How often, and under which circumstances, should homeowners be required to open their homes for routine maintenance? It can be a touchy subject. While an HOA will often have stipulations for allowing access to a home spelled out in its rules and bylaws, the issue of homeowner privacy is still one that is likely to come up. Where should the line between maintenance and privacy be drawn?
The Responsibilities of Maintenance
Routine maintenance isn’t just a responsibility that a HOA should grudgingly undertake, it’s an important and necessary step in keeping the community in shape. Providing a set of common steps for the community in order to keep the area pleasant and livable is one of the main benefits of living in an HOA. Also, making sure that residences are in shape is a part of that role.
Residents who balk at having their homes entered should be reminded that many maintenance
issues don’t just affect them, but the entire neighborhood. Termites and other pests don’t just exist within one home’s walls. For a condo association this is even more the case.Shared walls and close proximity mean a maintenance issue in one unit will more than likely also affect the neighboring units as well.
The Right to Privacy
That being said, homeowners should be able to expect the right to privacy in their own homes. Having uninvited guests enter your home and your personal space is an annoyance to anyone, and if it is constant or unnecessary then it easily leads to resentment and anger.
There will always be some residents who grouse at the very idea of letting anyone into their homes, no matter the circumstances. But, if the boundaries of people’s private lives are not respected, then it is natural for reasonable people to bristle at the intrusion. Keeping the number of times residents’ homes are entered to a minimum, while still performing all essential routine maintenance duties, will keep residents happy. This will help avoid tensions from building between them, the HOA, and maintenance staff.
Routine maintenance should be performed as quickly and as often as necessary, but residents’ privacy should also be a factor in determining how often that is. Rules allowing an HOA access to homes should not be abused or used as a ticket to force open neighbors’ doors whenever the whim strikes. If the right to entry is used respectfully, residents will be more accepting and likely to believe that allowing maintenance personnel inside is a necessity, and not an invasion.
Would you like to know how AssociationVoice can help you communicate with your residents about routine maintenance in your community?