When living in a homeowners association residents are expected to pay assessments that are used to make the community a nice place to live. These fees contribute to utility and vendor bills, maintenance, short term and long term projects, and upkeep of amenities such as the pool.
Often, the following method of “encouraging” owners to pay their assessments is difficult to implement and/or enforce within many Associations, but when there is a clear and simple way to get this done, the results can be very effective. The following example shows how one homeowners association was able to effectively implement this method.
Could amenities help with the collection of unpaid assessments?
Brainstorm what aspects of the Association mean the most to homeowners. For example, for one association, the answer was pool privileges. This homeowners association had only one amenity and decided to use the pool in a manner that would encourage homeowners to pay delinquent assessments.
The pool gate keypad was used as an incentive to promote the collection of assessment debts - this was especially effective during the hot summer months.
Bids were secured for new wrought iron fencing around the pool and instead of using a key for the pool gate, which is hard to recall if back assessments have not been paid, a keypad was installed on the new pool gate. Each homeowner was given a four digit gate code. By using gate codes the Association saved the price of providing keys to all of the owners. In addition, this allowed the Association to remove pool codes when assessments were left unpaid.
As an extra bonus, the keypad has allowed the homeowners association to remove codes for homeowners who do not comply with pool rules, which are clearly posted on the gate before entering the pool.
What happens when assessments are unpaid?
Every HOA board struggles with collecting unpaid assessments that can cause underfunding of their Operating and Reserve accounts, which in turn can make it difficult for an Association to perform needed maintenance and/or pay ongoing bills to utilities and vendors.
Your HOA Board may also be able to brainstorm creative ways your homeowners association’s can draw on the usage of amenities as a method to promote collection of unpaid assessments.