Setting, Enforcing, & Updating Rules Fairly | Aesthetic Standards
Dania Beach, Fla. (October 24, 2023)
William Dyckman featured in Chicago Cooperator
Part of the appeal of HOA or condo living is living in an orderly, well-kept community where neighbors have agreed to uphold certain standards for their properties. For many, those standards include the aesthetic choices residents make for the exterior of their unit and its immediate surroundings—anything from window shutters to paint colors, mailbox placement to lawn ornamentation, and holiday decor.
William Dyckman, high-rise community association manager at FirstService Residential in Chicago, explains that in his client buildings, there is a rule that allows for small religious artifacts to be affixed to the side of unit doors.
“Most residents do not have anything, but some residents put artifacts or rolled up scripture in their door frame,” he says. Aside from those items, “residents have full freedom of expression within the confines of their actual unit. But the common area, hallways, and unit doors are the property of the association and are therefore under the governing documents.”
Management pros—as well as realtors—say it’s important to think about how your building or association would look if the residents had completely free reign and how it could affect the property’s bottom line when it comes to attracting buyers and setting sales prices.
Believe it or not, “property values are affected when people leave out their shoes or decide to leave garbage in a hall to throw it away later when it’s against the rules,” says Dyckman. “Then you have a showing, and the people think those are the standards of the building, and they may opt not to purchase there.”
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