Living in a community with other people can be a great thing. But it can also come with its own fair share of headaches. Take the case of a homeowner’s association. In an HOA, there’s a set of rules and regulations that govern the entire community. Anyone who wants to live in a residential area governed by an HOA will likely be required to become a member. With membership comes dues and adhering to the rules of the organization. The idea of an HOA is interesting, but not without its own problems. In some cases, they can be a wonderful opportunity to interact with a community and reap the benefits of living in a harmonious and happy organization. In other cases, they might be a bit persnickety or have some strange rules. To get along better within an HOA, it’s important to have some sense of community and develop meaningful relationships with the people involved. Whether it’s as an HOA manager or a member of the board, understanding the rules, volunteering, following procedures, and having a long-term goal/plan is integral to the successful management (and co-existing within) of a homeowner’s association. 

Keep Common Areas Clean

Common areas are to HOA’s as lobbies are to banks and doctor’s offices. They’re an essential part of the grounds and should be well maintained. Usually, common areas will have a series of rules and guidelines for their use. Strict adherence to these is a must because everybody else has to make use of these facilities. Whether it’s for recreational purposes, meetings, making payments, or other means a common area should be a well-maintained community space. It’s up to the various members of the community and HOA management/board members to ensure this is the case at all times. Many HOAs have janitorial contracts in place, but that’s no reason not to pick up after yourself when using a common area.

Report Issues Promptly

Issues that pop up while living in a homeowners association or condo just happen sometimes. Whether it’s a repair that needs to be made or somebody violating the rules, reporting issues should happen quickly. It’s easier to report issues when there is a system or interface that allows you to do it conveniently/digitally from your phone. Sometimes there are management systems that an HOA manager might use to help streamline this type of reporting. Either way, reporting issues properly can lead to speedy resolutions, quick implementation of new procedures, or a vendor being hired to do any necessary repairs.

Get To Know Your Neighbors

Community is the key to understanding and having a good experience in an HOA. Seriously, getting to know your neighbors is critical to enjoying your experience or at least getting along with everyone. Now, you don’t necessarily need to make friends with them but being able to coexist peacefully without causing conflicts is essential. After all, this is the place where you live. It shouldn’t be a horrible experience day in and day out. By following HOA guidelines and rules while also making an effort to get to know others, you can effectively make a positive experience for yourself. Being a good neighbor means being considerate and mindful of your neighbors, as well as taking the time to get to know them. Being friendly and social are also vital but making the effort to help everyone in the community have a better experience is conducive to thriving in an HOA. 

Understand HOA Rules

A point of consternation for some people involved in HOAs is in understanding (and following) the rules. There are several rules extant in an HOA. The Articles of Incorporation define the HOA, name it, set it as a nonprofit, and is on. The Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions describe what you can and can’t do, along with the requirements of the community. This is where you might find information about whether or not pets are allowed, or if there are restricted colors that you can’t use to paint your house.

By-laws are the actual rules that align to your particular HOA. Bylaws will vary from association to association, so be sure that you’re familiar with the ones at yours.

Pay Dues On Time

Dues, rent, and car insurance premiums are all constants in most of our lives. With an HOA, paying dues just comes with the territory. An HOA manager can help by finding a streamlined and digital way to collect dues. Whatever their solution may be, it should allow for residents to not only make payments easily, but also obtain transaction receipts, and see transactional histories. If the HOA uses automated HOA management software, then homeowners can rest easy knowing their payments will be streamlined. going into the future. With a community-based platform that’s easy to use for everyone, it makes paying dues, collecting fees, and budgeting easier for everyone in the community.