5 tips for responding to HOA spending complaints

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Challenges to overspending in homeowners associations can be beneficial. The issues may be justified and provide opportunities for change. As a member of your HOA’s board, it’s important to take each spending challenge seriously. Here are five tips on how to respond to spending complaints.

  1. Provide education. Ask your bookkeeper, accountant or property management company to discuss your association’s financial statements and standing at a meeting. If your association creates a newsletter, include status updates on projects (whether they’re on target or, if not, why) and other points of financial interest to your homeowners.
  2. Present a plan. Working with your property management company (if you have one), develop a thorough presentation for homeowners that explains the budget, weighs pros and cons of increasing reserve funds, discusses when special assessment are needed, and shows how the board works to maintain and improve property values.
  3. Bring in experts. Ask your property manager, insurance agent, HOA attorney and any other relevant professionals to attend a meeting. Homeowners can ask questions and learn directly from the experts why costs are increasing.
  4. Offer a forum. You don’t want to spend your entire meeting repeatedly addressing one owner’s concerns. If you find this occurring, offer to talk with the homeowner outside the meeting. Or, if several homeowners have similar concerns, consider holding a forum where board members can learn more about those concerns.
  5. Be responsive. Never dismiss spending complaints. Remember, as a board member it is your fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of your HOA. While you may volunteer your time for the board, you essentially work for your community’s homeowners.  It’s important to give each complaint its due consideration and attention.

This article contains general information. Individual financial situations are unique; please, consult your financial advisor or tax attorney before utilizing any of the information contained in this article.

 

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Source: HOAleader.com, Press-Telegram News
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