Understanding HOA Responsibilities as a Residential Rental Entrepreneur

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These days, almost 80% of all U.S. residents live in an HOA community. As a homeowner and landlord, you might buy a home in an HOA neighborhood. If that happens, do you know what your HOA board responsibilities are?

Below we discuss some of the specifics of owning and renting a home in an HOA neighborhood. By the end of the piece, you should have a much better idea of what responsibilities you have and how to go about enacting them. So, do not hesitate, especially if you want to make sure you have all the information.

Am I Responsible for the Home?

While you might not be in direct control of the house at the time, to an HOA that does not matter. Instead, property managers are responsible for the actions of the tenants that they bring into that building. If they fail to live up to the standards set in the HOA’s bylaws, then you are the person who the HOA should contact for liability.

For this reason, many landlords have started harsher screenings of potential tenants in the run-up to them moving in. This can end up with you performing a lot of work before you even have a single tenant on the property. For this reason, it may be useful for you to investigate the possibility of engaging with a property management company to handle things.

Who Pays for HOA Membership?

As the person responsible for the property, it is you who will need to pay for the membership of any HOA that your home is a part of. Now, you could include this in the rent of any home that you lease out here, although you should make this clear to the tenant. 

Lucky for you, this membership grants you some abilities that may help you as you move forward. Although this article will go into them below.

On average, the amount of money that HOAs expect payment for is $200. Although this should go to a central account and be transparent to HOA members who request information about it. Check your local HOA bylaws for more information on how payment works with HOA membership.

Who Goes to HOA Meetings?

HOAs usually have a board of directors that handles most affairs and runs HOA meetings. Although, despite this, you do have a voice in meetings. HOAs are required to hold regular meetings and if you have an issue with something they have done you can raise it here.

You are the voice of your tenant. This means that if they have an issue with something that the HOA has done, you are the person who should expect to bring it to the board.

Remember that many HOAs do not look kindly on residential rentals or their tenants. Even if you give a tenant the written authority to act on your behalf, an HOA might deny them that right. So, make sure that you are available to talk to them if you need to.

HOA Responsibilities in DC

The responsibilities for specific areas of an HOA will exist in its bylaws. Although you can expect some common things to be the same depending on the specific area that the HOA exists in.

In general, anything in a public place is the HOA’s responsibility, although this is not always the case. Similarly, all aspects of a home that are within the home itself and any garden are the responsibility of the rental entrepreneur. Make sure to check which of these are yours, and what the repercussions are if you do not follow them to the letter.

HOA Plumbing Responsibilities

In general, you should expect that any plumbing within a home is your responsibility. The HOA would expect you to handle any plumbing mishaps that occur within the residence itself. If these mishaps affect anyone else in the area, you would be responsible for handling any reparations that may come up.

At the same time, the HOA handles any shared amenities where plumbing could go wrong. This could include public hoses, water fountains, shared lavatories, or other areas.

This responsibility covers the installation, replacement, or maintenance of these facilities.

As with all these areas, you should check the HOA’s governing documents for more detailed information on all these things. These “Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions” (CC&Rs) will have more information. They will define exactly what is and is not the responsibility of any specific household.

HOA Pest Control Responsibility

To answer this, you will have to check the CC&Rs as there is rarely one answer to the question. It may be that the HOA only deals with common areas, whereas the homeowner is responsible for the effects on their home.

Then again, the responsibility may fall on the person whose actions led to pest infiltration.

HOA Maintenance Responsibilities

The CC&Rs will define what is your responsibility and what is the HOA’s. There will also be very strict guidelines on to what standard the property should receive maintenance. If something needs repainting, for example, the CC&Rs will have information on which colors can be used to paint the area.

In theory, by keeping an HOA area to a high standard, over time the property prices for the area that you are responsible for will increase. This allows you to increase rent and get a better return on your property investment.

How HOA Board Responsibilities Affect You

You should now understand a lot more about HOA board responsibilities and how they could impact your life. This is a lot of work for someone without any interest in HOA bureaucracy and who would rather not handle such issues. This is why residential property management might be the thing that you need.

Our agents are ready to talk to you about what we can offer in the DC area. If you are thinking of renting in an HOA area, we have the expertise to help. So, give us a call and find out what Nomadic Real Estate can do for you.

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Navigate to the "Reports" module in your portal:

Owner Portal Reports
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Enhanced Rent Roll Report
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Income Statement by Month Report
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The Documents area contains monthly financial statements:

Owner Portal Documents
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Download a statement to see month and YTD financials:

Owner Portal Property Statement

You'll also find a month-over-month operating statement:

Month over Month Statement

Portal Communication Tool

You can use your owner portal to communicate with our team. Any messages you send through the portal will go straight to your Account Manager. When we reply, you’ll get an email notification and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

Here’s an overview of using the communication platform:

Click "Communications" and navigate to "Conversations":

Commincation Dashboard Screenshot
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Click the "New Message" button and send your message:

Owner Portal New Message Screenshot

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Portal Conversation Response Screenshot
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You can reply in-line using the comment box:

Owner Portal Comment

Each conversation will be logged in its entirety:

Portal Conversation Snapshot

Understanding the Ledger

Your portal includes a ledger with all transactions. The ledger is populated with data in real-time as transactions flow through our accounting software. Much of this information is also available in the Reports area, as well as the Statements in your Documents library, but the ledger is the most comprehensive resource for diving into the details. 

Please scroll through the sections below to get a better understanding of how to interpret the ledger. 

By default, transactions are sorted chronologically:

Owner Ledger Dates
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If you have multiple properties with Nomadic, you'll see the address for each transaction in the "Location" column:

Ledger Property Column
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The Description column displays the transaction type:

Owner Ledger Description Column
  • BILL: this is an expense transaction, such as for repair costs or management fees.
  • CHARGE: this is a transaction  billed to the tenant, most typically a rent payment. 
  • NACHA EXPORT: this is a credit we processed to your distribution account. This type of transaction is how you get paid! 

The Amount column shows the dollar value of each transaction:

Owner Ledger Amount Column
  • Positive Amounts: if an amount is positive, it reflects a transaction that is payable to you. Typically, this will be a rent payment that we collected from your tenants. On occasion, a positive number could also signify a journal entry or credit adjustment. 
  • Negative Amounts:  if an amount is negative, this is a transaction that is either payable to Nomadic or is an amount that has already been paid to you. Typically this will be for repair costs or management/leasing fees. Owner draws (net distributions into your checking/savings account) also reflect as negative amounts, since they have already been paid to you. 

The Account Balance column shows a sum of positive/negative transactions at a given point in time:

Owner Ledger Account Balance Column
  • Account Balance should always equal zero after a net distribution has been processed. When the balance is zero, this means that all expenses have been paid and you’ve received the remainder as net operating income, leaving a balance of zero (meaning: no one is due any money, as all funds have been distributed appropriately). 

Navigating the Propertyware Owner Portal

Your portal includes some extremely useful features that help you understand your property’s financial performance at a new level, with real-time transparency into every transaction.

Scroll through the snapshots below for an overview of portal navigation! If you need more help or have specific questions about using the portal, you can reach out to your Account Manager any time for a screen share. 

You can filter all info by date range or property:

PW Portal Filters

View a snapshot of income and expenses on your dashboard:

PW Owner Dashboard View

See every transaction in real-time on your ledger:

Owner Portal Ledger View

Statements and forms will be posted to your documents library:

Owner Portal Document Library

View a suite of real-time financial reports:

Portal Reports View

See a running list of all bills, and drill down for more detail:

Owner Portal Bills View

Under Bill Details, you'll find dates/descriptions/amounts and more:

Portal Bill Details

You can also communicate with your Account Manager through the portal:

Owner Portal Communication Tools

How do net distributions work?

Net distributions keep your accounting clean and simple. Each month we’ll collect rent from the tenants, deduct any repair expenses for the previous month and any management/leasing fees for the current month, and credit the remaining net operating income to your account. 

Net Distribution

You’ll receive a statement via email each time a net distribution is processed, and can view all transaction details in your Propertyware owner portal.