How Do You Respond to Complaints About HOA Rules?

Living in an HOA community comes with many benefits—foremost among them the preservation of property values. There is, of course, a tradeoff. In order for the association to work, and for the community to function, those who live within it have to agree to live according to a set of HOA rules.

Most of the time, that’s agreeable enough. Homeowners typically understand why the rules are there, and most of those regulations are matters of common sense anyway. From time to time, though, there might arise some complaining about those rules, and some discontentedness over what they entail.

The question is, how can members of the HOA Board effectively deal with those complaints? One sound approach is to try to curb them before they even start. Make sure that homeowners are regularly briefed on the good work the HOA is doing. Whenever there is a completed project or some happy news to report, get the word out via social media and your HOA newsletter. Homeowners who have positive feelings about the work of the HOA will be more understanding when it comes to HOA rules.

Another possible approach is to explain and illuminate community association rules. Again, use your HOA newsletter. Have a Rules and Regs corner somewhere, highlighting a different rule each month and simply offering a quick explanation as to why that rule is necessary—why it’s ultimately to everyone’s benefit.

Of course, the constructive approach to bad rules isn’t to complain, but to try to change them. When a homeowner complains to you about the HOA rules, then, you might invite that homeowner to volunteer for Board service—if not to run in an election then at least to volunteer for work on a subcommittee. This will provide a practical outlet for board members to voice constructive criticism—or, it may simply encourage them to be more supportive of the work being done on the community’s behalf.

Complaints will come, and eventually the Board may need to do something to address them—but it is always important to do so respectfully, constructively, and positively.

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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.

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