Monthly Archives: June 2022

senior citizens feel comfortabe

How Your Association Can Make Senior Citizens Feel Comfortable

Your association is a beautiful community full of families from different walks of life. It’s important to remember that while everyone wants to feel safe and comfortable in your neighborhood, some of your fellow owners may require a little extra assistance.

Let’s focus on senior citizens aged 65+ in your community, and what you can do to ensure their time in your association makes them truly feel at home.

Gather Emergency Contact Information

Your HOA should gather emergency contact information for every member of its community. However, if this isn’t already a practice, we say start gaining information from your senior members of the neighborhood.

Disaster can strike at any time for anyone, but those in the 65+ range are especially vulnerable to incidents that may require emergency assistance and important decisions made on behalf of emergency contacts on file.

Schedule Welfare Checks

Not everyone has a local family to check in on them. So, when it comes to the elderly members of your community, take some time to organize a check-in schedule.

This can be as simple as calling to say “hi” once a week or as detailed as actually scheduled visits.

Ensuring your elderly neighbors are safe and comfortable in your association is critical. Trust us when we say that welfare checks are a win-win for everyone involved.

Stay Up-to-Date on Local and State Laws

Every state has laws that focus on what an association must do to accommodate its senior members.

At least twice a year, your association’s Board should review these laws and look out for any policy changes that they need to catch up on. Also, having planned reviews, allows your Board to anticipate any financial additions to your budget and properly forecast these needs during annual budget planning with your association management’s financial team.

Not only does remaining compliant keep your aging members safe, but these actions also keep your HOA out of serious legal trouble if a bad situation arises.

Update Community Areas

As people age, physical and neurological conditions are likely to develop. Inclusivity is key to owner retention. Therefore, make sure that your shared community areas are all designed and updated to accommodate for physical difficulties.

Accommodations should be approached within reason for your budget, but some of the most common updates we’ve seen HOAs make are:

  • Improved lighting
  • Ramps
  • New handrails

Alter Policies Where Appropriate

Uniformity is something that all associations strive to achieve. However, physical limitations can hamper an owner’s ability to keep up with essential maintenance like landscaping.

Rather than punish those with disabilities or physical constraints, take some time to examine your HOA’s policies and make adjustments where applicable. For example, perhaps your association could find room in the budget to plan for exterior paint maintenance when needed, or regular landscaping services for those in need.

Keep Your Association Inclusive With Goodwin & Company

If you know your association could step up with its actions towards the elderly, let the professionals of Goodwin & Company help. We’ve helped HOAs across Dallas improve their association management and ensure that everyone in the community feels welcome.

Contact us today to learn more about our services.

How to Create an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Plan

People frequently avoid dealing with uncomfortable problems because they are unsure of what to do. Although few people relish conflict, your HOA’s Board of Directors must prepare for problems.

No community escapes unpleasant issues forever. A dispute of some type will eventually afflict even the sweetest community. What you and your HOA Board can do is develop an alternative dispute resolution plan. Then, you are ready to respond in a rational, predefined way when a problem erupts.

ADR Supports Compliance With Texas Law

Texas law calls upon HOA management to engage with parties subject to many types of enforcement actions prior to filing a lawsuit. An alternative dispute resolution plan fits neatly into regulations that an HOA management team should observe prior to going to court.

Resolving Conflicts With Mediation and Arbitration

Alternative dispute resolution typically involves mediation or arbitration. Your plan will specify one or both as the route to resolving conflicts.


You hire a professional mediator who acts as a neutral third party. The mediator meets with the parties in dispute and manages the conversation so that both sides may present their complaints and propose remedies. The role of a mediator is to uncover common ground and guide both sides toward a mutually acceptable resolution.


You hire a professional arbitrator who acts as a neutral third party and presides over the dispute discussion. An arbitrator differs substantially from a mediator in that the person has the authority to decide the outcome. Your alternative dispute resolution plan would need to clarify that arbitration results in a binding decision. Arbitration often removes the parties’ ability to take the case to court.

When Would an HOA Need ADR?

Ideally, an HOA’s board has a plan before a problem flares up. Your board should communicate the plan to property owners to know their rights and what steps to take when they have disputes.

As you might already know, disputes can arise from almost anything. They could emerge between a property owner and the HOA or between two or more property owners. Many people will immediately assume they have to take their complaints to court, but alternative dispute resolution will divert them away from costly and often damaging litigation.

Reasons an HOA Board Should Embrace ADR

Even when your lawyer tells you that the law is firmly on your side, this does not mean that a lawsuit will produce the outcome you expect. Success in court comes at a high cost, not only in terms of time and money but also because it eliminates the chance of a useful compromise.

On the other hand, mediation or arbitration can resolve a problem quickly and for much less money than litigation. You can hire a mediator or arbitrator faster than you can get a court date. These professionals can encourage complainants to fix a problem. The process possesses a collaborative nature that cannot be found in the court system and that is antagonistic by design.

Explore the Benefits of Professional HOA Management

In addition to adopting an alternative dispute resolution plan, your board might reduce conflicts by working with a professional HOA management company like Goodwin & Company. Reach us today to see how your community could benefit from our services.