It is a simple fact that costs are rising for everything. We all see it in our everyday lives. However, that doesn’t mean announcing an increase in association dues will be easy or go over without some push-back. The best way to avoid that is to be prepared for it and armed with the facts.
Be timely. Be ready to inform residents as soon as the board has approved an increase in dues. No one likes to see their bills increase, but having time to prepare for the change makes it go over smoother. At a minimum, notices should be delivered 30 days prior to the first increased payment is due. If you have the ability to give notice sooner, do so. People need a little time to rearrange monthly budgets to avoid feeling undue stress.
Equally important is to give as much information about the reasoning behind the increase as possible. Providing your residents with a breakdown of the annual budget allows them to feel like they’re more involved in the board’s process. Transparency is always the best policy. We all pay so many bills, and it’s easy to forget the benefits we’re paying for. Make sure the reasons for higher dues are clear.
Keep Being Positive
No one likes to deliver unpopular news – it’s just no fun at all. However, your demeanor when doing so can go a long way to making sure it’s received as well as it can be. Mentally prepare for some negativity, and maybe even some angry comments. It’s easy to get defensive, but that will make the situation worse. Be understanding and keep the focus on all the positive results that the additional dues will allow the association to achieve. Be ready to re-explain reasons even though they’re in the notice. Sometimes they simply haven’t read it. Other times it’s easier for people to understand the rationale when they’ve had a chance to talk it through.
Having an attorney in your corner is also useful – we can help your association navigate increasing dues, negotiating vendor contracts, and answering any legal questions that arise. We regularly work with associations as needed, which helps you avoid any extra expenses by including the fee in your annual budget. If you have questions, please reach out to us at Dania Fernandez and Associates, P.A. today!
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