The Importance of Communication
Many of the problems that face community associations have their origin in poor communications. Many lot owners have little contact or interest in the association until such time as they complain about some activity or lack of service. Community associations that are the most successful make an effort to keep their members informed on a regular basis so that a trusting relationship is developed.
In our experience, the biggest challenge to a well-run association does not come from a large number of members opposing the association board but is caused by a complete lack of interest and cooperation by many lot owners. If a substantial number of apathetic lot owners are only contacted when the association needs their approval of some action, those lot owners are less likely to vote for even the most meritorious proposal.
Association websites can be created and maintained for a modest amount and help associations maintain a high level of communication with their members. Regular newsletters and/or emailing the minutes of board and membership meetings help develop trust between the members and the association.
When amending the declarations, something that is occasionally required, it is important to note that a failure to vote at a meeting or send in a ballot by a lot owner counts as a “no” vote against the proposed amendment. If your association contemplates changes to your declarations in the near future, it is important to communicate regularly with your members before the time comes for a vote.