Whether it’s a clubhouse, a swimming pool, or simply a well-maintained parking lot, we all enjoy the amenities afforded within our communities. But of course, these amenities are not free, and it typically falls to the HOA board to ensure that these perks are being paid for and fully maintained.
The problem that many community associations run into, however, is that residents want these amenities for lower and lower costs—and if your board is forced to raise assessments in the face of increased maintenance costs, that can ultimately cause tension with members of the community.
The key to preventing this lies in clear communication. Talking to your residents, and educating them as to what’s going on with the community amenities, is the best policy for maintaining mutual growth.
Remember to communicate these two points, in particular:
- Assessments to cover the basic cost of the community amenities are normal and necessary—because of course, how else will they be paid for? A small profit, meanwhile, is something that benefits the community as a whole.
- Within an HOA community, the cost of these amenities is sure to be much lower than anywhere else. Residents are surely getting a good deal.
Basically, the board needs to remember that residents will be much more inclined to pay for these amenities if they realize that there is no other way to obtain them; and, if they realize that their assessments are not going into the pockets of the board members, but are instead going to general community upkeep. Being clear with your residents as to the overall financial situation of the community is vitally important.
Holding regular meetings is a great way to keep these lines of communication open. You might also consider having budgetary statistics in your community newsletters. The bottom line is simply that good communication is going to make residents much more likely to cooperate with the paying of their dues!