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Project Management: What Every Board Member And Manager Needs To Know

Your association is gearing up for a large project. Maybe it’s time to re-do the clubhouse or plan for that $2M dollar concrete restoration project that was put off for far too long. Other large scale projects can include painting,

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No Regrets: How to Research a New-Construction Condo Before You Buy (NY)

Recently I was considering buying a condo in a four-unit new-construction building in Brooklyn. The pictures of the unit in the glossy marketing materials, naturally, looked gorgeous. But after some intensive digging into the building and its developer, I bailed.

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With Insurance Claims, Time Is of the Essence

In our upcoming special November issue, “Governing Powers Through a Legal Lens,” several prominent lawyers advise boards and the residents of co-ops and condos on the vagaries of establishing liability for leaks, fires, and other unwelcome mishaps. Their advice, though

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What to Do When Your Neighbor’s Dog Won’t Stop Barking

We’re all in agreement here – dogs are simply amazing. But, there are few things more annoying than a dog that barks nonstop, especially if it’s not your dog.  Perhaps you work a night shift and can’t sleep during the day

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Clients Must Use Insurer’s Contractor or Face $10k Cap (FL)

Beginning in February, Citizens will be able to force commercial and residential property policyholders who file claims for all non-weather water losses to use the company’s preapproved contractor or agree to limit their total payout to $10,000. This arbitrary figure

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Pros and Cons of Gated and Non-Gated Community Associations: Thoughts and Considerations

A safe neighborhood is a top priority of home buyers. For many of these home buyers, a gated community is an attractive option. The gate represents protection from the outside world by the careful monitoring of those entering the community.

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The Condo Association Board Socialite Profile

The word “community” is prominent in community Associations. This implies more than just a Condo Association where bills are paid on time and reserve studies are built. While those are necessities, they are not enough. A Condo Association should thrive

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Always the same old HOA news

When there’s news about HOAs on TV or in newspapers, it’s mostly the same old news over and over again. Someone puts up a flag, changes something on their home, has hens, roosters or pigs on their property, maybe playground

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Common Pitfalls in Dealing with Major Repairs

Recent experience as litigation and general counsel for numerous associations who are currently tackling significant repairs suggests a couple of common pitfalls.  First, don’t skimp on the consultant. While some associations decide that using an engineer or architect to develop

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6 Big Reasons Why Your Assn. Should Consider Amending Your Documents (OR, 6 BIG REASONS WHY YOUR BYLAWS ARE PROBABLY TERRIBLE)

(Or, 6 Big Reasons Why Your Bylaws are Probably Terrible)   There are a myriad of reasons why it may be in the best interests of an Association to amend its governing documents, which include the Association’s Articles of Incorporation, Master

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Handling Construction in the Community

Summer is the most popular season for construction work. With lower chances of rain and poor weather conditions, work can be completed with minimum rescheduling. However, despite these quicker completion times, many community construction projects can cause inconveniences to homeowners

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Communicating Condo Association Bad News

Shockingly, it isn’t always rainbows, puppy dogs and chocolate in a Condo Association. Sometimes there are things that go wrong. It might be your air conditioner dying during the hottest week of the year, a crime incident where an Owner

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The Top 3 Pet Policy Problems (And How To Solve Them)

Are you ready to learn how to be a good neighbor if you have pets? Check out IKO Community Management’s top pet policy problems in HOA communities and how to solve them quickly:  Problem 1: You find dog waste in

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Why Does Our Association Need an Annual Insurance Review?

You know that your association needs to have the right insurance coverage in place. So you have property coverage, liability insurance, workers’ compensation, directors and officers (D&O) and an umbrella policy in place. Premiums are paid regularly and on time.

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The Home Buying Trends of Millennials and Their Impact on HOAs

Millennials are at an age where they’re eager to become homeowners. They’re raising children, building themselves up as active members of their community, and looking for homes where they can grow. Therefore, it’s important that you understand the home buying

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Withholding Your Maintenance Payments: Do You Have a Right to Do That During a Dispute?

Conflicts between both unit owners and their co-op or condo, or between neighbors, can get ugly pretty quickly. Often due to many considerations–in particular the slow pace of anything in common-interest properties and the general reluctance to spend money–these conflicts

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Hurricane Shutters and Hurricane Protection Policies: Does your Condominium have what it needs? (FL)

With the recent threat from Hurricane Irma, many condominium associations were faced with emergency requests from unit owners for the association to install or for the association to allow owners to install hurricane shutters or other forms of hurricane protection. 

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The budget process and determining your condo fee

I often hear buyers proclaim that a condo fee is “too high” yet these same buyers seem not to know exactly what determines a condo fee. It is impossible to assess if the fee is “too high” without knowing the

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Can You Afford NOT to Pay for Cyber Security?

Last month, the credit-reporting agency Equifax announced that it had fallen victim to a data breach, in which cyber thieves stole the sensitive data of more than 140 million Americans. It was only the latest episode in a widespread cyber

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Electric Cars in Community Associations – An Emerging Trend

What is an “electric car”? “An electric car is an automobile with one or more electric motors that uses electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries or another energy storage device. Electric cars are around three times as efficient as cars

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What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution? (And Why Does the Association Use It?)

Community associations and their members disagree from time to time. When they do, the association board attempts to resolve problems by using a three-step, problem-solving approach called alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It’s an effective and money-saving alternative to the traditional

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How to Train New Board Members for your HOA

A condo or homeowner’s association is the cornerstone of a building community. The condominium of HOA maintains order and continuity by preserving architectural integrity, maintaining the common elements, protecting property values, and often providing for recreation and community engagement among

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How To Prepare Your HOA in The Event of a Natural Disaster

Consider this scenario: You are a board member for an HOA that represents over 300 residents in a condominium complex of 20 buildings. In the early hours of a Thursday morning, you are awakened by a loud knocking at your

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Bankruptcy 101: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13

We have been asked on numerous occasions recently to provide guidance to our community association clients about the effects that bankruptcy has on their collections cases. The most common forms of bankruptcy by owners in the community association context are

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Does a Colorado HOA and/or the members of its board owe fiduciary duties to the general members?

Does a Colorado homeowners’ association and/or the members of its board of directors owe fiduciary duties to the general members? It’s a simple question with a somewhat complicated answer.  To start with, a fiduciary is a person who is required

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“You Simply Can’t Get Away Without Maintenance Increases.”

Yesterday we heard from co-op and condo board members who rigorously resist raising monthly charges; today we hear from counterparts who believe that regular raises, though unpalatable, are the only responsible way to handle a board’s fiduciary duties.  “In this

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Supporting Your Staff: Letting Your Employees Know You Care

Most people go about their days paying little attention to the labor performed by those who make their lives easier. From transit workers to service employees to government officials, how often does one stop to thank the people making everything

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The Roles of Building Staff: Working as a Team for the Good of All

Supers, building managers, maintenance persons, custodial staff, groundskeeping personnel, porters, doormen, concierges—depending on the size of a community, the staff roster for a condo, co-op or HOA can be pretty long. The truth is, in the case of almost any

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Board Transparency: Consistent Communication Is Key

Community living – the very basis of co-op, condo and HOA life—is based on the idea of trust. In a community of potentially hundreds or thousands of residents, every resident can’t be involved in the making of every decision. Too

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Problem Boards: What To Do When Your Board Breaks the Rules

A condominium, cooperative or homeowners’ association elects a board for a specific purpose: to manage the community’s day-to-day business, oversee special projects, and draft and uphold the rules and regulations that keep life orderly and harmonious. In fact, the board

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National Night Out for Community Associations: Your Ticket to Community Partnership

National Night Out: it’s one of the biggest community-building events of the year. While the rest of the nation typically celebrates National Night Out in August, throughout Texas and Florida, this event is held on the first Tuesday in October.

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Top Amenity Trends in New HOA Communities

Home buyers are searching for more than a new home; they are searching for a place that offers a sense of community. Walking trails, resort-style pools, and quaint shopping and cafes top the list of amenities today’s home buyers desire.

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Updating Your Association’s CC&Rs

Asked – Our documents were created in 1981 and have not been updated since that time. I imagine that we are out of legal compliance with some of the items listed within both documents. The HOA membership does not want

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After the Hurricane, Associations Should Approach the Rebuilding Process with Care

Four weeks after Hurricane Irma, most associations have likely made progress in making temporary repairs to damaged communities. This week’s column will focus on the various issues that arise during the rebuilding process that occur after the storm. Part of

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Preventing Community Association Fraud: Part Two – Your Property Management Company’s Role

Fraud can strike just about any association – even one that is professionally managed – regardless of how small or large your community may be. However, a good property management company will have checks and balances and other security measures

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What Owners Need to Know about Community Association Board Meetings

A Board Meeting is a meeting that is held regularly by the Board of Directors. This meeting is held to discuss and make decisions on association business. Owners are welcome to attend these meetings. These meetings are usually held monthly

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4 Signs You Might Be Hurting Your HOA

Despite the best of intentions, many times an HOA board actually becomes the downfall of their association. How does this happen? Well, there are a lot of different ways for things to go awry, but here are 4 clues that

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Halloween is upon us

It is officially fall and that means Halloween is right around the corner. Doorsteps will soon be adorned with pumpkins, autumn wreaths, and spooky figures, but what does your HOA actually allow? Since some people get really excited for the

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Great Gorge condo fire sends two to hospital

Two people were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation Sunday evening following a fire that left a condominium on Sunrise Drive in Great Gorge Village in Vernon uninhabitable.  The fire, which was reported at 5:19 p.m., according to McAfee

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Thinking About Disaster Planning? You Should Be!

Most people think about disasters as something that happens to others, not to them. But after witnessing back-to-back weather catastrophes in Houston, Florida, the Caribbean, and more recently in Puerto Rico, many condominium associations are recognizing that the unthinkable could,

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How to Drown Out Your Neighbors’ Psychotic Lovers’ Quarrels: Noise reduction solutions for the noisiest of noisy neighbors

I thought I had gamed the system this time—after two years of living below Marcus, a photographer with an appetite for swarms of high-heeled women and 4 a.m. weeknight furniture shuffling, my husband and I had secured a top floor

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Loss Assessment Insurance

You live in a condominium association and happily (ok, probably not “happily”) pay your dues each month. Your board has diligent members and your association is well insured. What could go wrong? Well, lots can go wrong, unfortunately. Life is

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Preventing Community Association Fraud: Part One – The Board’s Role

As a homeowner who lives in an association, you put a lot of trust in the people designated to manage your association’s money. So it can come as quite a shock if you discover that one of those people has

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Problem Boards: What to Do When Your Board Breaks the Rules

A condominium, cooperative, or homeowners’ association elects a board for a specific purpose: to manage the community’s day-to-day business, oversee special projects, and draft and uphold the rules and regulations that keep life orderly and harmonious. In fact, the board

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What to do When Condo Association Assessments Increase

There are only two things certain in life – death and taxes. Unfortunately, Condo fees – also known as assessments – are a form of taxes. They pay for the maintenance and operation of your Association. The key with assessments

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The HOA Document Hierarchy

When you discover a glaring conflict between two of your HOA’s governing documents, there’s no need to despair. There is a ready-made solution waiting in the wings: a document hierarchy, typically imposed by the state, that orders your governing documents

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6 Pet Rules Every Homeowner Should Follow

If you’re wondering how to be a good neighbor, a great place to start is by understanding proper pet etiquette in an HOA community. Thankfully, many boards offer existing guidelines for you to follow, which makes everything easier.    Read the

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How to Apply the Right Criteria to Evaluate Property Management Companies

The homeowners in your association depend on you and other board members to look out for their best interests. That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly research and compare property management companies before selecting the one that will best meet

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9 Budgeting Tips for a Smoother Financial Planning Process

Community associations are constantly facing the challenge of doing more with less. Quality maintenance services, communication tools, insurance coverage, opportunities for engagement and more always need a place in the budget – but as homeowners demand high levels of service,

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Floods And Flood Insurance: Don’t Be Up The Creek Without A Paddle

As we, our neighbors, families, and friends, here and in Puerto Rico, are picking up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, the prospect of making claims on our homeowner’s insurance policies can seem overwhelming in

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