[Apologies to Clement Clarke Moore]
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and through the HOA community
Not a complaint was heard, and there existed pure unity;
The thank-you notes were placed by the bulletin board with care,
In hopes that the board and manager would soon see them there;
The homeowners were nestled all snug in their beds,
No worries of paint, roofs, or plumbing disturbing their heads,
And the Vice President in her condo, and I in mine too,
Had just settled down for a break from reviewing the dues,
When out in the courtyard there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my balcony to see just what was the matter.
Away to the railing I flew like a flash,
Only to see neighbors with gripes to rehash.
I couldn’t figure out in the dark of the night
Exactly what they thought gave them the right,
But I knew from my time on the homeowners board,
Our meetings these neighbors had always ignored,
Then in a flash I noticed a visitor,
Who tried to join that group of inquisitors
He wore a red fur coat over an ample belly, and
His hearty laugh made it shake as it were jelly,
His smile quickly faded as they all turned away,
They told him that nonowners had nothing to say,
The jolly man disappeared as quickly as he came here,
Amid the sound of eight snorting… reindeer?
In a moment came another, without much ado,
He arrived with a viewpoint both refreshing and new,
I knew instantly it was manager, Nick.
He knew what was needed and he brought it quick,
He exclaimed “Now, Member! now, Neighbor! Now, Bylaws and Covenant,
Please read the rules before bringing your comment.
Now back to your homes, return to your castles,
Please, just for today, let’s have a cease to the hassles”
He said “you by choice bought in a community,
Which works at its best when all live in unity,
Remember that your board serves you all for free,
and consider joining a committee or even three.
“You have no busy elves, so HOAs thrive when all work as a team,
If all think only of selves, a nightmare soon it will seem.
Your association is so much like a large rowing boat,
If each rows it only as solo, not for long can it float.”
Amidst headshakes and handshakes the courtyard then cleared,
And I hoped that above still flew a sleigh and eight impatient reindeer.
Sadly, no reindeer or jolly elves returned to the site,
But folks reached out to others and started treating them right.
A different air began to stir and grow in the complex
As the Golden Rule became the HOA’s theme and its text.
Manager Nick surveyed the scene, pleased,
Knowing the group a happy future had it seized.
And laying his finger aside of his face,
He ran toward his car as if in a race;
He sprang into his auto, heading home in a dash,
And away he drove as quick as a flash.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!
[Readers: May peace and neighborliness permeate your communities in the coming year!]
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®.