There is more to a homeowner association than meets the eye. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, with these associations dealing with regular challenges and potential pitfalls that can cost them money and anger residents.

Knowledge of the most common homeowner association mistakes makes it easier to avoid trouble. Here are five mistakes that come up time after time:

  • Neglecting to follow governing documents: Every homeowner association has governing documents in place, so it’s critical to follow the terms and conditions down to every last detail. For example, if the homeowner association violates the governing documents, residents may become upset.
  • Informal meetings: It sounds harmless, but informal homeowner association meetings can cause a major divide. Not only can it upset board members, but it can also do the same to residents. Every meeting has to be formally noticed.
  • Lack of communication: It’s not always easy to keep an open line of communication with residents, but it’s one of the most important responsibilities of a homeowner association.
  • Making bad hires: For instance, maybe you need to hire a contractor to assist with repairs. While it’s important to consider all your options, hiring an insider, such as someone you or a board member knows, can result in a conflict of interest.
  • Acting before seeking legal advice: If a serious issue comes to light, such as a disagreement with a homeowner that has the potential to result in a lawsuit, it’s best to take a step back and assess the situation before doing anything. This is often the best time to seek legal advice, as doing so will help prevent mistakes that could come back to haunt you.

It can be a challenge to avoid these common homeowner association mistakes, but with the right plan in place, such as the proper governing documents, it’s easier to stay on track.

In the event that your homeowner association runs into legal trouble, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice before taking the first step. Doing so will help protect the rights of the homeowner association, while also implementing a strategy for dealing with the issue in a timely and effective manner.