HOA Communication Tools for the 21st Century High-Tech, or No-Tech?

Most would agree that one of the most important characteristics of a well-run homeowners association is its ability to disseminate information between the board, the members and their management team. Relevance of information and making such information readily available is crucial to keep residents informed of the latest happenings in and around the community. Good communication makes things run smoothly and fosters a sense of confidence in association members about their governing board and administrators.

According to Michael Brower of Michael Brower Realty Co. Inc., a management firm based in Hackensack, a lack of communication is the number-one basis for shareholder complaints against a board. The most common complaints have a common root: not enough meetings held, failure of a board to follow up promptly on its decisions and responsibilities, board members and managers ignoring resident concerns, and so forth.

Keeping the Door Open

Boards and management can do their part to improve relations with all association members by making themselves available to address questions and by distributing information on upcoming decisions or projects to all the residents in the community. In the past, the main method of getting the word out about anything in a homeowners association was to put it in the association newsletter, or to announce it during a meeting and count on those who attended the meeting to inform those who didn't.

There are a number of reasons an HOA might cite as their reason for sticking with a more old-school means of communication; perhaps their staff is comprised of volunteers who are not technologically savvy, or perhaps the residents of the community are older and either don't have Internet access, or are more comfortable receiving printed materials from the HOA in their regular mailbox.

So a newsletter sent via regular mail is a big component of an association's communication effort. In addition to newsletters, HOAs also may send out reminders, event calendars and official documents such as ballots. They may dedicate a community bulletin board in a centralized common area or a clubhouse where managers and residents will regularly post announcements, updates and events calendars.

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2 Comments

  • A fence was erected in which the miteraals were deemed in violation of the deed restrictions. The deed restrictions state no wire of any type and the fence uses welded steel. The HOA has determined that the welded steel rods qualify as wire . The HOA sends violation letters, but typically only acts on behalf of owners who complain about a violation. Further, the owner who is complaining must be willing to file suit. At that point the HOA will file suit on behalf of the owner with the complaint. We have tried to work with the HOA to find a compromise, but they have sent a letter stating that the violation must be cured immediately or they will file suit. We have verbally requested a mediation with the complaining owner, but the HOA refuses mediation and refuses to provide information on who is complaining. There is another fence in our section that uses the same miteraals and no action was taken against that owner/fence.
  • I resigned from the board in my condo development management and the board do not inform homeowner about anything that's being done do not have a budget 2014-2015 they do not follow any by laws What should be done the management is a member of the HOA