Monthly Archives: November 2019

Tips for Hosting an HOA Sponsored Friendsgiving

Friendsgiving has quickly become an often celebrated holiday in conjunction with the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Not everyone has family in town to enjoy Thanksgiving festivities with, and a Friendsgiving celebration can help keep everyone in your community in on the fall fun.

If your HOA loves hosting events that bring the community together, now is the perfect time to gather around the table and enjoy an American tradition. Here are some helpful tips that will ensure your Friendsgiving goes off without a hitch.

Set a Date at a Meeting

The art of getting attendance at a Friendsgiving is to set a date that everyone can work with. Our suggestion is to get with your fellow board members and discuss what potential dates would work that lie outside of the actual holiday.

Although Friendsgiving can be celebrated on the 27th, since you’re hosting an Association event, it is best to steer clear of interfering with your community’s family plans. Once you’ve nailed a date shortly before or after actual Thanksgiving, bring it to a vote amongst your peers and announce the date at your next HOA meeting or by e-blast to all your residents.

Nail the Specifics Over Social Media

Now is the perfect time to make use of your community social media account. Create a group page that helps you keep track of the specifics surrounding your Friendsgiving. This is a great forum for finalizing:

  • RSVPs
  • The event menu (Is it pot luck? Are there neighbors with food allergies or intolerances?)
  • The location of your event
  • The length of your Friendsgiving celebration

With thorough planning, your association can ensure that all of the potential loose ends for the celebration are tied up and your Friendsgiving goes off without a hitch.

Touch Up Your Event Center

Since you’re most likely hosting a slew of guests, you’ll want to reserve a community center in your neighborhood for the event. Make sure your guests eat and celebrate in comfort.  Work with your HOA management team to organize maintenance on your community centers.

Fall leading into winter is the perfect time to handle HOA maintenance responsibilities. So why not take care of these while planning for your event.

Two of the biggest maintenance necessities you can arrange before Friendsgiving should be:

  • Ensuring plumbing works through winterization efforts
  • Clearing up your landscape of any fallen leaves

Keep the Event Obligation-Free

Thanksgiving is usually a holiday that comes with feelings of obligation to attend. No one wants to be guilted for not being able to attend your event. Make sure you emphasize the event is obligation-free and is simply a chance for neighbors to get together before the big holiday rush.

This will help quell any added stress on neighbors who can’t or choose not to participate in the Friendsgiving festivities.

Be Responsible! Set Your Limits

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is notorious for family drama when the alcohol starts flowing. Nip any potential neighborly disputes in the bud by setting strict limits on appropriate beverages for your event. We recommend keeping your Friendsgiving a family-friendly and dry event. It’s only a couple of hours, and the presence of alcohol isn’t worth risking the harmony of your neighborhood activities.

Get Your Association Through the Holidays with Goodwin & Company

If your association needs some guidance from a professional management team going into 2020, turn to Goodwin & Company to meet your community needs. We know how to handle the behind the scenes details of your HOA and let your board enjoy the benefits of making the decisions that impact that happiness of your community. Contact us today to find out how we can make your HOA a true home.






HOA Harassment: When Homeowners Behave Badly

Sometimes the HOA doesn’t come to a decision that pleases the homeowners in a community. Usually, the outcome is disappointing, yet civil; but there is always a slim chance that a homeowner can act out of hand.

If your association has made some decisions that turned some homeowners’ heads, here are some tips from an association management company that can help manage owners when they get out of hand.

Define What’s Deemed Unacceptable Behavior

Your association’s governing documents may identify what is unacceptable behavior from the board and the constituents it serves. Aside from having these definitions within the Association documents, take some time during a community meeting to verbally review what is and isn’t acceptable in homeowner and board member behavior.

Homeowners always have a right to complain about or disagree with the decisions a Board makes. However, there is a well-defined line for when behavior gets out of hand like:

  • Defamation
  • Obscenities
  • Insults
  • Threats of Violence
  • Actual Violence

Write a Letter to the Offender

The first step to diffusing an uncomfortable situation is to have your association management write an HOA Violations Letter to the offending party. In the letter, hit these key points:

  • The harassment has interfered with your ability to effectively serve on the Board
  • The offender is violating specific governing documents
  • The potential for disciplinary hearings, fees, and legal action if the behavior persists
  • Alternative ways the community member can get their point across with civility

Get Legal if a Letter Doesn’t Work

Usually, a letter from the board or association gets an offender’s attention and the harassment stops. However, even if after fines have been enforced and the harassment continues, it’s time to turn to your community’s legal advisors for help.

In cases where letters simply make the situation worse, your legal options include:

  • Involving the police
  • Getting a civil restraining order in court

What if a Board Member Starts to Misbehave?

In the instance that a board member stoops down to the level of their own harassment, there are some steps the fellow board members should take.

  • Remind them of your own association documents
  • Schedule time to talk it out and help them cool down
  • Discipline them with fines or potentially even a temporary suspension

If these attempts fail, your Board may have to force the member to step down as a last resort.

Help Your Association Stay Civil With Goodwin & Company

Your Board Members need to run the community effectively, and this just isn’t possible when harassment is in the picture. Let Goodwin & Company help keep the drama outside of your community with our experience and connections to legal entities. Contact us today to find out more about our services throughout the Dallas area.