How HOAs could effectively communicate policy changes to residents

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Firm News

The homeowners association (HOA) plays a crucial role in maintaining the order and integrity of a community. With this goal in mind, they are entrusted to enforce neighborhood policies, such as restrictions on house aesthetics, use of communal spaces and collection of fees. While HOAs have the flexibility to establish policies tailored for their respective communities, they must keep them aligned with Texas law. When HOAs must adjust and change their policies, communicating with the residents is vital to prevent confusion, disputes and potential legal implications.

Transparency is crucial in maintaining a good relationship between the HOA board and the residents. When there are policy updates, residents expect their HOA to relay these changes in a timely and coherent manner. Here are four strategies that could help HOAs efficiently disseminate information to their communities.

Release an advance notice

Before implementing an updated policy, it is best to give residents ample time to review the proposed changes and seek clarifications, if necessary. For example, when the amount of monthly community fees changes, the HOA should provide an advance notice explaining its reason and its proposed implementation date. Releasing an advance notice also expresses the HOA’s respect for the homeowners.

Utilize multiple channels of communication

Every resident has a preferred mode of communication. It is best to utilize every available channel to ensure the information reaches every community member. HOAs could inform the residents of the policy change through physical mail, community boards, emails, social media platforms or their official website.

Conduct question and answer sessions

Whenever there are new policies implemented, residents may have questions or confusion. The HOA could organize a meeting to discuss the updated regulations with the residents. This could also be an opportunity to gather valuable feedback before fully implementing the new policies.

Issue reminders and follow-ups

Issuing reminders about the policy change before and after its implementation would benefit both residents and the HOA board. It could ensure that residents remain informed and compliant with the new regulations.

Unclear rules, misunderstandings, and questionable demands often result in disputes between HOAs and residents. HOAs should ensure that any policy change would reflect the community’s best interest. They could seek the guidance of legal professionals to ensure that policies are responsive to the community’s needs.