How to Explain Your HOA Community Fee Increase

It isn’t news most homeowners want to hear: that assessments might increase. But sometimes, a fee increase is the best way to keep an association in good financial health, and sometimes, increases are unavoidable. Here are some of the reactions homeowners typically have when they hear that their fees are about to increase, followed by the related rationales for an increase.

“I can’t afford the increase.”

When you live in an association, you need to be willing to share the costs, as described in the governing documents you agreed upon in escrow. Keep in mind that if the association does not maintain its property, real-estate values can decline.

“I probably won’t be living here in 15 years when the streets need repaving. Why should I have to pay now?”

Senior citizens and young people living in condos they consider to be starter homes often pose this question. The problem with this “short-timer” logic is that these people are themselves benefiting from the use of the streets, pool, and other shared assets paid for by members who lived there before. Members should pay for the incremental use of these items each year they live there.

“Why don’t we just have a special assessment for a specific project?”

It can be difficult to collect money when you suddenly have a significant expense. It’s better to obtain it gradually, so the funds are there when you need them. Also, a special assessment unfairly penalizes homeowners who happen to live in the association at the time.

We hope this helps you combat some common questions when fee increases happen in your associations. With SmartCommunications, you can get ahead of these questions by sending out notifications via text, email, or voicemail to your community. Not currently using SmartCommunications? Schedule a demo at Smartwebs.com/demo.