There are many benefits for residents living in a homeowners association. Well-maintained communities and safe streets help the people living in an HOA feel comfortable and supported. But for some residents, living within an HOA may feel like a trap, or they may be living in a community that is poorly managed by an HOA board and overrun with problems. Some surveys show a positive outlook on HOAs, while others paint them as “nasty” and “petty.”
For the HOA itself, the main goal should be to create a positive living environment for all HOA residents. Another goal should be keeping an open line of communication with residents to limit complaints and uphold a thriving community altogether. Lack of communication and information can trouble a relationship from the start and create negative HOA stereotypes.
There are certain things that HOA residents should know or would benefit from knowing from the start to mitigate the risk of forming a negative outlook or bad relationship with their HOA. Here’s a better look at some of those things:
Don’t Buy Into Negative HOA Stereotypes
Sure, some HOAs have overstepped their boundaries, and some have caused residents to ask, what do HOAs do? But most HOAs are filled with people who don’t focus solely on the small things, like the length of grass or height of mailboxes, and instead want to focus on making sure that everyone lives together harmoniously and safeguards their investments.
Some HOAs have acted unruly before and have created situations in which residents feel trapped. But in general, an HOA should be there to ensure that people are happy, their fair market values are upheld, and that everyone is heard and feels at home.
Don’t Cross the Line
HOAs shouldn’t assume that homeowners know all the rules from top to bottom. While working with residents from the start to ensure they are aware they are living within certain restrictions is important, HOAs should also ensure they update residents frequently.
For instance, an HOA may only allow one-story homes to be built. If a homeowner wants to add a second story to their home only to find out they can’t, it could create a rift and end up costing the residents money and fees. And on top of those fines, homeowners could have to pay for construction crews to undo some work they’ve already started, which only hurts them more financially.
Do Make Friends
HOA residents should not feel intimidated by HOAs. Once they move in, they should be encouraged to get to know the board members and open up a dialogue about understanding the rules, regulations, and bylaws. Having someone on an HOA board help interpret how they relate to their specific property and lifestyle can go a long way.
Don’t Miss Out on Dues
HOAs should be sure to inform residents about paying their dues. It might seem tempting to ignore dues, but residents need to know the severity of skipping their payments.
Homeowners who joined an HOA agreed to pay their dues when they purchased their home, and the HOA can turn around and sue them for nonpayment or put a lien on their home. In some situations, homeowners may even lose their homes.
Don’t Forget the Bylaws
A full understanding of an HOA’s bylaws is a great way to keep complaints limited. These bylaws can help protect residents from being taken advantage of and HOA boards from having lawsuits and claims brought against them for overstepping.
Bylaws typically outline how board members are elected and how they can be removed if they cross their line. These bylaws help residents understand the role their board plays and how they can build a positive relationship. At the very least, bylaws help explain how to challenge rules, regulations, and fines that might seem unfair.
About Kevin Davis Insurance Services
For over 35 years, Kevin Davis Insurance Services has built an impressive reputation as a strong wholesale broker offering insurance products for the community association industry. Our president Kevin Davis and his team take pride in offering committed services to the community association market and providing them with unparalleled access to high-quality coverage, competitive premiums, superior markets, and detailed customer service. To learn more about the coverage we offer, contact us toll-free at (855)-790-7393 to speak with one of our representatives.