The Difference Between a Homeowners Association and Property Management

It’s easy to see why there’s confusion when it comes to a Homeowners Association (HOA) and property management company. They both play critical roles in ensuring the community is managed properly. Even though they may work hand in hand, they often work independently of one another because the responsibilities of the two jobs are quite different. If you’re not quite sure what the difference is between the two, let’s take a closer look.


What is a Homeowners Association?

Within a community, the residents share the responsibility of maintaining their properties and the common areas. To formalize these responsibilities, the community may create an HOA that is tasked with developing and enforcing community rules that all property owners have to abide by. 

The HOA is completely made up of volunteer residents in the community – the board members are voted into each position. If the HOA is self-managed, board members are responsible for:

  • making and enforcing the rules
  • maintaining common areas
  • establishing and collecting dues
  • determining and managing budgets
  • managing insurance for common areas
  • hiring staff for common areas, like maintenance and security

But not all these tasks have to be performed by the HOA. To assist HOA members with these responsibilities, they may hire a property management company to make the lives of board members simpler, easier and much less stressful.


What is a Property Management Company?

A quick search on the Internet would show you that a property management company oversees and manages residential, commercial, and/or industrial property that is owned by another party or entity. In layman’s terms, property managers are hired to help you take care of your property.  In most cases, a property management company is employed by the HOA to make sure residents can live in a safe, well-cared for community. Some of the tasks that were once handled by the HOA are now given to a property management company, taking significant amounts of stress off their plates. 

Here are a few ways a dedicated, professional property management company can help an HOA manage their communities successfully:

  • takes care of common areas
  • collects homeowner’s dues to be a member of the HOA
  • manages financial reporting, budgeting, and other accounting services
  • hires staff to maintain common areas
  • manages insurance for common areas
  • handles work order requests for repairs and maintenance of common areas. 


But What’s The Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Most of the time, the HOA will hire the property management company to carry out responsibilities throughout the community, as mentioned above. The property management company does not hold a lot of power when it comes to the community at whole, but they can enforce the rules that they’re responsible for. On the other hand, the HOA has the legal authority to enforce their own rules. Should a rule be broken, the HOA can issue a warning, then take action at the expense of the owner. 

Running an HOA is a lot of work so having great partners is the key to success. A great property management company can ensure what’s best for the community is being cared for and makes everyone’s life easier. 

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Chris Westerlund and West Property Management were great. Being a realtor, I deal with a lot of property management companies. I reached out to Chris about obtaining HOA resale documents. He was instrumental in getting the documents delivered to me that same day when we needed them in a rush. In addition, he used his resources to find the contact information for the company we had been trying to find for a couple of weeks. I'd highly recommend anyone/business looking for property management services to reach out to Chris and West Property Management!

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