During the holiday season, we often struggle to find the perfect gift for those who are important to us. Sometimes we need a little help, and we ask for a “wish list” of gifts to guide us. What would wish lists from the key players in the HOA world look like?

For the homeowner membership:

  • Regular communications from the board.
  • Organized and efficient board meetings.
  • An attentive board during open forum.
  • A board committed to follow the law and the governing documents, and to improve the sense of community within the association.
  • Directors who govern with a sense of service, not control.
  • Directors who are not defensive when homeowners bring new ideas or even criticism.
  • A board which will tell the truth to members, even if it is a hard truth (such as the assessments are too low and should be increased).
  • A realistic budget and an increased commitment to funding the HOA’s reserve fund.
  • A written explanation of any significant changes from last year’s budget to the current proposed budget.
  • Neighbors who do not automatically assume that annoyance from another neighbor is intentional.
  • Civility.

For the board of directors:

  • Respectful homeowners who acknowledge that the board and committee members serve the community without compensation (and typically without appreciation).
  • Volunteers for committees and board service.
  • Homeowners who use open forum effectively.
  • Homeowners who attend and listen without interfering with board deliberations.
  • Homeowners willing to pay for the level of maintenance and service they desire.
  • A manager who has attained or is actively pursuing the management profession credentials.
  • A manager modeling the highest level of ethical behavior, avoiding conflicts of interest or involvement in HOA politics.
  • A communicative manager who follows through on board directives and speaks candidly if a directive is not in the HOA’s best interests.
  • A manager who will tell the truth to the board even though the board may not be happy with that truth.
  • Ethical service providers who provide advice for the HOA’s best interests, even if it reduces their revenue.
  • Ethical attorneys who will not only tell the board what CAN legally be done but also what SHOULD be done (or not done).
  • Civility.

The HOA manager:

  • Members and directors who understand that the manager juggles tasks for many homeowners, and that not every request is urgent.
  • Directors who avoid co-managing, allowing the manager to do their job without interference with their execution of board directives.
  • Directors who understand that the manager is an important part of their Business Judgment Rule due diligence, and therefore look to the manager for their advice and expertise.
  • Directors and homeowners aware that the manager works for the association, not any one homeowner (not even the president), and that the board gives direction.
  • Civility.

The HOA service provider:

  • Clear expression of client instructions and priorities.
  • Designated HOA spokesperson.
  • Protection from resident interference.
  • Prompt payment.
  • Not being replaced simply because a new board is in power, but instead a chance to prove themselves to the new board.
  • Civility.

How can you fulfill your HOA wish lists? You can surely help with many of these to create peace on earth, or perhaps at least to help bring a little more peace to your part of it!

Happy Holidays to all, Kelly





Written by Kelly G. Richardson

Kelly G. Richardson Esq., CCAL, is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and a Partner of Richardson | Ober | DeNichilo LLP, a California law firm known for community association advice. Submit questions to Kelly@rodllp.com. Past columns at www.HOAHomefront.com. All rights reserved®.












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