Condo & HOA Articles

Back to homepage

Protecting Your Homeowner Association in Contracted Work

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened: The phone rings…it is a board member at a homeowner association frantically telling me a story that starts out…we were referred to a company that (pick one): my brother in

Read More

What’s the Fair Housing Act?

The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination. HOAs are “housing providers” under the Act – they may not discriminate against certain classes of people. Associations who do discriminate risk lawsuits and large fines.  Few associations discriminate on purpose, but

Read More

6 Elements of a Successful Monthly Meeting

When I joined the Roundtree Homeowners Association, I did so for the usual reason of wanting a say in maintaining and improving the complex. But when I became president a year later, I had another goal in mind: to make

Read More

3 Common Questions About an HOA Board of Directors

The Board of Directions of an Association is responsible for protecting, maintaining and enhancing the community. Knowing who the members of the Board are and having a basic understanding of what they do is a good way for all members

Read More

Fire Sprinkler Installation and Earthquake Retrofit – Are They Reserve Account Expenses?

Without a doubt installation of fire sprinklers and earthquake retrofits make buildings safer and could save lives when and if they should ever be needed. Some municipalities have passed rules for installation/upgrading/modernization of these systems but most have chosen to

Read More

The Role of the Community Association in Neighbor vs Neighbor Disputes

Neighbor vs neighbor disputes are frequently a part of life in community associations. Common examples may include an owner allowing his dog to use his neighbor’s yard or an owner dumping trash on his neighbor’s yard. Although they may initially

Read More

Does Your Community Association Need a Drone Policy?

As drone technology advances and the number of drones in the air increases, managers and board members in community associations are asking about drone policies. If drones are being used in your community or if there is a plan for

Read More

I’m a Manager, Not a Magician

Our management company was referred to a property that had not performed regular preventative maintenance for at least a decade or more. We accepted the account. Unfortunately, they also had a board that has always partially funded the reserves (with

Read More

Emotional Support Animals in Cooperative Apartment and Condo Communities: What Every Association and Owner Should Know

An emotional support animal (commonly referred to as an “ESA”) is a companion animal (typically a dog or cat) that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. An ESA is not the same thing as

Read More

Are HOAs Taking Advantage of Mortgage Servicers?

While Homeowner Association (HOA) liens for unpaid assessments typically have priority over second mortgages and other junior liens (because the HOA liens may “relate back to” the HOAs’ previously-recorded declarations), first mortgages receive special treatment in various states, such as

Read More

Condo Boards Have a New Tool for Collecting Arrears

Court ruling gives condo boards a new way to evict delinquent unit-owners.  When it comes to evicting residents, co-op boards have traditionally enjoyed a bigger arsenal than their condo counterparts. But condo boards are not without their weapons. And that

Read More

Four Tips for Resolving Condo Association Disputes

One of the most common issues that a Condo Board member faces is resolving Condo Association disputes. As a Board member, you are a combination of a legislator and an executive, so your job is often the role of mediator,

Read More

HOA Fees — Hated or Just Misunderstood?

Nearly every homeowner in a condo or HOA has asked themselves at one time or another “What do the HOA fees pay for”. The answer is different for every community but the fact is the average homeowner doesn’t know where

Read More

Residents of Florida HOA Speak Out Against Association’s Use of Drones

The residents of the Concord Station community north of Tampa in Land O’Lakes, Fla. recently shared their complaints and confusion with a reporter from one of their local television stations over their HOA’s use of a drone equipped with a

Read More

Condominium Associations May Recoup Insurance Deductibles (NJ)

One of the largest line items in any condominium association’s budget is its insurance premium. Condominium associations are required, pursuant to their governing documents, to carry adequate property insurance to address common elements (and in many cases, unit owners’ improvements),

Read More

What is a Quorum and Why is it Important to an HOA Board?

A quorum is the minimum number of HOA board and members who must be at a meeting before business can be transacted. Homeowners can usually find quorum requirements within their Bylaws. You might be surprised but reaching a quorum to

Read More

What Community Associations Should Know About the Fair Housing Act

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

Read More

A Checklist For Going Green In Your HOA

There is much talk of green construction. The following checklist will help identify features that produce a healthier, high-performance building that costs less to operate and has fewer negative environmental impacts. HOA developers and builders take note:      Read

Read More

The Importance of Condo Association Good Will

Much of Condo Association planning and strategizing is based on maximizing resources. How do you make the most of Condo Association assessments? Does your community budget well? How do you maintain reserves? The answers to these questions are vital to

Read More

6 Communication Tips for a Smoother Insurance Claim Process

If you’ve been a board member or community manager for very long, then you know all too well the issues that come with submitting an insurance claim on behalf of your association. Unfortunately, claims are inevitable for any community, and

Read More

What is an HOA?

It is often said that you’re buying more than a home, you’re buying a neighborhood. Nowhere is that truer than in neighborhoods governed by a homeowners’ association (HOA).  Homeowners’ associations are nothing if not controversial. Some residents appreciate having, in

Read More

Community Association Remedies When Tenants Ignore Rent Demands (FL)

After the crash of the real estate market and the subsequent foreclosure crisis, many homeowners who found themselves with properties under water capitalized on the ability to rent those properties while not paying their mortgage or community assessments. Florida’s legislature

Read More

There Goes the Neighborhood

Originally conceived by John D. Rockefeller Jr., Forest Hill was designed as a vision of suburban unity. But vacant homes and nasty squabbles about how to save the historic community may be tearing it apart.    Read the article…………….

Read More

HOA Homefront: Keep the board meetings a reasonable length

As someone who regularly attends homeowners association board meetings, I can attest that most of them run far too long. Later in longer meetings, concentration and the quality of the deliberations deteriorate.  Could any of the following solutions help your

Read More

The Role of the Covenants Enforcement Officers in a Homeowners Association

The staff or volunteers you see occasionally walking around the community with clipboards or tablets are the homeowners association’s covenants enforcement officers. They’re inspecting the property to ensure that everything is working properly, that conditions are safe, and that nothing

Read More

New Homeowners: What Association Fees Really Do

All my life I listened to adults who had nothing but resentment for their HOAs. My parents’ second house was in an HOA managed community that had $175 in yearly (yes, yearly!) fees, most of which went toward the upkeep

Read More

Water is an Enemy to Asphalt Paving

In the asphalt paving business we are asked many questions regarding proper maintenance of pavement surfaces for driveways, parking lots and roads. Our best advice is to be proactive about maintenance to ensure the life of your pavement surface.  As

Read More

Prepare Your Trees for Spring in 4 Easy Steps

New blooms, warm rain, and bright sunshine are just a few reasons to love spring. Sleeping plants slowly awaken and the birds sing with joy. A quick look around tells you it’s time to start working on your landscape.  Spring

Read More

Aging Condominium updates for an Aging Population

Condominiums are not just for young people, there are many elderly condo residents that bought their units in the 1980’s. Many early construction condo buildings are now facing challenges of providing amenities to owners who are 65 years or older.

Read More

HOA Board Directors: Lone Ranger or Tonto?

Being a person that wants to serve and protect your own interests, you get yourself elected to the board. At the first board meeting, the president gives you a pep talk about not giving instructions to contractors or discussing board

Read More

The Bouncy House-Invitation to Liability

Residents in community associations often behave as if they still reside in single family homes. They tend to forget that liability exposures created through their personal activities will affect others. A perfect example is when a unit owner asks permission

Read More

Energy Efficiency and your HOA Community

Taking your HOA to a place of energy efficiency doesn’t have to mean accepting a different standard of living. With today’s technological advances, becoming energy efficient can be as simple as switching out light bulbs or practicing strategic landscaping. Going

Read More

Cyber Risk – Your Data is Safe, Until It’s Not…

You’ve undoubtedly read about the high-profile hacks and data breaches that have occurred over the past few years – millions of accounts compromised and credit card numbers stolen from Target, Home Depot, TJX, Yahoo, and other large companies. While big

Read More

The Benefit of Updating your Reserve Study Annually

Reserve Studies are budget planning and disclosure documents prepared to help the board meet their responsibility to care for the assets of the association. Many of the association’s common area components are so large that the association needs many years

Read More

Carefully review CC&R before purchasing a home with HOA

It wasn’t too long ago that a California Court ordered a man to pay $70,000 for violating a homeowner association (HOA) rule limiting the number of rose bushes he could have to 14. The HOA levied fines against the man

Read More

How to Handle Every Stage of a Snowstorm

While residents of warmer clients experienced some early Spring weather, some regions have experienced extreme winter weather patterns this season and for a few of us that meant record breaking snow levels. Even right now, in some parts of the

Read More

How to Enjoy Life as a Member in Your Homeowners Association

Whether you’re a resident of a homeowners association or a Board member looking for ways to encourage residents to get involved in their community, here are some great tips for being an active member of your Association and enjoying the

Read More

Obscure Regulation Halts Reverse Mortgages, FHA Lending in Some Towns

Thanks to the abrupt enforcement of a decades-old regulation that the Federal Housing Administration had seemingly ignored, consumers looking to buy homes or take out reverse mortgages in some 55+ communities have had their FHA loan applications rejected at the

Read More

Everything You Need to Know about Homeowner’s Association Rehabilitation Projects

The name might sound fancy and formal, but a homeowner’s association, or HOA for short, is simply an establishment that governs an area consisting of buildings developed by the same real estate company. The company holds private ownership over the

Read More

You Can’t Touch This!

I was recently in a drugstore attempting to check-out, and I was verbally accosted by an owner because of her dissatisfaction with the association’s holiday lighting! She began shouting that I was to “go over there, and buy those icicle

Read More

How to Run an Effective and Fair Condo Association Election

Election time in Condo Associations might be a big deal – or a big snooze. Regardless, you want to make sure that you are organizing things well. You want to ensure that there is interest, engagement, competition, and most importantly,

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More