HOA Blocks Rental Showings

Today, this HOA manager blocked my property management company's ability to show vacant units. Why? So her friend can rent the unit!

There are many advantages to owning a rental property in a condominium community, but there are downsides.

In the bustling real estate market of Philadelphia, navigating the complexities of property management often entails dealing with a variety of stakeholders, including Homeowners Associations (HOAs). Recently, we encountered a challenging situation with an HOA manager in a large, well-known Philadelphia condominium complex, illustrating the delicate balance required in managing rental properties within HOA-governed buildings.

The HOA Hurdles:

Our company manages several units within this prestigious building, and we've run into an unexpected obstacle: the HOA manager has been blocking access to our vacant units. This impediment has not only affected our ability to renovate one of the units by preventing contractors from entering the premises but has also significantly hindered our leasing process. The HOA manager has turned away seven real estate agents and their clients, effectively burning bridges with potential tenants and their representatives.

A Conflict of Interest Unveiled

The situation took a more complicated turn when it was revealed that the HOA manager had shown one of our units to a personal friend, expressing interest in renting the unit to them. This disclosure was particularly frustrating given the previous refusals to allow access to other interested parties. It's a stark reminder of the power dynamics at play when investing in properties governed by HOAs, where a third party can exert considerable influence over your investment.

The Challenge of Gatekeepers in Property Management

This experience underscores a critical aspect of property management within HOA-governed buildings: the presence of gatekeepers. Whether it's an HOA manager or a front desk person, these individuals can significantly impact your ability to manage and lease your property effectively. Navigating these relationships requires diplomacy, persistence, and sometimes, the willingness to address conflicts head-on to protect your interests and those of your clients.

Navigating HOA Dynamics: A Delicate Balance

Investing in properties within HOAs comes with its set of advantages and disadvantages. While HOAs can provide a structured and well-maintained living environment, they also introduce an additional layer of complexity to property management. The key to successfully managing these relationships lies in understanding the rules and regulations of the HOA, maintaining open lines of communication, and being prepared to advocate for your rights as a property owner or manager.

Conclusion: Embracing the Challenges and Opportunities

The Philadelphia real estate market, with its rich tapestry of properties, including those within HOA-governed buildings, presents both challenges and opportunities for property managers and investors. Our recent encounter with an HOA manager blocking access to our units serves as a poignant reminder of the potential hurdles in this domain. However, it also reinforces the importance of resilience, strategic negotiation, and the continuous pursuit of ethical management practices.

As we move forward, we remain committed to navigating these complexities with integrity, always seeking to optimize the outcomes for our clients while fostering positive relationships with all stakeholders, including HOAs. It's through embracing these challenges that we continue to grow, learn, and enhance our services as a leading Philadelphia property management company, dedicated to excellence in managing rental properties across the City of Brotherly Love.


Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

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