New Year’s Resolutions for HOA Members – Orange County Register

This is the second article in a four part series on resolutions for the HOA owner, director and board members. Ideas for managers will be suggested in next week’s episode.

I, the HOA member, resolve:


1. Follow the Golden Rule. (Paraphrase: “Treat others as you would like to be treated”)


2. I will not refer to HOA or the Board of Directors as “they” as it is “we”. The directors are also members who pay dues and spend their time working for free to benefit us all.

3. Be neighborly because shared ownership fails without cooperation.

4. Assume that our volunteer directors are doing their best, and when in doubt, agree with them.

5. I do not assume that the board is incompetent or dishonest if I think they are overspending.

6. Avoid the “My home, my castle” attitude. We share the advantages of common property, which means that we have also agreed to share control over our property.

7. Ask questions before making statements, criticizing or even blaming others.

8. Acknowledge that the board may have more information than I do. That doesn’t mean the board is always right, but it does mean my opinion may not be fully informed.

9. Take a long-term view of our club assets, support the growth of our capital reserve fund and maintain our buildings.


10. Read the information that the HOA sends to me.

11. Familiarize yourself with the CC&Rs, bylaws and rules. I will be a better neighbor if I understand usage restrictions and rules.

12. Read the association budget and reserve study. I will ask knowledgeable questions, particularly about deviations from the budget.

13. If I ask for checking financial documents, I will not ask for “everything” and only request documents that I really need, I acknowledge that my supervisor is not a librarian.


14. insist that our board follows transparency laws and only deals with the legally permissible limited points in closed sessions. I will also do my part to promote orderly meetings.

15. Review the published agenda before attending board meetings.

16. Organize my comments in the open forum and accept that the board may not have answers or answers to my questions or suggestions immediately

17. I will use my time in the open forum to inform the board, not to argue with it, and after the open forum I will not interrupt the consultations of the board.

18. Encourage others attending board meetings to behave with decency and respect as we are all neighbors.


19. Join a committee to share the burden.

20. If I disagree with the Board, I will first offer suggestions and information before I criticize.


21. Finding ways to improve our community’s image.

22. Try to resolve disputes with a neighbor or the club before taking “legal action”. Legal disputes can shatter relationships for years. Neighborly help is almost always more effective than lawsuits and court orders.

23. Participate in all member votes, even if you just send in my ballot.

24. Join a Community Associations Institute Chapter and suggest that our HOA directors are encouraged to be also educated members and to stop qualified managers.

25. Find opportunities to thank our directors, committees, and managers for their service to our fellowship.

26. Choose directors who demonstrate an attitude of service and commitment to doing things right.


27. Follow the Golden Rule.

Kelly G Richardson, Esq. is Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and partner of Richardson Ober LLP, a California law firm known for its expertise in community associations. Submit column questions to New Year’s Resolutions for HOA Members – Orange County Register

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