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Why is clear communication key to avoiding HOA disputes?

| Sep 28, 2021 | Homeowners' Associations

Being a homeowner’s association (HOA) board member will be challenging at times. Any role where you need to get people to abide by the rules is. Some people consider rules are there to be broken, others feel they apply to everyone but them, and others simply do not care.

Clear communication can help you avoid problems with tenants and help you solve them should they occur.

Make the rules clear before people join the HOA

Not everyone will share your vision of how to live. Ensuring that prospective residents punderstand what the HOA’s priorities are before they join will help you create the right community. Be careful not to break any fair housing laws in the process. If someone thinks that you treat a specific group differently from others, you could face discrimination charges. Here are some more times when communication is crucial:

  • When you change the rules: The better you can communicate why changes are necessary, the more likely you can win people over. 
  • When someone violates the rules: Letting something slide may encourage other homeowners to do the same. Or, it may encourage the person responsible for the violation to take things a bit further.
  • If the tenant is unhappy with you: Ignoring an unhappy homeowner or resident in hopes that they will get bored and leave you alone is unlikely to work. They will more than likely start to drum up support among others. 
  • When you spend HOA money: Finances are one of the biggest causes of problems between people in all aspects of life, and HOAs are no different. The more transparent your spending and record-keeping, the less chance there is of conflict emerging.

While you may not get paid for being an HOA board member, it does not mean you do not have legal responsibilities. Understanding those can help you run a happy community without having to deal with avoidable problems.