Monthly Archives: July 2019

How to Raise HOA Dues & Mitigate Homeowner Concerns

If you’re a board member of your Community Association, then you already understand that over time expenses can creep higher and higher or emergency projects can deplete reserve accounts no matter how frugal you have been. In these instances, you may need to raise your Association’s dues.

This doesn’t always go over well with homeowners and can create some friction throughout a community. Next time the issue of raising dues comes up, keep these association management tips in mind as you pursue acquiring additional funds.

How High Can Dues Be Raised?

The amount the Board can increase dues really depends on the circumstances and bylaws of the Association. These governing documents will most likely have a ceiling in place to prevent extravagant increases.

What To Avoid When Faced With Raising Dues

Sometimes Board members can’t decide if they should increase dues because they don’t want to be seen as “the bad guys” or want to be considerate of fixed income owners. The problem with trying to keep fees set without considering actual expenses is that eventually, funds will run out and the community will then need to either take out a loan or levy a Special Assessment to cover costs.  

Both options are not ideal when the alternative is small increases at regular intervals to cover operating costs and actively fund reserves.  Raising dues a little bit every year or two is a lot easier for owners to digest than a large sum Special Assessment or the Association accruing interest through a large loan.

Responding To Average Homeowner Reactions

Even with these considerations, your Board is most likely going to face some form of backlash from members in the community. Changes within the neighborhood are a big deal, so try to mitigate concerns and negative statements with further reasoning behind the decision.

Even if your Association’s documents allow for the Board to raise dues at their discretion, it would still be a good idea to hold a meeting so that owners can ask questions so that they may fully understand why the increase is necessary.

Let Goodwin & Company Help You Handle The Details

Although every Board should understand that increases in dues are often necessary, no one really wants to be the one responsible for increasing your neighbors’ bills.  With the help of a team like Goodwin & Company, you can minimize conflict between the Board and community members because we’ll do the complicated work for you. Let us handle the details while you take care of your Association. Contact us today to find out more about our services.

A Guide to HOA Bylaws and Homeshare Hosting

Regardless of your stance on home-sharing, we’ve all seen the prices of hotels begin to skyrocket over the last few years. This upcharge in hotel rates has led to a boom in the use of services like Airbnb, and many Association boards have begun to ask lots of questions about the trend.

If your association has seen a surge in Airbnb hosts or received calls from tenants about unruly “renters,” we invite you to take a look at your association management’s guide to Airbnb and how your Board can handle the situations that come with them.

What Is a Homeshare Rental?

A homeshare rental is a situation where a host receives money from a guest in return for short-term vacation lodging. Arrangements for the rental are made through an application where both parties agree on a date and price. 

The average length of a stay is 4 days and the rental can include the entire home, a bedroom, or an available couch.

Vacation rentals are an affordable alternative for families on-the-go, so, the affordability, combined with the profit owners receive, makes a temporary homeshare arrangement an enticing option on both ends of the deal.

Why Would an Association Disapprove of Short-Term Hosting?

An association Board is responsible for ensuring community members abide by the rules and regulations that maintain order. While most homeowners understand the general laws of the land, there is no guarantee that vacation renters will possess the same knowledge.

Some tenants who rent short-term rentals may treat the quarters and community areas like their own homes. However, there is always the exception that ruins the party for everyone. These properties can create horrendous situations for association management, neighbors, and anyone in the area.

Your planned community is expected to maintain a standard of living and neighborly etiquette. Unfortunately, visitors ready to party away from home can create issues in not only the home but common areas like the community pool and parks.

How Can the Board Prevent Problems?

If short-term rentals have become a headache in your community, take action as a Board and implement a ban if one doesn’t already exist within the bylaws. Most Associations have regulations within CC&Rs that prohibit rental agreements that last less than 6 months. If these provisions are already in place, your Board has the information necessary to keep the community free of partying vacationers.

Keep in mind that if there is no official language preventing rentals in your community, the Board is not allowed to pursue corrective action against owners acting as hosts until the documents have been amended.

Additionally, rules can also be put in place to govern longer, less transient rentals.  Associations can make rules outlining how many homes in their community can be rented at a given time and can even require rental applications and fees for renting.  

Let Goodwin & Company Help Navigate the Rental Waters

Rules regarding rentals are a hot topic right now, and the state laws governing them are changing frequently.  At Goodwin & Company, we are well-versed in implementing and managing rental restrictions in community associations.  Reach out and find out more about our services we’ve provided to communities like yours.