Community associations are not immune in this recession. Sadly, some homes have been abandoned. The homes were foreclosed and the owners moved away. When banks take over these properties, they usually don’t realize they need to pay the regular assessment. With the depth of the foreclosure crisis and their own financial problems, banks are struggling to keep up.
It’s hard not to complain about a nearby property looking downtrodden. We all want to come home to a community we can be proud of. If the house next door is abandoned or not maintained, offer to help. Be sure to check with the association first if you want to clean up an abandoned property. The property may belong to the bank, the association or the financially-strapped owner. If no one is given notice that volunteers are coming to maintain a property, trespassing charges can be filed—not exactly a nice return on generosity.
If given approval to access a property, there are simple things volunteers can do to improve the look. When the trash is cleaned up, the yard is watered and mowed and the newspapers, door hangers and phone books are picked up off the porch, the home is less inviting to thieves and looks better.
Having unity in the community has never been more important than in times like these. Thankfully, as neighbors, we have one another. Don’t get angry, get helpful.