Monthly Archives: September 2019

Tips to Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Community

Neighbors can go years without even knowing each other’s names and end up missing out on the camaraderie of a welcoming community. In a planned neighborhood, the idea of being tight-knit is part of the big picture for the Board and management.

However, close communities don’t just happen out of nowhere. Here are some things your Board can do within its governing powers to help bring neighbors together as friends.

Join Nextdoor

Social networking is one of the first steps your neighbors can take to come together. One way that many communities have begun to stay connected is through the Nextdoor app! Nextdoor is a private social media experience for a community and allows neighbors to make plans, share neighborhood concerns, or present general updates.

Operate a Free Lending Library

Books have always been a way to bring people together. One idea that we’ve seen put into place is the implementation of a public lending library. With the help of your association management, the neighborhood can create these “libraries” in the form of large mailboxes with plexiglass fronts that allow visibility to the books inside.

These lending libraries present a free way for neighbors to anonymously (or not) share some of their interests with the community. Eventually, the popularity of the libraries should grow and you’ll find homeowners gathering together to share books and make friends.

Have a Themed Block Party

Block parties are a perfect community event to bring people together. Not only are these events fun, but you can find a reason to throw one at any time if it fits the budget. These events allow every member of the community the opportunity to volunteer and make the next block party a fun event that shows other homeowners what being neighbors is all about.

Make the Next Meeting a Pot Luck

Community board meetings don’t have the best reputation when it comes to their enjoyment factor. Let your next board meeting be remembered beyond its running time. Food is always an incentive for meeting attendance. In advance plan for each meeting to have a select few members of your community create a dish for those in attendance. This allows participating homeowners to show off their personal skills while also attracting more guests to meetings where important information can bring them closer.

Encourage Neighbors to Welcome New Member

A simple “welcome to the neighborhood” can go a long way to a newcomer. Encourage your homeowners to get out and introduce themselves when a new neighbor moves into the area. This is an easy way to make initial introductions and give your new neighbors the assurance that the neighborhood they’ve chosen to call home is the right one. Your management company sends a welcome letter with all the details of how to make payments or submit requests, but having a dedicated “Welcome Committee” can really help make new homeowners feel welcome.

Need Help Making Time for Your Community? Goodwin & Company can Help!

Planning fun ways for your community to come together requires time and dedication. At Goodwin & Company we understand how important community is. That’s why we’d love to be the management team that takes over the details of your neighborhood, so the Board can focus on bonding ideas. Contact us today to learn more about our services and experience with communities like yours.

A Quick Look At HOA Neighborly Disputes

Although we’d love to create a community out of a neighborhood, it’s inevitable that there will eventually be some conflict among neighbors. While most resolution comes from neighbors simply talking it out, there are some extreme cases of harassment where an Association and community management team can step in and help.

Here are some ways your Association can bring some comfort to an uncomfortable situation.

When the Association Steps In

Generally speaking, Associations do not get involved with neighborly disputes.  Some disputes, like excessive noise, can be a violation of Association rules and regulations which would then fall under the Association’s enforcement actions like any other rule violation.

However, there are some instances of harassment that are protected by the FHA that could require the Association and its management to step in and potentially take legal action. Some instances where harassment crosses FHA lines include harassment based on:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Orientation
  • Family Status
  • Disabilities
  • Natural Origin

With proper documentation of the harassment, the Association can conclude that harassment took place and take action. The Association can help resolve the dispute through several routes including cease & desist notices or even fining.


If the dispute was something that started small but began to bleed into the community and create “sides” for each member of the issue, your association can encourage constructive conversation with a 3-way mediation. This is a useful way to get your legal team and association management team involved in the situation and avoiding a lawsuit from either party.

Before taking a step into mediation involving your legal counsel as the mediator, consult with your advisors to make sure this isn’t a step that could put your association at risk.

Questions About Your CC&Rs? Goodwin & Company can Help!

Sometimes the extent of how involved your Board can get in neighborhood issues can seem gray. Never enter a situation without knowing if your team is legally able to interfere. Goodwin & Company is a team of Association management professionals that can help you decide when it’s time to take legal action. Contact us today to learn more about our services.