It also presents a great opportunity to build a sense of community for new and longer-term residents alike. The welcome kit often comes in the form of a website devoted to homeowner needs.
What Information Should New Owners Receive?
With the help of your community management company’s HOA resources, you can develop a communication checklist. This list should include all information items important for new homeowners. The more homeowners know about the HOA, the smoother things are likely to run.
The following list provides suggestions for the kind of information you should disseminate on your HOA resources website:
- Association Documents. These include the entire CC&Rs, bylaws and any other rules governing members. It’s important to include this information even if the homeowner received copies during their closing.
- Forms. Any forms homeowners are required to complete and submit to the HOA should be included. An association may need to collect information from its members through established forms.
- Newsletters. If you publish a newsletter, past copies, as well as the current issue, provide excellent HOA resources for new homeowners.
- Minutes from Board Meetings. The activities of the HOA Board are critical for all members to know about, especially new homeowners. These minutes capture priority projects, pending regulation changes, new HOA resources and other association business.
- Management Company Information. You should include relevant information about the management company. For example, useful information includes a management company overview, contact information and process, available services and more.
- HOA Resources. Your management company may provide a host of HOA resources to facilitate operations. You should list these HOA resources and how they can be accessed. Examples include maintenance requests, CC&R concerns, online assessment payment options, architectural submittals, community websites and more.
- Board and Committees. At a minimum, you should provide a list of the current Board members with contact information. In addition, identify the committees operating, who the chairperson is for each one, who the members are, what projects they’re working on and how a new homeowner can volunteer to participate.
- Assessment Payments. New homeowners need to know the amount they need to pay, when they need to pay it, and how they can make those payments. In addition to this information, you should also outline what happens in the event of non-payment. Penalties, late fees and attorney’s fees should be clearly stated, along with important deadlines.
- Amenities. You should provide a list of available amenities, along with pertinent information on rules and hours of operation.
Keeping HOA members informed is a great way to build a better sense of community. By knowing the ins and outs of community management and the available HOA resources, new homeowners are more likely to be active participants in the association. A comprehensive website containing the above information provides a valuable tool for homeowners to review during the sales process and as an ongoing reference after they move into the community.