If you recently moved into a new home that is located within a homeowner's association, then it is important you know how to interact with its governing board when necessary. Since many homeowner's associations limit your ability to make certain repairs and upgrades by requiring their prior approval, it's vital to know how to communicate with the association's board to get your work permits approved. Associations are run by their members, so many times you need to be able to effectively communicate your needs in a politically correct manner.
To this end, follow these tips for successfully interacting with your homeowner's association:
Tip: Take the Time to Carefully Read Your Homeowner's Association's CC&Rs Before Making Requests
When you purchased your home, you were given a copy of your homeowner's association's CC&Rs. Included in these documents is all of the information you need to make an official request of the association's board. In addition, the CC&Rs outline all of the things you can and cannot do with your property. It is helpful for everyone involved if you have thoroughly read and understood the CC&Rs that govern your property. This gives you and your association's board members clear guidelines to follow when you are working together on a request or problem.
Tip: Communicate with Your Neighbors Before the Homeowner's Association's Board for Issues Concerning Shared Property
If you need to make a request to your homeowner's association's board for something like building a new fence between your home and a neighbor's, then it is important that you first speak with your neighbor. It is much easier for your homeowner's association to approve your request if you have already gotten your neighbor on board with the plan. If you do not approach your neighbor and they get wind of your project, then they could block your plans.
Tip: Volunteer for Your Homeowner's Association's Board or Offer Them Your Professional Skills
If you want your homeowner's association to function like a well-oiled machine, then you should consider volunteering your time or donating your professional skills if you have them. Your homeowner's association is only as strong as its members and you have just as much right to sit on the board as any of the other residents do. And, finally, your home residing in a strong homeowner's association with a strong board will increase the value of your property when it is time to sell.