As the end of the year approaches, some obvious to-dos come to mind, like holiday planning and tax season. But every homeowners’ association (HOA) has many moving parts, and it’s easy to lose sight of the smaller tasks that should be addressed annually. It’s essential for community leaders to make sure all details are accounted for and correct to prepare the association for the new year, minimize stress, and set the community up for success. Consider reviewing the following items before January 1 rolls around.
1. Governing Documents
Confirm all governing documents are up to date and accurate. If your association implemented new rules and regulations or made changes, the governing documents should reflect that. Your board should also verify documents are correctly filed and easily accessible to the necessary parties.
2. Legislation Updates
Determine if any new laws or ordinances that impact your community are going into effect and make adjustments to guarantee compliance. As always, check with your association’s lawyer if clarification is needed.
3. Budget Plans
Schedule next year’s budget approval date now so you’ll have plenty of time to review all financial statements, expenses, historical trends, receipts, and any other items. Don’t forget to check for changes in utility, insurance, and vendor prices to avoid surprises.
4. Audit & Tax Plans
While your HOA’s tax filing date may be months away, reach out to your association’s CPA now and schedule time in February to complete your taxes or conduct an audit. When tax season arrives, you’ll be prepared to meet deadlines and grateful you planned ahead.
5. Reserve Funds & Studies
Review your reserve account to confirm sufficient funds are set aside. Also, check your association rules and state laws to ensure reserve studies are completed within the proper time frame.
6. Emergency Action Plan
Revisit your emergency action plan and look for ways to improve and strengthen your response. Update the plan and assess essential details, like response times, team effectiveness, residents who need special assistance, and contractor performance.
7. Insurance Policies
Confirm you’ve made all insurance payments, ask about premium increases, identify any new risks, and guarantee your association is covered properly and in compliance with all HOA requirements.
8. Vendor Contracts
Conduct annual performance reviews with vendors and make sure the association is getting what it wants and is charged appropriately for the services rendered. If vendors aren’t meeting agreed-upon expectations, consider interviewing other companies.
9. Management Plan
Evaluate your contract with your management company and confirm all parties are satisfied and meeting expectations. Work to clearly outline tasks, clarify roles, and set new goals.
10. Meeting Schedules
Even if dates are tentative, mark the annual meeting, board meetings, and committee meetings on the calendar so people can make plans to attend. Don’t forget to account for seasonal adjustments and note when meeting notifications must be sent.
11. Maintenance & Renovation Calendar
Walk the property with your maintenance partner and identify areas that need to be addressed. Schedule each task for the month it should be completed and inform residents of any opening or closure dates.
12. Special Event & Holiday Calendar
Create and communicate a special events calendar for the upcoming year now to increase attendance and awareness. Note on-site office and building closures on the calendar, as well.
New Year, New Community
With so many initiatives vying for your board’s attention, it can be tough to decide which ones will make the most impact on your community’s bottom line. We consulted our community management professionals and created “Your 12 Month Community Transformation Plan” to make the process a little easier. Use these ideas as a guide to keep you on track all year or use them as a starting point to brainstorm a custom plan for your community.