Whether you’re a resident of a homeowners association or a Board member looking for ways to encourage residents to get involved in their community, here are some great tips for being an active member of your Association and enjoying the place where you live.
Attend HOA meetings
It’s important to attend meetings in your homeowners association, especially the annual meeting, to be informed about what’s happening in the community. It could be a large upcoming project like resurfacing the basketball court, significant changes like an increase in HOA fees, or voicing your opinion about an issue, like approved changes you can make to the exterior of your home. HOA meetings are also a way to get to know your Board members and understand how your community is managed.
Coordinate a social event
Planning a social event is a great way to get to know other residents. This could be anything from a monthly movie night in the clubhouse, to organizing a neighborhood yard sale, to setting up a seminar offering spring cleaning tips. Having fun, no pressure activities to participate in allows residents to build relationships with one another and helps build community within the Association.
Tell management when there is a problem
Part of being a member of a homeowners association is having a manager or management company there when you need them. Be sure to tell your manager when there is an issue, instead of complaining and letting it build. Management is there to help in many instances, some of which might include a dispute with a neighbor, a repair that needs to be made in your home, or your concern about a change being made to the CC&Rs.
Introduce yourself to your neighbors
Part of living in a homeowners association is getting to know the other residents to help build community and safety. You’ll start to recognize some of the common habits your neighbors have, so if you see a car out of place or a stranger hanging around, you can let them know. It’s also nice to know that there are people watching over your home when you’re on a vacation or can help you out by taking the trashcan down to the curb if you forget. And who doesn’t appreciate a friendly neighborly wave in the morning on your way to work?
Volunteer on a committee
The purpose of committees in a homeowners association is to make HOA living better for residents. There are always multiple committees to get involved in, but the challenge is finding the right volunteers. The key is to make sure residents serve on a committee that interests them. Some popular committees are the reserve fund committee, rules committee, landscaping committee, or welcome committee. Serving on a committee gets you involved and helps make the community stronger.
Educate yourself by paying attention to HOA communications
Don’t ignore your homeowners association when it’s trying to get your attention. Your Association may communicate with you by mailing out a monthly newsletter, posting fliers on community bulletin boards, sending you a special notice, email, social media, or the annual meeting. Keeping an eye out for these things will help keep you informed about important activities in your community.
Now that you know of a few ways to be an active member of your homeowners association and help make it an enjoyable place to live, it’s time to get up and get going. Getting involved, meeting new people and knowing your contribution matters will also just make you feel good!