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Subject: How to Welcome New Residents? And Why?
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KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/10/2021 7:06 PM  
Our downtown, big city ,high rise 200+ unit has a written 7-page Welcome Package for new residents to orient them to things they need to know right away upon moving in.

Our excellent Social Committee (SC) would like to do more to greet new residents. A guided tour, for example, of our ground floor and second floor amenities. Maybe an actual basket of small gifts or coupons.

New residents, whether renters or owners, do sit with our manager assistant who collects certain forms from them fills them in on billing and shows them our web site, etc.

What does your HOA do for new residents? Or what ideas do you have? We're 95% adults and probably 70% over 55, 75% own occupied, but all ideas are good and might help others here!

WHY it matters. My view is that being welcomed to the community in a personal way helps connect new residents to the community and eases their way into becoming a part of something. Feelings of social connections does encourage folks to follow the rules, take pride in their community and maybe even want to play a larger role.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/10/2021 7:24 PM  
You talking apples and oranges, as you have the luxury of a onsite manager and assistant. I don't know of anyone here that has the same setup.

Augie would argue you are breaking the law if you gave any resident a gift using association funds as it is clearly not outlined in your CCRs.

That being said, as a management company, we always made up Welcome Packets for new owners when you took over an account. After escrow would close, our company would give the new owners a $100.00 Home Depot gift card. It really never came out of our pockets as it was part of the fees paid by the sellers.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


05/10/2021 8:29 PM  
I did a small brochure that covered the highlights. No need in a lot of details. I put things in there like what your dues covered. Where to find a copy of the HOA documents. Meeting schedule - once a month on Thursdays. How much dues were etc... It folded out to 3 pages. I put it at the front entrance for potential buyers to take a copy.

Remember never put anything in there with budget or HOA business. It's just an overall welcome and what to expect type of brochure. The HOA isn't responsible for providing CC&R's or Articles of Incorporation. Just a copy of the by-laws ONLY after purchase. Doesn't mean can't provide information on how to get a copy...

Former HOA President
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/10/2021 8:51 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 05/10/2021 8:29 PM
The HOA isn't responsible for providing CC&R's or Articles of Incorporation.


Could you please cite your source for that mis-information?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


05/10/2021 8:53 PM  
The HOA is NOT responsible for providing PUBLIC information. CC&R's and Articles of Incorporation are PUBLIC information. By-laws or ACC are internal HOA documents if they exist.

Former HOA President
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/10/2021 9:01 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 05/10/2021 8:53 PM
The HOA is NOT responsible for providing PUBLIC information. CC&R's and Articles of Incorporation are PUBLIC information. By-laws or ACC are internal HOA documents if they exist.



Again, please cite your source, NOT your opinion!
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/10/2021 9:09 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 05/10/2021 8:53 PM
The HOA is NOT responsible for providing PUBLIC information. CC&R's and Articles of Incorporation are PUBLIC information. By-laws or ACC are internal HOA documents if they exist.



Tomorrow, I am getting a bid for insurance for an HOA. I will tell the agent, per Melissa, the CCRs are a public documents, it's up to you to secure them. I am opening a bank account for a new HOA. I will tell the bank when they ask for the Articles of Incorporation, per Melissa, they are a public documents, have fun finding them.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


05/10/2021 9:52 PM  
No problem. The articles are on the state website. The CC&R's are at the county. Does not mean you can not provide a copy. Just not responsible to do so.

Former HOA President
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/10/2021 9:58 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 05/10/2021 9:52 PM
No problem. The articles are on the state website. The CC&R's are at the county. Does not mean you can not provide a copy. Just not responsible to do so.



UNBELIEVEABLE
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


05/11/2021 4:25 AM  
FACTS. Some states it is the seller's responsibility to provide the HOA's documents at closing. Other states it is the buyers' responsibility to be informed. That is why the CC&R's and Articles of Incorporation are PUBLIC documents.

It is NEVER the HOA's, Realtor, closing attorney, title company, or bank/mortgage company to be responsible to provide. People always want to "sue for not being provided the HOA's documents". Their defense is "I did not know I lived in a HOA and had to pay dues" etc... The truth is those it's the seller or your fault not knowing. The other parties are NOT responsible and thus can't be sued for not providing PUBLIC documents.

Former HOA President
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


05/11/2021 5:56 AM  
In my state, the seller is required to provide copies of the CC&Rs and bylaws. However, these are public info and available for download on the county recorder's website, and my association also makes them available on our website.

Usual caveats apply: Different states, different laws. In some cases the bylaws aren't recorded, so wouldn't be available on the recorder's website.

Back to Kerry's question: We also have a welcome packet that includes the community handbook, which is a "plain English" summary of the governing documents. Our old website had information about the general area as well as basic info for buyers and new owners who may not be familiar with condo living - the new one does not. We don't have a social committee - tried it once and it was a bust, but that was mostly due to the people involved. (The CC&Rs only require a nominating committee, otherwise don't address committees at all.) We do have a lot of dog owners, though, and they all walk their dogs, so they act as an ad hoc social committee which works surprisingly well.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


05/11/2021 6:10 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 05/10/2021 9:58 PM
Posted By MelissaP1 on 05/10/2021 9:52 PM
No problem. The articles are on the state website. The CC&R's are at the county. Does not mean you can not provide a copy. Just not responsible to do so.



UNBELIEVEABLE
MelissaP1 is correct of course. Who says so? For one, the courts say recording with the county serves as public notice.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


05/11/2021 6:43 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 05/11/2021 6:10 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 05/10/2021 9:58 PM
Posted By MelissaP1 on 05/10/2021 9:52 PM
No problem. The articles are on the state website. The CC&R's are at the county. Does not mean you can not provide a copy. Just not responsible to do so.



UNBELIEVEABLE
MelissaP1 is correct of course. Who says so? For one, the courts say recording with the county serves as public notice.



Augustin is right about recording serving as public notice.

My community has an easement agreement with the owner of an adjacent connector road that allows us to get to the traffic light on a major highway (the only way to turn left into and out of my community). This agreement has annoyed many of us since we're 100% responsible for maintaining the road, and a copy of the agreement was not/is not provided to us when we close on our condos. Our attorney said that recording counts as disclosure - just one of those little gotchas that buyers don't think of unless they've been burned in the past.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/11/2021 8:26 AM  
I'm not even sure why Melissa would even bring up who she thinks is responsible for governing docs. This was about a welcome packet, which for this OP was 7 pages long, far shorter than their CCRs.

Neither Melissa or Augie have a clue how escrow or the title process works in the state of California. In California, there are a number of documents required during a sale, with the majority not generally available to the seller to provide. Generally, not always, a management company will provide all the necessary documents for the transaction. By statue, the sellers are required to pay for this service.

According to state statue, (1) Upon written request, the association shall, within 10 days of the mailing or delivery of the request, provide the owner of a separate interest, or any other recipient authorized by the owner, with a copy of all of the requested documents specified in Section 4525.

So really, the association is responsible for providing the documents, including the CCRs and Articles of Incorporation, if so asked by the seller.

I handle about 20 of these requests per month. When I started in this business in 2010 it would take hours to compile and copy all the information, now we can process a request electronically within 5-10 minutes.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


05/11/2021 8:49 AM  
The HOA being "responsible" for providing the CC&R's and Articles of Incorporation leaves them vulnerable for a lawsuit. Simply because if the HOA takes any actions against an owner, they can claim "We were never given the documents so we don't have to pay/obey". Hence why every other party gets out of the game of being responsible. It opens them up to potential lawsuit and blame for the owner's ignorance.

I brought the subject up because welcoming members includes letting them know of their responsiblity of being informed of the HOA rules. Whether that is by their looking the rules up or the seller bringing them to the table. New owners do not understand that FACT and thus I include it as part of the package.

Just because you choose to provide the documents at the closing does NOT make you RESPONSIBLE for doing so. It's out of courtesy or habit. There are no laws nor requirement to do so except in those state that require the SELLER to do so.

Former HOA President
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/11/2021 9:10 AM  
I can't tell you how very sorry I am that I started this thread. Perhaps there's some other site I can visit for advice on this topic. . .. .
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


05/11/2021 9:31 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 05/11/2021 9:10 AM
I can't tell you how very sorry I am that I started this thread. Perhaps there's some other site I can visit for advice on this topic. . .. .



I didn't realize you wanted advice - your original post sounds like your association is already doing a good job. Do you think that you're missing an opportunity somewhere?

A welcome packet may not be the place for it, but I wish there were some way to help new buyers understand what they've bought - especially since it's unlikely that they've read the governing documents thoroughly.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


05/11/2021 9:32 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 05/11/2021 8:26 AM

According to state statue, (1) Upon written request, the association shall, within 10 days of the mailing or delivery of the request, provide the owner of a separate interest, or any other recipient authorized by the owner, with a copy of all of the requested documents specified in Section 4525.

So really, the association is responsible for providing the documents, including the CCRs and Articles of Incorporation, if so asked by the seller.
You're such a fraud. Melissa said the HOA does not have a responsibility to provide the covenants. Standing by itself, this is correct. Then you jump in screaming and crying that she is wrong, because in California, /// once there is a written request to the HOA, and only from an owner/// yada, the HOA has an obligation to provide the docs to the owner or the person the owner authorizes.

Regarding HOAs having on-site manager and assistant manager: One of my four HOAs had exactly this. In the same town, I know of at least two other HOAs who also had an on-site manager and assistant manager.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/11/2021 9:35 AM  
I apologize for not making my request for advice clear; I guess it got buried in the background stuff.

To all: Our social Committee would like to play an active role in welcoming new residents. What does your HOA do to help orient new residents to your community?

Thanks.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:794


05/11/2021 9:36 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 05/11/2021 9:10 AM
I can't tell you how very sorry I am that I started this thread. Perhaps there's some other site I can visit for advice on this topic. . .. .




I haven't read the full article but maybe this will help give you some ideas?

https://www.hoamanagement.com/hoa-welcome-packet/
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/11/2021 9:42 AM  
Actually the subject is a good one, not sure how who is responsible for providing the CCRs is even relevant for this subject. All that should have been done prior to an owner moving in, now it's time to welcome them into your community.

We tried sending the welcome packs out through escrow and that didn't work. So we sent it after they moved in along with a gift card. That got their attention. Our welcome pack will include information on where to send payments, how to sign up for a web portal, where to find the minutes, agendas, financials, governing docs, insurance, sign up for ACH, office hours, consent to electronic delivery, architectural application and homeowner information form.

Honestly, I have more issues with board members following the rules than homeowners.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


05/11/2021 9:49 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 05/11/2021 9:35 AM
I apologize for not making my request for advice clear; I guess it got buried in the background stuff.

To all: Our social Committee would like to play an active role in welcoming new residents. What does your HOA do to help orient new residents to your community?

Thanks.



We don't have a social committee, but all of the dog walkers (and people who walk for exercise) function as one - very informal, though, and hit or miss.

One thing jumped out at me: your said your committee wants to play an active role. My reaction is that they're putting the cart before the horse. In other words, they don't have a goal in mind, they just want to do something - which is a prescription for an ineffective committee.

If I were on your board, I'd tell them to come up with a list of areas where they think that the association is currently falling short, along with recommendations for concrete steps that the committee could take to address this. Define problem first, then propose solutions.

MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/11/2021 10:00 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 05/11/2021 9:32 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 05/11/2021 8:26 AM

According to state statue, (1) Upon written request, the association shall, within 10 days of the mailing or delivery of the request, provide the owner of a separate interest, or any other recipient authorized by the owner, with a copy of all of the requested documents specified in Section 4525.

So really, the association is responsible for providing the documents, including the CCRs and Articles of Incorporation, if so asked by the seller.


Regarding HOAs having on-site manager and assistant manager: One of my four HOAs had exactly this. In the same town, I know of at least two other HOAs who also had an on-site manager and assistant manager.



Actually, I know hundred of HOA's that have onsite managers and possibly assistants. My comment was how many posters here are in that category.

If you would have read Melissa's initial post, she is putting together a brochure for potential buyers. That is NOT what Kerry was referring to. She is referring to new residents that have made that purchase into her community.

So, was there something constructive you wanted to add to the conversion?
AugustinD


Posts:1920


05/11/2021 10:04 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 05/11/2021 10:00 AM
Actually
Gibberish.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


05/11/2021 11:59 AM  
Potential buyers become members if they like what they see. Purpose of a HOA.

Former HOA President
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


05/11/2021 12:00 PM  
How about creating a welcome video, it does not have to be long. An orientation video of the property to familiarize people with the property, amenities, trash and other policies. create a QR code and post them in the mail room, Elevator. on-site office, even email it to the new owner or sub.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


05/11/2021 12:01 PM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 05/11/2021 9:36 AM
Posted By KerryL1 on 05/11/2021 9:10 AM
I can't tell you how very sorry I am that I started this thread. Perhaps there's some other site I can visit for advice on this topic. . .. .




I haven't read the full article but maybe this will help give you some ideas?

https://www.hoamanagement.com/hoa-welcome-packet/



I read the articles and trying to encompass all that information into one package would be quite cumbersome, especially if it were in printed form. I would have the items listed in the article put onto a website in an orderly manner under a tab called, Welcome.

Again, being in a high rise with an onsite manager and assistance is something most here don't relate to. I've never managed a high rise, but would have loved doing that and making $150K in my younger years. Some years while interviewing for a GM position on Wilshire Blvd, I was asked a question about new owner orientation and my answer was to have the assistant or the manager do the walk through as we should be the most knowledgeable. From ma customer service perspective, I know who pays my salary, its not the board, but the dues paying owners.

I am ashamed sometimes at people's attitude to make owners jump through hoops to get HOA information. While all relevant HOA information is on their web portal, if an owner calls or emails a request, I don't shove it off and tell them to go to the portal, I'll email them what is requested right away and let them know where it can be obtained in the future. It's called providing customer service, which is sorely missing in this country. Last thing I want is some disgruntled owner filing, what's it called, a derivative lawsuit against the association.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


05/11/2021 2:46 PM  
We don't do welcome packets although new homeowners are sent a copy of the documents and payment book a few weeks after closing. At least that's what they did when I moved in.

Personally, I think some sort of welcome packets is a great idea and I agree with what you said about adding a personal element to make his residents. the little things do matter and while we spend most of the time on this website bowling about selective enforcement of CCRs, underfunded reserves, incompetent boards and greedy attorneys, maybe we should spend a little time trying to treat our neighbors as ourselves. Assuming you want to be treated nicely, perhaps acting like a neighbor may be the beginning of finding community volunteers we all week to be begging for.

If the new owners didn't get a copy of the documents at closing (many dont) you can put an owners handbook in the packet (written in plain English), along with a welcome letter and some inexpensive gifts, like refrigerator magnets. Our property manager has a catalog with prepackaged welcome packets, that can include stuff like cleaning supplies to tidy up the home to microwave popcorn to enjoy after you unpacked.

I wouldn't see an issue with using association money for this, as I would think You wouldn't be handing these out every month. You can put it in some sort of budget line item like for the social committee - this is an example of things they can do.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/11/2021 4:12 PM  
Thanks for some fine ideas to LetA, Max's last post and to Sheila. Keep 'em coming!
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:589


05/11/2021 5:39 PM  
Posted By LetA on 05/11/2021 12:00 PM
How about creating a welcome video, it does not have to be long. An orientation video of the property to familiarize people with the property, amenities, trash and other policies. create a QR code and post them in the mail room, Elevator. on-site office, even email it to the new owner or sub.




This is a great idea! I send a welcome packet (because I always want my first contact with a new resident to be friendly) but I don’t think they get read much. People are busy unpacking, etc.

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/13/2021 8:57 AM  
A few gems here. Our social committee is very well established andI'm pretty sure the board will like whatever they come up with.

I did Google HOA Welcome Packs or something like that and got tons of ideas in case anyone else reading this wants some ideas too.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:300


05/13/2021 9:26 AM  
Our Association has a Welcome committee that meets with the new owners. A little more difficult with Covid, but soon the face to face meetings will begin again. The committee has put together a packet of information that they have determined would be useful for a new owner who is interested in knowing some of the Association details.
GeorgeR8
(Arizona)

Posts:176


05/15/2021 6:43 PM  
In my state the buyer has to receive all documents, financials, insurance info, etc before closing. At closing they sign a paper that says " I have received the documents, read them, understand them, and agree I am entering into a contract with the association."

They have to meet with me before closing to get the documents. They will sign a receipt for them and sign a paper that they are aware we are owner occupied and no renters. That saves a lot of problems from starting. They are also told that outside work can commence at sun up. That cuts down on complaints. Not one buyer has ever walked away after meeting with me.

AvaA
(North Carolina)

Posts:28


05/21/2021 12:48 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 05/11/2021 9:42 AM
Our welcome pack will include information on where to send payments, how to sign up for a web portal, where to find the minutes, agendas, financials, governing docs, insurance, sign up for ACH, office hours, consent to electronic delivery, architectural application and homeowner information form.

Honestly, I have more issues with board members following the rules than homeowners.




I like your welcome package contents. We don't do anything. We have a web site with outdated information.
AvaA
(North Carolina)

Posts:28


05/21/2021 12:57 AM  
Posted By SheliaH on 05/11/2021 2:46 PM
We don't do welcome packets although new homeowners are sent a copy of the documents and payment book a few weeks after closing. At least that's what they did when I moved in.

Personally, I think some sort of welcome packets is a great idea and I agree with what you said about adding a personal element to make his residents. the little things do matter and while we spend most of the time on this website bowling about selective enforcement of CCRs, underfunded reserves, incompetent boards and greedy attorneys, maybe we should spend a little time trying to treat our neighbors as ourselves. Assuming you want to be treated nicely, perhaps acting like a neighbor may be the beginning of finding community volunteers we all week to be begging for.

If the new owners didn't get a copy of the documents at closing (many dont) you can put an owners handbook in the packet (written in plain English), along with a welcome letter and some inexpensive gifts, like refrigerator magnets.




I agree with you about creating a friendly, community atmosphere. The first time I moved to a planned community, I was thrilled to find mail from the HOA about a month or two after closing. It turned out to be a nasty gram informing me of late dues and threatening legal action. That was my first contact with my community. It seems something was miscalculated at closing or some detail was off about the pro-rated quarterly dues. I didn't know a balance was outstanding. Such a nasty letter for a tiny amount of around $30.

It might be helpful to provide information about utilities, trash pick up, etc. Yet new owners would need that closer to closing. I would have appreciated that every time I moved.
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