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How an HOA Board Can Ask for Member’s Help as Inspectors of Election

It’s that time again in your homeowners association – time for the Annual Director Election. To be proactive and try to drum up participation from the membership, the HOA board may want to send out a notice to the members

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Homeowners Association/Reasonableness Of Fees/Section 1717: $25,614 Post-Judgment Enforcement Fee Award To HOA Affirmed On Appeal

The attorney for the prevailing homeowners association (HOA) did something very smart in Bryan Ranch Homeowners Assn. v. Lawrence, Case No. A147659 (1st Dist., Div. 1 Sept. 16, 2016) (unpublished), which we will now describe.  There, a homeowner and HOA

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Debunking some toxic mold myths

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

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Tips to Help Homeowners Association Residents Prevent Kitchen Fires

Fire can be a fear of residents within a homeowners association. They can break out in all sorts of situations, so it’s always good to remind owners in your community about fire safety.  Did you know that nearly two-thirds of

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Watch Yourself and Keep Your “Hands” Inside the Bus in Sale of Property in an HOA

Since the last blog I did is about selling property and a President who is a realtor, I want to do a blog to introduce something related to think about. When selling a home in a residential common interest development

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How Can the HOA Board Be Politically Correct During Campaign Season?

The presidential race is in full-swing and everyone is gearing up for the home stretch of campaign season. While some people prefer to keep their opinions to themselves, others want you to know exactly who they’re voting for and why.

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HOA Boards, Don’t Watch Your Elections Unravel! Get Election Rules!

A reader sent me this email last week: “I requested a copy of election operating rules from HOA. [The Board] says that election operating rules were adopted in 2007. I am positive that did not happen. What they gave was

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Substantiation Of Reasonableness Of Fees

This involved hotel unit condo owners’ over 3-year battle against the HOA and various management entities in which owners sought over $64 million for overcharging for hotel unit management services. The defense (several groups of cross-defendants) was able to obtain

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Tips from an HOA Board: Help Residents Breathe Easy in Their Homes

Believe it or not, the air inside the homes in your homeowners association may be less healthy than the air outdoors. Modern and well-insulated homes can actually trap pollutants, thus raising their potential for harm. Several common houseplants, however, can

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Banning Criminals

Associations can amend their governing documents to restrict certain types of criminals. If an association wants to amend their documents, boards should work with legal counsel to draft a provision that is narrowly tailored to prohibit those who represent a

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Sober Living Homes: How do we balance recovery with residential living?

Recovering addicts, as disabled persons, have the right to seek a supporting living environment, free from discrimination. Residents have the right to quietly enjoy their homes. Recovering addicts often seek out sober living homes (SLHs) to reside with others battling

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What to Do After a Natural Disaster in Your Homeowners Association

If your homeowners association property has been damaged in a natural disaster—hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake or fire there are some important steps you can take in the immediate aftermath to ensure your safety and minimize financial loss. Consider the following

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The Power of Ongoing Education for HOA Board Members

As a volunteer board member on your community’s homeowners association, you are not expected to understand the complicated logistical and legal details that govern the community. However, the more you know about the ins and outs of property management, the

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Setting the Tone through Leadership Management

When asked to do this article while looking through the lens of Management Practices, I thought of all the ways that we can set the tone both internally and externally, who sets it and how the tone impacts all of

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How to Efficiently Donate Used Items from Your Homeowners Association

It’s time for some seasonal cleaning in your homeowners association. Out with the old and in with the new – but what do you do with the “old” when it’s not quite ready for the landfill? Donating used items is

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Pokémon Go, What HOA’s Need to Know

As technology changes, so must community associations adapt. On July 6, 2016, Nintendo and software developer, Niantic, released the new cellular phone game called, “Pokémon Go.” In the United States alone, an estimated 21,000,000 individuals use the application daily. During

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Is Your HOA Board Saving Enough for the Reserves?

How does the reserve fund in your homeowners association look? If your fellow HOA board members tend to look the other way, not want to deal with the reserves, or simply refuse to fund them, you’re not alone. Many Associations

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Creating Harmony on Your HOA Board

Part of the fun and reward of serving on the board of your homeowners association is getting the opportunity to listen to the many perspectives of other board members before reaching a decision that will best serve your community.  In

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Unsigned Bylaws and Other Docs in an HOA – Are They Valid?

To the question of whether a Board should use, enforce, or sign unsigned documents or any certification approving them, I would respond that while it is certainly not a first choice, it may be preferable to tossing out the documents

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Tips to Prepare a Family Emergency Plan in Your Homeowners Association

Natural disasters affect thousands of people every year, and with the increased risk of severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and tornadoes these days, it’s a good idea to think about having an emergency plan in place. Consider preparing an emergency plan

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The Single Most Important Word

The question comes up every time I’m meeting with a prospective client. What are you not accomplishing at your community that you’d hoped to? The answer is worded a little differently every tie, but the gist of it is that

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Before You Buy: Consider Homeowners Association Fees and Other Costs

Buying a home is a big milestone in life. It’s probably one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. It can also be one of the most exciting and nerve-racking! You can avoid anxiety and buyer’s remorse by making sure

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HOA Board Function: Keep Owners Informed

One of the main complaints of owners in HOA’s is lack of communication by the association. For example, owners who are not kept well informed will balk when it becomes necessary to raise additional funds. Even if the board has

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Homeowners Associations – Business Judgment Rule

Palm Springs Villa II Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Erna Parth Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (June 21, 2016).  The “business judgment rule” refers to a judicial policy of deference to the business judgment of corporate directors in the exercise

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Tips from an HOA Board: What to Look for in Home Warranties

As a homeowner, you probably received a new home warranty when you purchased your home – many owners within your homeowners association may also have one. If no major problems have been encountered with your home, then you probably have

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How Your HOA Board Can Make the Annual Meeting Worth Attending

Does your HOA board dread the annual meeting because it’s boring, no one shows up, and it seems completely and utterly pointless? If so, your Board is not alone. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, the

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Surveys: A Guide for Community Associations

Boards need to be in touch with residents. They need a sense of association members’ opinions and priorities when making decisions for the entire community. Surveys are an excellent way to obtain feedback on specific subjects and sample general attitudes

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CA: SB 269: State Changes ADA Issues, but National Still at Issue

In 2012, the California legislature was incensed by unprovoked attacks on small commercial operations by drive-by “disability activists” who, after eye-balling the complex for ADA violations would sue, and then settle for attorney fees and a few dollars more. In

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Tips from an HOA Board: Don’t Feed the Deer

Is your homeowners association located in an area that wildlife frequent? More specifically, is your Association located in such a location that deer regularly visit your community? While deer are beautiful creatures to admire, the HOA board may want to

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Does The Business Judgment Rule Protect Directors Who Violate Governing Documents?

In Palm Springs Villas II Homeowners Ass’n, Inc. v. Parth, 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 485 (June 21, 2016), the Court of Appeal considered whether the business judgment rule is available to a director who violates the corporation’s governing documents.  

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Do You Know the Limits of Your Homeowners Association’s Insurance?

If you’re a member of an HOA board, you probably know that having insurance for your homeowners association is a necessity to protect the HOA and its members. But do you know what type of insurance you need to have

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Your Guide to Updating HOA Governing Documents

Changing your community’s governing documents is a hot topic with many homeowners associations right now since lots of governing documents were established when the community was built and are therefore out of touch with today’s needs. Luckily, governing documents are

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7 Social Media Safety Tips for Your Homeowners Association

Social media has many benefits. It allows you to maintain connections with friends and neighbors in your homeowners association, make new contacts, build support networks, express yourself, and share your interests. However, information should be shared with caution to protect

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Visiting Your Legislators Made Easy

Visiting your legislator can be easy, but the first time you do anything can be a little intimidating – a little nerve racking. That’s only the first time. We all need to get that one over with as soon as

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Successor Property Owner Win In Homeowner Assessment Foreclosure Battle Did Not Entitle Owner To Fees (CA)

In Multani v. APB Properties, Case Nos. B260610/B265172 (2d Dist., Div. 7 June 13, 2016) (unpublished), plaintiff HOA were embroiled in a protracted battle against the HOA and successor property owners of the condominiums regarding the propriety of an assessment

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Maintenance Defined (CA)

Association documents routinely assign maintenance duties between owners and the association. Unfortunately, exclusive use common areas are often left out or muddled.  For example, in condominium developments, older CC&Rs are vague or silent when it comes to balcony and plumbing

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6 Tips for a Safe Bug Season in Your Homeowners Association

Whether you’re attacked while working in the garden, enjoying a picnic in the park or lounging by the pool, bug bites and stings are an inevitable summer annoyance in any homeowners association. At best, bites and stings can be uncomfortable

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HOA HOMEFRONT: Tips for achieving a quorum

In order for a common interest development to make a membership decision or board decision, a quorum must first be attained. Quorum is a Latin word meaning “of whom,” but basically means there is a sufficient number of participants to

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9 Tasks of an HOA Board Treasurer

All members of the HOA board are responsible for the Association’s overall financial health; but the treasurer has specific duties to protect the Association’s assets. These duties—and the authority to exercise them—are found in the homeowners association’s governing documents and

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Tips for Submitting Repair & Maintenance Requests

Your community management company has two primary goals: to increase your property value and to facilitate the enjoyment of the community for all residents. Part of ensuring that the community looks attractive is to address maintenance requests right away, so

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Questions & Answers Your HOA Board May Relate to Now or Later [Part 2]

We get quite a few questions from many different Association members and members of the HOA board of directors. Each Association is unique, but more often than not your Association has at some point in the past – or will

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What an HOA Board Should Know About Calling a Special Meeting

Have you, as a member of a Board of Directors for a homeowners association, ever had a special meeting called for your Association? Special meetings are unscheduled meetings called from time to time by the HOA board or others for

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Community Management: 3 Things You Need to Know

Working with a community management company to oversee how your neighborhood or condo complex is run can be frustrating to those who lack a clear understanding of the purpose and role of a management company. Whether you are new to

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Another Good Reason to Have Worker’s Compensation Coverage-Death on the Job?

Here is a scenario I feel is critical in the scheme of helping board members understand the importance of having worker’s compensation insurance. Several years ago at a national law conference we were told about a case where a board

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What Exactly Are the Governing Documents in a Homeowners Association?

We’re always talking about the governing documents of a homeowners association, but what are they, why are they important, and what do they say?    Read the article………….

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Are There Exceptions to the Rules in a Homeowners Association?

Associations have rules to preserve the appearance of the community, protect the value of the common property and individual homes, and make the neighborhood more harmonious for all. What you may not know is that in some rare instances, the

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Homeowner Associations/Prevailing Party: HOA’s Request For $1.666 Million In Fees Against Homeowner Properly Denied (CA)

HOA in Roslyn Lane, LLC v. Cave Street Homeowners Assn., Case No. D065134 (4th Dist., Div. 1 May 10, 2016) (unpublished) was unhappy and appealed after the trial court denied its request to recover $1,666,203.80 (no typo) in fees in

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$378,712.50 Fee Award To HOA Affirmed On Appeal (CA)

We can now add Whitehawk Ranch at Hubbard Homeowner Assn. v. Bolin, Case No. B252717 (2d Dist., Div. 8 May 10, 2016) (unpublished), where homeowner lost a CC&R dispute and was hit with a $378,712.50 adverse fee award which was

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Basic Responsibilities That Come with Being an HOA Board Member

Your community within your homeowner’s association is more than just a neighborhood. In many ways, it’s a lot like a business. Collectively, the regular assessments that each homeowner pays amounts to tens of thousands of dollars that need to be

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How to Be the World’s Worst HOA Board Member

You don’t want to be that guy (or gal) do you? You know the one – unreliable, uninformed, and unmotivated. It seems like every Association or organization has this type of person that everyone just puts up with or secretly

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