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Want to green your HOA? Follow our tips for a smooth process Source: https://www.environmentguru.com/pages/elements/element.aspx?id=5032936 © EnvironmentGuru.com

For those of us who live in communities with a Homeowners Association (HOA), we know that it can be a challenge to jumpstart new community projects. From the initial idea to breaking ground on the project, there are many meetings,

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What Not to Do When You Receive Communications from Your HOA Board

In our busy world of the internet, mobile phones, television, email, social media, and daily conversation, we’re on 24-7 information overload. We’re communicating non-stop all day, and when we finally reach the comfort of our home we just want to

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Consider the Source

The internet can be a wonderful resource but BEWARE: Not everything you read on the internet is true or accurate. It is also not a substitute for professional advice.  Sometimes, bad internet “advice” is easy to spot. For example, hopefully

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Communication to Renters: Why It Matters To Your Association

Does your board and management team communicate to the renters in your community? If no, why not? In communities where renters makeup a significant portion of the residents, they are often overlooked by the people running the community.  “I’ve never

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What NC Community Associations Need to Know about Fair Debt Collection

Nearly all Community Associations (“Associations”) must cope with owners who fail or refuse to pay their periodic assessments (also known as “Dues”). When this happens, the Association, typically acting through its property manager, may first attempt to collect the delinquent

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Beware When Revising Your Pet Policy

Want to make sure you get a quorum at your annual meeting? Announce that the board is going to discuss one or more of the following: redoing the lobby; raising maintenance; modifying the building’s pet policy.  “Any change to a

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HOA Management | Managing Expectations in a Fast Paced World

Managing expectations – HOA Board members, homeowners, contractors, co-workers and our employer. All of that to handle in an average 9-5 day work day – whew! Does anyone have an eight hour day anymore? It seems that long gone is

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Three Condo Association Communications Committee Project Ideas

Condo Association Committees are an excellent way for a Community Association to increase engagement and offer more value for Owners. Different Committees have different roles. Typically a Communications Committee will be responsible for increasing outreach and engagement within a community.

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Can Community Associations Regulate the Use of Drones? (NJ)

Drones are the latest craze to hit the market and chances are someone in your community has a drone, or your community deals with a vendor that uses drones. Drones are small, unmanned aircraft that respond to the commands of

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Insurance Basics: Protecting Your Community Pool

Swimming pools are one of the most common, and most desirable, amenities in managed communities. Whether your pool is an Olympic-sized fitness lover’s dream, a resort-style oasis or a rooftop paradise, your pool is an important feature for your residents

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What’s in Your Wallet? Why HOA Boards Can’t Take Liability Insurance Lightly.

A Homeowner’s Association (HOA) is made up of a group of volunteer homeowners. It’s often a thankless task, where the only guaranteed reward is knowing they’ve helped maintain and improve the value of their neighborhood. The last thing your volunteer

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Got Condo Conflict? Got HOA Headaches? No cooperation in your Co-Op? Here are 5 Tips & Techniques for Community Dispute Resolution!

Condo conflict driving you mad? HOA headaches wearing you down? No cooperation in your Co-op? How do you fix it? Conflict resolution is the solution! With the right training, education, and resources, Associations can reduce the high cost of conflict

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Love Where You Live: Building Emotional Equity in Your Community

When you’re leading a community, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks like scheduling maintenance, enforcing rules and creating budgets. But, when we only focus on work that’s in front of us, we forget why we do

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How To Handle HOA Board Meeting Attacks

Out of the blue, an irate homeowner launches a smear campaign aimed directly at the board. It’s relentless and focused. The motivation may be some personal grievance, hatred of a board policy, disagreement on how the board does business in

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Prepare Your Landscape For The Upcoming Summer and Hurricane Season

With summer ahead, it’s time to prepare for the heat, storms and humidity that occur in south Florida. It is time to prepare for the hurricane season. It is important that along with your personal and home safety, you also

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4 Tips Developing a HOA Dispute Resolution Process

Disputes, as much as they are uncomfortable and inconvent, are inevitable amongst homeowners. It is, therefore, important for HOAs to put in place a HOA dispute resolution plan that they can refer to and enforce in a consistent manner when

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Understanding the Importance of a HOA Reserve Study

For each Home Owner’s Association (HOA) there are regular expenses that come out of the annual operating fund, and there are the occasional necessary large expenses that must come from the HOA’s reserve fund. It’s not always easy to predict

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Four Condo Association Special Assessment Questions To Determine Project Cost

Having determined the timing of a Special Assessment through your incredible detective skills (powered by http://Bettercondolife.com), the next logical question you’ll want to ask is how much will the Special Assessment cost. Knowing it’s coming is one thing, but its

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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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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: Keep your Condominium Association current!

Electric vehicles are increasing in popularity throughout the United States and create unique challenges for Michigan condominium associations, especially those that were created before electric vehicles were even contemplated. Experts project that by 2040, at least thirty-five percent of all

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HOA basics: What to know before you buy

Before signing on the dotted line for your new home, make sure you know what your homeowners association fees are and what they cover.  Because most new planned communities have HOAs whether you’re buying a detached home, condo or townhome,

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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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Cable TV, Internet, Phone Services Coax, Fiber Optics and More – There are New Opportunities for Community Associations!

In the past, local telephone companies provided telephone services and local cable companies provided cable television services. That was it. For an association, selecting a service provider was relatively easy since quality choices were few. But in recent years, this

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How Should the Association Handle Emotional Support Animals in Individual Units

The law that applies to accommodations for an emotional support animal is primarily the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”). Please note that the American with Disabilities Act pertains to the state and federal government being prohibited from discriminating against people with

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Homeowners’ Associations in Florida and the Marketable Record Title Act: Are Your Governing Documents Still Valid?

Florida homeowner and condominium associations’ governing documents (declaration, bylaws and articles of association) are critical for maintaining order and enforcing rules and regulations. These governing documents are recorded in the public records of the county where the association community resides.

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Four Tips for a Productive Condo Association Committee

Condo Association Committees can be a powerful force within a Condo Association. As Associations are volunteer entities, they are only as strong (or weak) as the level of Owner engagement. Boards typically have their hands full with things like major

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6 Easy Steps To Solving Neighbor Disputes Without Your HOA

Some of the most common neighbor disputes include noise, pets, children, your home’s aesthetic, property boundaries, suspected criminal behavior, building violations, and parking.  If you find yourself in one of these sticky situations (and you don’t want to draw the

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Phantom Smell Syndrome

QUESTION: I am on the board of a retirement community. We have a resident complaining of cigarette smoke. We investigated and could not smell any smoke, nor is there anyone around her who smokes. She is threatening to go to

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The Role of the Property Manager in Your Community

Your community manager plays an important role in the effective running of your homeowner’s association. A strong working relationship between board, homeowners and property manager makes it easier for you to get the most out of your HOA. Conversely, a

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3 Tips for Effective Covenant Compliance

It’s a topic of discussion at every Board meeting – who’s following the rules and who isn’t. People choose to live in community associations because they want to preserve their property values, but if the board and management aren’t enforcing

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Why Are HOA Reservations Such a Pain?

Common amenities are the reason many home buyers choose to live in common interest communities. they have visions of relaxing by the pool, family reunions at the park pavilion, and movie night with friends in the clubhouse theater. But sharing

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Tips for Understanding the Role of an HOA CPA

Both Board members and homeowners have an interest in the money end of an HOA’s business. After all, it’s the owners who have to pay higher fees when the homeowners association goes over budget. And it’s the Board who is

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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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8 Of The Most Common Neighbor Disputes (And How To Handle Them

When it comes to living in a community run by a homeowners association, it’s not always “love thy neighbor.”  While HOAs strive to keep a harmonious atmosphere, it turns out that 42 percent of homeowners say they’ve had neighbor disputes,

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Would you know if financial fraud is taking place in your community?

I was recently contacted by a condominium client to discuss a growing distrust which had taken hold amongst the board members  and management related to financial functions, particularly with regard to the reconciliation of bank statements I asked my friend

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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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Why Have a Professional Reserve Study

Every community association has three functions – to serve as a business, a government and a community. Community associations are generally nonprofit corporations, functioning in many ways as businesses with revenues (association dues, clubhouse rentals, revenues from golf course or

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Strategy – Your condo can do better

Annual revenue approaching $1 million, market valuation of $50 – $60 million, 4-6 full or part-time staff members, a management team and a board of directors. It’s a typical 100 unit condo in a Canadian urban area, but you can

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When is selling entire condo building the best move?

A condominium association enters into myriad negotiations for goods and services. Sometimes the best deal is to sell itself. That is, to sell the entire property to an investor or multifamily developer who will turn the condo units into apartment

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Understanding the Why’s Behind an HOA Special Assessment

An HOA special assessment is a fee that is charged to each housing unit within a development, to be used to cover an unexpected expense or other short-term occurrences. Special assessments are charged separately from your HOA fees, and they

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Florida’s Newest Non-Native Invasion – Overnight Rentals

With little doubt, purchasing a home is one of the most significant investments you can make. In order to help protect that investment, many purchasers choose to buy homes within community associations that include homeowners’, cooperative and condominium associations. Behavior

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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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Service Animals & Your HOA

No matter what your community’s pet policy is, service animals are almost always allowed. Unlike pets, service animals are not subject to the same rules, so here are some general things to consider when dealing with service animals.    Read

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The keys to an effective (and civil) owners’ association meeting

What do Congress, the General Assembly and condo associations have in common? They all need rules and structure for running meetings where important decisions are made.  The stakes at the state and federal levels may seem higher than your owners’

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4 Things to Expect From Your Property Manager

Much of a property management company’s success with your HOA is influenced by the relationship between the manager and your board of directors. We often hear from prospective clients who want to know if the service they are receiving from

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Home-based businesses complicate condo rules (NH)

In a past column, I (briefly) mentioned the concerns about having a business operating out of a residential condominium association. I need to expand on this a bit as it is becoming an issue in more associations.  Most older condo

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An HOA Checklist for Effective Developer Turnover

Real estate is booming again, and new communities have been springing up all over the Atlanta area. As the final homes or condos are sold in each community, the developer turns the HOA or community association over to the owners.

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HOA Homefront: Recipe for reasonable rules

One important board responsibility is to adopt and enforce community rules. Developers, when creating common interest communities, provide CC&Rs and bylaws (usually boilerplate), but typically do not create rules. So, it is up to the volunteer boards to create necessary

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4 Common Homeowner Association Security Errors to Avoid

Homeowners associations (HOAs) are more popular than ever. In 2015, 66.7 million Americans were members of a homeowners association, equivalent to 20 percent of the population, a Community Associations Institute study found. Unfortunately, the growth of homeowners associations has made

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Tips for Entering Owners’ Units in Condo Associations

Living in a Condo Association means that you are subject to a wide variety of Bylaws, rules, and other conditions. One of the interesting – and often frustrating – issues results from entering Owners’ units in Condo Associations. This can

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