If you belong to one of the nation’s estimated 300,000 homeowner or condominium associations, there is a good chance that you are content with your living arrangement. National surveys show that most of the 60 million Americans who live in homeowner and condominium associations are happy in their communities, but not all association boards govern as responsibly as they should. When mismanaged, this lack of responsibility can lead to homeowner frustration, factional conflict and, in the worst cases, expensive lawsuits.
A national research study, conducted by Zogby International, showed that close to nine out of every 10 community association residents believe their elected homeowner board members strive to serve the best interests of the community. While this statistic may seem overwhelmingly positive, if only five in 100 boards are underperforming, at least 15,000 associations are not reaching their full potential.
That’s where Governance Guidelines, recently developed by Community Associations Institute (CAI), come into play. These guidelines can help community association boards identify and meet basic benchmarks of responsible governance; the cornerstone of a successful community. A number of potential problem areas, including annual meetings, rules, grievances, appeals, assessments and more, are addressed by the guidelines, which can help associations increase
Homeowner satisfaction. CAI says that their guidelines can enlighten boards, prompt constructive community dialogue and lead to more responsible, responsive and transparent governance -; not to mention more content homeowners. “There are a number of communities, especially new and struggling associations, which can benefit from these guidelines,” said Thomas Skiba, the chief executive officer of the non-profit CAI, which currently has 29,000 members. “We know there are community association boards that need to be reminded that residents deserve to have their reasonable expectations met.
Communities that want to move beyond the Governance Guidelines can adopt Rights and Responsibilities for Better Communities; 42 principles and practices designed to help association-governed communities promote harmony, enhance communication and reduce the potential for conflict. The program spells out rights and responsibilities for both residents and community association leaders. Read more…