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Three Reasons to Become an HOA Board Member

Do you have great ideas about how your community can be managed more efficiently?  Would you like to become more involved in your HOA’s daily operations?  Do you have the time, dedication and enthusiasm to regularly volunteer your skills for

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The Business Judgment Rule Is Both Shield and Sword (NY)

Many members of co-op and condo boards sleep well at night because of the Business Judgment Rule. It shields boards from second-guessing and legal challenges – provided they act in good faith and in the lawful and legitimate furtherance of

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Advice for New Community Association and HOA Board Members

Whether you emerged victorious after a heated political battle, or ran unopposed, you’re now an HOA or community association board member. Thank you for volunteering to serve your community. Now that you’re stuck (just kidding), let me start by saying

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Some do’s and don’ts for HOA board members (NV)

Q: I have recently moved to Nevada, then into a very nice community. Being the type of person I am, I noticed issues that concerned me and have now gotten myself elected to the homeowners association board of directors, and

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Do condo and co-op board members have to disclose conflicts of interest? (NY)

The state legislature recently passed a law that will make life a little more difficult, and legislators hope, a little less ripe for self-dealing, for co-op and condo board members.  “The law, which goes into effect January 1st, requires co-op

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Kass: CondoGate: Is there a Scandal in your Community Association?

Question. I own a unit in a condominium association. It is managed by a property management company. The wife of the President of the Board of Directors has been employed by that management company. The President has monopolized the other

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12 Things My Board and I Do When We Want to Be Sued

It is well known that Association Board members (directors) have fiduciary duties to their unit owners and associations. It is almost as commonly known that the officers have the same fiduciary duties. Yet associations, directors and officers are often sued

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Three Bad Reasons to Join a Condo Board

The job of Condo Association Board member is not an easy one. You’re faced with a wide variety of different challenges, and the job is completely unpaid. Most people join Boards for the right reasons – namely to make their

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Fiduciary Duties 101 – Limiting the Liability of the Board

A fiduciary duty creates an obligation to act for another’s benefit. A board of director’s fiduciary duty is to the association and its members. So what are the core duties of an association director? Individual loyalty, good faith and fair

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Tips for Dealing With Condo Association Enemies

Making enemies in a Condo Association is inevitable. Unfortunately, while they might be your enemy, they’re also your neighbor. Though you might be tempted to escalate the hostile activities, as a Condo Association Board member, that’s not really a great

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How to Resign From an HOA Board Gracefully

Deciding to resign from an HOA board can sometimes be a difficult decision. However, at times, it can often be the best choice for both you and the board if you are finding your schedule no longer allows for the

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HOA Homefront: Can a board grant exclusive use in common-area space?

Q:  My homeowners association has a board that changes all the time. People with agendas run, and many times they leave after one year. The question is whether the HOA can continually “grant” various owners rights into the greenbelt/common area.

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Defending Unit Owner Lawsuits in Community Associations: A Step by Step Process

While being named as a defendant in a lawsuit is never ideal, community associations have a number of defense tactics available to prepare for the possibility of litigation. These defense measures may enable an association to avoid costly litigation and

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4 HOA Accounting Principles Board Member Should Know

One of the fundamentals of community management is the HOA accounting. As a Board Member, you may or may not have a background or experience in reading and understanding financial reports. Here are some things every board member should know

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Types of Enemies in a Condo Association

One of the challenges of being on a Condo Association is that you’re forced to make hard decisions. With fiduciary duty as your guide, it is inevitable that you will be forced to choose the Association over an Owner. Further,

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Condo Association Board Scenarios New Members Encounter

There are many good reasons for you to join your Association’s Condo Board. Some are purely selfish, others are for your community. One of the greatest challenges when you join a Condo Board is learning how to be an effective

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The Condo Association Board Socialite Profile

The word “community” is prominent in community Associations. This implies more than just a Condo Association where bills are paid on time and reserve studies are built. While those are necessities, they are not enough. A Condo Association should thrive

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How to Train New Board Members for your HOA

A condo or homeowner’s association is the cornerstone of a building community. The condominium of HOA maintains order and continuity by preserving architectural integrity, maintaining the common elements, protecting property values, and often providing for recreation and community engagement among

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Problem Boards: What To Do When Your Board Breaks the Rules

A condominium, cooperative or homeowners’ association elects a board for a specific purpose: to manage the community’s day-to-day business, oversee special projects, and draft and uphold the rules and regulations that keep life orderly and harmonious. In fact, the board

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What Owners Need to Know about Community Association Board Meetings

A Board Meeting is a meeting that is held regularly by the Board of Directors. This meeting is held to discuss and make decisions on association business. Owners are welcome to attend these meetings. These meetings are usually held monthly

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4 Signs You Might Be Hurting Your HOA

Despite the best of intentions, many times an HOA board actually becomes the downfall of their association. How does this happen? Well, there are a lot of different ways for things to go awry, but here are 4 clues that

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Preventing Community Association Fraud: Part One – The Board’s Role

As a homeowner who lives in an association, you put a lot of trust in the people designated to manage your association’s money. So it can come as quite a shock if you discover that one of those people has

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A Guide To HOA Board Responsibilities

Serving on the board of a homeowner association is a high calling. Well meaning volunteers are elected to roles that are critical to the well being of the HOA. But what exactly is a board member supposed to do to

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Avoiding Community Association Conflicts of Interest: Best practices for board members and property managers

HOA board members, as well as property managers, are bound by codes of ethics (written or unwritten) to put the interests of their respective associations ahead of their own. Conflicts of interest, or even the hint of conflicts, can create

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HOA Homefront: Conflicts of interest and when to step aside (CA)

If one is involved in a decision affecting or involving that person uniquely as opposed to the community generally, that is a conflict of interest. Directors and committee members should avoid involvement in discussions or decisions in which they have

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The Condo Association Board Prosecutor Profile

Is your community lawless? Are your rules out of date and unenforced? If so, that means you probably don’t have a Condo Association Board Prosecutor. This week’s Condo Association Board personality profile is the Prosecutor. The Prosecutor wants to live

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HOA Volunteer Immunity and the Standard of Care

Unfortunately, one of the most persistent and justifiable worries of volunteer HOA board directors is their vulnerability to lawsuits. In order to gauge one’s own vulnerability, it’s important to consider the many layers of potential immunity and general protection that

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Recruiting Directors In Your HOA

From time to time, it is necessary or desirable to recruit new directors. It may due to a vacancy or an upcoming election. Often volunteers are reluctant to commit until they fully understand the scope of the job and time

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Standing to Sue While Sitting on the Board

Standing is a party’s right to make a legal claim in Court. When the judge comes out to sit on the bench, she will read the cases and the parties or their attorneys come forward as called. “Standing” is the

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Board members unlikely to be liable for auto accidents in community

Question: We live in a large senior community governed by an HOA. The board of directors has suddenly decided that they are personally responsible for auto accidents in our community, and they want to spend upwards of $30,000 to add

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Strata management could be hindered, not helped, by your business skills

You might think that all those skills you acquired climbing the corporate ladder and studying for your MBA make you the perfect candidate for your strata committee.  But while some attributes help in both fields, others have a downside that

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Being a Condo Association Board Mentor

You’ve done it. Several years – maybe even multiple terms – as a Condo Association Board member and you’re suddenly an accomplished veteran. You have multiple major projects under your belt, and you’ve improved your community – maybe by starting

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How to Handle Neighbor Disputes in Your Homeowners Association

You have two residents in your community who for whatever reason do not get along. Unfortunately they live right across the street from one another!  Your homeowners association manager receives phone calls and emails from these two weekly. Bill calls

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The Top 5 Things Your HOA Board Should Avoid

Being on the homeowners association board can be a difficult task at times due to the nature of the job. However, it’s possible to run a smooth board and community by avoiding the most common mishaps amongst board members.  

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Conflicts of Interest (IL)

The Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Condominium Act”) does not provide complete guidance on when a board decision may be invalidated due to a conflict of interest. Therefore, a court, when deciding if a decision should be set aside due

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6 Tips for Onboarding a Community Association Board

Anytime you have incoming board members to your community association, it is important to set expectations and outline the duties each person will perform. New board members must be brought up to speed as quickly as possible so that you

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The Condo Association Board Executive Profile

This week’s Condo Association Board personality profile is the Condo Association Board Executive. The Condo Association Board Executive takes their job on the Board very seriously, and approaches running the Association as a business. Open-minded and professional, the Executive also

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Kickbacks: Don’t get accused of taking them (FL)

Despite all the great work done by volunteer condo and HOA board members, the actions of a few bad apples have resulted in law changes that could label a casual lunch meeting an illegal kickback!  Board Members (and Managers) cannot

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Three Common Situations Where a Condo Board Will Waive Fees

Life is messy. There are many things that can unexpectedly happen which impact your life. You might run into unexpected financial hardship, be relocated unexpectedly for your job, or suffer personal tragedy. These issues can end up being overwhelmingly consuming.

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6 Tips on How to Become a More Effective Board Member

Serving on the board of your homeowners association (HOA) or condo community association can be a very rewarding experience. You’re able to have a greater impact and influence on how things are run and be an integral part of decision

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A Bad Condo Association Board Habit to Avoid

Grumpy and petulant Condo Association Board members are devastating in a Condo Association. Whether you are in a well run – or poorly run – Condo Association can be revealed by many signs. If your goal is to run your

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HOA Board Liability

As a board member you obviously care about your community and its well-being – good for you! Your community will benefit from your dedication and personal investment. But something you and your fellow board members should consider is personal liability

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Fundamentals of Good Condo Association Management

Running a Condo Association is no simple task. You must manage a budget, keep a building in good repair, fix issues for Owners, deal with unexpected disasters, manage crazy Board members, and more. Although this can be daunting, there are

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Encouraging Board Participation How to Attract Talent

With so many people leading busy, sometimes hectic, lives that revolve around work, kids, social functions, and other obligations, it’s often very difficult for co-op/condo/HOA administrators to find residents willing and able to serve their community as board members (or

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Creating an HOA Board Member Code of Ethics

As you create your HOA board, your goal is to create a solid platform for providing the best possible living experience for all of the members of your community. Unfortunately, there will be times when there is conflict within the

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When Differences turn into Dysfunction: Why Your Board of Directors Needs a Code of Conduct

The role of board members in a community association is fairly straightforward: keep informed on the association’s business operations; be familiar with and come prepared to discuss the agenda items for upcoming board meetings; encourage and participate in constructive, businesslike

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Five Best Practices for Improving Condo Board Communication

Funny, isn’t it, how a flock of geese can manage to communicate well enough to prevent mid-air collisions but people find this task very difficult. Communication is always one of those things that get forgotten. Who has time to be

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Duties of Your HOA Board

If you live in a planned community, you or various of you neighbors may decide to join the board of your homeowners’ association (HOA). It’s a way to get involved and to have a say in how your community maintains

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How to Find New HOA Board Members

Many homeowners association boards ask us how they can get more people involved in their community’s HOA management. The inherent issue is that an HOA board is pulling from a group of people who already lead busy lives. Serving on

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Musical Chairs & Management Stability

To be on a board of directors for a community association is not an easy job. Yes, “job.” Although these are positions filled by volunteer owners, it is a job.  Many community associations share this job with the assistance of

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