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Apartment owners often let down by homeowners associations: Survey

Many apartment owners initially have a “rosy” view of homeowners associations (VvE) and overly high expectations, according to a survey by Vereniging Eigen Huis of 547 apartment owners. This is mostly due to governance and management challenges.

A VvE is mandatory in the Netherlands when a collective group of apartment owners are responsible for managing common property areas, maintaining the building, collecting service charges, and making decisions about the property through regular meetings. Each apartment owner is automatically a member and shares in the decision-making and financial responsibilities.

Joining the VvE is mandatory for an apartment owner in a building with multiple owners, and each owner becomes a member upon acquiring the property. The VvE’s actions are governed by a board, usually consisting of owners who volunteer or are elected by fellow members, and often supported by a professional property manager.

The survey found that only 46 percent of respondents feel their positive expectations about the VvE were mostly met. This dissatisfaction is often attributed to governance challenges, poor management, and interpersonal conflicts. 70 percent of respondents report their homeowners’ association delegates these tasks to a management or administration office.

“This research once again confirms how important good management is. A good manager takes a lot of work off the hands of the board. They have to form a team together. If that doesn’t work, it causes a lot of hassle and confusion. within the homeowners’ association,” said Cindy Kremer, director of Vereniging Eigen Huis.

Directors of homeowners’ associations, who are volunteer apartment owners, require the support of professional managers. Kremer highlighted the issue that currently, the management role within these associations is unregulated, meaning anyone can claim the title.

She calls for governmental action to mandate a certification for managers. This certification would encompass several standards, including a complaints procedure, training, and a model agreement.

The research also revealed that most homeowners’ associations struggle to find board directors, with the majority of members not participating on the board and only 11 percent willing to consider it. Conflicts among residents may deter participation, according to Kremer.

https://nltimes.nl/2023/11/04/apartment-owners-often-let-homeowners-associations-survey Apartment owners often let down by homeowners associations: Survey

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