The Top 5 Things Your HOA Board Should Avoid


Being on the homeowners association board can be a difficult task at times due to the nature of the job. However, it’s possible to run a smooth board and community by avoiding the most common mishaps amongst board members.

Take a look at IKO Community Management’s top HOA problems and solutions below:

You’re a bad communicator. If you’re not good at getting back to homeowners via email, social media, or direct mail, misunderstandings about new rules and meetings are inevitable.

Another common communication problem is that board members cut one another or homeowners off during meetings. If a resident gets up to three minutes to speak on agenda items then gets cut off, it sends a bad message.

The solution: The obvious solution is to let one another speak in person, especially during important meetings. Another habit to get into is to respond appropriately and in a timely manner to homeowners’ questions and concerns.

Set up notifications on social media if someone messages or comments on your community’s Facebook Page or mentions your community on Twitter. You can also set up Google Alerts to email you if certain keywords are used in news articles. Designate this task to the HOA secretary, who can respond with (at least) a templated answer and contact information.

You can also automatically forward any generic email inquiries to the HOA president. This helps speed up communication by getting the message directly to the top of their inbox.

Your HOA is inactive. Complacent HOA board members can lead to poor communication with residents, unsolved disputes between neighbors, missed meetings, and failed financial statements.

The solution: Hold meetings exactly according to your community’s CC&Rs, and discuss every board member’s progress within the meeting minutes. Your board should also talk about how each member can help one another reach their goals.

Your HOA board is slow on repairs and maintenance. Many residents move into homeowners association-regulated communities because they enjoy low-maintenance living. If your homeowners association doesn’t keep up your community’s common areas or hire vendors for bad weather and/or landscaping, it could cause a few neighbor disputes.

The solution: As an HOA secretary or treasurer, check in regularly with your HOA president or vice president about the status of vendors’ landscaping and common area efforts as well as budgeting for these services.

You should also prepare a neighborhood-wide emergency plan for snow, excess rainfall, and similar events to keep your homeowners ready and informed, especially those who are aging in place.

Your homeowners associations doesn’t take care of its aging residents. According to the AARP, 87 percent of adults who are 65 and older would choose to age in their current home or community.

The solution: This means that HOA communities and their boards have to adjust their policies to accommodate aging-in-place homeowners. Find out the top solutions to common problems with older residents in IKO’s How HOA Management Companies Help Aging Seniors.

You favor certain residents over others. Inconsistent application of the HOA rules between homeowners can cause a lot of problems between residents and residents and the board. If one person is allowed to keep three dogs in their home while another gets fined for having one, your board has a favoritism problem.  

The solution: Ensure that each board member goes over the CC&Rs, including the policies and appropriate consequential measures. If you spot favoritism as the HOA president or vice president, talk to the board member and explain that bias doesn’t contribute to a harmonious neighborhood.

If you want other solutions to these problems and more, download IKO Community Management’s guide, The Top HOA Problems (And How To Fix Them), by clicking on the button below:

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