8 Common Homeowners’ Association Problems (& How to Fix Them!)
All homeowners’ associations (HOA) must have a board of directors leading the community. While serving on the board of directions is incredibly rewarding, it can also be challenging. Because the role requires no prior experience, it’s crucial for board members to be equipped to handle the issues and conflicts that will inevitably arise. Read on to learn more about common HOA problems and how to resolve them with ease.
1. Poor communication.
Communication is key when it comes to effectively running an HOA. When communication is non-existent or limited, it can cause distrust and confusion. To ensure communication doesn’t become an issue for your community, consider:
- Developing a process. Confirm residents understand communication protocols and have a clear point-of-contact for various issues, as well as emergency contact information.
- Using multiple channels. Don’t rely on one avenue to communicate. Leverage community websites, apps, forums, newsletters, emails, text messages, and more.
- Communicating frequently. Establish a communication cadence and stick to it.
2. Low member engagement.
People choose to live in an HOA because of the inherent sense of community. However, achieving this camaraderie takes work. If residents aren’t interested in volunteering or getting involved, you should:
- Set up committees. Committees, like social committees, welcome committees, and architectural review committees, require a low commitment but still have a big impact.
- Have fun events. Putting on fun events, like block parties, potlucks, holiday gatherings, and decorating contests, encourages neighbors to connect.
- Host a Q&A session. People often want to get involved; they just don’t know how. Host a Q&A session to distribute information about volunteer opportunities and answer questions.
3. Financial frustrations.
Board members are responsible for maintaining the financial health of the HOA. Unfortunately, it isn’t unusual for some boards to receive complaints about financials and how funds are spent. Do the following to keep your budget in check and minimize financial frustrations:
- Educate residents. Make sure residents understand what their assessments are for and how they can pay for them.
- Promote transparency. Share a breakdown of all HOA financials, present and explain budgets, and be open about expenditures and assessments.
- Provide documentation. Keep financial documentation, reports, and audits up-to-date and easily accessible.
4. Incorrect amenity usage.
To stay competitive and desirable, many HOAs offer exclusive amenities, like swimming pools, running trails, clubhouses, and fitness centers. However, when used incorrectly, these amenities can become a problem instead of a perk. Facilitate appropriate amenity etiquette by:
- Using a reservation software. HOA platforms, like TownSq, have dedicated amenity features that make booking and managing amenity reservations simple.
- Defining rules. Clearly post and share amenity-related information, such as hours, rules, and safety guidelines.
- Prioritizing maintenance. Stay on top of repairs and maintenance so residents can enjoy amenities as much as possible.
5. Rule non-compliance.
All residents are legally required to abide by their HOA’s governing documents, which house the rules and regulations. To prevent persistent rule violations and non-compliance, you should:
- Make rules accessible. Residents may break the rules because they didn’t know they existed in the first place. Confirm residents thoroughly understand rules and regulations and know where to find them.
- Remain consistent. Avoid practicing selective enforcement; everyone should be held to the same standard.
- Involve residents. Regularly solicit input and amend outdated rules that no longer hold value. When residents feel involved in the rule-making process, they’ll be more likely to comply.
6. Pet problems.
Believe it or not, 66% of U.S. households own a pet. Pet ownership provides many benefits, but these furry friends can be a source of complaints. Take these steps to thwart pet-related problems:
- Have a pet policy. Draft a pet policy with dos and don’ts regarding permitted pet breeds, sizes, and amounts and barking, leash, and waste rules.
- Partner with a pet waste management service. Partner with a specialized pet waste vendor to manage cleanup and install waste stations.
- Send reminders. Encourage residents to do their part in caring for their pets and community. Remind them to be a good neighbor, pick up waste, keep pets leashed, and reduce excessive barking.
7. Parking violations.
To preserve aesthetics and harmony, HOAs may have rules about vehicles and parking. For example, some HOAs have restrictions about parking locations and durations and the types and number of vehicles allowed. If parking violations are an ordinary occurrence, consider:
- Posting signs. Display signs that explicitly state where residents, visitors, and guests can and cannot park.
- Offering options. If possible, provide alternative parking options and instructions for guests.
- Giving warnings. Give a warning to repeat parking violation offenders—they may simply not know what is and isn’t allowed. Use towing as a last resort.
8. Technology reluctance.
Technology has positively impacted almost every industry—and the HOA industry is no exception. Many HOAs are implementing digital software solutions to streamline processes, automate tasks, and boost satisfaction. Unfortunately, with all these benefits, some residents are still reluctant to adopt technology. If you have people who aren’t open to the change, you should:
- Craft a transition plan. Communicate the advantages of using technology and create a transition plan that outlines each step to guarantee a smooth migration.
- Address concerns. Engage stakeholders at every stage of the technology transition. Listen to their concerns and address them proactively.
- Give support. New technology often comes with a learning curve. Host technology training sessions to teach people how to use tools and interfaces.
Dealing with these common HOA problems? TownSq is your solution!
If your community is experiencing any of these common HOA problems, TownSq can help you solve them. TownSq, the best all-in-one app for HOAs, offers a complete and comprehensive suite of solutions that make leading and living in a managed community better and easier than ever. Click here to request your complimentary demo of TownSq now!