Issue # 2: Communication
All of us know that poor communication has the potential to cause issues in our lives and in our relationships. Well, the same could be said about an Association. Many problems and disagreements can be avoided with the appropriate communication between those that are involved in your HOA. Here are just a couple of examples of this:
Since they’re paying dues for the Board to properly maintain their neighborhood, homeowners have an interest in what’s going on with the Board and association. Most owners wish to hear from the Board, and the Board should communicate decisions and items of importance with them. What conversations are being had? What problems are arising in the neighborhood? Unfortunately, when homeowners don’t hear from the Board, they’ll assume nothing is being done to maintain the neighborhood and that their money is being wasted, whether that’s true or not. As a Management Company we encourage the Board to send updates to homeowners, and we even offer to do this on their behalf, as well. A Board that communicates well and regularly with homeowners (whether face-to-face, by email, or mail) will typically experience fewer misunderstandings from homeowners. Of course, homeowners are expected to communicate their desires and thoughts with the Board, as well!
Vendor issues often arise when both sides (the Board and the vendor) have different expectations for what needs to be done. We make a point to communicate often with a neighborhood’s vendors: repair men, lawn and landscaping companies, pool service companies. It’s important for both sides to establish expectations before a vendor begins to work, that way everyone knows they’re on the same page. Then, if an issue arises, you can always revisit that initial meeting and explain which of those expectations the vendor or the Board is missing the mark on.