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Tips to Prepare Your Association for Summer

Summertime is fast approaching, and so are all the joys of having fun under the Southern California sun. Thanks to the warm weather and clear skies, summer is the perfect season to make major headway on HOA management projects. Make

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Condo Association Board Personalities

Condo Boards are made up of all sorts of people. They come from different backgrounds and may be great at their jobs – or really bad. Board members tend to have several different types of personalities, which strongly influence how

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Business Judgment Rule Doesn’t Apply When the Board Acts Outside its Authority

Is an HOA Board of Directors (“Board”) entitled to protection under the Business Judgment Rule (“BJR”) when it applies an unambiguous view restriction contained in the governing documents in a manner other than written?    Read the article…………….

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Directors: No One Voted For Me

I don’t want to sound ungrateful, and as much as I appreciate the fact that I have earned the trust of the board members in the communities we manage, I must remind all directors: No one votes for the manager.

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10 Tips to Improve the Lives of Condo Owners… and of Condo Directors

Condo democracy has had a fair bit of bad press recently. Vote rigging, fraudulent proxies and director collusion made headlines in May. But is it really all gloom and doom in condos under Ontario skies? In this post, we provide

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“What’s in a Name?” Quite a bit, particularly for Association Board Members who have been Defamed

When Shakespeare coined the phrase “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” in Hamlet, he probably wasn’t envisioning that sentiment could apply centuries later to volunteer board members. However, the Bard was opining that bad things can happen to a

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Ask An Expert: About Your Condo, HOA Rules

Q: I own a townhouse in a homeowners association (HOA) community. During my purchase interview, the rules and regulations were explained. During the last few years, I have noticed the board members violating the rules and regulations of the complex

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Condo board members not personally liable for bad decision

Q: Our condo is having some work done, and the job will cost substantially more than what the board told us. Now it looks like there will be another special assessment to cover the additional costs. I think the board

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Community Association Board Members Can be Considered Limited Purpose Public Figures in Defamation Cases

There is a growing body of case law around the country which would make it more difficult for an allegedly defamed community association board member to successfully pursue his or her day in court. Is a community association board member

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6 Mistakes That HOA Boards Can Accidentally Make

A lot of responsibility rests on the shoulders of your HOA board, and it’s up to them to keep a harmonious environment between residents while increasing the value of the community as a whole.   But what happens when a

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Can a delinquent owner serve on the condo board?

Q:  Our bylaws state that if a unit owner is delinquent 60 days or more, he or she cannot vote on any condo business, including election of officers. One unit owner is challenging the association on certain decisions the board

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Condo Boards Beware: Risks Outweigh Advantages of Using E-mail to Discuss Association Business

It is a sign of technology’s fast and firm grip that few of us can remember a time when we communicated by mail (letters inserted in envelopes, affixed with stamps and delivered by the post office) rather than e-mail, delivered

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Avoiding Conflicts of Interest as an HOA Board Member

When you’re an HOA board member, you hold a great deal of responsibility for your association in your hands. You want to be sure that you’re handling that responsibility correctly–and avoiding conflicts of interest is one of the key ways

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HOA Directors in California – WATCH OUT! READ THIS!

Rogue Directors – Beware – HOA Director Liability -What is Happening in California?  Here’s the general question of importance in this blog:  Are California HOA Board Directors protected in California for their actions on the Board? Does the “business judgment

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Three Condo Association Project Red Flags

When you’re carrying out a major project, you’re bound to encounter issues. Unhappy Owners, unexpected “surprises” during the project, and other challenges are to be expected. A challenging issue is figuring out what problems are part of the normal lifecycle

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Harassment in Associations – Boards Must Act

It has been illegal for a condominium board to discriminate against a unit owner on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability. What if a resident complains that other residents or even board members

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On an HOA Board: Here’s How to Avoid Problems

If you live in an established 55+ community or an active adult community there is a Homeowners Association (often called Community Associations) in charge. While often maligned, these boards are necessary – somebody has to run the place. Boards need

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Making Transparency a Priority in Your HOA Board

Nothing will sink your HOA board faster than secrecy. While there are times when confidentially is necessary, most often HOA board business is public information and required to be easily accessible to homeowners. Boards should always focus on clear communication

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Three Condo Association Board Bad Habits to Break Right Now

Sometimes you pick up bad habits. Maybe it’s because you have a bad influence, maybe a bad upbringing. It could be because you’re lazy. Condo Association Boards operate the same way. You’re carrying out your work, generally being a good

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How an HOA Board Can Still Govern When the Board President Passes Away

Finding members in your homeowners association who want to volunteer on the HOA board can be hard – finding a member to step up and become the board president is even harder. So, what do you do when the current

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Crystal Vision: Why Communication Between a Board and Management Company Matters

As a board member, you want your community to grow and thrive. Having a vision for your community—the aesthetics of it, its reputation, the kinds of programming it offers and amenities it provides—is critical to its long-term well-being. A well-crafted

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What Does it Mean to be a Fiduciary?

In simplest terms, to be a fiduciary to another person or party is to be in a position of trust. For example, a patient trusts her doctor to make the correct diagnosis. A parishioner trusts his priest to keep his

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How Healthy Is Your Condo Board? How to Conduct a Thorough Checkup

As uncomfortable as it might be to get poked and prodded while you’re clothed in a paper gown, medical checkups are essential to maintaining your health. Well, guess what? That same wisdom applies to buying a home—particularly if that home

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Managing Condo Association Workflow

Being on a Condo Board is a challenging job. You may understand what you’re getting into, but living it is a whole different beast. Board members have numerous challenges to contend with. You resolve disputes, create budgets, execute major projects

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You Won the Election, Now What?

Congratulations! You threw your hat in the ring, ran a vigorous issues-based campaign promising to shake up the establishment, and ultimately won a seat on your association’s board of directors. Once the champagne stops flowing, consider the following tips to

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Three Questions to ask Prospective Condo Association Board Candidates

Condo elections are incredibly important. New Condo Board members help fight apathy and infuse new energy into Boards. On the other hand, established veterans who have led the Association for years are critical as well. Too often, the “campaign” part

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Duties of Homeowner Association Board of Directors

Ok, you have volunteered to serve on the board of your non-profit association. You attend your first board meeting. You start to vote on various issues. What guides you in making your decisions? Under the Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act

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3 Common Questions About an HOA Board of Directors

The Board of Directions of an Association is responsible for protecting, maintaining and enhancing the community. Knowing who the members of the Board are and having a basic understanding of what they do is a good way for all members

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The Role of the Community Association in Neighbor vs Neighbor Disputes

Neighbor vs neighbor disputes are frequently a part of life in community associations. Common examples may include an owner allowing his dog to use his neighbor’s yard or an owner dumping trash on his neighbor’s yard. Although they may initially

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HOA Homefront: Being a volunteer means no profiteering (CA)

Q:  A board member also owns several properties elsewhere. A homeowners association vendor told me that this director demands, and gets, “discounts” from the vendor for work done on the director’s other properties. This is certainly ethically questionable as I

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Ask An Expert: About Your Condo, HOA Rules

Q:  Can an association sue a member of the association for defaming the board, or can only the individual board member make the claim? What do you suggest an association due to stop harassment from a member of the community,

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When private interests infiltrate the condo board

Why does one become a director? It’s generally not the applause, the pay cheque, or the pleasure of being bombarded in the elevators by other residents’ questions. Some directors cite interest in playing their part to help their home thrive,

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HOA Board Directors: Lone Ranger or Tonto?

Being a person that wants to serve and protect your own interests, you get yourself elected to the board. At the first board meeting, the president gives you a pep talk about not giving instructions to contractors or discussing board

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The Board Member’s Toolbox for Building Community

As a Board member, it can sometimes be easy to focus on the operational functions of managing an Association rather than the larger picture: creating a Community that Homeowners and residents love to live in. Vendors of all sorts must

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Part III of the Breaking Up Series: Leaving the Past Behind You

n this final installment of my Breaking Up series, I want to talk about what a new board needs to do to get out from under the legacy left behind from an old board, particularly when that legacy is not

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How to Improve Condo Association Culture for the Better

Most people in a HOA or a Condo Association – if they are not indifferent – want to have a better Association. The internet is full of helpful articles and blogs that will help educate you on how to change

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When Boards Have to Fight for What’s Right (NY)

Sometimes, co-op and condo boards have to be willing to fight for what’s right. That was certainly the case for Larry Kelter, who got hit with a one-two punch after becoming board president at the Hamlet at Windwatch, a 228-unit

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Fiduciary Duty and Community Association Board Members

We frequently talk about the fact that homeowner association board members have a “fiduciary duty” to the members. What exactly is it? Is it spelled out in the law? What sort of actions would violate that duty?  A fiduciary duty

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Sharing Condo Association Work on a Board

A Condo Association is a volunteer organization. You know what you’re getting into and how a Condo Board works. Unfortunately, you’ve got different types of Board members who work at different paces. Some are the super type-A’s who work endlessly.

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The Rogue One: Directors Gone Bad

A condo director unilaterally fires the property manager, hires himself in her place, enters into several other contracts without discussing it with the other directors, bullies the other owners, sues the corporation, and causes thousands of dollars in damages. It

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Serve on the Board – or Pay Up

Here’s a novel way to fill those unfillable vacancies on a co-op board.  Many co-ops struggle mightily to find people willing to take on the thankless job of board service. That’s not surprising. The job comes with some to-die-for perks,

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Learning to Be a Condo Association Board Leader

You know what you’re getting into and you’ve learned how your Board does its work. You’ve probably been frustrated with some things, and wondered why they aren’t better, or why things aren’t done the right way. You have grown, grasshopper.

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One Board President’s On-the-Job Training

John F. Kennedy said, famously, that there’s no school for presidents. The only way to learn the job is by doing it. The same goes for presidents of co-op and condo boards. Just ask Darren Arithoppah.  Like many of the

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In a community association, who’s actually in charge?

It takes a village to run a community association.  This village typically is composed of an elected board and its officers, unit owners, perhaps a few committees and a hired manager. Each one has roles to play and responsibilities to

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Five Common Emails from Condo Owners

A big part of leading a Condo Association is communicating with Owners. Unfortunately, as many veterans know, most interactions are not Owners telling you how awesome you are and what a great job you’re doing. Typically their engagement with the

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Can an association board sue a member for defamation?

Q: Can an Association sue a member of the Association for defaming the Board, or can only the individual board member make the claim? What do you suggest an association due to stop harassment from a member of the community,

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What the HOA Board Should Know About Making Association Rules

When thinking of rules within a California Homeowners Association, what comes to mind are the few but chronic rule breakers that somehow find their way into some associations, and how nice it might be to have a spell to bring

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5 Ways To Deal With Board Members That Micro-Manage

It’s no secret that board members that micro-manage make life tough for property managers. The need for the board to control even the smallest aspect of a property manager’s job is not only considered a nuisance—it’s stressful. What if I

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How to Create The Ultimate Operations Calendar for Your Community

The start of a new year is about more than just changing the calendar on the wall. It’s an opportunity to strategically plan your community association’s operations calendar for the next year to ensure you complete all necessary tasks and

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Invalid Board Does Not Have Authority to Bring Lawsuit on Association’s Behalf

The Appeals Court of Illinois recently held that an association’s board of directors does not have authority to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the association if it is not formed properly according to the condominium’s governing documents and the

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