Social Aspects Of Managing Homeowner Associations

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Abstract

The article calls attention to homeowners associations (HOAs), which are becoming the dominant organizational form of housing development. It focuses on managing HOAs, especially on the social aspects and determinants of the process. The author claims that in order to understand how HOAs function, it is absolutely crucial to take social aspects under consideration. The members’ involvement, relations between the tenants and cultural norms influence the effectiveness of collective action. Those issues are especially important for professional property managers. The aim of the article is to present social aspects of managing HOAs in Poland.

The article presents the results of a study on the social aspects of HOA activity. It examines and compares three organizational models of HOAs in Poland. One of them is self-managing, with an active board of the association that operates without external help; this model requires a high level of volunteer commitment. The second model represents HOAs jointly managed by the board and a professional property manager; this type is heterogeneous – the allocation of tasks and relations between the two players vary according to the level of the board's engagement. The last type represents a HOA that was not able to establish a board, thus its role is played by a professional property manager. In all three types, both organizational structures and management methods depend on the level of the homeowners’ engagement. The study indicates such engagement factors. HOAs are characterized by their typical operations, decision-making processes, information flow, the roles played by the board of the association and professional property manager, the level of volunteer commitment and neighborhood ties. The study also indicates satisfaction factors in terms of the property manager's service.

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