Monthly Archives: February 2023

hoa spring cleaning

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your HOA

Spring is a glorious time of year. After a winter spent indoors and the business of fall and the holidays, spring can be as relaxing and refreshing as it is a time for work, especially cleaning, and preparing for summers. Let’s look at the best ways to approach annual spring cleaning in a way that supports and enlivens your HOA community.

1. Walk the Premises

Get out and have a look at your community, making note of anything that needs upkeep or further review. You can use this time to walk your neighborhood and say hello, if weather permits. Connection with your constituents only gets them more excited to live in your community.

Look at the lawns, backyard fences, street-facing windows and other visual markers of quality to be sure everyone’s property remains in good condition. There’s no need to be abrasive when you’re doing your light inspections, remember: simply ask in a friendly way about any issues that concern you.

2. Top to Bottom

We often forget what we can’t easily see, but that doesn’t make the hidden places any less important. Rooftops are worth checking for damage and missing shingles or tiles at this time, as well as making sure foundations are strong and foundation vents are in good repair. That’s the first step to making sure they are free of wildlife, which you’re also advised to do at this time.

3. Deep Cleaning

Start by creating a community spring cleaning plan to ensure you don’t forget any of those nook and crannies. 

Power-clean and/or refinish all HOA property, like the tennis court or pool deck. Spring is a fine time to make your community as beautiful as you know it can be, and with all these other improvements you’re making, a dingy pool house will really stick out. This is a great time for repainting, especially after a deep clean.

4. Landscaping

While landscaper and gardening visits are mostly scheduled year-round, there is a special excitement to planning out your spring foliage and florals. Make sure you have the correct amounts of supplies for this busiest gardening season like mulch, soil and whatever your landscaper uses for shared spaces.

If you’re too busy to coordinate a Board or community effort to spruce up shared landscaping, meet with your HOA management team to help organize a reliable vendor to come out and ensure your landscaping gets the TLC it needs. We have a few tips on hiring the perfect landscaping vendor

5. Pool Maintenance 

Those days of basking in the sunshine and taking dips or doing laps in the pool will be here before you know it. Make sure you’re prepared by cleaning up the area, checking all filters and traps, and making sure you’re stocked up on supplies, like chlorine, for the pool-using season.

Also, don’t forget to schedule a pre-spring pool inspection and cleaning before the sunbathers begin to congregate at your poolside. There are several ways to get your community pool summer-ready

6. Check Water Systems

Irrigation is key, especially in spring and summer, to maintaining a fresh, clean look. Spring is when the most plants bloom and flower, and you don’t want to miss out on that natural beauty. Check all sprinklers and garden beds for proper watering and make sure any hoses are hole-free.

7. Safety Patrol

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be tested twice yearly. It’s advised to make one of those tests during your spring cleaning, and the other post-summer. 

This is also a reminder to schedule your annual fire inspection and any health inspections that may be necessary. Your gym and any playground equipment should be tested, cleaned and tightened, and those high-traffic areas should be given special cleaning and maintenance attention. 

If there are any speed deterrents in your community make sure they’re in optimal condition, as well as any signage that may have gone missing or is otherwise in need of replacement.

Bring It Home With Goodwin & Company

Spring cleaning, organization and maintenance are an exciting time to prepare for the coming summer and coming year. Think of all the pain you’ll be saving yourself when summer comes around, and relax knowing you and your community are in the best of hands.

Reach out to Goodwin & Company today with all your HOA management questions, no matter how small. Our experts are here to help you with whatever you need.

Decoding HOA Governing Documents: The Articles of Incorporation

The articles of incorporation, also known as the certificate of incorporation, charter, or corporate charter, is a legal document that establishes the formation of a corporation. It is a formal document that outlines the basic information about the corporation, its structure, and its purpose. In the case of a homeowners association (HOA), the articles of incorporation are the foundational document that creates the legal structure of the organization. They are typically created by the HOA’s developer or initial board of directors, and they are filed with the Secretary of State to obtain legal recognition as a corporation.

The articles of incorporation typically include the following information:

Name of the corporation: The articles of incorporation must include the legal name of the corporation, which typically includes the words “Homeowners Association” or “HOA” to indicate the type of organization.

Purpose of the corporation: The articles of incorporation must state the purpose of the HOA, which typically includes the management and maintenance of common areas, the enforcement of rules and regulations, and other activities related to the management of the community.

Location and duration of the corporation: The articles of incorporation must state the physical address of the HOA’s principal office and the state where it is incorporated. They must also specify the duration of the corporation, which can be perpetual or for a specified period of time.

Membership: The articles of incorporation must outline the qualifications for membership in the HOA, the rights and responsibilities of members, and the manner in which membership may be terminated.

Board of Directors: The articles of incorporation must specify the number of directors who will serve on the HOA’s board of directors, their qualifications, and the manner in which they will be elected or appointed.

Powers of the corporation: The articles of incorporation must outline the powers and authority granted to the HOA by the state where it is incorporated, which may include the ability to levy assessments, enforce rules and regulations, and enter into contracts.

Dissolution of the corporation: The articles of incorporation must specify the conditions under which the HOA may be dissolved or terminated, such as by a vote of the members or by court order.

The articles of incorporation are a legal document that establishes the formation of a corporation, and in the case of an HOA, they are a foundational document that creates the legal structure of the organization. They provide important information about the HOA’s purpose, structure, and legal powers, and they are a crucial document that governs the operation of the HOA.

Decoding HOA Governing Documents: The Declaration

A Declaration is an essential part of the governing documents of a homeowner’s association (HOA). It is a legal document that outlines the rules, regulations, and restrictions that govern the community. The Declaration establishes the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that homeowners must abide by, ensuring that the community operates smoothly and harmoniously.

The Declaration is created when the developer of the community creates the HOA, and it becomes a legally binding document that all residents must follow. The Declaration typically outlines the HOA’s purpose, its powers, and its limitations, and it may also contain provisions that govern the use of common areas, the maintenance of the community’s appearance, and other rules that help to maintain the property values of the community.

One of the most important functions of the Declaration is to establish the rights and obligations of the HOA and its members. This includes the HOA’s authority to enforce its rules and regulations, levy fines, and take legal action against homeowners who violate the CC&Rs. The Declaration also outlines the procedures that the HOA must follow to enforce its rules, such as giving notice to the homeowner and providing an opportunity for a hearing.

Another critical function of the Declaration is to establish the rights and responsibilities of individual homeowners. The document typically outlines the types of modifications that homeowners can make to their properties, such as the color of their homes, landscaping, and other exterior features. The Declaration may also specify the size and types of vehicles that homeowners can park on their property and the types of pets that are allowed in the community.

The Declaration also sets out the financial obligations of homeowners. This includes the payment of assessments or dues to the HOA, which are used to cover the costs of maintaining common areas, landscaping, and other shared amenities. The Declaration may also specify the penalties for non-payment of assessments or dues, which can include late fees, interest charges, and even foreclosure.

The Declaration is a critical document in the governing documents of an HOA. It establishes the rules and regulations that govern the community and helps to ensure that the property values of the community are maintained. It also sets out the rights and responsibilities of both the HOA and its members and outlines the financial obligations of homeowners. Homeowners should review the Declaration carefully to understand their rights and responsibilities and to ensure that they comply with the CC&Rs.

Decoding HOA Governing Documents: The Bylaws

A homeowners’ association, or HOA, is a legal entity that governs a residential community or neighborhood. HOAs are usually established to maintain the common areas and amenities of the community and to enforce certain rules and regulations that govern how property owners may use and improve their individual properties. One of the primary tools that an HOA uses to enforce these rules is a set of bylaws.

Bylaws are the rules and regulations that govern how an HOA operates. They provide a framework for the HOA’s activities, including the election and duties of the board of directors, the frequency and procedures for meetings, the procedures for amending the bylaws, and the powers and duties of the HOA’s officers and committees. Bylaws are typically established when an HOA is formed and can be modified by the board of directors or the membership of the HOA.

Here are some of the key elements of HOA bylaws:

Membership: The bylaws will define who is eligible to become a member of the HOA and the requirements for membership. This can include property ownership, residency, or other criteria.

Board of Directors: The bylaws will outline the structure of the board of directors, including the number of directors, the term of their office, and the method of their election. The bylaws will also define the duties and responsibilities of the board of directors, including their authority to enforce the rules and regulations of the HOA.

Meetings: The bylaws will establish the frequency and procedures for meetings of the HOA, including the annual meeting of members and any special meetings that may be required. The bylaws will also define the quorum requirements for meetings and the procedures for conducting business at meetings.

Voting: The bylaws will define the voting procedures for members of the HOA, including the number of votes each member is entitled to and the method of casting votes. The bylaws may also establish requirements for voting by proxy or electronic means.

Amendments: The bylaws will outline the procedures for amending the bylaws, including the number of members required to approve any changes and the notice that must be provided to members prior to any vote on amendments.

Enforcement: The bylaws will establish the procedures for enforcing the rules and regulations of the HOA, including the authority of the board of directors to levy fines, impose sanctions, or take legal action against members who violate the rules.

HOA bylaws can be a complex and technical document, and it is important for members of an HOA to understand their contents and implications. Homeowners should receive a copy of the bylaws when they purchase their property, and they should take the time to review them carefully. If there are any questions or concerns about the bylaws, homeowners should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional who is knowledgeable about HOA law.

Bylaws are an essential part of an HOA’s governance structure, providing the framework for the HOA’s activities and the rules and regulations that govern the behavior of its members. Understanding the bylaws is essential for homeowners who wish to participate fully in the life of their community and to avoid any conflicts or misunderstandings with the HOA.

Transparency and Trust: Information an HOA Board Should Consider Sharing with Members at the Annual Meeting

An annual meeting is an important event for any homeowner association (HOA) board. It’s a time to review the previous year’s activities and accomplishments, discuss plans for the upcoming year and provide an opportunity for members to voice their concerns and provide feedback. The HOA board has a responsibility to provide transparent and comprehensive information to members during this meeting. In this article, we will discuss what information an HOA board should share with its members at the annual meeting.

Financial update: One of the most important pieces of information to share at an HOA annual meeting is the financial report. This should include a detailed breakdown of the association’s income and expenses, including any outstanding debts, and how the funds were allocated over the past year. Members should be able to see how their dues and other fees were spent and have a clear understanding of the financial health of the association.

Planned projects: The annual meeting is a great time to discuss any planned projects for the upcoming year. This can include things like landscaping improvements, building repairs, or any other major initiatives that will require funding or member involvement. Members should have an opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions for these projects and should be informed about the timeline and expected costs.

Goals for the upcoming year: In addition to discussing planned projects, the HOA board should share its goals for the upcoming year. These can be specific objectives such as reducing expenses, increasing member participation, or improving communication channels. Sharing these goals with members can help align their expectations with the board’s priorities and build support for future initiatives.

Board member election results: If there are any board member elections during the annual meeting, the results should be announced and discussed. Members should be informed about who was elected to the board, what their responsibilities are, and how they were chosen. This can help build trust and transparency within the association.

Community achievements: It’s important to acknowledge the community’s achievements during the annual meeting. This can include things like successful events, volunteer efforts, or any other accomplishments that members can be proud of. Recognizing these achievements can help foster a sense of community and encourage further involvement.

Legal updates: The HOA board should inform members of any legal updates or changes that may affect the HOA. These can include changes to state or federal regulations, new laws, or legal disputes that the HOA is involved in (where appropriate to share). Keeping members informed about legal updates can help them understand how it may affect the HOA and their property.

Governance: Members should be given an update on any changes to the HOA’s governance documents, such as the bylaws, covenants, and rules and regulations. These documents are the foundation of the association and members should understand any updates or revisions that have been made.

Communication channels: The HOA board should discuss the various communication channels available to members, such as newsletters, websites, or social media platforms. Providing information about these channels can help members stay informed and engaged with the HOA’s activities and initiatives, as well as provide a means for members to provide feedback and stay connected with the board and other members.

Open forum: The annual meeting should also include an open forum where members can voice their concerns, ask questions, and provide feedback to the board. This is an opportunity for the board to listen to members’ concerns and address any issues that may have arisen during the previous year.

The annual meeting is a crucial event for any HOA board to communicate with its members. It provides an opportunity to review the previous year’s activities and achievements, discuss upcoming projects, and address any concerns or issues raised by members. By sharing transparent and comprehensive information with members, the board can build trust and support within the community, and work towards achieving its goals for the upcoming year.

The Growing Popularity of Pickleball: Should Your HOA Retrofit Tennis Courts for Pickleball Play?

As pickleball continues to gain popularity, many communities are considering retrofitting their existing tennis courts to make them playable for pickleball. This raises the question: will pickleball replace tennis on your HOA’s courts? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are several factors that HOA Boards should consider when making this decision.

First, it’s important to understand the growing popularity of pickleball. According to a report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), pickleball participation grew by 21.3% in 2020, making it one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. The USA Pickleball Association also conducted a survey that found that pickleball is popular across all age groups, with the majority of players being over the age of 55.

Given the growth of pickleball and its popularity amongst older adults, it’s no surprise that many communities, especially active adult communities, have dedicated pickleball courts. In fact, many of these communities have made the decision to convert existing tennis courts into pickleball courts to meet the demand of their residents.

But what should HOA Boards consider when retrofitting their existing tennis courts for pickleball play? One important factor is the condition of the existing tennis courts. If the tennis courts are in poor condition or in need of repair, it may be more cost-effective to replace them with new pickleball courts rather than retrofitting them.

Another important factor to consider is the estimated cost of retrofitting the existing tennis courts for pickleball play. While the cost can vary depending on the condition of the existing courts and the type of modifications required, it can be significant. The cost of converting a single tennis court to a pickleball court can range from $3,000 to $10,000 or more, depending on the scope of the modifications required. Working with qualified contractors for an accurate cost estimate can help HOA Boards make informed decisions.

It’s also important to consider the needs and preferences of the community members. If the majority of the community members are tennis players or prefer tennis over pickleball, it may not make sense to retrofit the existing courts. On the other hand, if the community has a growing interest in pickleball, retrofitting the existing courts can help meet this demand and provide a new recreational opportunity for community members. Consider a community survey to determine such interest, the results may surprise you.

Finally, HOA Boards should consider the impact on property values. While it’s difficult to predict the exact impact, it’s worth noting that having a variety of recreational amenities can make a community more attractive to potential homebuyers and increase property values.

Retrofitting existing tennis courts for pickleball play is a decision that HOA Boards should consider carefully. By considering the condition of the existing courts, the estimated cost, the needs and preferences of the community members, and the potential impact on property values, the Board can make an informed decision about whether to retrofit their existing tennis courts for pickleball play.

100 Creative Event Ideas to Bring Your HOA Community Together

Hosting events in your Homeowners Association (HOA) is an excellent way to build a sense of community and bring neighbors together. However, it can be challenging to come up with ideas that will appeal to everyone. Here are 100 event ideas that can help create a fun and welcoming neighborhood.

Potluck Dinner: Organize a dinner where everyone brings a dish to share.

Outdoor Movie Night: Host a movie night under the stars with a big screen and projector.

Wine and Cheese Party: Bring your favorite bottle of wine and enjoy a cheese tasting.

Game Night: Host a game night where neighbors can enjoy board games or card games.

Barbecue: Organize a summer barbecue with grilled food and outdoor activities.

Ice Cream Social: Treat everyone to a delicious ice cream party.

Talent Show: Showcase the talents of your neighbors with a fun talent show.

Holiday Cookie Swap: Host a holiday cookie exchange where everyone brings their favorite cookies to share.

Chili Cook-Off: Host a chili competition where neighbors can compete for the best chili.

Neighborhood Block Party: Bring everyone together for a fun neighborhood block party.

Brunch Potluck: Host a brunch with everyone contributing their favorite brunch dishes.

Charity Walk or Run: Organize a walk or run to support a local charity or cause.

Costume Party: Dress up and enjoy a themed costume party.

Game Tournament: Organize a tournament for ping pong, pool, darts, or other games.

Arts and Crafts Fair: Bring together local artists and craftspeople for a neighborhood fair.

Car Show: Host a car show where neighbors can display their cars or admire others’.

Fitness Classes: Offer yoga, aerobics, Zumba, or other fitness classes for neighbors to enjoy.

Pet Parade: Show off your furry friends with a pet parade.

Movie Marathon: Host a movie marathon featuring Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel, or other movies.

Garage Sale: Host a neighborhood garage sale to declutter and make some money.

Food Truck Festival: Bring in local food trucks for a food festival in your neighborhood.

Science Fair: Showcase the scientific talents of your neighbors with a fun science fair.

Pool Party: Host a summer pool party with swimming and pool games.

Scavenger Hunt: Organize a scavenger hunt for neighbors to participate in.

Storytelling Event: Gather around for a night of storytelling with neighbors sharing their stories.

Karaoke Night: Sing your heart out at a fun karaoke night.

Trivia Night: Test your knowledge with a trivia night for neighbors.

Book Club: Host a book club where neighbors can discuss a chosen book.

Fashion Show: Show off your style with a neighborhood fashion show.

Community Garden Project: Work together on a community garden project to beautify the neighborhood.

Poetry Slam: Share your creative writing skills with a poetry slam.

DIY Home Improvement Workshop: Learn new skills with a DIY home improvement workshop.

Wine Tasting: Enjoy a night of wine tasting with your neighbors.

Concert in the Park: Host a concert in the park with local musicians.

Cultural Festival: Celebrate the diversity of your neighborhood with a cultural festival.

Children’s Talent Show: Let the kids showcase their talents with a children’s talent show.

Cooking Class: Learn to cook something new with a fun cooking class.

Open Mic Night: Share your talents with an open mic night.

Family Game Day: Host a day of games for the whole family to enjoy.

Flea Market: Host a flea market or community garage sale where neighbors can sell and trade items they no longer need.

Craft Fair: Bring together local artists and crafters for a neighborhood craft fair.

Neighborhood Clean-Up: Work together to clean up and beautify your neighborhood.

Ice Skating Party: Host an ice skating party during the winter months.

Painting Party: Have a painting party where neighbors can express their creativity.

Board Game Night: Host a night of board games and snacks.

Movie Trivia Night: Test your movie knowledge with a trivia night focused on film.

Cocktail Party: Host a cocktail party with drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

BBQ Cook-Off: Compete for the best BBQ with a cook-off event.

Summer Camp Out: Camp out in your backyard or a local park with neighbors.

DIY Holiday Decoration Workshop: Create your own holiday decorations with a DIY workshop.

Winter Holiday Party: Host a holiday party during the winter months.

Paint and Sip Party: Paint and sip while enjoying a fun evening with neighbors.

Photography Contest: Show off your photography skills with a neighborhood photo contest.

Hiking Trip: Go on a neighborhood hike or nature walk together.

Brunch and Learn: Host a brunch with a speaker or expert sharing their knowledge on a topic of interest.

Wine and Paint Night: Sip on wine while creating your own painting.

Board Game Tournament: Organize a tournament for your favorite board games.

Cornhole Tournament: Host a cornhole tournament with neighbors competing for the top spot.

Costume Swap: Swap out your old costumes for new ones at a neighborhood costume swap.

Farmer’s Market: Host a farmer’s market with local produce and goods.

Local Art Show: Show off the art talent in your neighborhood with a local art show.

Neighborhood Food Drive: Work together to gather food donations for a local food bank or pantry.

Outdoor Adventure Day: Host a day of outdoor adventures like hiking, canoeing, or zip-lining.

Parent’s Night Out: Provide a night of free babysitting for parents to enjoy a night out.

Beer Tasting: Enjoy a night of beer tasting with your neighbors.

DIY Home Decor Workshop: Learn to create your own home decor with a DIY workshop.

Talent Exchange: Host an event where neighbors can exchange their skills and services.

Poetry Night: Share your favorite poems or original works with a neighborhood poetry night.

Kids’ Craft Day: Host a day of crafts and creativity for the kids in your neighborhood.

Breakfast for Dinner: Host a breakfast for dinner-party with waffles, pancakes, and eggs.

Environmental Clean-Up: Work together to clean up the environment in your neighborhood.

Food and Wine Pairing: Learn to pair food with wine with a fun food and wine pairing event.

Neighborhood Talent Show: Showcase the talents of your neighbors with a neighborhood talent show.

Volunteer Day: Volunteer together as a group for a local charity or organization.

Outdoor Fitness Bootcamp: Host a fitness boot camp in the great outdoors.

Travel Night: Share your travel stories and experiences with a neighborhood travel night.

Dessert Potluck: Bring your favorite dessert to share at a dessert potluck.

Canning Workshop: Learn to preserve your own food with a canning workshop.

Neighborhood Sports Day: Host a day of sports and games for neighbors to enjoy.

Hot Cocoa Party: Warm up with a hot cocoa party during the winter months.

Art Workshop: Learn a new art skill with a neighborhood art workshop.

Neighborhood Walking Tour: Take a walking tour of your neighborhood and learn about its history.

Book Swap: Host a book swap event where neighbors can exchange books.

Talent Show: Showcase the talents of your neighbors with a neighborhood talent show.

Block Party: Host a block party for your entire neighborhood.

Wine Tasting: Organize a wine-tasting event with local wines.

Yoga Class: Host a neighborhood yoga class in a local park.

Game Night: Organize a game night with board games or video games.

Cultural Fair: Celebrate the diversity in your neighborhood with a cultural fair.

Ice Cream Social: Enjoy some delicious ice cream with your neighbors.

DIY Workshop: Learn a new DIY skill with a neighborhood workshop.

Trivia Night: Host a trivia night with questions on various topics.

Storytelling Night: Share your favorite stories or personal experiences with a storytelling night.

Themed Party: Host a party with a fun theme, like a 1920s speakeasy or a Hawaiian luau.

Karaoke Night: Sing your heart out with a neighborhood karaoke night.

Picnic in the Park: Host a picnic in a local park with your neighbors.

Neighborhood Art Walk: Take a walk and appreciate the art in your neighborhood.

Game Show Night: Host a game show-style event with fun challenges and prizes.

Film Screening: Host a film screening with a movie that everyone can enjoy.

Charity Event: Host a charity event with proceeds going to a local cause.

Interested in planning an event for your community? Let our GoodLife team help you execute it flawlessly. They can provide expertise in event logistics, marketing, and execution, ensuring your event is a huge success and doesn’t break your budget. By outsourcing event planning and coordination, you can save time and effort, and host an event that is enjoyed by all. To learn more about how GoodLife can help you plan your next community event, contact our team at, and let’s put together an event to remember!

Tips for Obtaining a Quorum at your Annual Meeting

A homeowner’s association (HOA) annual meeting is an important gathering for making decisions that affect the community. A quorum must be present to ensure that the meeting is valid and that decisions can be made. A quorum is the minimum number of homeowners required to be present at the meeting to make it official, as dictated by the association’s governing documents.

Here are some ways an HOA can ensure a quorum at an annual meeting:

Encourage Attendance: The HOA can encourage homeowners to attend the annual meeting by sending reminders via your website, email, mail, or text message. Simple signage in your community’s entrances and common areas can also help. They can also provide incentives for attending, such as offering door prizes or free refreshments.

Adequate Notice: Providing adequate notice of the meeting date, time, and location is essential. The HOA should follow its own bylaws, as well as state and local laws, for the notice required for the annual meeting.

Proxy Voting: Allowing proxy voting, where a homeowner can assign their voting rights to another homeowner, is an effective way to ensure a quorum. This allows homeowners unable to attend the meeting to still have their voices heard.

Early Start Time: Scheduling the annual meeting at an early time can help increase attendance. Homeowners who have work or other commitments later in the day are more likely to attend if the meeting is held earlier.

Online Meetings: With the advent of technology, it’s now possible to hold virtual annual meetings online. This allows homeowners who are unable to attend in person to participate remotely.

Online Voting: If your documents and state statutes allow members to vote via online methods, platforms such as the TownSq Digital Voting Feature can boost participation, cut down on costs, and provide faster results of member votes.

Ensuring quorum at an HOA annual meeting is essential for the community to make important decisions. By following these tips, HOAs can help ensure that the necessary number of homeowners attend the meeting and that decisions can be made effectively.