Responding to Residents The Truth of the Matter

 We all have needs. Wants, too. In a condo or HOA, the significant needs or wants  of the unit owners usually have to be routed through the board or management  company. In theory—and usually in practice—this is a sound and functional system. But it’s not perfect. Next to noise complaints, the single most common grievance voiced  by condo residents is that their board members and managers don’t respond quickly enough to phone calls and email messages regarding the needs  and wants as related to the building or their individual unit.  

 "The biggest complaint I hear," says Diane Dangler, CMCA of DHD Management in  Oceanport, "is that condo management companies don't return calls and don't  follow up."  

 This issue can certainly be avoided with enough effort on the part of the board  members and managing company. But residents have a responsibility, as well. It’s essential that they know what to expect from their HOA administrators and  maintain realistic expectations of them and the process itself.  

 Living in a Paradox

 Board members often feel that they're pulled in opposite directions. On one  hand, they are directly involved with the operations of their home and can lead  the way toward positive change. On the other hand, they have to field everyone  else’s suggestions and an unending stream of problems, which can often stall or even  stonewall other, more long-rage goals. Some days, it seems like everybody has  an agenda, and the term "cooperative living" is an oxymoron as board members  struggle between responding to residents' concerns while doing what's best for  the community at large.  

 This is one of the reasons why a resident’s complaint—about a noisy roof vent, say—may languish unaddressed for much longer than the resident would like. According  to management pros, maintenance-related and other physical questions about an  HOA or condo building tend to cause tension because residents often don't fully  understand what their HOA administrators are obliged to address versus what is  their own responsibility as homeowners.  


Related Articles

Exterior Cleaning

Cleanliness and Curb Appeal

Maintaining Exterior Spaces

Safety, Longevity, and Aesthetics

Facade Repair and Restoration

How to Know When It’s Time



  • Of course it isn't fair, but short of geittng elected to the HOA board and changing the rules, there is little you can do. You could try appealing to the board, but it sounds like they want the bikes in the parking lot, so you may be out of luck. You could try selling, and moving to a younger, more outdoor friendly community, but you still run the risk of the HOA changing the rules.Go to the HOA meetings and see if the board can be reasoned with. It is likely that there was a resident with a bike that caused problems, and you are paying the price. If the community is older and has no interest in biking, they probably would not want the HOA to foot the bill for something they would not use.