Condo association problems you can solve now
As a member of the condo board or property management team, there are going to be some problems that are simply beyond your scope of capabilities. There is no way you can prevent every problem that may ever occur. You can get ahead of most of these situations, though, with simple communication and respect.
1. Feeling left out
Condo owners who feel left out of association decisions may be less inclined to cooperate with new or existing rules. Don’t worry, there’s an easy fix: make sure all condo owners know when and where association meetings are held, and what is on the agenda. Be sure there is enough notice for owners to come to the meetings if they want to, and always include space in the agenda for residents to submit issues they’d like to address ahead of time.
Owners who feel like a valued member of the condo association are more likely to feel like the community offers an excellent quality of life.
2. Following the rules
Any parent or teacher can tell you how important it is for everyone to follow the same set of rules. If the condo association prohibits swimming after 10 p.m. and there are people in the pool after 10 p.m., problems will follow. It may not truly be a issue that people are swimming later than allowed; the problem lies in the fact that if one group of residents doesn’t follow some community guidelines, other, more egregious rule-breaking could happen.
Questions might arise such as, “So if John can go swimming at midnight, and Jackie can put flamingoes in her yard, I can paint the front of my condo neon orange, right?” Are there rules in your condo association guidelines that could stand to change? Probably. Feel free to put anything that arises on the agenda for the next meeting.
3. Neighborly disputes
Maybe you’re really lucky, and all of your neighbors get along splendidly. Then again, maybe you’re not. While it isn’t the condo board’s job to babysit, there’s a lot you can do to minimize disputes among neighbors. Most of the tools available to you are in your association guidelines.
Common disputes might include the use of community spaces, parking issues, and the most common problem of all – noise. The source of noise complaints could be anything from barking dogs to thin walls to generally noisy neighbors.
In most instances, communication is the real key to preventing and solving problems between neighbors. (In fact, Evercondo is a great communication tool for condo properties.) Particularly in the case of noise problems, often the noisy neighbor doesn’t even realize how much they are overheard by others.
4. Budget problems
No one wants to get hit with an assessment. An extra, unexpected bill isn’t a good experience for anyone. Not only do residents dislike the added costs, but it also doesn’t put the condo board and management in a good place when they have to become bill collectors.
But no matter how well you plan and budget, there will always be surprise expenses. The truth is, though, you can prepare for surprises – at least, to some degree. If the condo association budget doesn’t have enough reserves set aside to cover large or unexpected expenses, work with a budget specialist to determine how you can increase the reserves without increasing condo fees.
Certainly, there are no guarantees. But if the time comes and condo residents need to pony up some extra cash, you want it to be as minimal an amount as possible.
Condo association problems don’t need to end in disaster. With some proactive communication and an action plan to dissolve disputes, your condo residents can live in harmony knowing that if they do have a problem, the condo board is right there to help them.
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What does your condo board do to alleviate condo association problems? Let us know in the comments.