One of the services MHOAI provides is helping communities form a home owners association. The benefits include:
- Keeping residents better informed on local and state issues.
- Arranging meetings that include speakers to help educate residents about current issues and resources.
- Help foster a sense of unity among the neighborhood.
- Open and/or improve communications with management.
- Give residents a voice in their neighborhood.
- Help with changes that can arise with a new manager or landlord.
- Show others you are an organized community that cares.
Most asked questions about starting a home owners association:
Can you still be a member of MHOAI and not have a home owners association?
Yes. There are many communities that do not have local associations but their residents are members of MHOAI Most residents will benefit from MHOAI membership. Our membership also includes adult children of residents who join to receive the quarterly newsletter, MHOAI on the Move. When residents of a community are ready to form a local association, we can help answer their many questions and meet with the new association to help get the community started.
If I become a board member of a home owners association, how much of my time will be needed?
This is a very open question, it depends on the size of your community and the number of members elected to your board. It can take time for the first board to set up by-laws and establish the protocol for future boards. This takes place after the first election by the community. It is then up to the community to decide how often you need to meet. What commonly happens is the first board meets 3 or 4 times to decide on the by-laws, how to handle any community problems, and let the community know that there is an association. Most communities have meetings every three months to update residents and have speakers such as your alderman, and other elected officials. Many invite someone with the local police department to establish a community watch, or learn about issues that effect their area. Most communities offer a newsletter every three months to let residents know about a future meeting and other news that affects them. It can take up as much, or as little, time as the board members feel is needed or are able to give to the association.
Can I be evicted for helping to form an association?
No, there are laws that protect the residents. In other communities, such as condominiums, residents are expected to join the home owners association. If a manager or landlord would harass board members anyway, there are many avenues that can help stop this. Residents of the community have the right to decide if they want an association. Once organized, management and residents can work together to maintain a neighborhood that will attract new home owners, while maintaining a neighborhood that enhances the value of the homes.
What if we start an association and management will not meet with us?
There are some development companies that will not let their managers meet with board members. This does not mean that you can not improve your community. Your local association can still foster a sense of unity and stay educated on both local and state issues that affect your chosen lifestyle. In time maybe your landlord/manager will understand that working together will help all involved.
What is the hardest thing to deal with once an association is established?
Once you have established an association and time has passed, many of the problems your community had has been worked out. Now you find there is no sure cure for your local problems until a state law has been passed. Or, due to your success, residents may no longer feel a need for an association. You may find most residents are now happy with the way things are going. Some associations have dissolved once immediate problems were addressed only to find themselves re-forming again 2 or more years later. Reasons for reforming an association include: there is no longer a voice for the residents; or a new landlord/manager has become involved. An association can help smooth the way for changes that can occur in a community. There are many community activities that the time and energy involved in dealing with problems can now be used to maintain and better a community.