If you are part of an HOA community, it probably means that you have invested a lot of time and resources into the community. Perhaps you are a member of the board, or you have simply paid your HOA dues consistently for years. It is likely, therefore, that you desire for your HOA to be running as smoothly as possible, but sometimes it can be hard to ascertain the health of the community at first sight. Here are some ways that you can use to see how well your HOA is functioning, and whether or not changes need to be made.
One of the most important things that can make or break an HOA is the involvement of individual members of the community. If they are invested, the community can be a wonderful and fun place to live. Among other things, this means high levels of participation in community events and taking a lively interest in any changes to the policy. In order for members to be invested in the HOA, the association should have strong leaders that can keep the members united and increase their interest. In addition, members who feel valued and heard will be more likely to invest and participate in community events.
Efficient Board Meetings
Board meetings that seem disorganized, too long, or just downright unpleasant may be a key indication that the HOA is not running as smoothly as it should. On the other hand, a concise and organized meeting which follows a strict agenda can be a sign of a healthy HOA. A strong association should be sending out board meeting agendas to every member ahead of the meeting so that everyone can plan ahead.
Transparency in the leadership is crucial to building a strong foundation for your community. Transparency means that there is open communication between the leadership and each person in the association. In order for the HOA to function in a healthy way, each change to the policy, each due date, and any other important information should be readily available to everyone in the community. If residents are feeling uninformed, this could be a sign that the leadership is not organized enough.
A Transparent and Healthy Budget
The budget and any financial concerns should be something that is transparent for all members to see, and the budget should always be balanced. As one of the most foundational parts of an HOA, if the budget is in shambles, the rest of the community likely is as well. The budget is usually available upon request, but the best HOAs make the information freely available at meetings.
Cooperation and Enforcement of Policies
Rules do not seem like a lot of fun, but the policies of an HOA are the glue that holds the community together. An HOA is healthy if the policies are widely known by everyone in the association, are enforced by the leadership, and are followed by individual members. In this area, the community is as strong as its board. If the board is willing to let things slide, then the whole association could be set up for failure.
The strength of an HOA largely depends on how successful the association is in each of these areas. Use each of these tests to determine if the community that you love and are invested in is healthy from the inside out and running smoothly.