Thursday, April 15, 2010

Not happy with your HOA? Get involved.

I myself live in a community - just outside Charlotte - with an HOA. The other day our neighborhood held its annual "neighborhood garage sale." It was a beautiful sunny spring day - the perfect Carolina weather!

As I sat with my neighbor (a good friend) I heard her say, over and over again, what a shame it was that the neighborhood association did not advertise the garage sale properly. She complained to herself, to her husband, to me, to the one or two people who stopped to look at the old children's toys... But fact is, we had hardly any traffic at all and it made for a very long day!

After a while I had to say something. Homeowner's associations work when the neighborhood residents get involved. And since my friend had not been on the garage sale committee, and since she did not make any effort that I could tell to help organize the event, participate, help, or lend her opinion beforehand, I truly felt that she did not have a reasonable complaint.

Many of us in Charlotte live in HOA communities and many are run well. The property management company takes care of things like the park and the pool and common area. The architectural committee approves fences and patios. But too often too much falls on too few.

If you are not happy with how your HOA is run, or how they handle the annual Easter Egg Hunt, or the color of the new playground equipment--then it is ultimately your responsibility to get involved. The folks that have taken the time and effort to step up and make the decisions for the community are not compensated. They do what they can, and sometimes that means there is no one to place an ad in the newspaper or update the neighborhood website.

Every HOA has large jobs and small jobs and if you are able--please consider doing your part. If you can't, that is fine too... but it leaves little room for you to complain when things don't go the way you would like!

Property Manager
Kuester Property Management

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