There are now over 300,000 homeowner associations in the US, and the number is quickly rising. Homeowner associations are a beneficial way to structure the governing of a building, because they ensure decisions are made for the benefit of the greatest number of owners. The laws and regulations that a HOA board comes up with are there for the protection of the owners. They can also be frustrating for owners who believe that they should be able to do as they wish with their property.
So, let’s say that you want to pass a decision by your homeowner association board, but have encountered some resistance. What can you do?
1. Learn the rules. Knowing the laws of the association will give you a framework to work within when you’re presenting your position. Tying in your proposal with existing policy is the quickest way to prove it is a viable position.
2. Don’t be a stranger. Your fellow board members are also your neighbors, and you’re more likely to be held in good esteem if you have a good relationship with them outside of the boardroom.
3. Appeal to the good of the whole. Any argument you make is much more likely to be accepted if it includes reasoning about why it’s the right choice for the future of the building as a whole, and all its owners.
If you continue to encounter resistance to your idea, remember that being on the board will give you a voice in many other future decisions that will shape the health of your building. Bide your time, state your arguments carefully, and you will be able to make your voice heard.