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Why Your HOA Needs a Written Collections Policy (AZ)

Some Homeowners Associations are lucky enough to have minimal collections concerns. However some, are constantly dealing the delinquency of homeowners falling behind on dues. No matter where your HOA sits on this spectrum, it is vital for your community to

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HOA 101: An Introduction to Living in an HOA

So you purchased a property in a community governed by a homeowners association (HOA).  But what does that really mean?  What are your rights and benefits under this structure?  How does an HOA really run?  Where can you turn if

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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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How Homeowners Associations Are Referred to Around the World

Common-interest communities are becoming a popular way of living. They are housing developments made up of individually owned units and share facilities or common areas (such as roads, clubhouse, pool, etc.). “Community association” is a generic term that encompasses many

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Hiring a Property Manager? She’s Right Under Your Nose

Silicon Valley is infamous for their tech startups. Not only are thousands of new and exciting companies popping up everywhere, they are well funded by venture capitalists and private equity. With vast amounts of money and an expectation to grow

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All About Executive Sessions for HOA Boards

Unlike traditional board meetings, executive sessions are held by the HOA board to discuss privileged or confidential material generally tied to disciplinary action or personnel matters. Having a good understanding of when and how to conduct executive sessions can save

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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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Choosing the Right HOA Management Company

Recently, a board member from a California condo contacted me, asking how to go about selecting an HOA Management company. Their management company had recently been acquired, and the new company was not living up to expectations. Despite combing through

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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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How To Write Emails That Get The Job Done

How many times have you ask yourself “Why doesn’t she get back to me?” I mean, seriously, how long does it take for someone to reply to an email. It only takes a few minutes but why does it take

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Autonomous Vehicles: Coming to a Condominium or HOA near you!

An autonomous vehicle, also known as a driverless car, self-driving car, or robotic car is a vehicle that senses its environment and operates without human input. On December 9, 2016, Governor Rick Snyder signed 2016 PA 332 into law and

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When Does the Americans With Disabilities Act Apply to Community Associations?

Community association board members and managers are often so preoccupied ensuring compliance with state and local laws that they can sometimes overlook controlling federal law. Multiple federal statutory acts can apply to community associations in any given situation and overlooking

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Can HOA committee members be compensated? (NC)

Q: I am the chairperson for the social committee of my homeowners association (HOA). Our bylaws state that the HOA compensates committee chair positions by waiving their annual HOA assessments, after serving a full year on the committee. The members

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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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Selective Enforcement: Common Sense Prevails

As often happens when a community association enforces its covenants and rules and regulations against an owner, the owner responds to the association saying, “The house down the street is in violation with the rules and regulations, too! Why aren’t

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How technology can save community associations time and effort

When a community association manager needed to know how badly the property’s gutters were clogged, Nik Clark had a solution. He launched an unmanned aircraft system, otherwise known as a drone.  It flew above the building’s roofline, and Clark and

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How to Handle Conflict: Check Dispute Resolution Requirements

Unfortunately, being a friendly neighbor will not always result in a resolution. Let us assume at this point that you have tried to be positive and work with your neighbor to solve issues which are concerning you. Notwithstanding your best

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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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20 Mar Community Association Law: Can You Turn Down an Applicant for Sale or Lease? (FL)

Your community association’s Governing Documents provide the association with the right to review and approve sales and rentals; and to charge a transfer fee to cover the costs of processing the transaction. You have an application form and you pay

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Making Special Assessments Work: Fixed Incomes, Low Incomes, & Hard Times

For residents on fixed incomes, or those who are already struggling to make ends meet because of a job loss, illness or divorce, any hit to their already-stretched-to-the-max budget can be devastating. So when a board levels an assessment on

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No Ifs, Ands, or Butts: Regulating Smoking Within Community Associations

The past twenty years have seen a dramatic uptick in the regulation of smoking, as dozens of states and hundreds of cities and counties have enacted laws making designated public places “smoke-free.” For its part, the North Carolina legislature passed

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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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A Step-by-Step Approach to Amending and Restating Governing Documents (CA)

It seems as though the laws change as frequently as the tides. Some years see more legal changes than others – changes that greatly affect the way boards manage the association’s affairs. The laws governing community associations have experienced so

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HOA Housekeeping 101: Proper Waste Removal and Outdoor Neatness

The word “housekeeping” may call up images of shower scrubbing, dusting and vacuuming; but the kind of housekeeping we’re talking about has to do with maintaining proper waste removal and outdoor neatness in your community.  When sidewalks are swept, poop

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Tips to Stay Safe When Lightning Strikes Your Homeowners Association

Winter and Spring weather usually means staying in and snuggling by the fire, but it can also bring severe weather. Threatening thunderstorms often loom large in Northern California so it’s important to be prepared for downpours and accompanying lightning, which

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Fire Safety Education for Your Neighborhood

When it comes to having a safe and peaceful community, it is the responsibility of everyone in the community to do their part to keep themselves and others safe. That is why education is so important in a close environment.

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Associations Need to Seek Ejectment Rather Than Eviction for Some “Tenants” (FL)

When the Condominium Act was amended several years ago to allow associations to demand and collect rent directly from the tenants of unit owners who were delinquent in the payment of their monthly fees, community associations thought it was an

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Florida Medical Marijuana Amendment’s Impact on Community Associations

With the approval of Amendment 2 last November to legalize the use of medical marijuana in Florida, the state legislature and Department of Health are now developing the rules and regulations that will govern the use of cannabis by those

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Disputed Condo Election Offers Important Lessons for Association Boards

Allegations of questionable or even downright fraudulent tactics by candidates in annual association elections are not entirely uncommon. When suspicious activities begin to call into question the integrity of the election, some boards of directors hit the panic button and

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Florida Community Associations Responding to Soaring Popularity of Drones

The growing use of drones by consumers across the U.S. is leading to the adoption of new rules and restrictions by the federal government, state governments and community associations. Questions regarding safety, property damage and privacy abound with drones, and

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The End of the Age of “Mad Men”

The past twenty years have seen a dramatic uptick in the regulation of smoking, as dozens of states and hundreds of cities and counties have enacted laws making designated public places “smoke-free”.  For its part, the North Carolina legislature passed

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Creating the right culture for your HOA

Power over our own destinies is inherently circumscribed by the matryoshka dolls of governance that preside over our existence. From the complexities of international diplomacy to our national sociopolitical boondoggle to the more specific doctrines emanating from state houses and

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Ensuring You Don’t Over Plan Condo Association Major Projects

Planning for a major project in a Condo Association is a big deal. You have to bid out projects, work with vendors, educate Owners, and execute. You want the project to go as smoothly as possible, of course. And an

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Condominium Association Parking Restrictions and Enforcement

One of the most common problem areas for condominium associations and their property management is parking. Spaces are at a premium in most communities, and issues arise when unit owners and tenants fail to park in their designated spots. Associations

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HOAs and Marijuana

The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) put out a deep dive on marijuana laws and use in America. NCSL stated, “Marijuana has lit up conversations and controversy across the country. It’s a hotly contested and complicated issue for states

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How Should Boards Handle the Reporting of a Crime?

A burglar slipped into a Hudson Heights co-op as a shareholder was leaving the building, then proceeded to steal a laundry cart and some packages. The theft was reported to police, but it took the co-op board almost two weeks

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Smart condo conundrum: Talk to appliances, or text them?

In today’s so-called smart home, you can dim the lights, order more toothpaste or tell the kids to go to bed simply by talking to a small Wifi-connected speaker, such as Amazon’s (AMZN.O) Echo or Google’s (GOOGL.O) Home.  This voice-first

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Attack of the Killer HOA Fees

Homeowners association fees have been on the rise throughout the country. In 2005, the average monthly HOA fee among all households in the country stood at $250. By 2015, the average fee was $331, a pace that’s not only outpaced

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Spotting and Stopping Fraud and Embezzlement in Your HOA

Fraud and embezzlement can cause a homeowners’ association’s (“HOA”) board of directors a lot of time, money, and energy. So how can the board prevent potential fraud or embezzlement before it occurs? The solutions are simple but often overlooked. The

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Can Your HOA Prohibit You From Flying Your Favorite Flag?

Flags are common yard decorations; drive around any community and you’ll see everything from holiday flags to sports team banners. If you live in a planned development, however, hanging your favorite flag might result in a demand from your homeowners’

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HOA Model Remodeling

Owning your own home is an American dream. In urban settings, homeowner associations have become a dominant form of new construction, often representing over two thirds of new homes. While HOA homeowners have many rights and privileges, they often concede

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How to Handle Conflict: Try to be Neighborly

Notwithstanding your best efforts and those of other members within the community, conflict is bound to happen. The key to resolving this conflict without the need for expensive attorneys or hateful battles is in how the conflict is addressed.  While

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Follow the Money: Explaining to Residents How Their Funds Are Spent

One of the most common questions homeowners ask board members and community managers alike is, “What are you doing with our money?” Understanding how to answer that question is important for all board members.    Read the article……………

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Understanding Your HOA Documents

Understanding your governing documents is essential to every association – without governing documents, an HOA would not exist! These documents serve a specific purpose in the community and allow the association to function.  An association board or individual board member

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Master Association Overview

Master Associations are yet another of the often unheard of bureaucracies in the world of HOAs. A Master Association is an “uber HOA” that sits on top of other HOAs and Condo Associations. They are created for various reasons –

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HOA Homefront: Exclusive use common areas – what you might not know

Many condominium buyers do not understand what they bought until long after becoming an owner.  Condominiums consist of two elements: A separate interest, called the unit, and an undivided equal share in everything else, called common area. However, there are

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Association documents can provide answers on condo projects

When it comes to major construction projects at condominiums, what can the board of a community association do on its own and when does it need the advice and consent of the membership?  For instance, can a condo board opt,

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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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What NOT to Do When Collecting HOA Fees

If just a few homeowners aren’t paying their HOA fees it can be felt very quickly in an association’s budget. It can also cause a ripple effect. If too many homeowners fail to pay their HOA fees, lenders might start

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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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