Monthly Archives: November 2018

Association Management Tips to Keep Homeowners Obeying the Rules

Ensuring that your community follows the Association rules is one of your main jobs as a Board Member for your Community Association. Sometimes, rules may be broken, or a member of the Board may fail to follow up with a community member.

Goodwin & Company has seen small mistakes regarding Association rules add up to large problems for the Board. Here are some tips from the professionals that will help keep your community rules at the forefront of your homeowners’ minds.

  • Rules Need to be Simple
  • Rules Need to be Consistent
  • Enforce Rules Accordingly
  • Communicate Properly with Residents
  • Revise Rules that don’t Work

Make Sure Your Rules are Simple

When creating your community rules, keeping them as clear as possible will make them easy for your community to follow and for you to enforce. Keeping your rules simple can help prevent any future complications and let your community members instantly know the Board’s expectations.

For example, if your community allows pets, you will want your rules to clearly state which types of pets are permitted. This can get as specific as size restrictions, breeds, or a limit on the number of pets a homeowner can have.

Keep Things Consistent

If you find that the rules of your community tend to change frequently, this may be the reasoning behind your community members having issues following the rules. If you find that you need to make HOA rule changes within your set rules, make sure that your community is aware and that changes are slowly rolled out for an easy adjustment period.

Enforce the Rules Across Your Community

If your community members see the Board being lax on the rules, then why should they be forced to follow them? If you want change, it is going to have to start with the Board itself. One way to do this is to examine the property of each Board Member and ensure that everything is up to date and following the rules. Leading by example is the best way to lead your community.

Communicate Properly

In order to maintain the consistency of your rules or to introduce new ones properly, communication should always be the number one priority. Regardless of what changes are made, make sure that your homeowners are always updated via meeting agendas or digital/physical notices.

Remember, homeowners who don’t know the rules will be the ones that have difficulties following them. Keeping your community informed will ultimately make your spot on the Board easier. By working with an experienced management team, you will have all the tools necessary to have consistent and accurate modes of communication to your community.

Revise What Doesn’t Work

Sometimes, rules that have been made simply don’t work for a community. If you notice a rule being consistently violated, even after your efforts to enforce it, there may be a problem within the rule itself. Take the time to sit down with your management team and work on revisions that will be useful and clear for your community.

Let Goodwin & Company Help Your Community Follow the Rules

At Goodwin & Company, our mission is to provide support, structure, and education to your community and Board. The best place to start with this is by ensuring that everyone involved understands the neighborhood rules and use restrictions. Contact us today to find out how we can help you get your community and its rules in order.

5 Mistakes Your Association Board Can Avoid with Professional Management

Your Community Association Board is the entity that absolutely always needs to have its act together. In order for your community to run smoothly, working with professional management to avoid common mistakes should be top priority. When a professional management team steps in, they avoid these common DIY mistakes that happen in their absence.  Here are five mistakes that we see Board Members make and how Goodwin & Company can help your Board avoid them.

  1. Not Reading Governing Documentation
  2. A Blasé Attitude for Community Rules
  3. Not Collecting Overdue Fees in a Timely Fashion
  4. Not Reviewing Financials
  5. Not Maintaining Proper Insurance

1. Failing to Read Governing Documentation

Your community bylaws and CC&Rs are important documents that help you avoid getting your community in legal and financial trouble. By not knowing the ins and outs of the Association Documents, an Association Board could try and enforce rules which actually aren’t rules or miss important procedural requirements.

Working with a professional management company like Goodwin & Company is an easy way to stay on top of important documents and reminders that your Board will need to follow in order to operate properly.

2. Your Association Board has a Blasé Attitude Towards Community Rules

Even when some Boards know the rules and what is required of them via governing documents, they can seemingly ignore the rules.  Association rules need to be enforced fully, consistently, and in compliance with the requirements set forth in the documents.  If a Board is specifically not going to enforce a certain rule due to personal bias, that not only opens up the Association to liability, but it also isn’t fair to the other owners who joined the Association under the assumption all rules would be enforced.

Your management company can help your Board with handling community issues like violations and ensuring that scheduled meetings run as planned.

3. Taking Your Time with Overdue Fees

Your management company can also help your Board successfully collect any overdue fees. We understand that a Board is made up of volunteer community members that now must take on the responsibility of collecting money from their neighbors. Remember, letting one owner get away with paying late because you want to avoid confrontation with your neighbor is not fair to the other community members you represent. Let us play hardball for you, while you work to keep your community happy and successful.

4. Failing to Review Your Financials

Failure to review your community financials or failing to truly understand them can be devastating for the community members relying on the Board. Your main goal is to invest your members’ hard-earned money into the community correctly and account for every single dollar spent.

This can be a taxing task and working with a management team that specializes in community finance is a great way to stay on track without making any critical financial errors.  Goodwin & Company knows that most Board Members are not financial professionals; so we go out of our way to explain financial reports and general industry practices in financial record keeping so that Board Members are comfortable with their financial reports every month.

5. Not Maintaining Your Insurance Coverage

Failing to stay on top of your Association’s insurance coverage could leave the Association open to huge expenses.  Even if coverage is in place, be sure to know what it covers and what it doesn’t.  Take the time to work with your management team to review your current D&O insurance policy, what it covers, and when it lapses.

Get the Professional Help Your Board Needs Today, with Goodwin & Company

Mistakes quickly add up for an Association Board. Don’t let your community suffer because you didn’t look to a professional for help. At Goodwin & Company, we help your Board improve its community while also ensuring that the essentials are all taken care of. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services in your area.

Want to learn more? Here are some broad examples of the responsibilities your HOA board members should expect.