Wednesday, March 19, 2014

National Homeowner Association Satisfaction Survey

Zogby International conducted telephone interviews in January 2012 with a nationally representative, statistically valid sample of adults residing in homeowners associations, condominiums, cooperatives and other planned communities. The survey was sponsored by the Foundation for Community Association Research.

The finding surprise industry critics:

Residents... Zogby finding: 70% of community association residents are satisfied with their association experience. Only 8% express dissatisfaction.
  • A 70 percent satisfaction rating—with fewer than one in 10 residents expressing some level of dissatisfaction—is a clear reflection of the dedication and skill of community association volunteer leaders and professional managers. Most institutions and political candidates would be immensely pleased with such an approval rating.

  • We’d all like to see an even lower level of dissatisfaction. At the same time, it’s important to recognize that community association living is not ideal for everyone. Potential buyers need to understand not just the attributes of a community, but also the nature and obligations of living in an association before they buy.

Governing Boards... Zogby finding: 88% of association residents believe their governing boards strive to serve the best interests of the community; only 10% believe their boards don’t; and 2% aren’t sure.
  • Association board members are responsible for meeting the established expectations of their neighbors. They are expected to anticipate issues, solve problems, resolve disputes, and preserve the nature and character of their communities.
  • Community association boards enjoy a solid base of support among their residents. It says a lot when almost 90 percent of all residents believe their governing boards are working hard to serve their communities. This research affirms that the vast majority of people who govern community associations are committed volunteers working diligently to build strong and stable communities.

Community Managers... Zogby finding: 73% of association residents say their community manager provides value and support to residents and the association as a whole; 21% say their managers don’t provide value and support; and 6% aren’t sure.

  • Community managers are critical to the communities they serve, using their knowledge, experience and expertise to manage day-to-day association operations. Many associations could not function without the guidance and support of managers. Their value cannot be overstated.
  • Whether they are managing homeowners associations, condominium communities or cooperatives, experienced community managers understand how associations should function, how to meet resident expectations, how to plan and prepare for the future, and how to address the wide range of challenges that most associations face.

Association Rules... Zogby finding: 76% of association residents say association rules protect and enhance property values; only 3% believe that rules harm property values; and 21% see no difference or aren’t sure.

  • This finding confirms overwhelming homeowner appreciation for common-sense rules that are applied fairly and consistently.
  • Rules and restrictions can be a source of disagreement and discontent in virtually any environment, including associations. Some people simply don’t like to be told they can’t do something or must do something. However, much like employees in the workplace, homeowners have a contractual obligation to adhere to association rules.

Association Assessments... Zogby finding: 81% of association residents feel positive about the value they get from their community association assessments. Community association assessments are an investment in the community. Homeowners in community associations have a right to see their assessments put to good use, and more than four out of five homeowners do see a positive return on this investment. Would four out of five Americans say the same about their taxes?

Government Regulation... Zogby finding: 86% of association residents oppose additional government regulation of their community associations. Intrusive regulation is unnecessary and unwanted by the vast majority of Americans who live in community associations. This should give pause to those who use isolated anecdotal evidence to advocate for legislation that may be unnecessary at best and costly and counterproductive at worst. Reasonable and necessary regulation will not hinder associations’ ability to serve the best interests of their homeowners.

Grateful thanks to CAI for the above information. For more information on CAI, visit

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why Community Associations Work

- - The number of association-governed communities in the United States has increased from just 10,000 in 1970 to 325,000 today. 

Four primary reasons drive this continued growth:

         The Value of Collective Management. Americans have largely accepted the collective management structure of community association living. The private covenants and rules characteristic of associations are not novel in residential living, whether rental or ownership. Similar restrictions often exist in rental apartment lease agreements and in zoning laws and building codes that govern more traditional single-family, detached housing.

         Privatizing Public Functions. Local jurisdictions often require builders and developers to create community associations as a requisite to new housing construction. Because of the fiscal challenges faced by many municipalities, associations are created with the stipulation that they will assume many responsibilities that traditionally belonged to municipalities, including road maintenance, utilities, trash pickup and storm water management. Privatization allows local jurisdictions to approve the development of needed housing without having to increase taxes to pay for additional infrastructure. 

         Expanding Affordable Homeownership. Almost from their inception in the 1960s, condominiums have tended to serve as lower-cost housing, especially for first-time buyers. This was especially true of early condominium conversions, in which apartment buildings are refurbished into condominiums. Making housing affordable for greater numbers of Americans has been a consistent goal of federal, state and local governments for decades. Without the efficiencies inherent in association development and operation, affordability would be an even greater challenge.

         Minimizing Social Costs and Fostering Market Efficiencies. Community associations not only maintain home values, but also reduce the need for government oversight. Associations promote shared responsibility through contractual membership, collective management, mandatory covenants and agreements between the association and homeowners. Put simply, community associations are an efficient way to provide services, assign payment responsibility and be responsive to homeowner concerns and priorities.

Information from the Community Associations Institute (

Saturday, March 15, 2014


North Carolina Association Bureau --

Expedited Arbitration Program Launched

(North Carolina)

Unresolved conflicts and disputes demand attention, deplete resources and distract community leaders.  They destroy the sense of community and peace that every association and its members desire. Traditionally, the courts have been the only choice for finding a resolution. Court action, however, almost always costs a lot of time and money.  ADR options have provided alternatives to litigation but they can be almost as expensive. Now there is another choice. Expedited Arbitration through the North Carolina Association Bureau provides a prompt resolution by experts in HOA law at an affordable, fixed cost.   


The North Carolina Association Bureau is a non-profit corporation that was established in 2012 to assist and support the members and leaders of homeowner associations in North Carolina. In furtherance of this purpose, NCAB promotes and provides cost effective dispute resolution alternatives and free association education and governance resources.


The Expedited Arbitration Program


NCAB's Expedited Arbitration Program provides a private alternative to civil litigation for the resolution of claims and disputes that may arise in condominiums and planned communities.  Arbitration services are provided on a fixed fee basis and are scheduled to allow for full completion of the case within 180 days on average.  This makes the process one of the most economical and efficient legally binding dispute resolution alternatives available.  Hearings are conducted by attorneys who are experts in North Carolina Association law.


Expedited arbitration is completely voluntary.  All parties must agree to arbitration through NCAB and to abide by NCAB's Arbitration Rules.  Expedited arbitration is appropriate for the resolution of any type of dispute that might otherwise be resolved through the courts except collection matters for which uniform statutory processes have been established state-wide.


Check It Out


To learn more about NCAB and its Expedited Arbitration Program, visit  If you have any questions about the program or how it might help with your situation, contact the Program Administrator at 704-945-4950 or by email at  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Importance of Being in Good Terms with Your Neighbors – What to Do?

Unlike your friends, you do not get to choose your neighbors.When you move in to a new place, there is a natural urge to meet people who are around to stop the feeling of disorientation caused by unfamiliar place. In some cases, your neighbors will approach you by themselves, however, mostly the new resident is expected to start the social interaction. So, exactly what it takes to build good relationships with strangers living next door, and why is it necessary for a healthy life style?

    Paul Mengert, President 
    Association Management Group, Inc.

Not having good terms with your neighbor can make your life extremely frustrating. No matter how much you deny, these people are more like a family, and are an integral part of your life. Building relationships require courtesy, honesty, interpersonal skills, and most of all, politeness. Use the guidelines below to develop new connections and rapport in the new society.

Make A Good First Impression

Don’t keep waiting for your neighbor to approach you – maybe he/she also has the same thought in mind. When you meet yournext-door resident for the first time, make sure you pleasantly introduce yourself. Remember, keep the first conversation brief and to the point. You also need to be careful about the time you choose to greet. You cannot expect a person to listen to you when he/she is leaving for work.

Respect Other’s Priorities

This is the key to building ‘lasting’ terms. Without being too inquisitive about their lifestyle, try to find out what is their schedule and family life like. If your neighbor has kids, they willobviously not tolerate noisy evenings; however, if there is a young couple who usually works night shifts, they would look forward to quieter mornings.

A Token of Friendship

If you are planning a first visit to your neighbors house, it is a good idea to present something as a token of love. Ideally, food items such as chocolates, wine, or pastries should be your pick.Even flowers will do the trick!

Warning: Cooking at home may prove to be a bad idea for some people are allergic to certain food products.

Share Useful Information with New Residents

New neighbors should always be welcomed whole-heartedly.Show courtesy by providing them a list of important numbers, emergency services available, and contact information of a local library and shopping mall. Your gesture will certainly be appreciated and help you start a new relationship on a positive note.

Control Your Pet

Keep your dog restricted if it is in the habit of running rampantoutside. A noisy dog is one of the most common reasons of annoyed near-about residents. Local animal organizations can provide you adequate help if you have a dog that barks frequently and loudly.

Help your Neighbor to Mingle with Others Also

This is the best thing you can do for a new neighbor on the street. Once you have developed good links, host a dinner party with other close-by residents to welcome the new family.

Show your Concern

In case of an emergency, or an unfortunate incident, support your neighbor by lending a hand in their matters. Don’t forget that you are also a neighbor and there might be a day when you may also need help.