Flat fee retainer models create an innovative and cost effective partnership that every HOA should have.
Having an attorney to represent your HOA is a critical component to running your board smoothly and effectively. Many associations wait to enlist the services of an attorney until they have a legal problem or are in need of advice, but in reality these are some of the worst times to seek counsel. Although it becomes necessary at this point, HOA's should have a close working relationship with their attorney at all times, and preferably before they need them. Unfortunately, the short term cost cutting mindset of many HOA's often translates into much higher costs in the long run.
A new trend that's gaining momentum in the industry is the flat fee retainer program which allows associations to retain the services of an attorney that specializes in community association law for a specified flat rate. This model provides many benefits to the HOA, some of which may surprise you. Let's take a look.
1. Planning out fees in advance
Surprises can be fun but not when they involve large amounts of court costs and legal fees that you didn't expect. Using the flat fee Retainer program, associations can remove the element of unexpected fees by allowing them to incorporate their general counsel fees in their yearly budget. This means you'll know exactly how much you're going to be spending each month.
2. Saving money
This may surprise you, but when you retain the services of an attorney through the flat fee retainer program, you're likely to save a lot of money in the long run. All too often, associations wait until there's trouble, either when someone files a lawsuit, a vendor breaches a contract, or some other legal issue arises. By enrolling in the flat fee retainer program these scenarios could have been avoided all together and saved thousands of dollars in court costs and legal fees. As part of the program, your attorney will take preventative actions to reduce or eliminate legal issues and provide their expertise on contractual agreements before any are signed.
3. Peace of mind
Imagine how reassuring it is to know that if and when your association needs it, you'll have an experienced attorney on your side. The flat fee retainer program means that you have a partner who is well-versed in community association law to guide and advise the board in all matters necessary. It eliminates the stress and worry that is associated with unexpected legal issues and expenses.
4. Improved communication
Having an attorney onboard allows your association board to freely communicate any questions or concerns that come up anytime without racking up fee after fee. Before signing contracts or taking any actions that involve legalities of the HOA, you'll have the ability to speak with your general counsel to ensure you're acting in the best interest of the association.
It's not uncommon for associations to neglect to allocate funding in their budget for legal services. With the advent of the flat fee retainer program, more and more HOA's will realize the numerous benefits of this model, including saving time and money in the long run. Not to mention eliminating the stress that comes with legal conflicts.
For more information on our flat fee retainer program and the many legal services we can provide, get in touch with us today.