Goodspeed: Get involved with your homeowners’ association

LINDA GOODSPEED
CORRESPONDENT
The biggest thing you can do is to get involved in the homeowner’s association and to get other like-minded owners involved with you.

QUESTION: My homeowner’s association is spending some of the association’s money to spruce up the outside area near where the president’s unit is located because he wants to sell his unit. I don’t like my money being spent in that way and a couple of my neighbors agree. We do not think it is right. Is there anything we can do?

ANSWER: The biggest thing you can do is to get involved in the homeowner’s association and to get other like-minded owners involved with you.

Members of the homeowner’s association -- like yourself -- vote in the board each year. Too many times, however, association members do not even vote in board elections or attend board meetings and the association ends up being run by a small group that has not received widespread approval or scrutiny.

Homeowner association board members have wide latitude in running the association. They are usually volunteers. Most do not have ulterior motives, but are just trying to make decisions for the whole membership. They need to hear from other members of the association.

If your board is not making what you think are good or proper decisions with the association’s money, you need to attend board meetings and speak up. Encourage other unit owners to also attend board meetings.

Get your facts straight. Show respect and restraint. Listen and volunteer your opinions in a professional manner. A shouting match is not in anyone’s interest. Get other homeowners to sign a petition about the issue you are concerned about.

If the board persists on its current path that you think is wrong, the next step is to vote them out at the next election and replace them with other members you think would be better. This is going to take time and effort on your part.

The biggest issue with homeowner associations is apathy. You need to be involved with your association, and you need to encourage other unit owners to also get involved.

Linda Goodspeed is a longtime real estate writer and author of “In and out of Darkness.” Email her at: lrgoodspeed@comcast.net.