HOA Homefront: New Year’s resolutions for HOA service providers

This is the fourth and final installment of a series on resolutions for HOA members, which previously addressed directors, homeowners and managers.

As the association’s service provider, I resolve to:

NUMBER ONE:

Follow the Golden Rule: Treat others how I want to be treated.

PROPOSALS:

Give the association the best proposal I can. If the association’s request for proposal omits important elements of the work, I will add those elements to my proposal and disclose the proposed extra cost now instead of charging it later as an “extra.”

Tell the HOA if they really don’t need my services right now.

Disclose any less expensive (and possibly less profitable) alternatives they didn’t consider.

Explain my recommendations, and never tell them just to “trust me.”

Promise only what I know I can deliver.

Not seek a contract of more than one year in length unless the work cannot be completed in less than a year.

KNOWLEDGE:

Pursue professional designations and attend seminars to keep current.

Take CAI’s Educated Business Partner course to ensure my understanding of the unique needs and characteristics of common interest communities.

SERVICE:

Promptly answer the board’s or manager’s questions.

Explain my company’s charges, taking no offense.

Take instruction only from the manager or from the person designated by the contract as my point of contact.

Immediately alert management if a homeowner, even a committee chair or director, interferes with the work.

If any work outside the contract becomes necessary, I will in writing quote a price in advance and will first obtain written authorization.

Not attempt to perform work outside my expertise and immediately advise the association of additional expertise needed.

COMMUNITY RELATIONS

Be courteous to all residents, being aware that my work might occasionally be disruptive to them.

Provide regular updates to the board and management on major projects.

Volunteer at no charge to attend occasional “town hall” meetings to update the membership on the progress of major projects.

Ensure that the work areas are clean and safe for residents at the end of each workday.

Not start work too early, nor end it too late, to avoid disturbing residents.

ETHICS:

Not offer commissions or personal incentives of any kind to directors or managers and will promptly refuse and disclose to the board any requests for improper benefits from managers, directors, or committee members.

Not give expensive gifts to managers or directors.

Never give preferential treatment, free products, or services to directors, and treat all members equally.

Not advise or assist anyone to keep or attain a board seat and demonstrate complete neutrality regarding board elections. My personal opinions on candidates will remain private.

If my company has any business relationship with the management company, I won’t assume the manager disclosed it and I’ll promptly disclose it in writing to the board.

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PERFORMANCE:

Always carry proof of workers’ compensation and liability insurance and provide it with my proposal.

Alert the association as soon as possible in writing if work is requested that my company is not licensed or qualified to perform.Stand behind my company’s work, promptly conceding and correcting any mistakes.

Lastly, follow the Golden Rule.

Kelly G. Richardson, Esq. is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and Partner of Richardson Ober LLP, a California law firm known for community association expertise. Submit column questions to Kelly@roattorneys.com

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