When you live in a homeowners association, you become a member of a community. When you're a member of a community, you want to remain in good standing and do your part. Below are ways that you can receive a gold star, so to speak, in your HOA.
1. Follow 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 the CC&Rs and Bylaws. Can’t find these documents? Request them from your Board or manager.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 when you moved into the association, and can be found in the governing documents.
5. 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.