It’s a love-hate relationship that most members have with their HOA boards and property management companies. According to the Community Association Institute, the trade group for HOA communities, 69 million people live in an HOA. This includes condos, townhomes, single-family HOAs, and co-ops.
Of the people who have served on the board, only 57 percent love their community. They were the leaders of their communities, so it’s not an encouraging number. Also astonishing is that 33 percent of residents hate their HOA community. So, it’s a challenge to serve on the board or to manage an HOA.
HOA Rulemaking and Controversy
The most controversial aspect of the HOA is the rulemaking. Many see the rules as either too strict or not strict enough. The top three most hated rules in an HOA community would be:
- Lawn appearance. Boards and management companies can be picky about lawn maintenance.
- Parking regulations. The parking rules can be strict.
- Pet restrictions. Many residents are frustrated with pet restrictions.
Conversely, the top three regulations that homeowners desire in their communities are:
- Improved parking.
- Improved noise regulations.
- Rules requiring residents to clean up after pets.
As you can see, it’s hard to keep everyone happy and meet everyone’s needs. That’s the challenge for boards and property management companies.
Why do we need an HOA?
If there’s any commonly owned property, even if it’s as small as a parcel of ground where a sign is posted or a retention basin or a clubhouse or tennis courts, you need an HOA to maintain the area and have it insured. If there was no HOA, every owner in that community would be liable if something happened and there was a lawsuit.
The second reason to have an HOA is to maintain property values. The rules enacted by the governing body keep the properties looking pristine and the property values intact. If there was a decision to dissolve the HOA, it could be expensive. There could be a group working against the board to try and remove the association, but they’d have to hire a lawyer and petition the court at their own expense. It’s not a recommended course of action.
Recruiting Board Volunteers
What happens when no one volunteers for the board? This is a major problem. In the worst-case scenario, the courts would get involved and have a Receiver take over the community. The Receiver would hire a paid board to manage the affairs of the community. The end result would be extremely expensive for the homeowners. The assessments would increase dramatically, and it would be a shock. This should be the absolute last resort. So, a good management company will work on developing relationships and get people involved in volunteering for their community association boards.
Community management is one of the services we provide, and we enjoy working with boards and residents. If you have any questions about community boards, management companies, and their relationships with residents, please contact us at Realty Solutions.