Condo & HOA Articles

Back to homepage

Where Do Condo, Homeowner Associations Stand on Emotional Support Animals?

Picture, if you will, a young man named John. He lives in your association-controlled community. John bravely served in the U.S. Army and received the Distinguished Service Cross for his extraordinary heroism in active duty. Upon John’s return home, he

Read More

Is There a Better Way to Hire a Management Company?

Some boards use Requests for Proposals to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Hiring a new management company is a delicate dance for any co-op or condo board, and there’s no textbook that lays out the best moves. But a

Read More

A primer on condo association reserves

Q: Our community association just announced that our monthly assessment fee increased as of January. The reason is that we do not have enough reserves in our budget. What are reserves, and why does our association need them?   Read the

Read More

‘Getter Done’ Meetings in Your HOA

Meetings are the venues where homeowner association business decisions are made. Since these meetings are usually infrequent, their importance cannot be understated. However, some HOA meetings are challenged because:    Read the article

Read More

Competitive Bids for HOA Services

When buying an expensive item, you probably shop around a bit to try and find the best price. Similarly, it’s common to shop around for different HOA services to get competitive bids and save the HOA money. If your association

Read More

Should We Invest Our HOA Reserve Fund?

Many signs are pointing to a US economy on the upswing – consumer confidence is up, unemployment rates are down, and the stock market is approaching record territory. Companies are investing in growth, so shouldn’t your HOA or community association

Read More

Short Term Rentals – A Growing Issue Impacting Community Associations

Home sharing services like VRBO and AirBnB have become increasingly popular around the country and throughout the world. In many cases, these services have provided a steady stream of income for property owners and, in some areas, have even sparked

Read More

South Florida Contents Restoration

Every single day, a natural disaster or other catastrophic event occurs somewhere in America, crippling businesses and homeowners alike. Floods and broken water pipes can wreak havoc to floors, walls, ceilings, carpeting, and to all items within affected rooms. Fires

Read More

Avoiding Future Special Assessments

Life is full of risks. You may be stuck with your current circumstances, but you have surprising power to influence many future risks. As a manager or board member, you are responsible for the care of common area assets enjoyed

Read More

Five Tips to Run a Successful Board Meeting in One Hour or Less

Board meetings should be meaningful and well-organized affairs. Serving on an association board is voluntary, so the board members involved have a life to live outside of the board. One of the most important things a board can do is

Read More

So You’re on the Board….Now What?

You took the plunge! You volunteered, put your name on the ballot, and were elected. After the anticipation, the vote, and the satisfaction of being elected subside, you may realize that you are not exactly sure what to do as

Read More

Green Technology and Electricity Savings in a Condo Association

Electricity is one of the biggest expenses for a Condo Association. As such, green technologies or other ways to promote electricity savings in a Condo Association is definitely something you’ll want to look into. Improvements to and investments in your

Read More

You’re Not the Boss of Me!

Laws, community association governing documents and policies are designed to help boards of directors identify their roles and responsibilities. They provide a framework of expectation for community members. And they can be immensely useful in dealing with inappropriate and ill-advised

Read More

Check Your Privilege, HOA

The attorney-client privilege is frequently misunderstood in the community associations context. When many owners request information, sometimes their board, board’s attorney or property manager asserts the attorney-client privilege. This may seem to obstruct their attempts to assess their property rights

Read More

Negotiating the Sale of a Management Company

Negotiating the sale of a management company is a very delicate operation. Buyers and sellers will always be at odds because their interests are first and foremost profit/loss driven: the Buyer wants to pay the least amount possible, while the

Read More

Use These Three Words to Ensure Productive Board Meetings

You initially joined the Board because you care for your community and have a vision for where you see things headed in the coming years— you want to make a real difference.  But somewhere along the way, things became difficult.

Read More

Sure, you can read it but this is our STANDARD LANGUAGE

We have all seen onerous and unfair language in contracts, waivers, releases, invoices, disclaimers, disclosures, notices. Sometimes it is in the dreaded “fine print.” Sometimes it is in large bolded, underlined print. When one party challenges such language, we often

Read More

When do you need a Condo Association Code of Conduct?

Codes of Conduct have been springing up in many private companies. The idea behind them is setting clear expectations of positive and negative behaviors. Those who do not follow the Code of Conduct are disciplined, and thus you have a

Read More

Got Crime Insurance for Your Condo Association?

While a condo association may have a related business insurance policy for liability, property as well as directors’ and officers’ coverage, there is a glaring risk that many big and small associations might ignore – until the damages and losses

Read More

How to Implement Your Community Association Budget

You’ve done all the homework. Crunched the numbers. Your reserve study is complete, your vendor agreements have been checked and your budget is done!  Now what?  There’s an entire process to creating the budget, followed by implementing it, and Mary

Read More

Dealing With Difficult People in Your HOA

Dealing with difficult people in any setting can be a real challenge. But in volunteer-based homeowner associations, where there is none of the leverage managers have with employees, there is an entirely new level of difficulty. And, believe it or

Read More

Workplace Communication

When most teams within an organization discuss communications, we tend to focus on communication with our customers or for recruiters and HR, that’s communication with our candidates. While this is essential for successful sales as well as recruitment and hiring

Read More

What Are Restrictive Covenants? Read These Rules Before You Buy

If you’re looking to buy a home in a community run by a homeowners association, or HOA, then you may have also heard that in order to join the club, you’ll have to abide by its restrictive covenants. So what

Read More

7 Reasons to Hire an HOA Manager This Year

How is your homeowner’s association doing? Is everything running easily and smoothly? Do you have interested members at each HOA board meeting? Is your reserve fund fully funded? What would you do if you were faced with a lawsuit or

Read More

Back From the Brink: Financial Ruin — and Recovery

happens infrequently, but when it does, it can be an enormous challenge: a co-op corporation or condo development has a long-running squabble with the building sponsor/developer, falls victim to long-term mishandling of funds — or outright fraud — by the

Read More

Outsourcing Services: Getting the Most for Your Community’s Dollar

In the perennial struggle to control costs while still adequately maintaining a building or HOA’s physical plant, grounds, and other day-to-day business, some boards and managers are opting to hire superintendents, custodians, and other staff on a temporary, as-needed basis,

Read More

Service-Based Amenities: Adding Value, But at What Cost?

In major US cities these days, the decision to live in one co-op or condo building versus another often hinges upon the style of living afforded in a particular property. Whether it is defined partly by a full-scale gym and

Read More

A Look Forward Pros Predict What May Move the Needle in Condos/Co-ops/HOAs in 2017

Another year is behind us, and what a year it was! While 2017 and beyond promise to be eventful in myriad ways, it probably makes sense to focus solely on what’s ahead in the world of condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners

Read More

Sensors poised to transform property management

It’s an exciting time to be involved in residential property management. Technology is developing rapidly and permanently altering the residential landscape for managers, staff, and residents. Several companies are invested in developing the next generation of innovative tools for residential

Read More

Effectively Befriending Neighboring Condo Associations

All of life is about neighbors. In a Condo Association, it is important that within your building you are building networks of like-minded Owners and generally being a good neighbor. In our urban and suburban world, even buildings have neighbors.

Read More

What to Consider With ‘55-Plus’ Living

My husband and I are considering moving to a 55-plus community when we retire. We’re trying to do our homework about “active adult” living. Are there questions or issues that would-be residents typically overlook?    Read the article………….

Read More

Subscribe Community Association Management Insights that Defined 2016

If there is one thing we can say about 2016, it was a helluva ride. On top of a highly charged political season, 2016 saw big and small changes all over the world. In 2016 we published over 100 blog

Read More

Wearing the right hat: Managing condo owners’ expectations

Picture this: It’s a sunny Saturday morning, and a condo board director has just stepped out to grab the morning paper before settling in for a relaxing breakfast. As she turns to go back inside, a neighbor starts a long-winded

Read More

When the Sponsor Won’t Let Go (NY)

Roy Smith moved into the Wainwright, a 67-unit rental building in Forest Hills, Queens, back in the fall of 1990. When the building was converted to a condominium two years later, Smith was able to buy his apartment at the

Read More

Investigating How Reasonable Accommodation Requests Are (MA)

Condo associations deal with a variety of requests from their residents on a daily basis. In most cases, the association can easily decide whether or not to grant the request based on the cost, feasibility and necessity when it comes

Read More

Open carry at the condo? (NH)

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” U.S. Constitution, Second Amendment.  The Constitution is, of course, federal law, so one

Read More

Association Fees and Your Credit

When you can’t, or don’t, make payments on personal loans, your credit is quickly affected. Until now, HOA assessments were not included in your credit score calculation. However, Equifax has now decided to start using this information to help determine

Read More

It’s Tax Time for Your Association

As evidenced by the increase in advertisements from H&R Block, Turbo Tax and your friendly, local accountant, it’s clear that we have entered “refund season” – AKA time to file your personal taxes.   But, don’t forget that it’s also

Read More

Has Your Insurance Got You Covered?

Does your insurance company play fair and square with you?  Not always, asserts attorney Tara Snow, a partner at Novitt, Sahr & Snow. And if you are not on the ball, you could lose significant coverage.  Snow points to a

Read More

Political Signs in HOA’s and Free Speech

The 2016 presidential election was one of the most vicious the US has seen. As a result, HOAs are struggling to decide between free speech or forbidding political signs. To learn more about HOAs, political signs and free speech, check

Read More

New Year – New Board

Welcome to 2017! Do you have new board members at your association? According to ECHO, this is a great time to stress the importance of a Board’s duties, responsibilities and ethics. Ethics are the moral compass that guides the performance

Read More

How to Prepare for a Condo Association Hearing

Hearings are a necessary evil for any large Association. Condo Associations create rules – sometimes lots of them. Generally, a cease and desist deters most Owners from breaking the rules. Every now and then, however, you need to hold a

Read More

How to Grow Veggies at Your Apartment or Condo

No access to land for growing a vegetable garden? No problem. You can still grow a vegetable and herb garden, enjoying all the benefits of gardening without the added cost and maintenance of a large outdoor garden bed. Perfect for

Read More

Should your Condominium Association be VA Certified? (MI)

One out of every 11 citizens in Michigan is a veteran and may receive benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA may help service-members, veterans, and certain qualified surviving spouses of service-members and veterans become homeowners

Read More

Transparency breeds Legitimacy: 3 Tips for your Condominium Association to avoid a Lawsuit

Many condominium board members volunteer to serve their condominium association for altruistic purposes. While often well-intentioned, it is not uncommon for board members to not have any training that would make them aware of potential pitfalls that commonly entangle a

Read More

No More Fear of Flooding (NY)

A determined co-op board overcomes years of watery misery.  The Brooklands complex opened in 1927 on the wedge of land formed by the confluence of the Sprain Brook and the Bronx River in the Bronxville section of Yonkers, just north

Read More

Dealing With a Mess in the HOA

Waste problems affect everyone in a given area whether it is dog droppings or a mound of stinking refuse. They not only blight an otherwise lovely looking neighborhood, but they provide a real health and environmental risk. Accumulated waste material

Read More

The Importance Of Protecting Your Association’s Money

One of the most important responsibilities of a property or condominium association board of directors is protecting the association’s funds. In doing so, it is important for the board of directors and management company (if you are professionally managed) to

Read More

Use of Technology by Community Associations

Technology makes most of our lives easier, and so it makes sense that community associations would choose to employ certain technological advances in the performance of their obligations.  There are many possibilities for the use of technology in community associations. 

Read More

Independent Contractor or Employee?

Many owners’ associations, especially the larger associations, pay workers to perform certain tasks for the benefit of the community. The kind of tasks these workers may perform ranges from landscaping, maintenance, and construction to teaching classes and operating recreational facilities.

Read More