Without order, there is chaos. In any aspect of social structure, a governing body is needed to set and implement rules. There’s the government in a state, the board of directors in a corporation, and the parents in a family. To ensure a harmonious condo living, there’s a homeowners association in a condo community.
It’s no secret that many people, whether in condo communities or villages, regard their homeowners association as a necessary nuisance. In villages and subdivisions, this governing body is tasked to create rules on cleanliness, parking and other matters, and collect monthly dues. This body also acts as arbitrators and mediators in the event of disputes between homeowners. Similarly, condo living in the Philippines is made easier with the help of an admin body. It doesn’t matter how you perceive having people knock on your door for community-related announcements, they aid in creating a peaceful environment around you.
What are expected from you as a member of a community? How can you keep an amicable relationship with your condo homeowners association? Here’s your quick guide.
Ignorance is no excuse
The homeowners association, together with the condo admin office, is tasked to make sure that every member of the DMCI Properties community observes the House Rules and Regulations adopted by the Board of Directors of the Condominium Corporation pursuant to the Master Deed with Declaration of Restrictions. These rules, created for everyone’s benefit, are among the benefits of living in a condo community.
Ignorance of the law excuses no one. It’s your obligation to know the rules and regulations imposed in your condo community. Primarily, you’re responsible in keeping your unit in good condition and in a manner that shall not prejudice your neighbors. If you’re planning of improving or altering your unit, don’t forget to seek written approval from the management office. There’s a long list of things that can be prejudicial to your fellow homeowners. If a thing annoys you, it will probably annoy your neighbors as well.
Get to know your HOA officers
You’re not fond of socializing? That’s okay. But it’s in your interest to get acquainted with your HOA officers. These people are your point persons for important news and announcements concerning your community. The officers should also be on your speed dial whenever you encounter any problem in your home or with your neighbors. Think of them as your go-to neighbors when you need info or assistance.
Keep abreast of news and developments
The clubhouse may be reserved for a private event. There may be new hours for the use of the swimming pool. You may need to attend a HOA meeting regarding a possible increase in association dues. Similar with the House Rules and Regulations, you cannot invoke ignorance on these matters when there’s notice to the entire community. If you have a really hectic schedule in the office, inform your officers on the best way for you to receive notifications. Perhaps they can alert you via text messages, emails or social media.
A simple greeting can make a lot of difference
Do you know that greeting neighbors and strangers in the morning is a custom in the countryside? People exchange their “good mornings” with a smile regardless of their acquaintance or mood. It’s an expression of belongingness in a community. Nurture a harmonious life with your neighbors, HOA officers, and building personnel by offering simple greetings whenever you can.
Teach your kids about condo rules
Parents and guardians are responsible for the acts of the children in their custody. Avoid running into problems with your neighbors and the HOA by educating your kids about DMCI condos’ House Rules and Regulations. It’s your responsibility to ensure that children, including teens, do not do activities that can be offensive or prejudicial to the community. Make sure little kids are attended to in common areas especially in the playground, swimming pool, and roof deck for their and others’ safety.
Moderate your fun to avoid disturbing others
If you’re used to blasting your stereo on Sunday afternoons, you may need to buy high-quality headphones before moving to a condo community. You must know that condo homes stand closely together and that excessive noise in one unit can disturb surrounding houses. Even in subdivisions and villages, you cannot invoke your liberty to do whatever you want in your own residence. You can be held liable for any disturbance or harm resulting from your actions. If you’re having guests over for your birthday, you may reserve the clubhouse or function hall. Coordinate with the HOA or management office.
Always act like a well-mannered adult
Talking about neighbors may be a part of Filipino culture, but it doesn’t mean that it’s right. While you’re encouraged to get to know the people in your community, you’re also expected to act like a well-mannered adult. You should also be reminded that under the New Civil Code (Article 26), the following acts may produce an action for damages, prevention, and other relief:
- prying into the privacy of another’s residence
- meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another
- intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends
- vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs, lowly station in life, place of birth, physical defect or other personal condition
If you are the receiving end of these acts, don’t hesitate to call the attention of your HOA. They can reprimand your neighbors before you seek legal remedies.
Stay up-to-date with your association dues
The condo/ association dues answer for the expenses related to the upkeep of common areas. The due, assessed by the management office, is proportionate to every condo community member’s appurtenant proprietary interest. You will be liable to penalties and interest rate, and your access to amenities restricted until the dues are fully paid. Remember that these dues are allotted to maintain amenities and facilities that service the entire community where you belong. It’s just fair that you do/pay your share.
Comply with good faith
Failing to comply with the condo homeowners association rules and regulations will not only disturb your smooth relations with the HOA. It can give the Board cause to take action against you. The Board may opt for legal proceedings, withhold the use of service connections for utilities in cases of default, and restrict access to amenities, not to mention the humiliation and hassles.
If you have questions with any rule or regulation, don’t hesitate to contact the HOA or the management office.
Join community events as often as you can
If you think the HOA only exists for policing purposes, you’re sorely mistaken. This body plans and organizes events to connect and promote camaraderie among community members. There may be sports tournaments, BBQ and picnic, and Christmas parties. It’s understandable if you’re too busy to participate in all events, but at least join a couple. You might even make new BFFs!
Living in a condo community offers a breath of fresh air to your fast-paced life. Its proximity to business centers and commercial hubs helps you free up your schedule for other things and activities. The availability of amenities allows you to maintain a fit lifestyle and deal with your daily stressors. The least you can do is to comply with rules and regulations to ensure a harmonious community living.