New Year’s Resolutions of HOA Service Providers

board members community managers greatest hits h o a homefront Jan 20, 2020

[This is the fourth and final installment of this series, which previously addressed directors, homeowners, and managers.]

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

1. Follow the Golden Rule. [treating others how I want to be treated]

2. 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.”
3. Tell them if they really don’t need my services right now.
4. Disclose the less expensive (and possibly less profitable) alternative they didn’t ask about.
5. Explain my recommendations, and never tell them just to “trust me.”
6. Promise only what I know I can deliver.
7. Not seek a contract of more than one year in length, unless the work cannot be completed in less than a year.

8. Pursue professional designations and attend seminars to keep current.
9. Take CAI’s Educated Business Partner course to ensure my understanding of the unique needs and characteristics of common interest communities.

10. Promptly answer the board’s or manager’s questions.
11. Explain my company’s charges, taking no offense.
12. Take instruction only from the manager or from the person designated in the contract as my point of contact.
13. Immediately alert management if a homeowner, even a committee chair or director, interferes with the work.
14. Obtain written authorization if any work outside the contract becomes necessary and for which I have in writing quoted a price.
15. Not attempt to perform work outside my expertise and immediately advise the association of the need for other expertise.

16. Always be courteous to every resident, aware that my work might be occasionally disruptive to them.
17. Regularly provide updates to the board and management on major projects.
18. Volunteer at no charge to attend occasional “town hall” meetings to update the membership on progress on major projects.
19. Ensure that the work areas are clean and safe for residents at the end of each work day.
20. Not start work each day too early, nor end it too late, to avoid disturbing residents.

21. Never offer commissions or personal incentives of any kind to directors or managers and promptly refuse and disclose to the board any requests for improper benefits from a manager, director, or committee member.
22. Not give expensive gifts to managers or directors.
23. Never give preferential treatment or free products or services to directors, treating all association members equally.
24. Not advise or assist anyone to keep or attain a board seat and demonstrate complete neutrality regarding board elections, keeping my opinions private on candidates.
25. Not assume that the manager has disclosed any business relationship my company has with the management company and promptly disclose that relationship in writing to the board.

26. Always carry proof of workers compensation and liability insurance, providing it along with my proposal.
27. Alert the association as soon as possible in writing if work is requested which my company is not licensed or qualified to perform.
28. Stand behind my company’s work, promptly conceding and correcting any mistakes.

29. Follow the Golden Rule.

Written by Kelly G. Richardson

Kelly G. Richardson Esq., CCAL, is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and a Partner of Richardson | Ober | DeNichilo LLP, a California law firm known for community association advice. Submit questions to [email protected]. Past columns at All rights reserved®.