HOA Lighting: Readers respond


COMMENT: I enjoy your column in my Sunday newspaper- in fact, it’s one of the few that survive as print journalism slowly fades away.

I want to commend you for suggesting in your story of the homeowner looking for help with outdoor lighting that HOAs aren’t the automatic panacea for every issue owners face. Sometimes, it’s okay for owners to find their own answers.

I’ve been on the Board of Directors of a 50+unit complex for many years. Some owners seem to have a mentality akin to apartment living, where the landlord takes care of basically everything. Of course, in a community with an homeowners association (HOA), its governing documents generally say who’s responsible for what. But they don’t (and can’t) cover every possible scenario.

Neighbor Problems: Dangerous Conditions

I’ve also discovered many owners believe that HOAs and owners are in an adversarial relationship. Or, that HOAs have endless uncommitted funds available to cover individual expenses vs. community expenses. I’ve always felt that if the governing documents aren’t clear on who pays, an individual owner should ask “Would I be okay with going around and asking my neighbors to pay for this?”

Your recent columns suggesting that HOAs can’t (and maybe shouldn’t) cover everything in a multifamily living environment are much appreciated.


Thank you for your comment. Sitting on an HOA board is certainly a balancing act. You have to figure out what the real story is, and how to provide the fairest and best solutions for everyone.

Kind of like writing our column. We’re always trying to figure out what really happened, and offer other ways to view and solve the big and small issues that crop up in daily life. And on that note…

COMMENT: If the subject of Homeowner association (HOA) lighting comes up again, please also mention how misdirected lighting can annoy neighbors by shining into bedrooms. Many people like dark skies (my husband is an astrophotographer). Lighting should always be minimal, appropriately placed, and should be shielded to point down to illuminate the least area possible for the purpose.

A homeowner wanted additional lighting installed around their building, so they wouldn’t trip. We suggested the homeowner could use a lantern or flashlight while walking around her building. The association could also decide on the type and amount of lighting to install. In each instance, the amount of lighting would be left to those directly affected by the lighting: the homeowners and their association.

Common Homeowner Association Problems

While your husband may like to take photographs at night, we doubt that he’d be taking his photos in walkways from a parking area to a building. But, we do see your point in making sure that when lighting is installed, it minimizes the shine into windows or areas that do not need to receive that lighting.

©2024 by Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency. A1634


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