Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Friday, December 03, 2021











HOATalk is a free service of Community123.com:

Easy to use website tools to help your board
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Letterhead and Envelopes sent by Property Manager
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:111


11/12/2021 4:54 AM  
Curious about the letterhead and the business name on envelopes sent to homeowners for your associations.

For ours, the return name on envelopes is the name of the property management company. The letterhead on "welcome to the community" letters sent to new residents is that of the property manager. I haven't seen a compliance letter, but assume this is also on property manager letterhead.

Seems to me that these all should reflect the name of the association. Thus, I am floating with our property manager the idea of using HOA-provided letterhead and HOA-provided envelopes for mailing this stuff out (as far as I can tell they do all of their mailings in house), so our name is reflected in the mailings that are sent to homeowners.

Just curious how it works elsewhere.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2588


11/12/2021 5:10 AM  
It depends on the communication.

If we're sending something that homeowners may respond to in writing, we want them to direct the responses to the correct person/location which often means the PM. And the USPS will care about this as well.

Flyers, letters and the like often have our community logo at the top but will be signed either "Joe Shmoe, Property Manager - On Behalf of the Board" or just "The Board of Happy Valley HOA".

Coupon/payment books and such will comply with the receiving bank's standards, so we have very little say. Legal documents may have their own standards - letters from our attorney had the person's and firm's names on them.

So there's no "one size fits all", the nature of the communication determines logos and addressing, and I wouldn't overthink this.

AugustinD


Posts:1905


11/12/2021 5:22 AM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 11/12/2021 4:54 AM
For ours, the return name on envelopes is the name of the property management company. The letterhead on "welcome to the community" letters sent to new residents is that of the property manager. I haven't seen a compliance letter, but assume this is also on property manager letterhead.
I feel this is pretty inappropriate. The manager or mc is acting as an agent of the corporation when he/she/they send such letters. The letter should be under the HOA/COA's corporate letterhead, as you suggest.
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:111


11/12/2021 6:37 AM  
OK.

I am in concurrence the "welcome to the community" should have the logo and the name of the Homeowners Association as well as be in an return envelope with the HOA name on it. That way, the HOA welcomes the new owner to the community. It's the first impression that the new homeowner has with the association and it should come from the association, not the company that the PM works for.

With regards to the return address of the envelope, we'd format it per the USPS requirements with the HOA address. Just the name and logo of the association would appear on it.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1104


11/12/2021 6:57 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 11/12/2021 5:22 AM
I feel this is pretty inappropriate. The manager or mc is acting as an agent of the corporation when he/she/they send such letters. The letter should be under the HOA/COA's corporate letterhead, as you suggest.



I agree with Augustine. That being said, as long as it is clear that they are representing the HOA, it does not really matter.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:588


11/12/2021 8:05 AM  
The management company is the registered agent for the associations it manages. There's nothing improper about using their letterhead or envelopes to communicate on behalf of the association. If your lawyer sent a letter on behalf of the association, would you object to it being on the firm letterhead?

Management companies manage multiple associations. It is not practical for them to store envelopes for the dozens or hundreds of associations they manage. Nor is it efficient to have an employee hand stuff envelopes for each individual property, or constantly reload automated machines.

I would expect any company willing to accommodate your request to charge a fee to offset the inconvenience.
AugustinD


Posts:1905


11/12/2021 8:55 AM  
Posted By BarbaraT1 on 11/12/2021 8:05 AM
The management company is the registered agent for the associations it manages. There's nothing improper about using their letterhead or envelopes to communicate on behalf of the association. If your lawyer sent a letter on behalf of the association, would you object to it being on the firm letterhead?
This occurred to me as well. "But" --

-- the opening line of a letter from a competent HOA attorney to a HOA owner is typically, "This law firm represents the ___ Homeowners' Association."

-- A letter from the HOA attorney is supposed to get people's attention, in a way that is intimidating to them.

I suppose as the others say, it is not a big deal for the MC to use its own stationery, as long as the MC is clear about who it represents. Personally I would feel the message was one more layer of bureaucracy between me and the HOA nonprofit corporation of which I am a shareholder. It feels a lot less like my neighborhood and more like a for-profit corporate business.

"Five will get you ten."
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4284


11/12/2021 9:33 AM  
Our letterhead has our association name, but we also have the name of the management company off to the side on the header. So that's one way to do it - our community name is front and center, and if people have to contact the property manager, her name and email are listed at the end .

If a letter comes from our attorney, it's sent on their letterhead and starts "thus firm represents X community.

Don't overthink this - all you have to do is redesign the header and footer to list both entities, putting the association front and center.

Then again, I'm almost tempted to ask how your ur colleagues think about this - or is this another executive decision you feel you HAVE to make because, well, you're the president....
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/12/2021 9:54 AM  
I use a printing service, so the envelopes used are of the two window version, meaning the name of the association can always be shown. The letterhead used will depend on whom the letter is being sent on behalf of. If the letter is being sent on behalf of the Board, it will have association letterhead, if from the MC, then we will use our letterhead.

Some MC's will send out mailing in house, which, IMO, is not cost-effective or efficient.

To the comment of being a shareholder, HOA don't depreciate assets or pay dividends. That is a major difference between a HOA and a regular corporation.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/12/2021 9:55 AM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 11/12/2021 4:54 AM
Curious about the letterhead and the business name on envelopes sent to homeowners for your associations.

For ours, the return name on envelopes is the name of the property management company. The letterhead on "welcome to the community" letters sent to new residents is that of the property manager. I haven't seen a compliance letter, but assume this is also on property manager letterhead.

Seems to me that these all should reflect the name of the association. Thus, I am floating with our property manager the idea of using HOA-provided letterhead and HOA-provided envelopes for mailing this stuff out (as far as I can tell they do all of their mailings in house), so our name is reflected in the mailings that are sent to homeowners.

Just curious how it works elsewhere.



Talk about being a micromanager.
AugustinD


Posts:1905


11/12/2021 10:15 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 11/12/2021 9:54 AM
To the comment of being a shareholder, HOA don't depreciate assets or pay dividends. That is a major difference between a HOA and a regular corporation.
Many corporations traded on the stock exchanges pay no dividend. Facebook and Warren Buffet's own Berkshire Hathaway are two leading examples of corporations that do not pay a dividend. Around a fifth of S&P 500 companies pay no dividend.

Much distinguishes for profit and not for profit yada corporations from each other. From time to time the courts and attorneys in HOA cases refer to HOA owners as "shareholders." The legal implications of this reality are significant.

Covenants sometimes require HOAs to pay back to owners excess monies collected at the end of the fiscal year. You won't call this a dividend but some would.

The most interesting part of your post is its evidence that you appear to know little about corporations traded on stock exchanges.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/12/2021 10:25 AM  
WOW, so do HOA's pay dividends?

Where did I say ALL pay dividends? You buy stock to make a profit, sometimes in dividends, some in retained earnings and some in other forms.
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:111


11/12/2021 10:26 AM  
Posted By SheliaH on 11/12/2021 9:33 AM

Then again, I'm almost tempted to ask how your ur colleagues think about this - or is this another executive decision you feel you HAVE to make because, well, you're the president....




I haven't asked the other board members for opinions on this. I think one of the things we should do at our next board meeting is decide if we want to have our communication committee look at the letters that we send to homeowners to see if they all make sense to all of us, and what changes we might want to see if any. I know that some of our board members were surprised at the wording of compliance letters (as homeowners complained to us about them), so we have sent in inquiries about the language on the letters to the PM company for their input.

I don't feel that I have to make decisions because I am the president. I do make (small) decisions because I am the most active board member. I made (small) decisions as Treasurer and then became the president and continue to make small decisions. Inquiring about whether we can use our own letterhead and envelopes to the PM company is a reasonable thing for me to do, as well as getting cost estimates for how much we might spend on envelopes and letterhead if we go that route. The board as a whole will review the recommendations to see how we want to proceed. If we as a board decide that we don't care, then nothing will change.

I don't e-mail every action that I take a board member to the whole board because I have board members threatening to quit over too many e-mails at the moment. Life goes on though so I have decide little stuff on my own to not overwhelm others time.
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:111


11/12/2021 10:32 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 11/12/2021 9:55 AM
Posted By HenryS6 on 11/12/2021 4:54 AM
Curious about the letterhead and the business name on envelopes sent to homeowners for your associations.

For ours, the return name on envelopes is the name of the property management company. The letterhead on "welcome to the community" letters sent to new residents is that of the property manager. I haven't seen a compliance letter, but assume this is also on property manager letterhead.

Seems to me that these all should reflect the name of the association. Thus, I am floating with our property manager the idea of using HOA-provided letterhead and HOA-provided envelopes for mailing this stuff out (as far as I can tell they do all of their mailings in house), so our name is reflected in the mailings that are sent to homeowners.

Just curious how it works elsewhere.



Talk about being a micromanager.




I am what I am. However, communication from our association to our homeowners should have the right look at feel. I just composed a newsletter to our community last night, and was frustrated that I didn't have official letter head for it to be printed upon. Also I realized that it would look better to have our own envelopes to mail them in.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/12/2021 10:36 AM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 11/12/2021 10:32 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 11/12/2021 9:55 AM
Posted By HenryS6 on 11/12/2021 4:54 AM
Curious about the letterhead and the business name on envelopes sent to homeowners for your associations.

For ours, the return name on envelopes is the name of the property management company. The letterhead on "welcome to the community" letters sent to new residents is that of the property manager. I haven't seen a compliance letter, but assume this is also on property manager letterhead.

Seems to me that these all should reflect the name of the association. Thus, I am floating with our property manager the idea of using HOA-provided letterhead and HOA-provided envelopes for mailing this stuff out (as far as I can tell they do all of their mailings in house), so our name is reflected in the mailings that are sent to homeowners.

Just curious how it works elsewhere.



Talk about being a micromanager.




I am what I am. However, communication from our association to our homeowners should have the right look at feel. I just composed a newsletter to our community last night, and was frustrated that I didn't have official letter head for it to be printed upon. Also I realized that it would look better to have our own envelopes to mail them in.



https://www.officearticles.com/word/create_a_letterhead_template_in_microsoft_word.htm

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/print-an-envelope-b426d3dd-ab7e-40af-91b5-85158b08ad37
AugustinD


Posts:1905


11/12/2021 10:47 AM  
MaxB4, my last post answers your latest queries.

More importantly, AFAIC you're off topic.
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:111


11/12/2021 10:47 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 11/12/2021 10:36 AM
Posted By HenryS6 on 11/12/2021 10:32 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 11/12/2021 9:55 AM
Posted By HenryS6 on 11/12/2021 4:54 AM
Curious about the letterhead and the business name on envelopes sent to homeowners for your associations.

For ours, the return name on envelopes is the name of the property management company. The letterhead on "welcome to the community" letters sent to new residents is that of the property manager. I haven't seen a compliance letter, but assume this is also on property manager letterhead.

Seems to me that these all should reflect the name of the association. Thus, I am floating with our property manager the idea of using HOA-provided letterhead and HOA-provided envelopes for mailing this stuff out (as far as I can tell they do all of their mailings in house), so our name is reflected in the mailings that are sent to homeowners.

Just curious how it works elsewhere.



Talk about being a micromanager.




I am what I am. However, communication from our association to our homeowners should have the right look at feel. I just composed a newsletter to our community last night, and was frustrated that I didn't have official letter head for it to be printed upon. Also I realized that it would look better to have our own envelopes to mail them in.



https://www.officearticles.com/word/create_a_letterhead_template_in_microsoft_word.htm

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/print-an-envelope-b426d3dd-ab7e-40af-91b5-85158b08ad37




Thank you. I didn't realize I can print envelopes in Microsoft Word nor did I realize I could Word to create letterhead. Now I know, and I can let the PM know that I'll just print my own newsletters and envelopes from here on out, so they don't have to worry about it. Maybe I will start taking up compliance notices and violation letters in the future, too, to save the PM from the hassle of dealing with them.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/12/2021 10:49 AM  
They might just appreciate that!
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11659


11/12/2021 10:52 AM  
Any mailing our MC does goes out under our HOA's name with our MC's address as we receive no direct mail. For our Annual Meeting, Proxies are return mailed to our HOA at the same address and the MC tracks them for us.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:793


11/12/2021 11:15 AM  
I have no doubt that what type of letterhead is being used is the kind of HOA problem that keeps homeowners up at night. Thank goodness we have volunteers on the board that are willing to tackle the tough problems.
GregM14
(Washington)

Posts:77


11/12/2021 7:27 PM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 11/12/2021 11:15 AM
I have no doubt that what type of letterhead is being used is the kind of HOA problem that keeps homeowners up at night. Thank goodness we have volunteers on the board that are willing to tackle the tough problems.




We frequently get inquiries from our Facebook group wondering how to contact the homeowners association and state they never received the packet from the property manager when they moved in. I know they received it, but likely it was tossed in recycling because nothing on the envelope indicated it was from the homeowners association.

I know it may sound trivial, but the external communications strategy of a corporation is not a trivial matter.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:793


11/13/2021 3:52 AM  
Posted By GregM14 on 11/12/2021 7:27 PM
Posted By JohnT38 on 11/12/2021 11:15 AM
I have no doubt that what type of letterhead is being used is the kind of HOA problem that keeps homeowners up at night. Thank goodness we have volunteers on the board that are willing to tackle the tough problems.




We frequently get inquiries from our Facebook group wondering how to contact the homeowners association and state they never received the packet from the property manager when they moved in. I know they received it, but likely it was tossed in recycling because nothing on the envelope indicated it was from the homeowners association.

I know it may sound trivial, but the external communications strategy of a corporation is not a trivial matter.




Give me some examples of how letterhead matters in the context of an HOA corporation. Will it cut down on delinquent fees? Will people follow the rules better? Will the owners gladly accept any fines they get because of the HOA name being on the letterhead?


CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2588


11/13/2021 5:47 AM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 11/13/2021 3:52 AM
Posted By GregM14 on 11/12/2021 7:27 PM
Posted By JohnT38 on 11/12/2021 11:15 AM
I have no doubt that what type of letterhead is being used is the kind of HOA problem that keeps homeowners up at night. Thank goodness we have volunteers on the board that are willing to tackle the tough problems.




We frequently get inquiries from our Facebook group wondering how to contact the homeowners association and state they never received the packet from the property manager when they moved in. I know they received it, but likely it was tossed in recycling because nothing on the envelope indicated it was from the homeowners association.

I know it may sound trivial, but the external communications strategy of a corporation is not a trivial matter.




Give me some examples of how letterhead matters in the context of an HOA corporation. Will it cut down on delinquent fees? Will people follow the rules better? Will the owners gladly accept any fines they get because of the HOA name being on the letterhead?





Document design and readability are big deals for professional writers (think tech and business writers). Poorly written stuff probably won't be read - well designed stuff stands a fighting chance of getting people's attention. (Example: the rule of thumb for online things, newsletters, and the like is to put the essential stuff in headlines with eye-catching fonts, and the supporting details in the verbiage below. You generally get about three minutes of people's attention, after that assume you've lost them. So the sender of the communication plus the return address should be front and center.)

Better informed homeowners are more likely to follow the rules, pay their assessments on time, attend meetings, and whatnot. These things can take the burden off of overworked board members and PMs.

So while you can overthink this stuff to some extent, it does matter.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:588


11/13/2021 6:09 AM  
Posted By GregM14 on 11/12/2021 7:27 PM
Posted By JohnT38 on 11/12/2021 11:15 AM
I have no doubt that what type of letterhead is being used is the kind of HOA problem that keeps homeowners up at night. Thank goodness we have volunteers on the board that are willing to tackle the tough problems.




We frequently get inquiries from our Facebook group wondering how to contact the homeowners association and state they never received the packet from the property manager when they moved in. I know they received it, but likely it was tossed in recycling because nothing on the envelope indicated it was from the homeowners association.

I know it may sound trivial, but the external communications strategy of a corporation is not a trivial matter.




People say they never got a welcome packet when I have brought it to their door and placed it in their hands. You frequently get inquiries on your Facebook page because nobody cares about information until they need it, and then they go about acquiring it in the laziest way possible - ask someone to tell them rather than look it up themselves.

PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:290


11/13/2021 6:13 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 11/13/2021 5:47 AM
Posted By JohnT38 on 11/13/2021 3:52 AM
Posted By GregM14 on 11/12/2021 7:27 PM
Posted By JohnT38 on 11/12/2021 11:15 AM
I have no doubt that what type of letterhead is being used is the kind of HOA problem that keeps homeowners up at night. Thank goodness we have volunteers on the board that are willing to tackle the tough problems.




We frequently get inquiries from our Facebook group wondering how to contact the homeowners association and state they never received the packet from the property manager when they moved in. I know they received it, but likely it was tossed in recycling because nothing on the envelope indicated it was from the homeowners association.

I know it may sound trivial, but the external communications strategy of a corporation is not a trivial matter.




Give me some examples of how letterhead matters in the context of an HOA corporation. Will it cut down on delinquent fees? Will people follow the rules better? Will the owners gladly accept any fines they get because of the HOA name being on the letterhead?





Document design and readability are big deals for professional writers (think tech and business writers). Poorly written stuff probably won't be read - well designed stuff stands a fighting chance of getting people's attention. (Example: the rule of thumb for online things, newsletters, and the like is to put the essential stuff in headlines with eye-catching fonts, and the supporting details in the verbiage below. You generally get about three minutes of people's attention, after that assume you've lost them. So the sender of the communication plus the return address should be front and center.)

Better informed homeowners are more likely to follow the rules, pay their assessments on time, attend meetings, and whatnot. These things can take the burden off of overworked board members and PMs.

So while you can overthink this stuff to some extent, it does matter.




Unless the MC or HOA is using a highly expensive marketing mass mailing technique to grasp attention to their mailings, anything coming from an MC or HOA should appear as important when received.

The "checks in the mail" and "I didn't get it" are well used excuses. If they bought into an HOA it's on the purchaser to wade through their piles of closing papers and received mailings to determine what's important. Too many stand behind the "I didn't know" because they ignore mailings and emails.

Everyday we are bombarded with emails and mailings. I have more of a tendency to open and read the "poorly written stuff" because it may be more important to me than selling me a new phone service.

You can't make people read what you send. What you can do is provide the information they say they didn't get and move forward. No matter how you send it, you can't make them read it.



Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Letterhead and Envelopes sent by Property Manager



Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement