Those who have never attended HOA meetings might assume them to be mostly straightforward, low-key, even boring; those of us who attend them regularly know better! There are times when you almost wish for a boring HOA meeting, particularly when things take an ugly or heated turn and disagreement starts to get out of hand.
This can happen even in the most peaceful and unified HOA communities. It’s simply human nature: A prickly or delicate issue comes up, different sides are taken, opinions voiced, tempers flared, and feelings hurt. It can disrupt the productivity of the meeting and even strain relations between HOA members.
The first step to mitigating this problem is to identify the specific issues that tend to make board meetings contentious. These can vary from community to community, of course, but a few of the most common, general sources of contention include:
- Violations. Are certain members of the HOA not paying their assessments, or otherwise not complying with HOA rules and regulations? This might cause some Board members to push for increased violation notices and penalties; others may prefer to take a more patient and accommodating approach. Whether and how to approach violations are two issues that tend to get emotions high and HOA meetings tense.
- Any long-term financial issues. Money is always a prickly subject, and all the more so when you’re talking about something significant and out of the ordinary—like a loan or a special assessment.
- Everyone loves having pools and parks and tennis courts, but dealing with ongoing maintenance can be a struggle—and when people have been slack in their maintenance duties, it can lead to some HOA meeting blow-ups and confrontations.
- There’s no telling why this is, exactly, but parking always seems to be an issue that causes people to get a little hot-headed and disruptive, especially if yours is a community where parking is an ongoing issue.
Of course, simply identifying the problems is not enough. Your HOA needs a level of cooperation to function smoothly—and that’s something that requires a real savvy about running meetings and facilitating conflict. That’s where a professional manager can come in handy. Contact Kuester Management Group today to learn more!