How Homeowners Respond to HOA Fee Increases

One of the most uncomfortable decisions an HOA Board makes is the decision to raise fees. Hopefully, this is something you can avoid—but sometimes, your Association’s financial state might demand it. And when that happens, it’s wise to anticipate some of the common reactions you’re likely to get from owners—and to be ready with a response.

Here are three responses you can prepare for:

I won’t be living here in 10 years’ time, so why should I pay an increase for long-term projects?

This short-term thinking is common among young couples in starter homes as well as senior citizens, all of whom may be reluctant to pony up for, say, a street repaving project or a pool renovation that won’t happen for many years. The problem with this thinking, though, is that these people are benefiting from common amenities now, including the streets and the pool—all of which were paid for by previous homeowners. It’s only right to pay it forward.

But can’t we just have a one-time special assessment, instead of an increase to all HOA fees?

It’s true that most owners would prefer a one-time special assessment over an increase to their regular HOA fees—and that’s definitely a possible solution for your Association to consider. With that said, collecting a large amount of money, very suddenly, tends to be less successful than an incremental increase, which allows you to build a reserve over time and have the money on hand when you need it.

I just can’t afford an increase in fees.

Some homeowners will tell you that an increase just isn’t in their budget. That’s definitely tough, but the simple fact is that, when owners live in an HOA, they agree to share in the costs of maintaining the community, as outlined in the Association’s governing documents. These costs must be covered fairly and equally by all owners, or else property values could decline.

Responding to Complaints in Your HOA

Raising fees is never going to be a popular decision—but it may sometimes be the right one. Be ready to argue for why the increase is needed, and to handle these common objections graciously and patiently. And, if you need help communicating with owners, speak with your property manager about it. To learn more, reach out to the HOA management experts at Kuester Management Group today.

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Bryan Kuester

Bryan Kuester

Bryan is the CEO of Kuester Management Group. He has over 15 years of managing community associations throughout North and South Carolina.

His specialties include Community Association Management - maintenance, budgeting for operational and reserve funding, long-range planning, covenant enforcement, amenity management, onsite management, large scale management.