Helpful Hints


A collection of thoughts and practices that will allow you to create the best community association for those who live in that community.

  1. Publish a newsletter on a regular schedule. Include personal information about residents (i.e., births, graduations, announcements). Welcome new residents.
  2. Create a welcoming committee for new residents to answer their questions about community living.
  3. Develop a web site and develop links to other community association websites.
  4. Distribute questionnaires to residents focusing on opinions and needs for the operation of the community association; publish the results in the community newsletter.
  5. Publish a community calendar.
  6. Make board minutes readily available to Co-owners.
  7. Make monthly financial statements and annual audits available to Co-owners.
  8. Use signs discreetly within your community and develop an aesthetically pleasing standard of graphics to create an identity for your community.
  9. Be reasonable when adopting new rules and regulations.
  10. Publish new rules and regulations.
  11. Word new rules, regulations and signs in a positive manner.
  12. Say “Thank you”.
  13. Say “Hello” to other residents.
  1. Develop an active committee structure to support the Board of Directors.
  2. Actively solicit committee members.
  3. Use committees as a place to grow future leaders (i.e., board members).
  4. Develop a mission statement for your community. Evaluate the mission statement on an annual basis.
  5. Share the mission statement with all the members of the community.
  6. Send a copy of your newsletter to local politicians.
  7. Encourage local businesses to advertise in the community newsletter.
  8. Encourage voter registration among the residents of your community.
  9. Seek the participation of local political leaders to participate at special or annual meetings.
  10. Take an active position on local community issues.
  11. Include information regarding local facilities (i.e., schools, hospitals, libraries, law enforcement, religious institutions, etc.)
  12. Hold an annual community garage sale.
  13. Distribute quarterly financial statements to all the Co-owners.
  14. Prepare an adequate budget to avoid deficits.
  15. Encourage Co-owners to purchase their homeowners insurance from the agent for the community association. This will eliminate conflicts in coverage, allow for a blending of the blending of the two policies and provide better compliance with the insurance provisions of the Master Deed and Bylaws.
  1. Limit board meetings to 90 minutes to two hours. After that time meetings tend to become unproductive.
  2. Have detailed agendas published in advance of the board meeting.
  3. As part of the agenda include a section that would allow for a board of director to disclose a conflict of interest with any item on the agenda.
  4. Provide a forum at the beginning of each board of director meeting for co-owner comments or questions.
  5. Actively market attendance for annual meetings.
  6. Actively recruit nominations for openings on the board of directors prior to an annual meeting.
  7. Draft rules and regulations in a positive and constructive manner. Be reasonable.
  8. Communicate rules and regulations in a clear manner that will encourage compliance.
  9. Carefully adopt rules that are healthy for the entire community; practical, clear and enforceable.
  10. All rules can have exceptions.
  11. Be reasonable in enforcing rules and regulations.
  12. Consider limiting the number of terms an individual may serve as a board of director.
  13. Offer to use mediation or arbitration to settle disputes.
  14. Become a member of the Community Associations Institute.
  15. Provide training for board members.
  16. Consider a legal audit for the governing documents for your community to make certain they are in compliance with current law, to eliminate any ambiguities and conflicts.
  1. Develop energy savings and water conservation programs.
  2. Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient
  3. Celebrate holidays.
  4. Hold a year-end holiday party.
  5. Hold an annual association picnic or block party.
  6. Follow the standards of the American Disabilities Act throughout your community.
  7. Create safe common areas for children to play. If you have playground equipment perform regular inspections to make certain it is safe and properly maintained.
  8. Encourage recycling if it is available.
  9. Create a social committee.
  1. Make sure that community operations are resident friendly.
  2. Make sure the community is well-lit.
  3. Participate in a Neighborhood Watch Program if it is available.
  4. Eliminate any evidence of graffiti immediately.
  5. Ask the local law enforcement and fire department officials to tour the community and make recommendations to improve security and fire safety.
  6. Develop a fire safety program.
  7. Communicate to residents fire safety practices for their home such as fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.
  8. Encourage the use of carbon monoxide detectors.
  9. Recommend good security practices for homes such as good quality entrance locks or letting a neighbor know when a resident is on vacation.
  10. Create a list of vendors with good reputations that are commonly used within the community and make the list available to residents.
  1. Meet with local real estate agents to understand the strong and weak market points of your community association.
  2. Hold an open house for real estate agents and stress the strong points of your community.
  3. Encourage remodeling, upgrading and repairs of homes or condominiums by expediting request and encouraging them rather than restricting them.
  4. Find a realtor(s) who will provide updates on sales and closings within your community and circulate the information throughout the community, possibly through the newsletter.
  5. Distribute copies of the community newsletter to realtors.
  6. Maintain common areas and amenities to enhance first impressions (curb appeal) of your community.
  7. Make improvements that prepare your community for the future. Take advantage of new technologies in construction materials communications (i.e., wiring a high-rise condominium to provide access to the internet).
  1. Commission an independent reserve study.
  2. Update a reserve study annually.
  3. Encourage resident participation in a finance committee.
  4. Adequately fund reserves to avoid special assessments.
  5. Develop an investment policy and share the policy with the Co-owners.
  6. Quarterly distribute a financial statement to the Co-owners.
  7. Adequately budget to avoid deficits.