With mobile and internet use rocketing past expectations, it is no surprise that the demand for Homeowner Association Websites is rising. Many states have already implemented legislation requiring communities to implement websites. If you already have an Association Website or are thinking about implementing one, the following tips are for you.
Top 4 Homeowner Association Website Questions & Answers
1. What Content Should Homeowners Association Websites Contain?
- A Welcome page that describes your community, not so much for you but for those visiting the site
- A dues payment portal
- A contact page with forms that are sent to the Board or Management company
- A password protected “Members” page that contains your:
- Governing Documents
- Rules and Regulations
- Budgets and Reserve studies
- Recent Board Minutes (at least 1 years’ worth)
- Names of Board Members
- Common forms like Architectural Requests, Owner Occupant forms, and Pet Registrations to name a few.
- Calendar of events that lists community events, board meetings and refuse schedules.
- Clubhouse Rentals (if applicable)
- An email blast sign-up form.
- Use a mail delivery tool that is CAN-SPAM compliant. Do not use the website to send messages as that involves collecting private user data.
2. What Content Should HOA Websites Avoid?
Your website should never include an open forum or comments. Forums frequently backfire and damage the reputation of your Homeowners Association.
Your website should never store user identities otherwise known as Personally Identifiable Information or PII. The definition of PII is expanding and changing rapidly.
3. What Can Be Done To Protect Homeowners Association Websites?
Many associations believe they are saving money when a homeowner makes and maintains their website. Boards should not allow a homeowner to claim their online identity.
There are many issues regarding freedom of speech and ownership with that path, not to mention opening up the association to legal liability.
The DIY HOA website route only leads to problems. If you can’t fix it don’t make it.
Don’t help that son of a breach
Keeping website content as safe and easy to navigate as possible is not an easy task. Employing professionals can reduce your risk and better protect your data. Look for a qualified web professional, management company, insurance specialists, and attorneys who are well versed in Community Law.
There is no benefit to implementing “users” that need to log in and create passwords. Storing personal information further increases your risk profile.The DIY HOA website route only leads to a dead end. If you can’t fix it don’t make it. Click To Tweet
While it is impossible to ever fully protect your site, a professional web developer will know how to mitigate damage and restore your site to a pre-hack state that is safe to use again.
4. Where Might HOA Websites Need Legal Assistance?
In most cases, your HOA is incorporated and, as such, is held to a higher standard of compliance.
Although it may be tempting to copy and paste standard legal documentation, doing so may be worse than no policy at all. Hire a legal professional, it is worth the expense.
Rinaldo Acri Says, “With most people turning to the internet as a primary source of information, a community association website is a necessity.”
While homeowners may not be visiting your HOA website daily, when they do visit a professionally provided website, they deserve content served on a safe and secure platform.