Do you find yourself annoyed by the persistence of solicitors' unwelcome knocks on your door? It seems like no matter what they are selling or promoting they always manage to show up on your porch. They come with fliers, door hangers, a rehearsed speech and the distinct ability to ignore the polite decline of the products they are peddling to every person they can reach in your homeowners association - cleaning supplies, appliances, cosmetics, magazine subscriptions, home improvement products, coupons for local businesses and other unwanted items - sometimes even making you feel trapped in your own home.
Burnout is more than just stress - it is how your mind and your body tell you a change is needed. Whether you are a homeowners association property manager, board member or a homeowner who is part of a homeowners association, the pressure to work harder to the point of exhaustion can be a reality. Do you find yourself often working mechanically or just going through the motions? Then try these ways to relieve stress before it turns into burnout.
The Hignell Companies values community and what it means to a part of a homeowners association. Even though you live in a homeowners association, you might be surprised how many of your neighbors -- owners and renters alike -- do not really understand the fundamental nature of common-interest communities. The media and government officials also lack a true understanding of the community homeowners association (or condominium) concept.
by Paula Docherty
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
1. Pay your HOA fees.As a member of a homeowners association you are required to pay monthly fees to the association. The main purpose of these fees is to cover maintenance for common areas in the development that all members of the association community have access to, as well as amenities in the association.