My grandmother used to tell me that there are two sides to every story. These days with so much conflicting information being published, broadcast, and discussed, it can be difficult to determine which side is which.
You may have seen news reports or YouTube videos about homeowner’s associations run amok. Stories like “HOA Horror Story – Take This Sign Down” or “HOA Evicted me for not paying dues!”. One might feel outraged at such allegations and could be concerned that such a thing may happen in your own HOA.
All HOA’s have regulations in its Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&R), Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations documents. These documents are in place to ensure that your community has a uniform look and feel from the landscaping of common areas to the signage at entrances. These rules also ensure that among your community, there is not a house which has junk cars in the driveway and keep someone from painting their house a neon purple color to ‘stand out’. Most also have restrictions about the things one can and cannot display from political campaign signs and memorabilia to how long Christmas decorations can be displayed. These rules are not meant to arrest the rights of members without regard but rather to ensure that a uniform look to the community is maintained.
When you purchased your home in an HOA, monthly (or otherwise regularly scheduled) assessments were part of that deal. One cannot opt-out of the Association and is obligated to remit the assessments which are set forth by the Board of Directors. That fee and its schedule was disclosed when you closed on your home. Again, these payments are not meant to be restrictive, but rather keep the community looking tidy, inspecting the community for violations of the rules, and ultimately keeping the property values in your neighborhood in a good position should you ever wish to sell your home.
Boards of directors’ everywhere welcome new volunteers as they bring fresh perspectives, energy, ideas, and assistance. You may find that your area of expertise is one which your Board could use. Volunteering for service on a Board provides insight into how decisions are made, how monies are spent, and why such decisions are made. Regular and Annual meetings also provide that information.
There are two sides to every story. In this case, the HOA must balance the side of the entire community and the side of individuals of the HOA. It can be a difficult job, but with your help, everyone wins
Next time, our blog suggests ways that HOA Boards can communicate with residents in all sorts of ways.