‘Twas the Night Before (HOA’s) Christmas

h o a homefront Dec 12, 2016

[Apologies to Clement Clarke Moore]

‘Twas the night before the HOA’s Christmas, when through all the community
Not a complaint was there heard, all appeared to be in unity;
The thank-you notes were placed by the bulletin board with care,
In hopes that the manager would soon see them there;

The homeowners were nestled all snug in their beds,
Not worried about decks or roofs or flowerbeds;
And the Vice President in her condo, and I in mine too,
Had just settled down for a break from serving all of you,

When out in the courtyard there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my balcony to see what was the matter.
Away to the railing I flew like a flash,
Only to see neighbors with gripes to rehash.

I couldn’t figure out in the dark of the night
Exactly what they decided gave them the right,
But I knew from my time on the homeowners board,
Our meetings these neighbors had always ignored,

Then in a flash I noticed a visitor,
Who tried to join that group of inquisitors
He wore a red fur coat over an ample belly, and
His hearty laugh made it shake as it were jelly,

His smile quickly faded as they all turned away,
They told him that tenants had nothing to say,
The jolly man disappeared as quickly as he came here,
Amid the sound of eight snorting… reindeer?

In a moment further came another, without much ado,
From where he came no one knew,
I knew in a flash it was our manager, Nick.
He knew what was needed and how to bring it quick,

He exclaimed “Now, Member! now, Neighbor! Now, Bylaws and Covenant,
Please read the rules before bringing your first comment.
Now back to your homes, and back to your castles,
Please, just for today, have a cease to the hassles”

He said “you by choice bought in a community,
Which works at its best when all work in unity,
Remember that your board serves you for free,
and consider joining a committee – or three.”

“You have no busy elves, but HOAs thrive when all work as a team,
If all think only of selves, a nightmare soon it will seem.
Your association works much like a large rowed boat,
If all row as if solo, not for long it will float.”

Amidst headshakes and handshakes the courtyard then cleared,
But I was hoping that above still flew a sleigh and eight impatient reindeer.

No reindeer or jolly elf’s labors returned that night
But folks reached out to neighbors, and started treating them right.
A different air began to spread in the complex
As the Golden Rule quickly became our central text.

Manager Nick surveyed the scene, pleased,
Knowing the group a happy future it had seized.
And laying his finger aside of his face,
He ran toward his car as if in a race;

He sprang to his auto, heading home in a dash,
And away he drove as quick as a flash.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

* * *

May peace and neighborliness permeate your communities in the coming year!

Written by Kelly G. Richardson

Kelly G. Richardson Esq., CCAL, is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and a Partner of Richardson | Ober | DeNichilo LLP, a California law firm known for community association advice. Submit questions to [email protected]. Past columns at www.hoahomefront.com. All rights reserved®.