Keeping the Peace Difficult Conversations with Neighbors

Keeping the Peace: Difficult Conversations with Neighbors

In community residences, good fences do make good neighbors.

But with some pressing issues when you have no choice but to be vocal about your problems.

Community boards and homeowner associations often hire third-party services like Community Management Associates to have these difficult conversations. 

These people are professionals who assist homeowners’ associations (HOA) in improving the community. 

Advice from a Community Management Company

The associate manager is their primary point of contact. Aside from accounting and management experience, they must also have well-developed communication skills. This particular skill set is necessary to maintain a professional relationship with the residents.

Here’s how managers keep things cordial while still being stern. 

  • Never Be on the Offensive

It is crucial to be open to resolution when raising an issue with your neighbors. Make sure your priority is solving the problem. Never use it to vent at your neighbor.

Blindly reacting in the heat of the moment does more harm than good. You want a dialogue, not an argument.

  • Do Not Add Past Grievances to the Issue at Hand

This piling up of old complaints is the worst thing you could do. An allegation immediately puts your neighbor on the defensive. 

Your conversation should only center around the issue at hand. People often make the mistake of pulling other residents into the mix. Instead of strengthening your argument, this only makes your neighbor feel attacked.

They are more likely to lash out in anger, turning your issue into a full-blown fight.

  • Try to See Things from Their Perspective

 For example, water from your upstairs neighbor may be trickling into your terrace daily. Instead of stomping there to argue, investigate a bit. They may be simply be watering plants, unaware of any issues downstairs. You can now calmly approach them after being adequately informed of the situation.

Sometimes conflicts may be unavoidable. A neighbor’s damaged car may block your gate. 

In such cases be as accommodating as possible. Chances are they’ll do the same for you when the time comes.

  • Build a Healthy Relationship

Say hello when you run into them, help them carry luggage upstairs when possible. This practice helps build healthy rapport. 

So, when the time comes, they are more likely to be amenable to your grievances.

  • Keep Track in Case of Repeated Offenses

Some neighbors don’t seem to get the memo. If they are not open to resolving things peacefully, make it a point to note down details. 

Since the culprit has chosen to ignore your repeated requests, you can inform the associate housing manager about the issue. Since it solidifies your argument, your log is sure to come in handy during this time.

  • File a Complaint with the Board Only as a Last Resort

Inform the board only if the issue with your neighbor persists despite your repeated requests. Filing a complaint can damage relationships and should be done only as a last resort. 

After deliberations, the community members and the board to discuss your issue may introduce new penalties and fines preventing such violations in the future. 

This decision affects the entire community rather than just you and the offender. So, it is essential to make communication and resolution the primary weapons in your arsenal.


What Does a Community Management Association Company Do

What Does a Community Management Association Company Do?

Ever wondered why your cul-de-sac was so peaceful growing up? No fights, clean lanes, friendly neighbors- your local community association probably had something to do with all this.

Local Community Associations 

Neighborhood homeowners play an essential role in maintaining common spaces and improving community welfare. 

A community association comprises volunteers, as well as elected and mandatory members. Larger communities often have member fees, while smaller neighborhoods are mostly civic bodies.

When to Hire a Community Management Association Company

With an efficient community association at the helm, people don’t easily notice things like property taxes or association fees and vendor rates. It is when this system breaks that they realize the importance of their roles in their daily lives. 

In dire cases, a community management association company is called to help oil the gears of this resident community.

Role of the Community Management Association Company

 It offers assistance to the HOA (homeowners association) in administration or finance. This service helps the community association a great deal. More prominent neighborhoods benefit particularly from the budget sessions and vendor billing tips that the company associate provides.

Community management association companies have been around for some time. Businesses like Atlanta’s Community Management Associates have over three decades of experience.

They are usually hired by overworked community presidents or stressed boards of directors. And after signing relevant paperwork, the company starts on its role. 

Role of Community Association Company Manager

A community association manager is dispatched to the neighborhood as a representative. The manager also helps the struggling local association in tasks like neighborhood budget planning, professional billing and common area maintenance.

While his roles may include finance and administration, his goal is always to enrich the entire community.

Finance and Administrative Skills

 The company manager is skilled in community management while being an expert in negotiations and conflict resolutions. If the board of directors are hesitant about loan applications, they can consult with the community association manager. 

The same can be done for advice on tax returns, service contractors and venue management.

All good community management association companies interact with the people of the neighborhood. The residents provide crucial feedback on necessary changes for protection against vandalism or the monthly billings.

Importance of Community Management Association Company

A neighborly bond is a valuable thing, but it can be a con in some instances. Community volunteers and the board of directors are often reluctant to broach the topic of finance with their fellow residents. 

Hiring the service of a management company like Community Management Associates can easily solve this problem. A third party will have no problem talking bills, fees and finance with the neighborhood residents.

Even tricky conversations regarding complaints and fines can be presided over by the community management association company. The manager relieves an enormous load off the community president/board’s back. As a result, they can focus on more important work like budgets and community safety.

Hiring a community management association company is the answer if you want your neighborhood to work like well-oiled clockwork.

Choosing between a Loan or a Special Assessment

Choosing between a Loan or a Special Assessment 

With over 58% of homeowners residing in HOAs, deciding on a loan or a special assessment for HOA funding is a popular question in the United States. HOAs are often found to encounter unprecedented situations where they need to allocate funds for repairing, replacing, or maintaining shared facilities within the property premises. Ideally, this money should come from the HOA’s reserve funds. 

However, when reserve funds are not plentiful, HOA boards have to arrange for the money through a bank loan or a special assessment from homeowners. 

The need for additional funds for your HOA may be a consequence of poor budget allocation. Not having a well-planned budget up to date with rising costs can be detrimental to your community’s overall prosperity. You can have a tough time securing a loan from the bank, or when seeking funds for a special assessment, you may face a backlash from homeowners who are already paying a hefty amount in maintenance and membership fees. 

We can help you manage your residential community’s financial problems successfully. 

Difference Between Loan and Special Assessment 

A special assessment or a bank loan are the two financial tools available to your HOA Board when there is a lack of funds. Take an informed decision based on your facts and circumstances when choosing between both. 

Special Assessments

Special Assessment is an amount collected from homeowners collectively to build the budget to repair or build common areas within your association that your insurance does not cover. The funds collected for this purpose are not to benefit any individual homeowner but for the entire community. That is why homeowners are sometimes reluctant to pay for special assessments. 

Special assessments cannot be planned prematurely; they are fixed based on the demands of a particular project. Homeowners usually pay through monthly installments, on completing project milestones or sometimes even in the form of a one-time payment. 

Special assessments are relatively harder to execute as they are only sanctioned after a vote from the community. They also burden homeowners with having to pay a significant amount within a short period. This might harm the reputation of your HOA. 

However, special assessments ensure that once funds are raised, a project is completed at one go without unnecessary delays. 


Bank loans are an excellent way to arrange for funds to complete a project within your community. When the budget is severely underfunded and exorbitant to ask for a special assessment, taking a loan is your best option. 

Unlike special assessments, bank loans can be paid back over several years. Most homeowners prefer this over having to pay a hefty sum upfront. Taking loans also masks the structural gaps in your association’s operations when there is underfunding and helps keep your community’s reputation intact to new buyers. 

However, bank loans may have high-interest rates at times. It can even get hard to meet all the requirements necessary for securing a bank loan. It is advised that you take the help of an association management company like CMA for this purpose. 

What should you choose?

Whether you should go for a special assessment or a bank loan to bridge the underfunding depends on the kind of project at hand. If it is a quick and small task that requires a basic amount, go for a special assessment. If it is a size-able infrastructural investment that would need homeowners to pay thousands of dollars, you should opt for a bank loan. 


How Community Associations Can Regulate Holiday Displays and Lights

Holiday displays are one of the staples of these periods. People dedicate entire days to make their home look as festive during Christmas. Some even like to tour around town to watch these arrangements at play.

While it’s something almost everyone loves, we need to consider what they entail as well. These decorations are usually filled with light patterns. During the night, they might look amazing, yet they can also disrupt neighbors.

We also have other displays, like inflatables, musical displays, and more. Residential management can be a challenge when it comes to the holidays.

The importance of not being too strict

HOA Leader has several tips to help residential management keep things under control without making homeowners angry. That’s important because communities can become hostile if they feel their decorations are being attacked.

Thankfully, it’s not different from what community associations already do. It all boils down to agreements with the individuals and families within your residence.

Be reasonable

After you’ve set your goals for the holiday display regulations, dissect every rule. The goal is to make them as reasonable as possible so that homeowners are more likely to be happy with them. Community reunions and communication are vital to ensure satisfaction.

Agree on what’s acceptable

If you didn’t communicate with your homeowners before, now it’s the time. Make sure that your regulations come from your residents. That means discussing them and gathering feedback to adapt your rules accordingly.

Reserve rights

Keep the right to approve and dismiss specific holiday displays. It’s difficult to find what’s disrupting before someone sets up an overwhelming display. After discussing the rules, make sure you can ask for specific decoration removals.

Keep the holiday spirit

Sure, keeping your association’s image is important for many communities. However, the holidays are an exception in many ways. These displays often do more good than harm, so don’t be too tight with them.

Simple tips you can follow

Additionally, Spectrum also has a helpful piece with tips on how you can tackle residential management during the holidays. Unlike the previous advice, these guidelines translate standard management methods into holiday management.

These recommendations will make it easier to speak with your occupants without coming off as hostile.

Avoid discrimination

Don’t favor some residents over the others. Holidays are religious in their foundation, so avoid religious schemes and decorations if you believe your community might feel uncomfortable with them.

Standard community regulations

You might need to give up some ground during the holidays, but maintain rules about noise, bright lights, and other coexistence-related guidelines. Residents should be free to decorate their homes but not to disturb their neighbors.

Provide display advise

Instead of banning certain decorations directly, you want to approach homeowners politely. Make sure you provide constructive criticism on how their displays might disturb neighbors, and encourage community feedback.

Use schedules

Most importantly, set specific times for turning on the decorations as well as when they can display with all their features. Musical and pattern displays can be beautiful but also overwhelming when turned on for too long.