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HOA Management Blog

At The Hignell Companies we have been providing professional management services for California Homeowner Association Boards for nearly 30 years. We love sharing our knowledge and perspective. Give us a call at 530-419-6032 if you have any questions.

HOA Expert

Recent Posts

The Value of Providing a Homeowners Association Welcome Letter to Renters

February 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM / by HOA Expert

posted in HOA Documents and Contracts

A homeowners association often struggles with obtaining renter information. The Hignell Companies recommends providing a welcome letter to renters when they become a part of a homeowners association because it begins a warm relationship that will help to build trust with renters. An example of a welcome letter is outlined below:


Getting Along with Your Neighbors in the Homeowners Association

February 12, 2013 at 11:52 AM / by HOA Expert

posted in Living in an HOA

After 16 years of being a homeowners association property manager, I have heard every type of neighbor to neighbor complaint.  For example, the dog barks all day, the smoke from my neighbors barbecue stinks, the neighbor cooks fish and reeks up the place, my neighbor smokes and it comes into my home, my neighbor plays his music all night or the TV is on all day.  Two of my favorites are "I can hear my neighbor walking at night" and "I can hear them use the bathroom!"


The Importance of Setting Up a Homeowners Association Maintenance Plan

February 12, 2013 at 11:15 AM / by HOA Expert

posted in HOA Management, HOA Maintenance

Have you ever driven through a homeowners association and wondered how on earth the HOA management has neglected to see that buildings are about to crumble to the ground and blow away with the wind? Well, Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" didn't see it coming either.


What's So Great About Living in a Homeowners Assocation?

February 12, 2013 at 11:12 AM / by HOA Expert

posted in Living in an HOA, HOA

by Paula Docherty


Observing Homeowners Association Open Board Meetings

February 12, 2013 at 11:09 AM / by HOA Expert

posted in HOA Board Meetings

All meetings of the homeowners association board are open meetings. Residents are encouraged to observe meetings and read approved minutes. Residents who wish to address the HOA Board are welcome to do so during the homeowners association forum conducted at the beginning of each business meeting. Here are a few tips for participating:


Homeowners Association Misconceptions About Property Values

February 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM / by HOA Expert

posted in HOA Property Values

Like almost every community in the country, your homeowners association is probably feeling the pinch in the housing market. We’d like to dispel a few common misconceptions about what contributes to the rise and fall of property values.


Bike Safety Rules for Kids in Your Homeowners Association

February 12, 2013 at 10:59 AM / by HOA Expert

posted in Safety in an HOA

A homeowners association provides a great neighborhood for your kids to play in, especially this time of year as the wet weather sets in and they are trapped indoors for much of the day. As soon as a few rays of sun peek through, they will be ready to venture outside to work off all that built up energy. Many kids will be riding the new bikes they found under the Christmas tree. It’s important to set bike safety rules for kids before they start enjoying their new toy.


3 Key Questions an HOA Board Should Ask Before Hiring a Manager

February 12, 2013 at 10:56 AM / by HOA Expert

posted in HOA Management, Hire an HOA Management Company, HOA

If you’re part of a homeowners association Board of Directors, then you know it can be challenging to keep up with the association duties, laws and conflicts that arise. Even though the Board handles many of the responsibilities in a homeowners association, it will often hire a professional manager or management company to oversee the day-to-day operations of the association. Although these might seem obvious, sometimes it’s good to get back to basics. Below are three simple, yet key questions a homeowners association Board should consider when hiring a manager to oversee the association community.


5 Resolutions to Create Harmony in Your Homeowners Association in 2013

February 12, 2013 at 10:54 AM / by HOA Expert

posted in HOA Management, HOA

  1. Follows the rules. Just like when you were a kid on the playground the rules were there for a reason. Waiting in line for the slide taught you patience and courtesy, and being forbidden to flip off the swings kept you from getting your head split open. Your homeowners association has rules too. Make it a point to read them, understand them and follow them because they will teach you your rights and responsibilities as well as keep you safe. The rules can be found in your covenant and by-laws. Can’t find these documents? Request them from your manager.

  2. Read Communications. Remember when the teacher’s newsletter or a permission slip would get sent home? If you didn’t give it to mom and dad, you would be the only one without something on show-and-tell day, or left behind while you watched the bus drive away to the museum. If you get a notice from your homeowners association manager or Board, don’t ignore it, especially if the notice is about a rule violation, fine, or outstanding assessment. A $10 fine could easily turn into a $100 fine if not dealt with. A notice from the association could also be a good thing, announcing a new beautification project or an event at the clubhouse that you wouldn’t want to miss.

  3. Pay HOA fees on time. If you didn’t pay your tuition in college, then you wouldn’t be able to attend class.  If you don’t pay your HOA fees, then you can’t live in the community. Just commit to paying your homeowners association fees on time to avoid any grief and remain a respected member of the association. They are there for your benefit, to help keep the community safe and nice to live in.

  4. Maintain your property. Most of the time you probably had that special pencil you kept sharpened and folders in your Trapper Keeper to keep your papers organized. Your property is just like that. Keep it clean, organized, and make sure you perform proper seasonal maintenance. Not only will it help the curb appeal in your homeowners association, but it’s also something you agreed to in your covenant, and can be found in the governing documents.
  5. Be Active. Whether you played sports, sang in the choir or were class president, it was important to be active at school to make friends and give you perspective on different kinds of activities. Say hello to your neighbors in the homeowners association or attend movie night at the Clubhouse. Most importantly, participate in the business of your homeowners association by attending a board meeting now and then, volunteering to serve on a committee, and reading meeting minutes and the association newsletter.

If you resolve to follow the 5 simple steps above to help create harmony in your homeowners association, no doubt you’ll receive a gold star on your homeowners association member report card. Okay, there’s probably no report card, but you’ll be a star member.


7 Common Homeowners Association Rules to Live By

February 12, 2013 at 10:52 AM / by HOA Expert

posted in HOA Rules and Regulations, HOA

In our last post we talked about some resolutions that you can put into practice in 2013 as a member of your homeowners association. For the next few weeks we’ll expand on each one so you have the tools you need to not just say what your resolutions are but to actually do them too. Let’s talk about the first resolution: Follow the Rules.