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Maintenance Articles from the Web

Buildings

  • The future of cleaning (part 2): Condo Disruption Series June 22, 2017 Years ago in the early days of my professional life I was sharing a place with a friend. We knew each other well enough to know we needed a cleaning lady. Both of us were clean by nature, but as so often happens with housemates, we also knew that we weren’t going to dedicate part of our weekends to vacuuming carpets and washing toilets. So we did what most people do when they want a home cleaning person. We asked ...
  • The future of cleaning (part 1): Condo Disruption Series June 22, 2017 Cleaning services. Probably not the first subject that comes to mind when thinking about disruption in the condo world. But there is a lot in store for condos that will require serious thought from boards and management.   Read the article……………
  • Prepping Your Property for Warmer Weather May 11, 2017 With the end of winter comes relief. No more snow or sleet or slush or sludge; it’s sunshine and windbreaker season, baby! But the board of a condo, cooperative or homeowners association cannot be content with simply waiting for April showers to bring the long-awaited May flowers. A lot of work must be done to get a community ready to celebrate the spring in good standing, and certain projects need to be started well before even the first thaw. Amenities ...
  • Power Outages and Blackouts – How Your Association Can Minimize Risk May 10, 2017 Losing power is never fun. But it’s bound to happen at some point, so preparation is the best defense. Obviously, different types of communities are affected by blackouts in different critical ways: high-rises lose their elevators and water; resort-style gated communities lose the ability to operate their gates. For residents, a blackout may be a short-term nuisance. For a community association, it can be a major headache in terms of risk management, safety and potential equipment damage that can provide ...
  • Fireplace and Chimney Problems, Tips & Prevention April 18, 2017 Most folks consider their fireplaces and chimneys to be indestructible parts of their home that require little or no maintenance. While masonry work is generally as close to maintenance-free as you can get, fireplaces and chimneys are more than just works of masonry: they are a part of your home’s heating system, which must effectively exhaust fumes from your fireplace, furnace and water heater.  Relatively minor but regular maintenance efforts can help your chimney operate safely for an indefinite period ...

Buildings Archive

 

Grounds

  • Community Gardens in Your HOA June 15, 2017 Community gardens are all the rage right now, and for good reason. Gardening offers people the chance to grow their own food and reap the rewards of hard work and diligence. But beyond that, a community garden offers a group of people the chance to come together and bond over a common interest.  If your community is considering a garden, here are three tips that make it a success!    Read the article………….
  • Weed Tips to Avoid the HOA Letters June 15, 2017 Lawn maintenance can kind of be a hassle, but with some patience and some weed tips and tricks, you can have a beautiful lawn and landscaping in no time. Avoid the HOA warning letters with these weed tips, and keep your lawn properly cared for! HOA letters are no joke, you don’t want to have a violation on your yard, so making sure to follow the strict rules of your housing area are key. Check out these preventative tips or ...
  • Tree Care for Your HOA May 24, 2017 With spring in bloom and hot weather becoming the norm, it’s important to make sure your trees are properly cared for. We often hear about communities who ignored their trees until many were sick or dying. Instead, we encourage your community to proactively treat trees for pests, prune them regularly, feed them with proper fertilizers, and balance the soil PH.  Since there are so many variables to making sure trees, or even shrubs, stay healthy, we encourage your HOA to ...
  • Prepping Your Property for Warmer Weather May 11, 2017 With the end of winter comes relief. No more snow or sleet or slush or sludge; it’s sunshine and windbreaker season, baby! But the board of a condo, cooperative or homeowners association cannot be content with simply waiting for April showers to bring the long-awaited May flowers. A lot of work must be done to get a community ready to celebrate the spring in good standing, and certain projects need to be started well before even the first thaw. Amenities ...
  • How can we best terminate our landscape vendor? April 23, 2017 Q: We are not happy with our current landscape vendor. We already have bids from various landscape maintenance contractors and want to terminate the current vendor. Any tips?   Read the Q&A………..

Grounds Archives

Energy & Water Conservation

  • The Future of Going Solar (AZ) June 22, 2017 Arizona law favors the use of solar energy devices by homeowners within community associations. In fact, pursuant to A.R.S. Section 33-439(A), “ny covenant, restriction or condition contained in any deed, contract, security agreement or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of, or any interest in, real property which effectively prohibits the installation or use of a solar energy device as defined in section 44-1761 is void and unenforceable.”    Read the article………….
  • Condo residents want county to curtail park’s recycled water project June 22, 2017 A project to install a recycled wastewater irrigation system at Waipuilani Park in Kihei is concerning condominium residents, who irrigate a portion of the park themselves and say that the project is a needless cost to the county.  Board members at the Maui Sunset condos and the Kihei Community Association sent letters to the county last week asking to stop the project, which is scheduled to begin July 5.    Read the article…………..
  • Understanding Residential Irrigation Users to Target Water Conservation Extension Programs June 22, 2017 Water scarcity is one of the most important current issues, and Extension can play a role in helping people conserve water in the home landscape. Residential irrigation users make up an important target audience. The study reported here showed that residential irrigators are different from the general public in important ways. Home irrigation users value clean water more, value plentiful water less, and perceive stronger positive governmental support for water conservation. Extension professionals can target programs to this critical audience ...
  • Water Shortage Restrictions Override Deed Restrictions June 16, 2017 Homeowners associations may not require lot owners to pressure wash their homes, or to water or replace their lawns while there are water shortage restrictions in effect.  The Southwest Florida Water Management District (“SWFWMD”), the agency responsible for managing and protecting water resources of southwest Florida, has declared that Modified Phase III water shortage restrictions are in effect from June 5, 2017 through August 1, 2017 in several counties, including Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota, ...
  • Issues That Cross State Lines: A Look at Condo Legislation Trends June 15, 2017 When it comes to legislation and legal issues that apply to condo associations, co-ops, and other multifamily housing models, the focus is often local—city ordinances, council meetings, and so forth – but there are judgments handed down and bills passed that impact buildings and HOAs on a national level. For boards and managers who want to stay in the know about how the law impacts their homes and communities, it pays to keep abreast of these developments, even if they ...

Energy & Water Conservation Archives

 

Fire Safety

  • We’re entering fire season. Here’s how to keep your home safe (ID) June 8, 2017 Residents of the Meadow Ridge subdivision enjoy a lifestyle somewhere between urban and rural.  A brushy expanse separates the community from the nearby Canyon Rim Trail and Snake River Canyon. Here, a snake glided lazily across a cheat grass-lined dirt path on Wednesday while birds and butterflies flitted in sagebrush.  Examining the dry grass, Gloria Gott explained how all it would take is one lightning bolt — or a dragging chain from a vehicle above Shoshone Falls Grade — to ...
  • Goats to reduce Castle Pine’s fire risk one bite at a time (CO) May 31, 2017 You may see hundreds of goats in Castle Pines by the end of the month as they chomp down the risk of fire near the Douglas County community.  South Metro Fire Rescue, along with Pine Ridge Homeowners Association, will be bringing the goats to multiple locations to graze on weeds and shrubs that have swallowed up acres of open space.  The goats were in Castle Pines last year, and the animals’ boundless appetite proved to be a success. This year, ...
  • Fire Sprinklers Getting A Boost At Three Lakefront Condo Complexes (MO) May 11, 2017 Three lakefront condo complexes are taking the next step to upgrade their fire sprinklers.  The Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District has approved plans for upgrades to the TT water system that supplies the fire sprinklers to the Nantucket Bay, Westside Bay, and RCI Condominium complexes on Route TT in Sunrise Beach.  The fire district, working with a professional fire protection engineer had determined that the water supply to these sprinkler systems would not meet the performance criteria in the local ...
  • Mystic Shores on Path to Firewise Certification (NJ) May 5, 2017 Mystic Shores, an active adult community in Little Egg Harbor, is starting the qualification process to become a Firewise Community/USA. The program goal, according to homeowners association member Karen Yock, is to implement fire mitigation concepts wherever possible.  “We are using a five-step process that includes developing an action plan that will bring our community into compliance with the National Wildfire Coordinating Group,” she writes.    Read the article………….
  • Fireplace and Chimney Problems, Tips & Prevention April 18, 2017 Most folks consider their fireplaces and chimneys to be indestructible parts of their home that require little or no maintenance. While masonry work is generally as close to maintenance-free as you can get, fireplaces and chimneys are more than just works of masonry: they are a part of your home’s heating system, which must effectively exhaust fumes from your fireplace, furnace and water heater.  Relatively minor but regular maintenance efforts can help your chimney operate safely for an indefinite period ...

Fire Safety Archives

Security

  • Security Cameras in Michigan Condominium Projects June 26, 2017 Whether inside a grocery store, at a gas station or even in your neighborhood, security cameras are everywhere in modern society. As technology evolves and cheaper and better cameras come onto the market each year, Michigan condominiums are experiencing an increase in surveillance and/or security camera usage. Security cameras raise significant legal questions that impact decisions made by the Board of Directors and co-owners. When considering the pros/cons of security cameras, some common questions arise:    Read the article……………..
  • How Effective is Your HOA Security? June 22, 2017 When you think of HOA security you usually think of Gated communities, security guards, and surveillance cameras. If you follow the news you might think of “neighborhood watch gone wrong” or “unarmed grandfather killed by security guard”  The fact is every community experiences crime of one kind or another – whether it be vandalism, burglaries, or something more serious. According to an FBI report nearly 72% of burglaries took place in residential locations. When crime happens many homeowners ask the ...
  • Kass: What should associations do when strangers lurk? June 20, 2017 I am on the board of our medium-size homeowners association. It is not gated, and periodically we see a strange man wandering around on our streets. He has frightened some young children who were riding their bikes. We have called the police but by the time they come, the man has somehow disappeared. Any suggestions?   Read the Q&A…………..
  • Businessman who sits on condo boards also copies fobs for $35, no questions asked June 19, 2017 For $35, nearly anyone can copy an electronic key fob and get access to dozens of Toronto condo towers, a CBC Toronto investigation has revealed.  CBC Toronto used hidden cameras to show how easy it is to do.  Toronto businessman George Laczko is the director of FobCopy, a walk-in and mail-in business near Bloor and Sherbourne streets that copies different types of fobs — small electronic key tags that give people access to condo towers and their common areas like ...
  • Northwest Austin neighborhoods pay out of pocket for more police (TX) May 27, 2017 Concerns over speeding and code enforcement have led at least three Northwest Austin neighborhoods to pay for extra law-enforcement patrols.   On top of its individual tax contributions to the city’s police budget, the Balcones Village/Spicewood Homeowners Association—located west of US 183 and south of Anderson Mill Road—pays the Travis County Constable’s Office to deploy off-duty officers to the 1,100-home neighborhood in an effort to increase the safety of its streets.   Read the article……………..

Security Archives

 

Amenities

  • Homeowners buy Royal Tee Golf Course in Cape Coral; hire director (FL) June 23, 2017 The Cape Royal Homeowners Association has taken going green to a whole other level.  The members bought and are renovating the former Royal Tee Golf Club in Cape Royal, hoping to open the 27-hole course to the public and keep their lush views of rolling greens pristine.   Read the article…………..
  • Pool Guidelines June 19, 2017 Time to cool down and make a splash! Summer means pool time for many community associations. Are your pool guidelines in line with the Fair Housing Act (FHA)? Check the FHA blog for specifics:   Read the article…………..     Read the FHA Guidelines…………..
  • How Condo and Co-op Communities Take Advantage of Outdoor Environs June 15, 2017 Most people don’t usually think of New York City for its ample greenery. Crowds, traffic, and tall buildings–there’s a reason why it’s usually referred to as a “concrete jungle”. While the Big Apple has its lovely parks, including the most famous one Central Park, there are actually myriad lovely outdoor spaces throughout the boroughs waiting to be frequented by denizens young and old.  In fact, proximity to open spaces that provide a glimpse of nature and the tranquility that comes ...
  • Insurance Basics: Protecting Your Community Pool June 7, 2017 Swimming pools are one of the most common, and most desirable, amenities in managed communities. Whether your pool is an Olympic-sized fitness lover’s dream, a resort-style oasis or a rooftop paradise, your pool is an important feature for your residents that enhances their lifestyles every day.  Pools are also, unfortunately, an accident-prone area. In the event of an incident at your swimming pool, a lack of insurance, or a gap in your insurance coverage, can be devastating to your association’s ...

Amenities Archives

 

Maintenance – General Articles

  • Prepping Your Property for Warmer Weather May 11, 2017 With the end of winter comes relief. No more snow or sleet or slush or sludge; it’s sunshine and windbreaker season, baby! But the board of a condo, cooperative or homeowners association cannot be content with simply waiting for April showers to bring the long-awaited May flowers. A lot of work must be done to get a community ready to celebrate the spring in good standing, and certain projects need to be started well before even the first thaw. Amenities ...
  • Outdoor Spring Cleaning 101 May 7, 2017 With spring in full swing, it’s time to start working on that spring cleaning checklist. While almost everyone has a list of indoor spring cleaning tasks, you don’t want to forget about the outside of homes and common areas.  Here are some recommendations for your home:    Read the article…………..
  • Price vs A Job Well Done ~ Managing Maintenance Issues in a Homeowners Association May 6, 2017 One of the largest questions we get at Key CMI is about managing maintenance issues in a Homeowners Association scenario. Has your board of directors ever embarked on a significant community project, and once completed, it became evident the quality of the job didn’t meet expectations, but you sure saved a lot of money? HOA board members face the delicate task of accomplishing the maintenance needs and desires of their association while balancing cost and quality of work.  As a ...
  • Here Comes the Sun May 4, 2017 In preparation for writing this week’s blog post, I googled songs about the sun. Dozens of cheery, happy songs immediately sprung from the internet. Out of curiosity, I also googled songs about rain. A few select, dreary, and depressing songs popped up. I decided on Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles. The reason: we finally get at least a tease of sunshine indicating spring is on the way. After 738 straight days of rain in the Pacific Northwest (at ...

Maintenenace – General Articles Archives

 

Mold

  • Eight months after Hurricane Matthew toxic mold discovered at the Ormond Heritage condos (FL) May 19, 2017 The Ormond Heritage’s claim to fame has always been that it sits on the land where the Ormond Hotel, built by John Anderson at 1 John Anderson Drive, once stood.  The 156-unit condominium was damaged during Hurricane Matthew nearly eight months ago and the board association still hasn’t been able to get their insurance agency, Ariel out of Atlanta, to start covering the damage.    Read the article……………
  • Altamonte Springs renters living in moldy condo offered new unit after Channel 9 report (FL) May 18, 2017 Renters in an Altamonte Springs apartment said they have been living in deteriorating conditions for a nearly a year, and management refused to help until they turned to Channel 9 to get answers.  Gilretta and Felice Mathieu said they’ve been doing everything right as tenants, and have reported the issues right away, but they feel they’ve gotten nothing except their health jeopardized.  The mold growing inside their unit at Waterside at Crane’s Roost tested positive for black mold.    Read ...
  • Man asked to leave condo after mold found (NV) February 20, 2017 A Las Vegas family said they have nowhere to go after a crew started tearing open the walls of their condominium while they were still living there.  Thomas Torman said he noticed mold in his apartment near Lake Mead Boulevard and Buffalo Drive about a year after moving in.  He said everyone in the family was sick, so they had this inspection done and came back positive for mold. When Torman let his landlord know, he said the landlord sent ...
  • Debunking some toxic mold myths September 18, 2016 In 2000, a new “toxic mold” panic swept the country, and after 16 years of untold lawsuits and billions of dollars spent, major myths still plague and unnecessarily panic association boards, managers and homeowners. The myths all too often cause exaggerated repairs, unduly frightened residents, and conflict. In this and the next column, I will address thirteen pervasive toxic mold myths.     Read the article…………..

Mold Article Archives