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How to be a good HOA neighbor

If your townhome is in a home owner’s association (HOA), you have the added perk of amenities in common with all of your neighbors. Having facilities in common with your neighbors enables you to enjoy a pool, tennis court, or park-like surroundings with others in a community atmosphere.

Convenient and convivial

In exchange for a monthly fee, you have landscaping and maintenance taken care of, which helps maintain the value of your investment in your home. In addition to your monthly fees, the HOA is governed by a board which administers the rules of the association. Each member has to agree to and abide by the HOA rules to remain in good standing with the community.

This agreement to follow the rules would seem to help create a strong neighborhood vibe, but sometimes a little more is needed to keep relations cordial in with neighbors. Here are ways you can be a good neighbor in your HOA community.

Prioritize friendliness

Take the small amount of time and effort to greet other HOA owners and engage in a little small talk when you are both in the common areas. You should find that a bit of good will and social graces go a long way.

Show respect

It is probable that you already like and respect your neighbors, but showing respect and appreciation for them is even better to keep interpersonal relations on an even keel. If you have an objection to anything your neighbor is doing or not doing that negatively impacts the enjoyment of your home such as loud pets or smoking on their balcony, calmly bring it up with your neighbor face-to-face.

Lend an ear

Make sure to listen to your neighbors when they want to discuss an issue that is important to them. Keep in mind that people from different generations and backgrounds may see things differently. Try to understand where your neighbor is coming from and have empathy for their situation.

Most HOA organizations can handle owner and neighbor disputes themselves. However, if the problematic situation seems intractable, consultation with an attorney experienced with HOA matters is advisable.

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