1. Make Your Letter Friendly and Welcoming
This is usually the first impression of the association, so put your best foot forward.
Start off with a friendly greeting and mention some of the benefits of your community. Then you can provide the new resident with quick pieces of information to acquaint them with community rules—which helps reduce the possibility of having to send a compliance or complaint letter later on.
2. Introduce Board members
Give the new owner a brief understanding about community governance and the role of the Board of directors.
If possible, include the date of the next annual meeting.
3. Management Company
Include information about the association management company and maintenance procedures.
Include contact numbers, website address or any community portal info.
4. How to Pay Dues
If getting a coupon book, note that in the letter and give them a mailing address to use in case the coupon books are late.
A late fee is not very welcoming, so you want to prevent that from happening!
5. Waste Services
Let the new owner know how refuse is disposed of, and on what day.
Include details about recycling and bulk pickup if those services are available.
Parking is potentially one of the most contentious issues in a community. Prevent problems with clear information.
Include any parking rules specific to your community to help the new owner avoid problems with neighbors.
If you have a central mailbox let the owner know how to access the mail.
Include the post office phone number if they need to obtain keys from them.
8. Common Element Access
Explain how to access and use common elements such as the clubhouse or pool.
Many times the prior owner does not provide the new owner with keys, so let them know how to get keys if required. You may also highlight a few key rules for these facilities.
9. Exterior Modification Approval
Now is the time to let the new owner know they need to get approval for any exterior modifications.
New owners are the most likely group to perform exterior projects and you want to make sure they don’t do anything that is prohibited.
10. Other Important Notes
Think about what else is unique and important to your association and include that in the letter.
Examples include items such as: no grilling on decks; no pets in the courtyard; snow removal information, etc.
Welcoming new owners with a letter helps get relationships started on the right foot, opens up communication, and explains the particulars of living in your community. A Welcome Letter also helps to build a sense of community and can prevent problems for the new owner and the association.
Contact Capital Property Solutions for a Free Management Proposal, or for new ideas on association management and reducing costs.
Arnold Barzak is a principal partner at Capital Property Solutions, a condominium and homeowners association management company with 25 years of experience in Central Ohio. Arnold has earned his PCAM designation, the highest professional recognition available nationwide to managers who specialize in community association management.
Capital Property Solutions serves the Central Ohio communities of Canal Winchester, Clintonville, Columbus, Delaware, Dublin, Gahanna, Grandview, Grove City, Hilliard, Lewis Center, New Albany, Pickerington, Plain City, Powell, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Westerville and Worthington.