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How to deal with a weak homeowners association

Reader Question: Our homeowner’s association has bylaws. The HOA is not proactive in enforcing them and has allowed residents to violate, only addressing the violations if someone files a complaint. This refusal to proactively monitor property conditions puts the complaining

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Best practices for condo boards to plan for future building repairs

Q: We live in a condo building of 56 units. We have a reserve fund marked for separate items like the elevator, roof, parking lot, painting, etc. If we didn’t have enough money to replace the elevator, can we use

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Keep track of the money: Finance and Condos

Be sure to check out my post on governance policies for condo boards, and an earlier post on best practices for condo board communication. Financial policies are the topic of this post. I have divided into two parts. Part 1

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Change Management Tips To Overcome Resistance To Change In Your HOA Management Organization

Who likes change when everything seems to be working fine. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” as most would say. While this holds true in your own reality, the truth is, change is always happening around us – as

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3 Tips for Improved Revenue Growth

Your HOA is like any other business, and to succeed, you need to see revenue growth. However, it can be a little hard to figure out how exactly to increase your revenue. For help with more money in your HOA,

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Need a loan? Show lenders your association is a worthy investment

As spring weather approaches, big-ticket construction and repairs are coming up at many community associations. So is taking out a loan to pay for them. If associations qualify, that is.  Associations will be denied if their finances are in disarray.

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Three Reasons to Buy in an Established Condo Association

When you are Condo shopping, there’s a tendency to want to see the newest and best construction. New buildings will have the most modern building codes, may be Leeds certified and environmentally friendly, and feature dazzling amenities. All of these

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Tips to Voice your Concerns and Get Results in your Community

Disagreements among homeowners and fellow board members are bound to happen. However, that’s not always a bad thing. When they’re handled properly, disagreements can lead to unexpected solutions and common ground. Below are five tips to help you keep disagreements

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HOA Homefront: The board balancing act

The ancient Chinese concept of yin and yang deals with opposite and inseparable forces. Common interest developments, or homeowner associations, have their own “yin and yang” issues, in which four basic and inseparable priorities must be balanced to produce a

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Hiring An Owner’s Rep: Save Time, Money and Peace of Mind

When an Association’s Board of Directors begin exploring a new construction project, oftentimes the cost of the endeavor is at the forefront of their thought process. And rightly so; depending on the size and scope of the project, it could

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Ethics at the condo, Part II

Ethics is not just a matter of following the law. Slavery and apartheid were at one time legal, but most would agree there were and are unethical. The word “ethics” is derived from the Greek word ethos (character), and from

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The Impact of Legalization of Medical Marijuana on Your Florida Community Association

This past November, Amendment 2 legalizing the use of medical marijuana was approved by Florida voters. The rules governing medical marijuana have not yet been passed by the State Legislature and the Department of Health; however, it is likely to

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Four Ideas for Water and Energy Savings for Condo Owners

Electricity and water conservation should be a major priority for all Condo Associations. While things like solar panels and EV chargers are the provenance of Associations, there are many things that support water and energy savings for Condo Owners. These

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Plat Maps and Surveys

The plat for your community is an important governing document. The plat is an aerial depiction of the lot boundaries, roadways, common areas, and easements. The filing of the plat and declaration is what creates the community. The plat contains

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Essential Board Member Skills: Objectivity is Key

I believe the most important skill for a board member to possess is objectivity. You need to look at all positions and possibilities and then select the path that provides the greatest good for all members of the association. This

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Planning and Conducting a Successful Annual Meeting

Happy Birthday to your Association!! The annual meeting can be a chance for the current board to shine on the past year’s performance, promote the plans of the community, and answer the myriad of questions that come with being a

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Improve Your Condo and HOA Management Brand in 5 Easy Steps

Property management is a competitive business. To stand out from the crowd, your company needs a strong “brand presence” – an impression you give people about the benefits of choosing your firm over a competitor. But branding is more than

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Funding Reserves For the Common Good

Subdivisions, planned community, and condominium owners are different types of community and offer different types of amenities and surrounding. However, there is one common denominator that people living inside these communities are obliged to conform with to ensure the common

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Public Wi-Fi Regulations Your HOA Should Consider

Everyone loves being able to connect to Wi-Fi for free when they are out and about. For this reason, many associations offer free Wi-Fi in community areas, so residents can surf the web without using up any data. However, there

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Reserve Study Washington: “The Top Six Components”

A reserve study is a budget and disclosure document, supplementing operating & maintenance budgets for the large expenses that don’t occur each year. In this busy world, focusing on a handful of key items in your reserve study may keep

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The Impact Of Airbnb on Condominiums: What Your Association Should Know About Short-Term Rentals

An increasing number of homeowners are renting out their properties on a short-term basis. While short-term leasing is not a new concept for homeowners, the increase is due, in part, to the popularity of home-sharing websites such as Airbnb, VRBO,

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Seduce Your Community Association Prospects

Bringing new clients into the fold can be challenging for any organization, but it’s a special kind of challenge for Community Association Management Companies because you are selling to a committee (the board of directors) and we all know that

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Condo Tenants: A Potential Asset

Question: We have been renting a condominium unit in a fairly large complex for the last several years, and our current plans are to stay here for several more years. For financial and other personal reasons, we do not want

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Turnover: Transitional Considerations for the HOA

Part one of this blog discussed turnover in its initial stages: the events that trigger turnover and the files and papers the developer is required to produce to the homeowners’ association at the time of turnover. Once an association has

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How to Get the Vote

Your association’s board has worked for six months to amend and restate the association’s governing documents, including the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and even the rules and regulations. The board has met with the association’s lawyer on several occasions,

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Garage Sales and Your HOA Community

Even if you haven’t kept up with your New Year’s resolutions like you had hoped to, February is still the season of “New Year, New Me,” which means you shouldn’t give up yet on accomplishing those things on your goal

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E-mail Intelligence – Does Your Board Possess it?

Today, I am discussing the pros and cons of homeowners’ association (HOA) board members and managers using email for community correspondence, and how to craft a sound email policy for your association.  Board members, managers and association residents are no

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What is a Community Association? Unwrapping the Riddle

There are approximately 14,000 planned communities located throughout North Carolina, but very few of the nearly 3 million residents of such communities have a clear understanding of what the heck the community association really is that serves their planned community

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Clarifying Board Roles: Who’s On Board?

Chances are if you’re a resident in a co-op, condo, or HOA community, you’re familiar with your property’s board of directors (or trustees, or managers, depending on what part of the country you live in). Boards are usually made up

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How To Get Your Neighbor’s Dog To Stop Barking Incessantly

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but sometimes best friends won’t shut up and are annoying as shit. It’s especially aggravating when your neighbor’s dog likes to bark all night long, or yap every time you go anywhere near their

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You Can Make a Difference!

Driving to and from your garage and merely existing in an association is not the only option. Living within an association provides you with many opportunities to become involved in your community. Assuming you meet any qualifications which exist within

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Five Tips for an Effective Annual Condo Association Meeting

Annual Condo Association meetings are one of the cornerstones of Association life. While monthly Board meetings might draw a handful of people, you usually will see a couple dozen at the annual meetings. Some Boards treat the annual meeting like

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Building a Stronger Community: Encouraging Neighbors

Are condominiums, co-ops and HOAs cohesive communities? Is community part and parcel of what the purchaser is seeking when they buy into a co-op, condo or HOA? The concept of ‘community cohesiveness’ could be defined as a community in which

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Strategies for Handling HOA Neighborhood Disputes

In every community, there comes a time where there might be a neighbor-to-neighbor dispute. Typically, these differences stem from a noise complaint, landscaping violations, parking violations or a misuse of a common area. In every instance, it is the hope

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E-mail Intelligence – Does Your Board Possess it?

Today, I am discussing the pros and cons of homeowners’ association (HOA) board members and managers using email for community correspondence, and how to craft a sound email policy for your association.  Board members, managers and association residents are no

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How to Judge Condo Association Hearings

You’ve prepared for your hearing and held your hearing – now it’s time for you to decide the outcome. This is the judgment and penalty phase of the hearing process. Unlike the other phases, in this phase, you’re dealing with

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Essential Board Member Skills: Listen More, Talk Less

When I was asked which skill was most essential for board members, I had an immediate consideration for one I thought they should definitely master: listening. However, as a matter of routine, I did a straw poll of some of

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2017 Top Ten List on Arizona Open Meeting Law

Here it is! The list you’ve all been waiting for! We have compiled the absolute “need to know” bullet points about Open Meeting Law for Arizona Homeowners Associations.   Read the article………….

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The Perfect Hire for Community Management

Common interest communities are growing rapidly and as a result, management companies are too. But with this growth comes an increased demand for qualified managers. Often community association management companies are required to recruit managers from other industries, and train

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The Ultimate List of CAM Industry Events in 2017

Professional development. If your only way to grow has been on-the-job learning, you’re missing out! Besides the many articles you can find about career growth and the many popular CAM industry blogs you can subscribe to, professional development happens by

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Airbnb and VRBO and your Home: Regulating The Shared Economy

The “Shared Economy”— where economic and social activity occurs directly between individuals with the help of an online format— is reshaping our national economy. Today we can easily monetize everyday assets, including your car and home, in ways that were

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CAI Releases a Guidance Document on Music & Movie Licensing in the U.S.

Music is powerful. Nearly all of us can recall memories associated with a personal memory – a high school dance, an old boyfriend or girlfriend, the summers spent with friends on the lake or at the beach.  In fact, according

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Calculating a Cover Charge (NY)

Courts rule that co-ops and condos are entitled to fees for granting building access.  Construction workers at the building next door to your co-op want to gain access to your property. In the past, if you did not come to

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Condo boards, look ahead to landscaping needs

While trees and plants may be dormant in winter, landscaping concerns never sleep. For community associations with trees and turf, the yearly landscaping contract starts around April 1, but outdoor environments shouldn’t be ignored until then.  “Many boards only think

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What to Do When It’s Tax Time for Your Association

It’s that time of year again. Tax time. And your Not-For-Profit Organization is no exception. Not-For-Profit organizations are considered a business and therefore obligated to file taxes like any other corporation. You can contact a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or

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6 Essential Skills Board Members Should Master

If you’ve chosen to dedicate valuable time to serving as a board member, giving the job your best effort may require you to refine certain skills or learn new ones. But between your limited time, big buzzwords and best practices,

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Can HOA Fees Be Claimed on Your Taxes?

Tax season is here and we all want to deduct every last penny we can find. If you’re a member of a homeowners association, have you ever considered whether or not the HOA fees you pay are tax deductible? Every

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Planning for Special Needs Children

Many families in our community have children or loved ones with developmental disabilities or special needs. Families often assume that they can continue to care for their loved ones in perpetuity. The reality is that once a child turns 18

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Avoiding Discrimination and Its Legal Consequences: The Power of Equality

Despite the fact that most people would agree that discrimination is a bad thing, discrimination persists, which suggests either that existing laws against it are sometimes ignored, or that the legal definition of ‘discrimination’ isn’t always clear. Fortunately, when it

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Building a Stronger Community: Encouraging Neighbors

Are condominiums, co-ops and HOAs cohesive communities? Is community part and parcel of what purchasers are seeking when they buy into a co-op, condo or HOA? The concept of ‘community cohesiveness’ could be defined as a community in which there

Read More