Q: How long as WMG been in business?
A: Linda Warren, Founder of Warren Management Group, started thecompany in July of 1992, initially called Warren & Associates. The business was incorporated in January, 1997 as The Warren Management Group, Inc.
Q: Where is your office located?
A: WMG’s office is located at 1720 Jet Stream Drive, Suite 200 in Northgate. This is located two blocks north of New Life Church, which is at the northeast corner of Voyager & Interquest Pkwy.
Q: How much experience do your managers have?
A: Currently each of our managers have from 7-24 years of management experience.
Q: What certifications do your managers have?
A: Our managers hold certifications through Community Association Manager International Accredidation Board (CAM-ICB), nationally recognized organizations that certify individuals in community association management qualifications. All managers either have or are currently pursuing their CMCA (Certified Manager of Community Associations) designation.
Q: What are your company’s office hours?
A: 8 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday, and Friday 8 am to Noon (except for holidays).
Q: What form of after-hours service does your company provide?
A: Emergency service with the manager-on-call is available after hours seven days per week. This service is reserved for emergencies only so that our staff can enjoy a break from the busy work schedules and enjoy time with their families on the weekend. To reach the emergency service, call WMG’s primary number (719) 534-0266 and select option 2. Leave a message about the emergency; the manager on call will be called and your message delivered, allowing them to initiate action even before they call you back.
Q: What is a homeowners’ association?
A: A homeowner association, legally known as a common interest community, is a non-profit corporation that is controlled by a volunteer, non-paid board of directors elected by the property owners. The purpose of these associations is to maintain the integrity and appearance of their community’s common areas. A common-interest community may be a single-family community, townhome development, condominium development, or a stock cooperative.
Q: Do I have to belong to the association or can I “opt” out of the services offered by the association?
A: All persons, upon taking ownership of a unit within a community, automatically become members of the association and are required to pay the annual assessment. The assessment covers the cost of expenses that are shared equally by all members and cannot be “opted” out of by non-use of the common areas or selection of another service provider.
Q: What do assessments pay for?
A: The assessment covers the expenses of operation and maintenance for items as deemed necessary and appropriate to enhance the operations of the association. This includes such expenses as insurance, taxes, utilities (for common areas only), grounds maintenance, administrative costs, and professional fees, just to name a few.
Your assessments also cover the funding of reserves which are applied to the future repair or replacement of the major components that the association is responsible for such as roofing and painting (in a condominium or attached townhome), street repair (if private streets), pool/spa resurfacing, clubhouse refurbishment, fence and wall repairs/replacement, signage, and lighting.
A budget summary is mailed to each member on an annual basis, which outlines where your monies are being spent.
Q: Who prepares the annual budget?
A: The budget may be prepared by a budget/finance committee designated by the Board or, in the absence of such a committee, the budget may be prepared by management. The budget is then reviewed and, when acceptable, adopted by the Board. All associations subject to CCIOA, a Colorado state statute governing common-interest developments, are required to hold a meeting of the membership to ratify the annual budget. This meeting provides an opportunity for members to give input into the budget. There is no quorum requirement at this meeting, and the budget is deemed ratify unless defeated by the required percentage of Owners.
Q: What is the role of the management company?
A: Services can vary depending on a particular community’s needs, but in general, management carries out the day to day operations of the association as directed by decisions of the Board of Directors. The Board establishes procedures and policies that provide Management with the authorization to carry out certain processes.
Activities of management include general management functions as they relate to financial accounting services, overseeing the property maintenance services provided by subcontractors selected by the Board, bidding and contract negotiations with subcontractors, serving as a liaison with the association’s professionals (legal counsel, accountant, and insurance agent), legal/government regulation compliance, and consulting/advisory services.
Q: Does WMG work for the developer or the association?
A: WMG has strategically designed a management program for newly-developed communities, working with the developer to lay the proper foundation for the association, including document review, creating the initial budget and setting up services desired for the community. It is, however, important to recognize that the management company does not work for the developer – we work for the association. Inasmuch as it is our desire to be an advocate and liaison for the association with the developer (and visa versa), our commitment is to the association. We believe that we bring added value to new communities based on our expertise in setting up new associations and can assist the community in its development period as well as the transition from developer control to homeowner control.
Q: What is an HOA Status Letter?
A: This is a statement, prepared by management that discloses any monies due the association as of a particular closing date. This includes any outstanding or pro-rated assessments, working capital, or deposits due. The title company places a request for this information prior to closing so that these funds are collected at the time of closing. The funds are then forwarded to management along with a copy of the warranty deed, providing information for the association’s record on new ownership of the property.
Q: What does the cost of the “letter” cover?
A: The New Resident Origination fee is not just to cover the expense of researching the status of the account and preparing the letter. This fee compensates management staff for the process of entering this new account into the association’s financial and database records, closing out the file of the previous owner and establishing a new file record, coordinating insurance coverage with the association’s insurance carrier (if applicable), and other various duties needed to establish a new account. These services are not charged to the association, but rather are paid by the new owner as a “user pay” process.
Q: My association requires that everyone uses one common waste removal provider. How do I get signed up for service?
A: The management staff will place an order for your trash service upon notice of closing. The waste removal provider will deliver the toter (if provided in your association’s service contract) on the service day closest to your closing date (which could be after closing). The contractors do not have a system in place that confirms delivery, so if you haven’t received your toter and been serviced within one week of taking occupancy in the home, please contact your association management team.
Q: Will management also set me up for recycling services?
A: No, this is not automatically ordered because not all people participate in recycling (although we probably should!). And, not all associations have a contract that provides for recycling as a part of their waste removal contract.
Information on recycling can be found in your “New Resident Welcome Packet” sent by management following your closing. Each owner must establish recycling service for himself by contacting the service provider directly; this contact number will be in your welcome packet.
Q: My neighborhood has neighborhood collection boxes for mail delivery rather than individual mailboxes. Where do I get the key?
A: You get the key for your box at the post office. You must take a copy of your warranty deed to show proof of ownership. The post office fills out a brief form and hands you keys designating which box is assigned to your property. Your box will not have your house number on it.
Q: We’ve noticed a break in the irrigation system in the common area and the management office is closed for the weekend. Who do we call?
A: There is at least one member of the management staff on call during non-business hours. You can reach them by calling the company’s emergency line at (719) 534-0266, option 2, at any time. The manager on duty will return your call as soon as possible.
Q: How do I report a violation of covenants in my community?
A: Governance of the community’s standards is absolutely a “team effort.” The manager (or site inspector) is on site typically twice a month to monitor covenant compliance, but sometimes situations occur between inspections that need prompt attention. Homeowners are encouraged to report issues that may be violations of the covenants to the management office for follow up. There are a couple ways for this to be accomplished:
- Utilize the “Report a Violation” form on this website. Your report will be forwarded directly to the manager of your association.
- Email your manager of management team assistant with the information regarding the alleged violation.
- Call the manager or management team assistant; realize, however, that the manager may need to ask you to put your information in writing. This is especially true if the violation involves activity that the manager cannot physically observe on his/’her next site inspection. You may be asked to include information such as date and time the alleged violation occurred, identify of persons involved, make/model/license plate number of a vehicle involved or identity of a pet involved. Anonymous reports are not accepted; however, your identity will not be disclosed unless the matter becomes involved in a lawsuit, at which time the court may require that all information be disclosed. Few violation matters result in a lawsuit! Your identity may be important to provide additional information at a later date or to seek a status report of changes as a result of the resolution process.
Q: I was charged a late fee because my assessment payment was received after the due date. How do I get management to remove this fee?
A: Each association has an adopted collection policy that establishes a procedure for the collection of assessment monies due the association. The policy ensures that all owners are treated equally and fairly in respect to their obligation to the association.
Most associations establish a “due date” for assessments, whether paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. They may also establish a grace period that defines the “delinquency date”. Any payments received after the delinquency date are assessed a late fee to offset the costs the association incurs in handling this account for collection of the monies due. The management company is NOT authorized to remove this fee; this is an authority given to the Board of Directors.
Therefore, any Owner having a late fee that would like consideration for removal MUST write a letter to the Board of Directors asking for consideration based on extenuating circumstances that should be defined in their letter. The letter should be sent to the Manager and will be addressed by the Board at the next meeting. The decision of the Board will be communicated back to the Owner following the meeting.
Q: I own a townhome managed by WMG; my mortgage company has requested a certificate of insurance. Who do I call to get this information?
A: Certificates of insurance are provided by the association’s insurance agency. Contact your administrative assistant to find out who the insurance provider is for your association and then you must call the insurance agency’s office direct.
Q: When do the homeowners take over control of the association?
A: The initial board of directors is typically three members, appointed by the
Declarant (the Developer). CCIOA mandates that once the ownership of 25% of the units is transferred to an owner other than the builder or the developer, a member must be elected to the Board of Directors by the membership.
Once ownership of 50% of the units are transferred, at least one-third of the Board must be an Owner (other than the Developer), and once ownership of 75% of the units has transferred, the majority of the Board of Directors must be Owners elected by the membership. Representatives of the Developer may still be elected to serve on the board (and continuing the relationship with the developer through the balance of the development period is strongly encouraged), but the majority “control” of the board must be turned over.
Q: I’d like to get involved in the Association in some way, but I don’t think that serving on the Board is my calling. How else can I serve?
A: There are typically many roles that welcome the volunteer effort of individuals in the community. Committees are a valuable role, assisting the Board of Directors in its responsibilities of decision-making.
Some of the committees most frequently established include:
- Budget/Finance Committee
- Architectural Review Committee
- Grounds Maintenance Committee
- Building Maintenance Committee
- Hospitality Committee
- Events Committee
- Newsletter Committee
- Website Committee
Contact your board members or your management to find out where your talents could be best used!
Q: Will the manager assigned to our association attend the monthly/bi-monthly/quarterly Board meetings?
A: Generally, yes, unless the contract terms have been negotiated otherwise. Management’s role is to advise the Board; we cannot do that if we are not present.
Q: How many hours do you allow for meetings before extra charges are incurred?
A: Two (2) hours.
Q: Do you attend annual meetings?
A: Yes. As agents for the Association, our job is to provide service and support to the Board of Directors. It is not the manager’s responsibility to “run” the meetings; that is the role of the President, who will be assisted by other board members and committee chairs in the various presentations given.
Q: Will you prepare the proxies and annual meeting notices?
A: Yes, it is part of the management agreement to do so.
Q: Will you prepare agendas for all meetings?
A: Yes, it is part of the management agreement to do so.
Q: Will you record, prepare and distribute the minutes of all meetings.
A: Sometimes, but not always. During the period of Declarant Control, management will typically provide the service of recording and preparing the minutes of meetings; however, once the members elect Owner members to the Board, management requests that the Board elect a Secretary that performs this function so that the Manager can be fully attentive to the discussions of the meeting and not distracted with the responsibility of taking minutes. In some cases, the Association engages management’s administrative staff to take minutes of board meetings; this service is provided in addition to the general management agreement.
Q: Are your company’s management reports oral or written?
A: Our managers are asked to provide written reports with oral presentation at the Board meeting on topics benefiting from additional discussion. In general, the manager’s report is reporting on work completed or the status of projects assigned as well. The Manager’s Report is for the Board of Directors and is not distributed to the membership due to the likeliness of some confidential information being disclosed.
Q: Does your company provide Board packets in advance of the meeting?
A: Yes, board packets are distributed approximately one week prior to the meeting to allow board members to review the information and come to the meeting ready to make decisions.
Board packets typically include the following:
- Previous meeting minutes
- Financial reports
- Balance Sheet
- Budget Comparison
- Aged Receivables Report
- Manager’s Report
Other items that may be included are copies or a list of correspondences sent from the manager, list of work orders authorized/pending/completed, a telephone log, or copies of bids and specifications for consideration.
Q: Does your company maintain an owner roster/database for each association?
A: Yes, having a current, accurate record of the membership is very important to the needs of the association.
Q: Can I get a copy of the membership roster?
A: Associations want to encourage its members to establish relationships within the community; however, the Association also has a responsibility to utilize the membership data for Association business only. Therefore, the Association may ask you to sign a release form for the information you obtain, clarifying that your intention is to the use the information for the benefit of the community and not for business or personal gain that would be an inappropriate use or possibly be offensive to some owners.
Q: How about a tenant roster?
A: Only if requested by the Board. Management does request tenant information from every absentee-owner for emergency contact information and encourages each WMG client to adopt a policy regarding tenant disclosure.
Q: Do you establish files for each unit/lot?
A: Absolutely! Furthermore, as a property is resold, the previous owner file is closed and a new file established.
Q: How do you store the association’s records?
A: We maintain both a hard copy and a computerized record of all files, creating CDs for past records. We collect the records for each association annually and store them at the management office for access if needed.
Q: Do you charge a storage fee for maintaining old files/records?
A: We will store two years plus the current year’s client records at the management office as part of our management agreement. There is a monthly charge of $1 per box for additional storage.
Q: How much do you charge for copies of documents?
A: Each association adopts their own policy on the cost of reproducing documents for its members. Records are released to MEMBERS ONLY unless a member provides written authorization for information to be released to an agent or individual on their behalf. The owner must sign a release. The cost of reproduction goes to the association, not to Management, as the Association is charged for management’s time to prepare the information requested.
Q: Does your company send out violation notification letters?
A: Yes, it is a part of the management agreement to do so.
Q: Who determines the process for covenant enforcement?
A: The association’s governing documents often define the process for enforcement. If not clearly defined, the association’s board of directors will adopt a “Covenant Management Policy” that clarifies the step-by-step directive given to management for handling covenant violations.
Q: How can I get a copy of the Covenant Management Policy for my association?
A: If your association does not have a website on which the governing documents are posted for your access, send an email request to the administrative assistant (or manager) of your association. We’ll be happy to provide a copy for you, either electronically or a hard copy.
Q: Do you help the Board establish a hearing process?
Q: Will you keep all of the Association’s bank accounts in the Association’s name?
Q: Does your company use trust accounts?
Q: Do you provide the bookkeeping service in-house or does an outside company do them?
Q: How often are the cash receipts and disbursement statements provided to the Board?
A: Either at the frequency of their Board meetings or as agreed upon by the association and management, if more frequently. Typically these reports are provided monthly.
Q: Does your financial statements show an actual-to-budget comparison.
A: Yes, it provides a comparison of month-to-date and year-to-date.
Q: How often are the bank statements reconciled?
A: Monthly. WMG’s accountant prepares the reconciliation (not the A/R clerk); the manager and the Board’s treasurer (or president) then also verify these reports.
Q: Do you handle the billing of members for their assessments?
A: Yes. Most associations have monthly assessments. The members are provided monthly assessment payment vouchers (coupon books) for payment to avoid the expense of mailing monthly statements. Associations that have quarterly, semi-annual or annual assessments are billed via individual invoices.
Q: Will your company prepare a budget for the association?
A: Yes, at the request of the Board of Directors. Generally, management provides a draft budget, which is further adjusted by the Board or a budget committee.
Q: Does your company charge an individual homeowner for a copy of the budget?
A: Every association member receives a copy of the budget as required by state law (CCIOA). Management sends a budget summary to each new Owner in the New Resident Packet. Additional copies may be available on the association’s website or by contacting the association manager or administrative assistant. A reasonable fee may be charged in accordance with the association’s policy.
Q: Do you coordinate the budget preparation with a committee?
A: Management encourages each association to develop a budget/finance committee to assist in budget preparation. If no committee is appointed, Management will provide a recommended budget at the Board’s request.
Q: Does your company perform reserve studies?
A: No. Experts who specialize in this area of expertise do reserves studies. Management assists the preparer by providing plans or documents that may be needed to complete the study.
Q: How often are reserve studies conducted?
A: At the Board’s discretion; there is no law mandating reserve studies or updates.
Q: Do you coordinate the activities of the annual review or audit and the filing of tax reports?
A: Yes, our staff assists the accountant by providing whatever information they may need to complete the annual study of the financial records. Our in-house staff does not complete audits and reviews, however. This is done by an independent accounting firm, which with the Association has established a relationship for annual services, including filing of the required income tax reporting.
Q: Does your company prepare 1099’s for all of the Association’s unincorporated vendors?
Q: How many bids do you obtain for major jobs (like re-roofing or repainting)?
A: Typically, a minimum of three (3) is recommended and preferred. The Board makes that determination.
Q: At what monetary level do you consider a job to be “major”?
A: The amount may vary depending on what the job is and the Board’s discretion. The number of bids required is never management’s decision; that is the discretion of the Board.
Q: How many site inspections does your management agreement include?
A: Typically two inspections per month; this may vary based on contract terms agreed upon between the parties.
Q: Do you handle service requests?
Q: Does your company supervise the Association’s vendors?
A: Management will observe and monitor the services provided by its vendors and reports its findings to the Board of Directors.
Q: Does your company provide any in-house maintenance services for the Associations you manage?
A: No, however over the past ten years in the industry, we have developed an extensive vendor listing for the various types of association services and we value the relationships that have been established with vendors who provide quality services.
Q: What is “building community?”
A: Building community means fostering a “sense” of belonging…a spirit of community…a coming together that is purposeful. Building sense of community does not happen automatically! In fact, sometimes it struggles even with intentional planning.
Q: Why is having a sense of community important?
A: In order for a community to function with consensus, understanding, mutual respect and common purpose, it has to learn to become a “family unit”. That requires regular communication and spending time together (community events & activities).
Associations communicate with their members through newsletters, fliers, websites, broadcast emails, town hall meetings, and face-to-face one-on-one communication. WMG strives to identify the needs of each client and encourage the leadership to operate within its greatest strength. No one method of communication will reach everyone; diversity is always needed to reach the community.
WMG also assists its clients in planning and hosting community events that foster that sense of coming together. It’s during the times of meeting together socially, getting better acquainted, that a community learns how to draw on the strengths of its members.
Q: Does WMG plan the social events in the community?
A: Not usually, unless asked to do so by the Board of Directors.
Q: My association engages WMG to administer its architectural review needs. Please explain what this means.
A: Your association’s governing documents set up certain restrictions and standards that must be met when making exterior improvements to your property. To ensure that the interpretation of these guidelines is applied consistently throughout the community, an architectural review committee is empowered to manage the process. Designees of the Developer manage the Architectural Review (AR) process until all initial construction is completed (unless the Developer opts to relinquish its control earlier.)
Q: Why do I have to pay a submittal fee to get my plan reviewed?
A: Associations do not budget for the expense of the Architectural Review process because it is not a service equally shared by the members. The associations have established a submittal fee to offset the expense to manage this process so that those using the process cover the expense that it imposes.
Q: How do I find out when the Architectural Committee meets next?
A: Contact the management team.