Common HOA Problems and What You Can Do About Them
HOA board members are volunteers familiar with most association rules. They are voted in by HOA members and typically have a background that is well-suited for their position. Different board members have different approaches to management protocol, but this doesn't mean they should gaslight problems in the group. Some association members tend to favor others resulting in misunderstandings and chaos in the association. The most prominent tend to be favored, while the common one is harassed in terms of fines, strict rules, etc.
Fines are common in HOA's, and it is typical for issuance of these fines that they are agreed by the members to do so to rule violators. However, sometimes the board enacts unjustified fines to some members. Unjustified fines are a form of financial harassment because you do not have as much ground as other members. Say you live in a gated community in Florida; you should consider hiring an attorney in Florida for HOA disputes in case the board pushes the unjustified fines on you. An attorney will give you legal support by representing your case to nullify the unjust fines. The board should therefore treat everyone equally despite their status in the community.
HOA maintains order in the community governed by rules. It is the board’s responsibility to ensure these rules have been enforced fairly and consistently. However, sometimes the enforcement of these rules is selective on some members, especially those who are favored. The board changes the rules to suit some of the members. For instance, those living in condos may look like they come from well-up homes compared to single-house ones leading to them being favored based on the status quo.
Board members may fall victim to these rules they have set, which results in them bending some of the rules. You should strictly follow your documented governing to ensure consistency in the rules you make, and enforcing them will feel fairer to all members. You should not only enforce the rules you feel should be enforced or play favorites with some members. Nobody should be immune to rules and regulations meant to govern everyone.
The local, state, and federal laws can affect how you run your community association. Therefore your HOA needs to adapt from time to time because these rules change repeatedly. Adapting and embracing these changes is relatively easy so long as there is someone with a law background. However, some associations are unlucky to miss an individual with some or any legal experience. In this case, getting an HOA attorney would help and guide you through the legal processes affecting your association. An attorney governs you in that all members will strictly follow the rules and avoid any legal breaches that may result in legal action against them.
HOA's suffers from financial constraints. The board needs help with budget preparations and dues settlement. Others may find collecting dues and sticking to a budget challenging. Finances are essential in an HOA; they must ensure they can handle them. There are several ways to help curb financial problems. High delinquency rates may cause you to hire a collection agency or set up payment plans. Many members may struggle financially, as indicated by a high delinquency rate.
The HOA budget could be extravagant, and the members may want to reduce unnecessary expenses and adjust the budget. When preparing for the budget, you should review the previous financial reports, allowing you to itemize your expenses. The review gives you a rough anticipation of the costs and a fundamental basis for projected amounts. HOA should communicate and be transparent in the way money is spent. Transparency ensures authenticity in how the board conducts its business and handles the money. Some HOA faces money embezzlement from the officials. Therefore, transparency should be a priority.
Effective communication should be a priority when it comes to running an HOA. Problems may escalate due to the opaque nature of communication to the members in essential matters such as expenditure when the rules are changing etc. When proper communication fails to be implemented, it may result in violations, complaints increase, and the board roles affected. Communication can be done through Google meet because physical meetings may be challenging as everyone is busy with daily activities. Important announcements may be communicated through social media as it is a medium that will reach a wide range of audience. You should also plan an offline meeting once in a while to air your grievances better.
A High Number of Unresolved Complaints
Issues may pile up when the HOA doesn’t have a proper complaints resolution procedure. The board should ease the process of issuing complaints and suggestions to its members. Failure to solve these issues results in a revolt from the members. They offer a platform to make suggestions to improve your gated community because the board will know where to improve.
For instance, the members may need a community playground and will make this known to the board through suggestions. Respecting the community members' complaints by listening to and solving them is crucial. Poor governance may be addressed, resulting in changing ineffective leaders.
Poor Community Resources Maintenance
Although community members are responsible for their resources, HOA has to ensure to follow up on this maintenance. They should follow up on scheduled maintenance and repairs and clear up the aftermaths of a winter-like season. When the board is effective, it will be easier to have a system in plan and schedule regular community clean-ups. If the roads are damaged, the board should contact the relevant authorities to repair them.
HOA faces a challenge in violations of specific rules from the members. Some of these violations occur due to miscommunication of new rules. However, some people violate these rules deliberately. To resolve this, each member should have a copy of the CC&Rs on paper or electronically. Issuing CC&Rs encourages them to know the rules that bind them and the knowledge that HOA expects them to follow them to the letter, or else fines and penalties may be issued. Warnings should precede fines. Ensure you keep yourself updated and conversant with the CC&Rs for a better community living without incurring punishments.
The HOA must take note of their association's various problems and deal with them thoroughly. The board should maintain high transparency levels to prevent community conflicts. The rules should equally apply to all without bending them for some people. Lastly, being conscious of the issues affecting your HOA is the first step to resolution.