Those calling for change in community associations face two initial challenges.
The first challenge is to reconcile or to resolve community associations’ negative aspects. This requires a candid admission that negative aspects exist. Too many in the industry have for too long resisted this admission and have refused to engage in constructive dialogue with those who assert otherwise. It is time, however, to acknowledge those negative aspects so that meaningful discussions and change can occur.
The second challenge is to recognize the current governance concerns, to anticipate the future needs of community associations and to develop responses to those needs. Inherent in such an analysis is a fair amount of intellectual risk-taking because the future is always uncertain, and the primary players in the game are risk-averse boards, attorneys and community managers.
Also required is acknowledgement that community association law as it predominately is practiced may not be sustainable because that law has been almost exclusively regulatory and controlling. There is a limit to the acceptable extent of control and to its productive results.
When discussing governance change, it is important to recognize the impact governance has on the various facets of community association living. There should be the obvious concern of balancing the rights of the community with the rights of individuals residing in that community.
Change is not easy, nor does it come in a smooth and linear way. Community association governance also presents broader societal concerns. Should the public become convinced that community association living is a lifestyle of conformity, control, and constraint, buyers will avoid it.