9 Tips On Managing HOA Amenities And Common Areas

community playground | managing hoa amenities

Managing HOA amenities can be a headache for many homeowners associations, especially if the community has several facilities. What are some ways your HOA can stay on top of amenity management? Here are our best tips. 

Tips on Managing HOA Amenities

HOA amenities are among the most compelling reasons people prefer to live in planned communities. They provide residents with convenient access to gyms, swimming pools, and even co-working spaces. This leads to higher property values in HOA communities. However, it takes a lot to keep these common areas in check. 

Managing HOA amenities can often be a handful for the HOA. Without proper management, these amenities can quickly deteriorate and fall into disrepair. How can your neighborhood keep your amenities in good condition? Here are some useful tips on how to manage HOA amenities.

1. Employ a Reservation Policy

Overcrowding and overuse can be big problems for HOAs. Often, they lead to faster amenity deterioration and increased damage. As such, implementing a proper reservation policy and system to reduce overcrowding is often a good idea.

If the HOA has enough budget, consider embracing technology and using an online reservation system. This will allow the residents to book amenities from their devices and use them exclusively or with other residents who’ve made reservations. An online system streamlines reservations, reduces overlap, and eliminates the need for human help.

However, an offline reservation system can work just as well if the community doesn’t have the funds for an online platform. Homeowners can make reservations by calling or texting HOA managers or certain personnel in the amenity. 

2. Conduct Regular Maintenance

Maintenance of HOA amenities is key to prolonging their lifespan. Therefore, HOA management should prioritize regular maintenance. Schedule regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure all amenities are in good condition. 

Regular maintenance will not only provide a satisfying experience but also prevent accidents. HOAs should keep residents safe to avoid potential lawsuits. One small injury can easily lead to legal action. If the association has been neglecting HOA common area maintenance, the court can hold it liable. 

3. Identify Risks

Every amenity has its risks. Residents are at risk of slips and falls around swimming pools and hot tubs, while playgrounds and gyms risk accidents due to poorly maintained or substandard equipment. 

Regardless of the amenity, it’s crucial to identify the associated risks for each facility. If an amenity is high-risk, the HOA should consider whether or not the amenity is worth keeping. The board can consider discontinuing the project, removing the amenity, or replacing it with a safer alternative. They can also eliminate parts that are prone to accidents. For example, the HOA might keep the pool but remove the diving boards.

4. Establish Usage Rules

Homeowners associations must have clear guidelines on amenity use. Consider establishing rules that will keep residents from abusing the amenity. These rules include guest policies, operation hours, maximum occupancy, priority access, and reservation length.

Make sure the rules are posted in a public space. Consider posting signages outside or inside the facility. For example, if the pool should not be used after 10 p.m., consider posting hours outside the pool entrance. 

Rule violations should also have clear consequences. For example, if a homeowner exceeds the amenity’s operating hours, the HOA may send a warning, impose a fine, or temporarily suspend that resident’s privilege to use the amenity. 

5. Consider Homeowner Feedback

The residents should be able to provide feedback on the HOA’s amenity management system. They often provide valuable input that can ensure the community’s needs are met without compromising safety. It’s also important that the HOA addresses resident questions and concerns promptly. 

6. Invest in High-Quality Materials and Equipment

HOA amenities are attractive to home buyers — that much is true. However, these amenities can be more trouble than they are worth if they are not durable or high-quality. Poorly constructed amenities with mediocre equipment expose the HOA to risk more as they can cause more accidents.

In addition, low-quality amenities often need more repairs and upkeep to keep them in good shape. Instead of adding as many low-quality amenities as possible, try to invest in a few amenities that use high-quality and durable materials and equipment. They cost more initially, but they have a much longer lifespan. 

7. Tailor Amenities According to Needs

Not all amenities will add value to your community. For example, a playground for young children may need to be more useful in a community primarily composed of seniors. It’s important to understand the community’s demographics, lifestyle and needs in order to provide the right amenities.

Consider surveying to ask what facilities the homeowners would want. Pet owners may wish to a dog park outside their property, while young professionals might appreciate an HOA co-working space. 

8. Communicate With the Residents

Homeowners associations must communicate consistently with residents to ensure the amenities are well-kept. Remind them of the HOA’s available amenities, usage rules, and reservation policies. Establish open communication channels where residents can ask questions, raise concerns, or provide suggestions. 

Effective communication channels do not have to be flashy. An HOA does not necessarily need a dedicated app to communicate amenity rules. Sometimes, it is enough to inform them through community meetings, newsletters, or social media pages. 

9. Hire an HOA Manager

Managing HOA amenities can be tough without a lot of staff and volunteers. If your HOA lacks manpower, consider hiring an HOA manager or management company to manage the community’s facilities. They can provide the manpower necessary to enforce policies, implement reservation systems, and address homeowner concerns.

In addition, professional managers are often more knowledgeable about amenity management. They can advise the board and create rules that fit the community’s size and demographic. Moreover, they can help the board set up and construct new amenities useful for the residents. 

Manage Your Amenities the Right Way

Managing HOA amenities is often challenging for homeowners associations. However, with the proper rules, policies, and systems, HOAs can keep these amenities in check. With proper management, amenities can improve the residents’ quality of life and increase satisfaction.

Is your community struggling with HOA amenity management? Hiring a professional can help. 88 Doors is an HOA management company offering communities world-class management services. Call us at (512) 348-8821 or get in touch with us online to know more!