When it comes time to increase dues for your Tacoma, WA, community members, it’s important to present the increase in a way that makes sense to them. If residents know why the money is needed, they’re more likely to be accepting of the increased cost.
With this in mind, an effective way to communicate the increase without fear, confusion or anger is to explain the rationale behind it. If you’re increasing dues for your HOA soon, here are three common reasons you likely need to raise dues that will make sense to your HOA community members.
1. It’s On Par with Inflation
The cost of living has been steadily increasing over the years, especially since the pandemic, and HOA dues will need to reflect that. If the Consumer Price Index increases more steadily than HOA dues, your community’s reserves will be depleted sooner than anticipated, leaving you in need of money for projects or having to forego property improvements altogether.
Explain to your members that an increase in dues is necessary to keep up with the rising cost of living. Without these adjusted prices, your HOA board won’t be able to pay all the necessary vendor charges, maintenance fees, and unexpected costs that arise throughout the year. When costs outweigh your HOA’s incoming dues, large-scale problems arise that can jeopardize property values and resident satisfaction.
2. It Prevents a Sudden Jump
While fee increases are never good news, incremental changes over time are often more palatable than a sudden spike. A gradual increase in dues allows members to adjust to the change over time and incorporate it into their budget rather than having to deal with a sudden increase that could cause financial hardship.
Most residents would accept an increase of a few dollars every year, but almost all would be upset by a sudden jump of $100 or more, which could impact their budget and put a strain on their household finances. Fee increases are never welcomed, but preventing a hard hit for community members can help maintain resident satisfaction long-term.
3. It Protects the HOA’s Long-Term Future
Not only does the HOA need to keep pace with the cost of living today, but they also need to anticipate the cost of living tomorrow and maintain healthy reserves that can be used for unexpected costs. Whether renovations are more extensive than expected or a natural disaster causes property damage, almost every HOA will encounter unforeseen issues during the course of the year and need to dip into their reserves.
Being proactive and accounting for future inflation will help you keep your reserves plentiful while keeping things budget-friendly for homeowners. If you don’t increase dues slowly over time to anticipate this increase, you’ll eventually need to spike fees or issue a special assessment which will leave residents unhappy and potentially in a position of financial hardship.
At The Management Trust, we can assist Tacoma, WA, HOA boards with handling difficult tasks such as issuing assessment increases. While executive decisions always come from the board, we can execute those plans and implement any changes that need to be made on behalf of the community association. More than 1,500 communities throughout the country trust The Management Trust to get the job done right, including dozens throughout the Tacoma, WA, area. To find out more about our full range of available HOA management services, call The Management Trust at 253-472-0825 or fill out our online contact form today.