10 Reasons for the “Disconnect” Between the Board and the Owners in Your Community Association
I have been managing various forms of real estate in Florida since 1972. Since that time I have contemplated why there is a “disconnect” between a Board of Directors and their Unit Owners. To the Unit Owner, the Board does not understand what the unit owners want, need and have to endure. And with that, the Board will say, “It is right there in the documents, why don’t they read?” On the other hand, the Unit Owners are oblivious to what they agreed to when they took title to their unit/lot, etc. The Unit Owners will then say to themselves (or in some cases, out loud!), “They are dictators and they want to infringe on my rights!” Like most disputes in life there is miscommunication between parties, and hence, this disconnect that seems to be typical in community associations.
In general terms, the Unit Owners don’t seem to “get it” and the Board doesn’t “communicate it”. Today I will explain why the Owners don’t seem to “get it” and what an Owner could do to improve their understanding of what their community association does or does not do for them and with that knowledge the reasons why.
What I find is that, in general, Unit Owners do not understand the following about community association living:
1. What is the association responsible for?
2. What am I, the unit owner, responsible for?
3. What do our assessments pay for?
4. Why are the association’s assessments so high?
5. What is the role of the Board of Directors and why do we need them?
6. What are the legal differences between an HOA, PUD, Condominium and what do I live in? How does that affect me too?
7. What is the difference between an Operating Account and Reserve Accounts?
8. Why do we have to have different accounts, funds and savings?
9. What does the Property Manager do and why do we need one?
10. Why does enforcing the rules have an impact on property values?
If everyone who lived in an association thoroughly understood these questions and agreed to abide by the documents, statutes, and rules and regulations, life would be beautiful, the sun would shine and the birds would sing. However, that is not usually the case in community associations and educating the Unit Owners will be an ongoing process. Due to this “disconnect”, the Board, management and staff will have to attempt to continually engage and educate the Unit Owners on these points for the foreseeable future.
This post is part of the SugarTone: Sweet Business Blogging Contest.