I’ve been meaning to write a lot about this ever since I launched Condo Ally. I’ve been able to experience this first hand for close to a decade.
I’ve lived near great neighbors that whose company I enjoyed very much, but for some it was near impossible to get them to participate in building/association activity and improvement efforts. It wasn’t like I had more time to them, or they were busier than me, we just had different priorities. Honestly, I believe the very large majority of Americans want to live in a zero-maintenance community and not be bothered.
Some people just want nothing to do with their association. No matter how hard you try to engage them, matters of their community-living association just don’t interest them. Unsurprisingly, I also know this can be a big bother to association boards. I have yet to find a solution and honestly, I don’t think there is one besides acceptance.
One thing to keep in mind, just like governmental politics and office politics, community politics will sweep up those who are not involved. You cannot ignore the politics around you and hope it won’t affect you. To the neighbors who become frustrated with a board decision, and it will happen, tell them if they want the association to be run differently in their way that they need to be involved. To assume the association will be run in a manner with which they agree but with zero effort and engagement is simply ignorant and borders on rude. But try not to remind them of this. In fact, use their frustration to increase their engagement. This is the perfect time to remind them that making changes in their association is as easy as being involved or volunteering for a board position. Or at least talking constructively with neighbors and the board.