The homeowners association is a home and community. When you chose to be a member, you agreed to some unique obligations to the community and to other residents within it.
1. Read and comply with the community’s governing documents
You should have received a package of documents well before you closed escrow on your home. If you didn’t, check the Association’s website or ask the manager or a member of the HOA board for copies. Make sure you understand what’s included in them, particularly the rules about pets, parking, your home’s exterior maintenance, architectural guidelines and when you must pay Association assessments.
2. Provide current contact information to Association board members or the manager
Make sure they know how to reach you in case of an emergency, and ask them to notify you of Association meetings and other important events. If you rent out your home, also provide contact information for your tenants in case they need to be contacted in an emergency. It's the responsibility of the owner to notify the Association of any address changes.
3. Maintain your property according to established standards
The community’s appearance can add value to all the homes within it—including yours—so it’s important to keep landscaping neatly groomed and your home’s exterior well-maintained.
4. Treat Association leaders honestly and respectfully
Board members are homeowners just like you. They have volunteered to give their time and energy freely to govern the community. While you should share your concerns about the community with them, do so in a way that’s constructive, informative and helpful.
5. Attend HOA board meetings and vote in community elections
Board meetings are open to all who wish to sit in and keep up with issues under discussion. The homeowners association is a democracy, and your voice and vote can affect important issues.
6. Pay Association assessments and other obligations on time
Your regular assessments pay for common-area maintenance, amenities and other shared expenses. If you don’t pay on time, the burden for paying your portion of the Association’s bills, like water, electricity and trash removal, falls on your neighbors. Contact a board member or the manager if you’re having problems, to discuss alternative payment arrangements.
7. Ensure that tenants, visiting relatives and friends adhere to all rules and regulations
If you're leasing your home, you’re liable for maintaining the condition of the home and for the behavior of those who live in it. Make sure to screen tenants thoroughly, and familiarize them with the community’s rules. Remember that if your tenant, guest or children break the rules of the homeowners association you are responsible.
Use these reminders for yourself or to send to members in your community to encourage a peaceful and proactive Association.