Real Estate News

Surviving Each Other in an HOA

Written By: Richard Thompson
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The term "communication" should have a warm connotation. It denotes a form of fellowship. However, if you believe the media, HOAs are police states with warlord boards. While there is always an element of truth in the stories, they are selected because they arent the norm like "Elderly Owner Has Condo Foreclosed", but the stories give the impression of the opposite.

Often as not, homeowners with a "my-home-is-my-castle" mentality disregard rules and regulations to challenge the HOA. Boards that are confronted by these challenges can react with defiance. Anger begets defensiveness, which invites retreat or counter attack.

Few boards have the ability to communicate "artfully." This art includes reining in outspoken directors, negotiating with vendors, soothing the ruffled feathers of feuding neighbors and enacting rules that invite compliance rather than evoke defiance.

What is communication? According to Websters, "communication" is "to have or hold intercourse or interchange of thoughts; to give, or give and receive, information, signals or messages in any way, as by talk, gestures, writing, etc." Here are some tips to improve HOA communications:

Take a >

Learn "active listening," which is actually listening and paying attention when a person is talking to you. This technique doesnt mean that you agree or disagree with what is being said; it simply lets them know that you hear them.

Learn how to >

Dont form assumptions about right or wrong. If you already have your mind made up, compromise is more difficult.

Respond to communications in a business like way and without anger. Ignoring communications from an owner who has an ax to grind often leads to more and stronger demands, and possibly personal attacks.nbsp;

Count to ten. Take a walk, a break or a breather before you react. Answers given in anger ra>

The art of surviving each other in an HOA environment has long term benefits which can help grow neighbors and friendships. This is an art worth perfecting, especially if you are in a position of leadership and authority. Excerpts from an article by Beth A. Grimm, Esq.

For more on Living in Harmony, see

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Updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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