial statement preparation, governance authority, and budgets. We work closely with boards to ensure compliance and accord between homeowners.  

Our goal is to empower homeowner and condominium associations with the ability to operate in a professional, legal, and friendly manner - which promotes harmony and trust amongst neighbors.

A well-run homeowners or condominium association will pay dividends by improving relationships between neighbors and promoting the community to potential buyers. This will only maintain the value of the community and appeal to prospective buyers and keep homeowner turnover low.