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Budget Ratification (NC)

Q: My homeowners’ association (“HOA”) board presented members an outdated budget for us to ratify for the current year. How can an outdated budget, not previously seen or discussed, be legal?    Read the Q&A………………

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GOP Tax Proposal a Nightmare for Co-ops and Condos (NY)

Republican lawmakers released a $1.51 trillion tax plan on Thursday that slashes corporate taxes, gives more modest tax relief to the middle class – and, as written, will hurt most owners of co-op and condo apartments in New York City. 

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How Desirable Community Amenities Increase Property Value

It’s no secret that a few home upgrades can increase property value, but what about community amenities?  Generally speaking, well-kept amenities indicate a stronger, cleaner HOA community. Single-family homes, apartments and condominiums, and townhouses in homeowners association-regulated areas with high-tech

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Kass: As number of rentals in condo building spikes, older unit owner feels pressure to sell

Q:  Our 12-unit building is self-managed and switching back quickly to “rentals” due to foreclosures, death and moving. I have requested financial info for the year and have asked if we have enough to shampoo hallways; I’ve also asked when

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4 HOA Accounting Principles Board Member Should Know

One of the fundamentals of community management is the HOA accounting. As a Board Member, you may or may not have a background or experience in reading and understanding financial reports. Here are some things every board member should know

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Condominium Workers Charged with Theft in Wake of New Fraud Law (FL)

Changes in condominium association laws that were recently enacted with an aim to curb fraud in associations seem to have had a strong impact in increasing the general awareness of the problems facing Florida condo communities. A few major media

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Declaration Amendment – Sometimes There is No Other Way to Accomplish Something

A unit owner sought to expand their unit by building additional living space on the roof of the association. The declaration, like all declarations, defined the various units and their locations. Unlike many declarations, this one allowed top floor unit

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When Things Go Bad – Dealing With the Press

In Associations sometimes things go bad. Despite all of the very best intentions and efforts someone gets hurt or is rightfully offended. Worse yet, at times the press because of either the newsworthiness of the story or a relationship between

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FEMA Publishes Guidance for Handling Flood Losses

In September, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Hurricane Harvey and Irma claim handling process for buildings insured under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP), specifically recognizing that catastrophic flooding from those storms demands “fast and accurate payments to

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HOA Governance: The Pros and Cons of an HOA Rental Cap

The policies of any HOA are sometimes a touchy subject because, at any one time, homeowners are simultaneously responsible for and subject to the rules set out by their home owner’s association. There are a number of perfectly normal policies

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Maintaining your storm water management pond

Storm water management ponds – either detention, retention or a combination of both – are designed to collect storm water and filter out pollutants before it infiltrates the ground. However, to ensure your storm water pond works at its optimal

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How Enhancement Matching Grant Programs can Benefit Your HOA

There are always improvements that need to be made around the property covered by your homeowner’s association. In some cases, however, low-income areas or a lack of attention to those improvements over several years can lead to big needs that

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Ways to Detect and Prevent HOA Embezzlement

Theft is something community associations hope to never encounter, but a volunteer organization like an HOA can often be a soft target for fraud. Here are the common warning signs of embezzlement and the ways to protect your HOA from

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Don’t Be Afraid of HOA Audits

Let’s face it. The thought of an audit can strike fear into the hearts of even the most experienced property managers and property management company owners. You start thinking about storm troopers and bright lights shining in your face. Just

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Types of Enemies in a Condo Association

One of the challenges of being on a Condo Association is that you’re forced to make hard decisions. With fiduciary duty as your guide, it is inevitable that you will be forced to choose the Association over an Owner. Further,

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Winterizing Checklist for Your Homeowners Association Members

It’s that time of year—you’ve exchanged your swimsuit from long days at the community Association pool for sweaters and scarves just in time to roll down your sleeves and prepare your home for cooler weather. As we watch the warm

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Countdown to 7/1/18 and the New Website Requirements for FL Condominium Associations (FL)

By July 1, 2018, a Florida condominium association with 150 or more units which does not manage timeshare units must have an independent website or web portal wholly owned and operated by the association or a website or web portal

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The Complete Story of the River Oaks Tank

The tactical withdrawal of Tony Buzbee’s World War II-era Sherman M4A4 tank earlier this month brought the month-long Battle of River Oaks Boulevard to a close.  After Buzbee—a trial lawyer, Marine veteran, and proud Aggie alum (and current A&M regent)—parked

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How to Enact and Enforce HOA Rules

All homeowners’ associations or HOAs will consider adopting rules and regulations by which residents must abide while living in the community. These policies should be developed for the common good of the community. Because of the interpersonal (neighbor to neighbor)

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We Want Our Neighborhood Back: A North Carolina Homeowners Association’s Guide to the Use and Enforcement of Rental Restrictions

Lending you a cup of sugar, offering to watch the kids, or grilling out on a summer afternoon— whatever the activity, our neighbors are a key part of what makes our communities familiar and unique. Neighbors help make a neighborhood

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To AIRBnB or Not To AIRBnB – How Might the AIRBnB Phenomenon Affect You Condo Community (MI)

Your neighbor has decided to rent his unit out on weekends when he is out of town. You worriedly wonder: How will this affect you? Is it even allowed in your condominium? Will it have any effect on the value

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Are HOA Fees Tax Deductible?

If you have purchased a home or condo, you are likely paying a monthly fee to cover repairs and maintenance on the outside of your home or in common areas. You may be wondering whether this fee is tax deductible.

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HOA Landscape – Consult Experts Before Making a Decision

When running a HOA, you often have to make a lot of decisions about how to upkeep the neighborhood – without building the kind of resentment that gives HOAs a bad name.  Overall landscaping of the neighborhood is something everyone

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The Mother of All Amendments

Has your condominium or HOA declaration been amended fifteen times? Are you tired of page after page of references to a declarant or developer that has been out of the picture (or out of business) for years, or even decades?

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How To Clearly Disclose And Enforce Fair Pet Rules

According to the American Pet Products Association as reported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), “44 percent of all households in the United States have a dog, and 35 percent have a cat.”  Because

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Establishing Effective Condo Association Parking Policies

Parking is one of the hottest and most contentious topics in a Condo Association. Issues like more cars than parking spaces, improperly recorded deeds, and handicap parking can make for a complicated situation for Boards and Management. In today’s post,

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4 Ways Ignoring Experts Are Detrimental to HOA Boards

We’re thinking that failing to seek experts’ opinions before the Board issues its decisions (attorneys, CPAs, landscapers) could prove quite the bad idea. Read on for examples in which doing so would inure to the HOA’s detriment — and to

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Creating an HOA Budget Committee

Your homeowners association has set up a board of directors that will help govern the HOA. Not every responsibility, however, must rest with every member. To work alongside and within your board of directors, you need a budget committee that

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Tips from an HOA Board for a Safe Halloween in Your Association

Halloween is a kid’s delight. It’s a blast to dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating, attend parties and most of all, eat a lot of candy. At the same time, Halloween can be scary for parents. Costumes can be dangerous,

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Should Your Community Association Be Concerned About Voter Fraud? (NJ)

The recently enacted Radburn statute changes how Community Association elections are conducted in New Jersey, impacting thousands of common interest communities. Community Associations in New Jersey must comply with the Radburn statute and potentially revise their voting systems and update

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How California’s Minimum Wage Increase Could Impact Your HOA

Recently passed amendments to sections 245.5, 246, and 1182.12 of the California State Labor Code will result in an approximately 50% minimum wage increase, culminating in a $15/hour wage by January 1, 2023. These changes will bring new challenges to

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Orange County: Where Master-Planned Communities Reign

With new homes loaded with high-end features, resort amenities, and open space—as well as access to good jobs, schools, beaches, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment—master-planned communities (MPCs) have put Orange County, California, at the top of the national MPC rankings.   Read

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Condo Association Employee Performance Management

Performance management is a leadership job for all organizations, and Condo Associations are no different. Your Condo Association might just have one property manager. Or you might have a dozen when you count maintenance staff and front desk staff. The

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Dealing with Noisy Neighbors

Does your neighbor’s loud music, barking dog or late-night visitors keep you up at night? If you live in a condominium building, your answer is probably ‘yes.’ A recurring complaint that we receive from condominium unit owners is that they

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Mother May I? Coping with Permissions in Community Associations

Everyone remembers our parents’ favorite retort: “When you’re 18 and on your own, you can do what you want, but when you’re in my house, it’s my rules” or something similar. No matter what we wanted to do as young

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Good Communication is All About Timing, Platform, and Relevancy

The modern medium(s) available to transact information in the digital age doesn’t change the need to communicate, they only change the how; and, of course, the speed at which information is distributed and consumed.    Read the article…………….

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HOA Homefront: 11 sure-fire ways to frustrate HOA elections (CA)

Most associations have member voting at least annually, and the process required by statute applies to all homeowners associations, whether two units in Redondo Beach or 3,000 units in Oakland. Avoid these mistakes which can doom HOA elections.  Read the article……………..

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Stormwater Permits: Preventing Your Owners Assn From Getting Stuck with Unnecessary and Potentially Large Expenses (NC)

Developers in North Carolina must obtain numerous permits from various governmental agencies prior to constructing a planned community or developing condominiums. Most construction permits end by their terms upon completion of construction of the project—but one permit, the Stormwater Permit

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What is the Guarantee in a Guaranteed Maximum Contract?

Associations facing repair projects are often given the option of entering into a guaranteed maximum contract or G-Max contract with their contractor. These contracts are common for repair projects, whether the repairs are required because of defects and damage or

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Rainwater Harvesting and Your HOA

Rainwater harvesting is a simple, eco-friendly technique that many homeowners are using to gather rainwater and use it for simple purposes. It’s a great way to water gardens, wash clothing, and take care of many cleaning tasks–or even fill a

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Condo Association Board Scenarios New Members Encounter

There are many good reasons for you to join your Association’s Condo Board. Some are purely selfish, others are for your community. One of the greatest challenges when you join a Condo Board is learning how to be an effective

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How To Best Deal With Neighbor Disputes In Pet Policy

When you hear a dog barking during off hours, you immediately think, “That’s not how to be a good neighbor,” or “That’s so annoying!”  You probably want to complain to all the residents in the neighborhood about the dog or

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3 Reasons Your HOA Should Offer Online Dues Payment

I know it’s hard to believe, but in 2017 there’s an 88 billion dollar industry that still processes millions of payments by check. Less than 50% of the corporations in this industry even offer online payments. It’s not some obscure

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Tips for HOA Board Members to Set Boundaries with Homeowners

As a volunteer of the Board of Directors, you have the opportunity to help the homeowners in your community through issues that impact one of their biggest investments. Unfortunately, at times, owners forget that you are a volunteer of the

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Five Qualities of a Good HOA Treasurer

One of the most important jobs on the board of a homeowners association is the position of HOA treasurer. The position is much more than a simple knowledge of how to manage finances, (although this is also important). There are

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The ABC’s of HOA’s

When you purchase a home that is part of a Home Owners Association (HOA), you agree to live by certain rules set up by that HOA. The HOA usually charges a monthly fee and in exchange will provide the homeowners

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Improving Indoor Air Quality

As the heat continues to bear down, most people find themselves retreating indoors to beat the heat. But what most people don’t realize is that air quality indoors can be just as bad as it is outdoors. If your HOA

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Thinking Of A Gated Community? Seven Things To Consider First

On the surface, it’s easy to see the appeal of buying property in a gated community, but there’s more to consider the more closely you look. Aside from the clean, well-maintained aesthetic and peace of mind that comes with a

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Have a condo? Pay attention to percentage ownership

If you own a condominium, or plan to, read closely. You might not own exactly what you think.  When his association levied a special assessment, a reader of this column was unhappy to learn he was charged 20 percent more

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Earmarking Reserves In Your HOA

Most homeowner associations are entrusted with substantial common elements which must be maintained, replaced or renewed. All of this costs a lot of money. Borrowing said money is a very bad idea because it comes at a very high price

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