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How to ensure HOA transparency

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | HOA Law |

Most planned communities in Texas are managed by their respective Homeowners Association (HOA). The HOA, a governing body composed of residents, ensures the neighborhood is well-maintained. They establish and enforce rules among residents, particularly in shared areas. They can also implement guidelines on fences, noise, pets, trees and other concerns that could affect the community’s overall image. To keep the community up to good standards, they could also collect fees from residents and impose fines on violators. However, fees and fines are the most common causes of misunderstandings between the HOA and residents.

The key to maintaining peace within the neighborhood is the transparency of HOA. Establishing transparency on rules, restrictions, fees and fines would make the HOA more credible. When the residents trust their HOA, the community can thrive together. Here are three ways the HOA can ensure transparency.

Regularly inform residents about HOA rules and restrictions

HOA rules are not set in stone; they can change as the community adapts to the changing times. The HOA needs to take the initiative to inform the residents regarding the changes in the rules. A simple annual reminder about the residents’ frequent concerns would be helpful to ensure that residents are well-informed. The HOA must also ensure that they efficiently communicate notices regarding restrictions and their corresponding fines to the residents. They must also explain why they are imposing such fees. It would be good to have these guidelines readily available on a platform accessible to all residents.

Share HOA meeting updates with residents

Open communication is a key factor in establishing transparency. Sharing HOA meeting updates, especially those involving decisions, financial status, upcoming events or improvements in the neighborhood, could encourage residents to be more involved. When residents feel included, they take shared ownership of problems and propose practical solutions. Open communication could improve the relationship between HOA and residents.

Guide residents on the hearing process

HOA usually conducts hearings to discuss resident violations. Being called to a hearing could cause fear among the residents involved. However, knowing about the hearing process could lessen their anxiety. It also shows that the HOA will objectively view the case and listen to the resident’s story.

The HOA board may be viewed as the community’s leaders, but their collaboration among residents ultimately contributes to how the community blossoms. HOA transparency is often the root cause of disputes between homeowners and HOA. So, before issues turn to legal conflicts, the HOA board must take measures to gain the community’s trust, ensuring that they serve the best interest of the whole community.