In Ohio, homeowners’ associations – also referred to as HOAs – are in place to oversee the property for its members. That includes making rules, enforcing rules, addressing problems, handling legal issues and making certain everyone understands what is expected of them. A key to an effective HOA is understanding the laws related to an HOA board.
When issues arise and disputes escalate, it can be complicated to formulate a solution that will satisfy everyone.
It is important that HOAs are fair with the residents. In some instances, conflicts can be resolved relatively seamlessly. In other cases, they escalate to the degree that it might be necessary to move toward mediation or a legal filing. Knowing how to resolve conflicts is essential from the outset.
What are common challenges HOAs face?
Because an HOA consists of a group of property owners, it is inevitable that conflicts will arise. The recent condominium collapse in Florida is an example of what can happen when board members are unable to get owners to agree to do what is needed in terms of repairs and safety initiatives. HOAs should avoid these problems large and small.
The property value is a common concern for HOAs. To maintain and increase the value, the property must be maintained and repaired. If members balk at paying, it must be explained and understood why the costs are necessary.
A benefit of HOAs is that there are common areas such as playgrounds, gyms and pools. When these areas need to be addressed, the board is responsible for handling it. Collecting dues can be difficult, but the board is responsible for budgetary considerations. With violations and complaints, the board will need to ensure that the rules are adhered to and all laws are followed.
HOAs may need professional help
The objective of an HOA is to share in the responsibility to maintain the property and address any challenges as they come up. The board is in place to represent the homeowners. New members of the HOA are frequently unaccustomed to dealing with these issues and are unaware of their role in the process. With that, a major part of the HOA board mandate is managing personalities.
As with most situations in which people need to come to a consensus, there are likely to be disagreements. In some cases, discussion and a rational back and forth can be effective in forging solutions. In others, it is not so easy.