Handling community expenses is taxing enough for a homeowners association board; you can imagine how problematic it is to raise HOA dues. No one likes to pay more than s/he has to, and with raising HOA dues, you can bet that the board is bracing for a tidal wave of complaints from residents.
While the association tries to keep the dues as low as possible, it takes a lot of money to maintain an entire community! In fact, a massive chunk of the funds is used to maintain the look of a neighborhood as well as ensure that facilities are clean and the amenities are working properly. Not cheap at all.
And if you think low dues are better, think again. Super low dues could hurt the community down the line and we’ll tell you why in a second.
If the association is thinking about raising the dues, what factors should be considered? How do you raise HOA dues properly and avoid potential conflict with residents? Here are some tips to get you started:
Advantages of Increasing Your HOA Dues
Don’t think the extra funding will only affect your pockets. Raising the HOA dues will benefit the entire neighborhood!
Keep Up With Inflation
Is your HOA around for several years already? If the answer is yes, then there’s a good chance that the current dues are no longer enough. Thanks to inflation, prices rise over time, and your HOA has to keep up.
You simply can’t expect maintenance and construction companies to charge the same amount each year. The construction and maintenance services that the HOA manages are more expensive now. Also, the HOA dues are used to fund projects that the community benefits from, like new playgrounds, pristine walkways, parks, new lounge areas, clean pools, well-maintained outdoor facilities, etc. To meet the rising costs, the HOA dues have to be adjusted every now and then.
Save for Large Community Upkeep
If the dues are too low, the association won’t have enough funds to solve maintenance problems or even take care of general HOA upkeep.
As a resident, you might not be aware of all the expenses needed to maintain an entire community. From cleaning the clubhouse to cutting the grass, fixing broken lamposts, to reroofing community facilities, these maintenance projects require money. These routine expenses have to be taken care of to extend the life of the structures in the neighborhood. By increasing the HOA dues, your community will save more on extensive maintenance work.
Increase Property Values
No one likes to live in a rundown neighborhood. By raising the HOA dues, the association could maintain the community, add extra amenities, and improve your property values over time. With a well-kept and welcoming community, your neighborhood will attract more residents for years to come!
Be Prepared for Major Emergencies
Depending on how your neighborhood is structured, the HOA might be responsible for things like water, electric lines, or roadways. These amenities require regular repairs and maintenance, especially when natural disasters strike. Even if your community has insurance, the deductibles, non-covered costs, and other expenses must be taken care of. The association should have enough money saved up for Homeowners Association Emergencies.
Add More Exciting Amenities
New community amenities are needed to ensure that outdoor living spaces work for everyone within the neighborhood. With enough funds, your HOA could afford that new sidewalk lighting that neighboring communities have. Your HOA could finally revamp that old pool or add wheelchair-friendly walkways all over the neighborhood. With more funds, you and the rest of the residents could enjoy a higher standard of living and a beautiful living space that you’d be proud to show off!
Potential Downsides to Raising HOA Fees
Some residents might not be aware of all the things it takes to care for the entire community, and there lies the problem.
For regular residents, raising HOA dues simply means more expenses that they have to pay. And let’s face it, no one wants to spend more money on HOA dues — especially people who are used to paying far lower fees for years. Raising HOA dues might affect the overall vibe of the neighborhood, causing conflicts between residents and HOA board members. The association might deal with bitter arguments with residents and more complaint letters. But as long as you’re clear about all the benefits of raising the HOA dues, they’ll come around.
Extra Work for the Board
More expenses for residents mean more work for HOA members. The residents could start a dispute and drag their feet to delay the inevitable. During HOA meetings, you and the rest of the board members will deal with mountains of complaints about the higher dues. It’s a hassle, really, but by focusing on improving the community and letting people know about it, you might present a compelling argument that’ll convince residents.
How to Raise HOA Dues Without Causing Conflicts
Yes, residents would try to be intentionally difficult to avoid raising HOA dues, but disputes shouldn’t keep the association from doing what’s right for the community. Here are some tips that will make things easier for everyone.
- This is not a good time to surprise homeowners with increased HOA fees! Give the residents a heads up about raising dues.
- Discuss the HOA budget during meetings and encourage members to debate the HOA dues adjustments
- If the dues are super-low, compare the old fees to the current expenses of maintaining the community to assure residents that the increase is much-needed
- Present a cost-benefit analysis that shows how the higher dues could improve the neighborhood’s property values and boost community satisfaction down the line
- Present all the planned community upgrades that will need a lot of funding. Be sure to highlight the benefits of these upgrades
- Create a list of all the essential repairs and maintenance costs that the dues cover, explain why adjustments are needed to cover the expenses
- Be honest, be transparent. Explain why the increase is needed and what HOA could do to keep the dues low
Need help increasing your community’s homeowner’s association dues? Silvercreek Association Management is here to help! Our team of professional management experts can help the association assess the level of dues needed to meet community goals. We provide customized solutions to meet resident’s individual needs. To learn more about our services, contact us now and schedule a proposal.