Community associations today employ highly-qualified professional community association managers, and we think residents should know what the manager has—and has not—been hired to do.
Some residents expect the manager to perform certain tasks that just aren’t part of the job. When the manager doesn’t meet those expectations, residents are unhappy. In short, the manager has two primary responsibilities: Carry out policies set by the board and manage the association’s daily operations.
In practice, what does that mean for some common resident questions and concerns?
- The manager is trained to deal with conflict, but he or she typically will not get involved in quarrels you might be having with your neighbor. However, if association rules are being violated, the manager is the right person to notify.
- While the manager works closely with the board, he or she is an advisor—not a member of the board. Also, the manager is not your advocate with or conduit to the board. If you have a concern, send a letter or e-mail directly to the board.
- Although the manager works for the board, he or she is available to residents. That doesn’t mean the manager will drop everything to take your call. If you need to see the manager, call and arrange a meeting.
- The manager is always happy to answer questions, but he or she is not the information officer. For routine inquiries, like the date of the next meeting, read the newsletter or check the association website or bulletin board.
- The manager is responsible for monitoring contractors’ performance but not supervising them. Contractors are responsible for supervising their own personnel. If you have a problem with a contractor, notify the manager, who will forward your concerns to the board. The board will decide how to proceed under the terms of the contract.
- The manager inspects the community regularly but even an experienced manager won’t catch everything. Your help is essential. If you know about a potential maintenance issue, report it to the manager.
- The manager does not set policy. If you disagree with a policy or rule, you’ll get better results sending a letter or e-mail to the board than arguing with the manager.
- The manager has a broad range of expertise, but he or she is not a consultant to the residents. Neither is he or she typically an engineer, architect, attorney, or accountant. The manager may offer opinions but don’t expect technical advice in areas where he or she is not qualified.
- Although the manager is a great resource to the association, he or she is not available 24 hours per day—except for emergencies. Getting locked out of your home may be an emergency to you, but it isn’t an association emergency. An association emergency is defined as a threat to life or property.
For more information on the community association manager’s role, visit www.caionline.org and search “community managers.”
Do you have piles of clothes, papers, and “stuff” collecting in your home? You’re not alone. It’s time to clean up that clutter and make your abode a more enjoyable and relaxing place to live. To help you tackle your next home organization project, follow this quick guide to decluttering:
- Create a schedule. Depending on how high those piles are, you may not be able to accomplish the task in a single weekend. So, try tackling one room at a time. It may seem like a daunting project, but it will be less scary if you break it down into segments.
- Practice a one-item-in-one-item-out rule. When you buy an item of clothing, for example, throw out one item of clothing. Not only will it keep down the clutter, but it will also make you rethink whether you really want to buy that new item.
- Create a stress-free environment in the bedroom. That means no piles of toys and no mounds of clothes. It should be a place where you can rest without worry.
- Make cleaning up fun for kids by turning it into a game. Kids are often the clutter culprits; involve them in the process to make things neater and more organized.
- Know your vision for the room. What do you want from a room? Is it a place where you work, a space where you unwind, a playroom for the little ones, or something else? If you can answer that question, you’ll be able to decide what items stay and what items go.
- Try to make decluttering a part of your everyday life. If you do it at the same time every day—like before you go to bed—the piles won’t accumulate and you won’t have to set aside a block of time to do a major cleaning.