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Crazy House Rules Sometimes Make a Lot of Sense (NY)

At a co-op in Woodside, Queens, the house rules include a prohibition against locks with keys on bedroom doors. “Why would such a rule exist?” a mystified shareholder writes to the Ask Real Estate column in the New York Times.

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What Happened When a Texas Homeowner Association Opted to Sign with a Single Hauler

Ever think that your homeowners or condo association is plowing ahead with an ill-considered project? Ignoring its own rules? Now and then, here and there, many people feel this way, but at the same time they are daunted by the

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Community Management: Qualities of a Good Manager

A board of directors must understand that the manager performs various functions for the association and that the board need not do all the work itself. A good board of directors should be able to make policy decisions and have

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Should Your HOA Board File an Annual Report with the State? (CA)

Most HOA boards know that there are annual disclosures that have to be completed and sent out to the membership each year. But did you know that nearly all states also require that a homeowners association organized as non-profit corporations

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Five Mistakes Your Board of Directors Can Avoid if Hurricane Irma Hits

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction and with Irma fast approaching the eastern US coastline, I could blog about the steps your community needs to take to prepare. I’ve written that blog post many times before and I often

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Insurance Reminders for Community Associations Preparing for Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma is now a category five storm that is predicted to impact the state of Florida by late this week. As all community associations prepare their properties for the storm, they should also take specific measures to prepare for

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The Condo Association Board Executive Profile

This week’s Condo Association Board personality profile is the Condo Association Board Executive. The Condo Association Board Executive takes their job on the Board very seriously, and approaches running the Association as a business. Open-minded and professional, the Executive also

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Proactive HOA Budgeting for Your 2018 Capital Improvement Projects

Proactively planning your 2018 capital improvement projects is a key step in your 2018 HOA budget preparation process. First, be sure to carefully prioritize next year’s projects so that the most critical are guaranteed to get done, while the “nice

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How To Defuse A Conflict

Anyone who’s ever had to defuse a tense work meeting or even a stressful Christmas dinner knows that sometimes thoughtful de-escalation is the best (and often only) way to get what you want. But some of us have hot tempers,

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Drafting and Enforcing Parking Restrictions

Despite the going green initiatives and increased use of public transit, ownership and use of automobiles remains a necessity for most. Our need for automobiles translates to parking problems in many communities with limited parking availability. To help alleviate their

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Fire, Code, Restoration & Safety Tips

Annually, as Fire Prevention Week approaches in October, billboards, public service announcements and the like pop up and heighten our awareness about the dangers of fire. Maybe your local fire department had an open house and the kids learned about

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Avoid Misunderstandings about Dues

Across the country people are wondering how and where their HOA dues are being used. It’s a good question to ask, but it also one that an HOA board should be able to answer quickly and easily.  To reduce miscommunication

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What Items Are Homeowners Associations Supposed to Maintain?

Many times, I will get asked the question,” What Does the HOA maintain in our Community?” Usually, this comes with a bit of anger behind the question. Unless the CC&Rs provide otherwise, the homeowners association is responsible for repairing, replacing,

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7 Keys to Success for Social Events in your Community

Communities often have difficulty attracting residents to their social events, which can make it difficult to justify the effort and cost. Imagine a family-oriented HOA with 500 homes – with a healthy social budget of $50,000 per year. A community

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Adopting More Stringent Requirements in an HOA or Condo About Hard Surface Flooring

Here is a recent question about hardwood floors in a homeowners association:  “Our HOA is seeking to institute acoustical standards that did not previously exist, above that required in building codes. My question is whether or not they can place

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Addressing Harassment Issues in Community Associations

As is well understood, Community Association Boards are elected to manage the property, affairs, and business of the Association. The Board has the power to enforce obligations of the unit owners and do what is necessary and proper for the

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Presenting Your HOA’s Monthly Financial Results: Best practices for board treasurers and property managers

Most neighborhoods and their property management companies utilize accountants to prepare the monthly financial statements. As a board treasurer or property manager, you receive a monthly package of financial data that needs to be reviewed with the board. The board

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How To Ensure Your HOA Is Taking Care Of Aging Residents

It can be hard to guarantee that your aging residents are receiving proper care, and due to the increased population of residents who are 65 years old and older beginning, it’s a situation that’s becoming more prevalent for HOA communities.

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6 Steps to Create a Vendor Management Process

A business manager can create strategies for improvement to various internal processes, but the strategy is only as good as the implementation. Many managers are recognizing the need for a comprehensive vendor management process to improve efficiency along with other

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5 Things That Make Community Management Unique

Community management is a tough job and community managers take pride in their work. Just try calling a community manager a “property manager”. You’ll probably get a strange look or even a stern correction. After all, those in the community

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Frequently Used Terms You’ll Hear at an HOA Board Meeting

Have you ever attended a meeting and had no clue what was going on? It’s an awkward position to be in, especially if you’re trying to understand and contribute to the conversation. Be in the know and wow your board

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Short Term Rentals: How It Affects Homeowner Associations

Short-term rentals are homes that are rented out through companies such as Airbnb which alone is valued at about $24 billion. Other, smaller companies such as VRBO, Housetrip, and Roomorama play similar roles in providing homes to vacationers that from

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Kickbacks: Don’t get accused of taking them (FL)

Despite all the great work done by volunteer condo and HOA board members, the actions of a few bad apples have resulted in law changes that could label a casual lunch meeting an illegal kickback!  Board Members (and Managers) cannot

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Could your community association turn into the next Confederate symbol battleground?

In light of recent events in Charlottesville, it should come as no surprise that symbols mean different things to different people and there will unfortunately continue to be disagreements (and at times violence) when it comes to interpreting whose rights

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How to Plan an Effective Budget for a Community Association

Preparing your association’s annual budget…it can be a source of stress, but more importantly, it’s a valuable opportunity to ensure the financial well-being of both your association and homeowners. Proper association management hinges on this financial tool for both short-term

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Addressing Harassment Issues in Community Associations

As is well understood, Community Association Boards are elected to manage the property, affairs, and business of the Association. The Board has the power to enforce obligations of the unit owners and do what is necessary and proper for the

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Community Association Liability For Dog Bites – Woof, Woof, Woof

Can a Florida condominium, homeowners’, and cooperative association have liability for its members’ dog bites? Apparently, the answer is yes, it surely can.  In 1996, the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida in Barrwood Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Maser,

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HOAs and Clotheslines

Summertime means the weather warms up and homeowners will put their laundry out on a clothesline to dry. Homeowners living in HOAs, condos or other common interest communities may be violating community rules by hanging their wardrobe up outside.  Nationwide,

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Three Common Situations Where a Condo Board Will Waive Fees

Life is messy. There are many things that can unexpectedly happen which impact your life. You might run into unexpected financial hardship, be relocated unexpectedly for your job, or suffer personal tragedy. These issues can end up being overwhelmingly consuming.

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Prohibiting and Handling “Dangerous Animals” in an Association

Pet restrictions are a perennial topic of interest in Michigan and consistently one of the most discussed, debated and reviewed provisions in the condominium bylaws. For example, some condominium bylaws prohibit “dangerous animals” from being brought to the condominium or

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How to Save on Home & Renters Insurance in Your Homeowners Association

Whether you own or rent your home within a homeowners association, insurance is essential to protect your property and household goods. Comparison shopping for the best rates will certainly save you some money, but you also can save by following

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Housing Discrimination: Who’s Protected? Protected Groups That Buildings Need to Know

In this series, The Cooperator has examined discrimination laws in relation to multifamily buildings. Among the issues we’ve covered included people with physical and mental disabilities. A disability is just part of the general housing protections that people in New

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Social Media Best Practices for HOA’s

With the growing use of social media and its unique ability to bring people together, most businesses, including HOAs, are using various platforms to more effectively do business. As an HOA, your board should explore the use of social media

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Short-term Rentals Create Ongoing Concerns for Condo Associations

The short-term rental of residential property is producing long-term concerns. Those concerns, which were just emerging when I wrote about this issue three years ago, have grown exponentially as short-term vacation rentals have ballooned, creating what is now a $34

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Proactive Measures Help Community Associations Diminish Exposure to Negligent Security Lawsuits

Florida community associations, just as with all other property owners in the state, can be held liable for crimes committed on their properties. Associations and other property owners owe a duty to their residents and guests to undergo reasonable steps

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Tips for Maintaining Condo Environmental Systems

There are many things that a Condo Association must look to provide for its Owners. At the highest level, they boil down to the big three: safety, security, and transparency. In pursuit of this goal, there are certain key building

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The State of Security/Surveillance Cameras: A Starting Point for Boards

A debate on surveillance is often one between security, privacy and finances. With increased access to low cost, higher quality equipment, boards are being requested to step up security to combat against increased crime. However, there are legal issues a

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HOA Board Meeting Minutes – A Brief Overview

Although by no means glamorous, HOA board meeting minutes are an all-important piece of the HOA puzzle. You will want to master every aspect of them in order to help run your HOA smoothly. In this post we look at

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What To Do If Your Community Has A Hoarder

If you’re on the HOA board, it’s important to think about new challenges in your community. For example, hoarding is a newer issue for communities with aging-in-place residents.  Some people hoard because they believe the item will be useful in

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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

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Here’s Looking at Resales, Kid. (Understanding HOA & Condo Resale Disclosures)

Getting a resale certificate can make a community association manager feel like they are reliving the classic movie Casablanca. While it’s good to see an opportunity for some extra cash coming in, the amount of trouble that goes with it

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6 Tips on How to Become a More Effective Board Member

Serving on the board of your homeowners association (HOA) or condo community association can be a very rewarding experience. You’re able to have a greater impact and influence on how things are run and be an integral part of decision

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Bridging the Generational Gap

If you’re a Baby Boomer serving on your community association’s board of directors, you may have already begun noticing a shift in the characteristics and tendencies of your neighbors (and maybe even your fellow board members). Don’t call me, just

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Community Managers, Are You Prepared for Fall?

Yes, it’s that time of the year again! As we are one month away from the end of summer and the onset of fall, a manager has a lot to think about to prepare the community for the upcoming season.

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HOA Meeting Basics

HOA board meetings are designed to transact essential business. They should be carefully choreographed to that end rather than a rambling discussion. Members should be welcome and encouraged to attend and observe. To that end, provide a Member Forum at

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Do You Live Next to a Hot Pink Gazebo? (AZ)

Happily, at a time when so many folks can find so many things to debate, there is one topic on which most can agree: they hate their HOA. Yes, homeowner’s associations get a bad rap, but is this always justified?

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5 Tips to Keep Homeowner Association Fees Down

If you’re a Board member looking at how to keep fees in a homeowner association down, we have five things you can do to help reduce expenses. Without further delay, here they are:    Read the article…………….

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As summer comes to a close, community associations consider budgets

As summer fades, swimming pools close and school buses appear. It’s time for community association boards and finance committees to hammer out next year’s budget.  Before you lock in numbers, consider the wisdom of industry professionals who know their way

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Vbro & Airbnb: What You Need To Know – The Business Of Short-Term Rentals Is No Business At All

In a recent Rembaum’s Association Roundup article regarding Florida’s newest non-native invasion of overnight rentals through Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) and AirBnB, we discussed what an association can do in order to protect its community from becoming the newest

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Top Reasons to Amend a Community Association’s Governing Documents

Whether your community’s documents are relatively new or have been recorded for several decades, this article is intended to provide a basis for determining why amendments should be considered. Governing documents generally include the Declaration (or Master Deed for condominiums

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