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Smoking Pipes and Cigarettes – What Can You Do About the Nuisance?

“In our HOA a new neighbor has moved in who smokes cigars outside on his deck, all day long. The neighbor on one side and myself are inundated with the nasty smell and cannot open our patio doors because it

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HOA Minutes Minutiae

Taking meeting minutes is an extremely important function that should not be neglected or taken lightly. Minutes are the official record of HOA business. Major decisions are reflected in them that could impact the HOA for years to come.  Read

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Community Manager’s Minute: Act, Don’t React to Micromanagers

Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines micromanagement as “manage[ment] especially with excessive control or attention on details”. Julie defines it as the time-consuming, energy draining, ever-maddening, demoralising busy-work that accomplishes little. In today’s first video, Julie talks about why board members micromanage

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CAI-RF: 2012 Statistical Review For U.S. Homeowners Associations, Condominium Communities and Housing Cooperatives

Foundation for Community Association Research Statistical Review For U.S. Homeowners Associations, Condominium Communities and Housing Cooperatives NATIONAL AND STATE DATA

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Avoiding Liability When Providing Emergency Services And Disaster Preparedness To Your Community Association

IN THIS POST 9/11 WORLD, there is movement toward adoption of a national private sector disaster preparedness standard. Implicit in the adoption of such a standard is an obligation to provide adequate training for a comprehensive disaster preparedness plan, particularly for employers responsible for workplace

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The Tax Man Cometh for Associations Too!

Each of us is undoubtedly thinking about our own personal tax returns with April 15th upon us. However, board members have to think about tax time twice: personally and on behalf of the association. Hopefully, every association has retained an

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Getting high in the Condo? As States Legalize Marijuana, will Home Owner Associations Just Say No?

Marijuana is becoming legal, to various extents, in a lot of places. Some states such as New Jersey and California allow if for medical purposes. Colorado just plan allows it. Some predict that sooner or later it will pretty much

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Reasonable Accommodations (video)

You are a board director in a no-pet building. And you’re happy about it. But an owner has come to you and said “I need an emotional support pet.” Welcome to the world of reasonable accommodations. In this video you’ll

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Capital Reserves and the Future of Your Community

I went to see a fortune teller recently. She took me into her reading room and asked me to gaze into her crystal ball. She then predicted my future. “I see wear and tear on your buildings. I see a

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The finer points of HOA budgets

The HOA Roundtable is an open forum organized to allow HOA board members to meet and share their challenges and experiences. As I was thinking ahead to Tuesday night’s HOA Roundtable, the idea of sharing some insight into homeowner association

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Proper landscaping helps keep intruders at bay

Landscape crews are spreading across community association grounds, clearing out winter’s debris and readying for the verdant season. Their work does more than beautify. It also helps keep residents and property safe.   Read More……

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Conflict Resolution Insights: Why Conflicts Escalate

On two recent occasions, I have been involved in interactions that started with a minor miscommunication and quickly elevated to full-blown conflict. In both situations, the other person and I pretty quickly recognized what was happening, and we managed to

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7 Ways Your Community Management Company can Increase Client Retention

While economists and politicians tell us the economy is starting to turn around, community associations and management companies living and working in the real world are still very much feeling the pinch of the latest recession and bursting of the

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What Is a Reserve Study In Your HOA?

The Reserve Study analyzes repair and replacement needs like roofing and painting that happen every year and provides a funding plan for accumulating money to perform this work when its needed. It is more a budgeting function than a construction

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WELCOME PACKETS: Is Your Community Association Providing This Essential Communication Tool?

Welcome packets for new owners (and even tenants) serve many purposes and are essential in getting a new resident off to a good start and making them feel part of the community. The best form of delivery is by a

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Transition Study, Reserve Study. What’s the Difference?

Most board members understand what a reserve study is and the beneficial role it plays in managing the financial future of the community association.  Another study that comes up for recently constructed associations and is equally as important is the

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Failure to observe proper terminology could land you in Court (property or community manager?)

I recently had the opportunity to represent a community manager that had the misfortune of finding himself in a misdemeanor trial before a Magistrate Judge, all because of the legal difference between a community manager versus a property manager. Our

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99 Candles: Bob Simon Celebrates Near-Century, Remains Awesome (Reston founder)

Reston founder Robert E. Simon turned 99 today, which is pretty amazing. In many ways, he looks as good as, if not better than the community he founded (which turns 49 today). He celebrated the eve of his birthday by

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Smoking in Your Community – Is it a Nuisance?

We frequently get questions about what an association can do to restrict or regulate smoking in the community. These questions have increased now that Colorado law permits growing and smoking marijuana. Typically, but not always, the issue is exacerbated in

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Take charge of that meeting: 8 ways to make sense of Robert’s Rules of Order

If you’re going to chair meetings or rise to a high post in your professional society, you’re likely to run up against Robert’s Rules of Order. In the U.S., it’s the most widely used authority on parliamentary procedure–and many a

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Can we Reserve for Landscaping?

Great question! A reader asked this yesterday, describing their association as a residential association with many private homes along a common street, with little other common area assets (a gate system and a tot lot). So their idea about a

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The Gender Wage Gap For Managers Doesn’t Look Good

The median wage gap between genders fell since 2000, but progress is currently stalled. Women still earn less than men in nearly every occupation, though some suffer from greater wage disparities than others. The following is a list of the

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The Quorum Requirement: A Creative Solution to Getting Stuff Done

“Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen to our owner’s association meeting. Unfortunately, we didn’t make the quorum requirement to vote on anything tonight, so we’ll need to reconvene this meeting for a later date. Sorry.” Sound familiar? Lamentably, this scenario is more

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Mediation – The Essential Building Block of Peaceful Society and Key to Successful HOAs

In the “Malcom in the Middle” clip currently available on Youtube entitled “Duel at the Mall”, two people transform a simple door-ding incident at a retail parking lot into a full blown war. If you haven’t seen it, you owe

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Are The Homes At Your HOA FIre Safe?

Over the years a number of our condo and homeowner association clients have suffered the loss of homes or units as a result the fires. Some of these fires were as a result of smoking in bed, a couple of

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Should boards reveal the names of delinquent owners?

A blog reader recently asked me what I thought about boards mentioning the names of delinquent owners at meetings when the question “who isn’t paying their assessments?” is raised.   Read More……

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Property Managers not immune from claims by owners.

Claims are brought against community associations and community association managers (CAMs) all the time for various complaints relative to the maintenance, management and/or operation of the community.   Read More……

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Preparing your Community Association for Aging in Place

Much has been said, sung, lamented and discussed about aging. People age, buildings age, communities themselves age and the beat goes on. No place is this aging more evident than in multiple community associations across our country where the inhabitants

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All I Ask About Running a Meeting

I wonder how many meetings I’ve attended in my lifetime. It must be in the thousands. Of course, there have been the multitude of corporate meetings I’ve participated in, either with customers or internally. Then there are the many meetings

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Condo Etiquette – the power of please and thank you

Do you ever have days when everyone seems downright rude? I have no idea what the cause is — perhaps it’s the barometric pressure or the phase of the moon. But when you try to keep calm and carry on

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What is the purpose of a committee?

Members of an association often have tasks that require more in-depth study by a small group. That’s where a committee comes in.  Read More……

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Effective community management

Like in other industries, the workforce in the community management industry is rapidly changing. Take the HOA manager for example: the stereotype is someone who sits at board meetings, finding delight in firing off violation letters about someone’s car is

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Board Member Education

If you are a new member of your community association board of directors, you are in for an educational experience. Among the many subjects that you will deal with are architectural review, contracting, communication, meeting conduct, insurance, financial reports and

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The HOA election is over, so what’s next?

The ballots have been counted and the new board has been chosen. Immediately following the board member acceptance of their new Board of Directors positions, it’s time for business.   Read More……

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Improving Your HOA Website Security Settings Can Allow For Greater Flexibility

Homeowner association websites contain a wealth of information, from minutes of the board of directors meetings, the declarations and bylaws of the homeowner association, to rules and regulations and social calendars. This information helps members of the association stay up

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3 Ways To Create Better Relations Between Boards and Homeowners

Most of us appreciate the need for a governing authority, within a community, to maintain uniform and equitable standards. These standards are meant to assist in providing harmony within the community. While all those reasons sound simple the administration and

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Effective Steps Co-op / Condo Boards Can Take with Disruptive Members

The managing agent remembers it well. There had been an incident in a co-op she managed that caused some damage to the building. She advised the board that, based on her experience, it would not be to the property’s advantage

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Violence Toward the Board – What Can You Do?

Once again we read about an unhappy owner in his homeowners association acting out his aggression toward the association’s board of directors. This time, the owner shot and killed two members of the association’s board of directors because the board

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It’s Spring, Time to Ward Against Water Issues

It may be April Fools Day, but it’s no joke that every year around this time insurance companies see many flood issues and claims from homeowner associations. What’s worse, flood insurance is expensive and the typical HOA insurance policy does

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When Homeowners Attack

I spoke at a “board member boot camp” Tuesday night to give legal tips to new homeowners association board members, and briefly touched on security and safety issues for board members. Luckily, I said, homeowner violence against HOA board members

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Homeowners Associations and Biodiversity, Part One

I recently read a study about the positive role that homeowner’s associations (HOAs) can play in preserving urban and suburban biodiversity. Because so much urban/suburban land is managed in small parcels (individual houses and yards), having an overarching biodiversity management

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Are folks really being forced to buy homes inside associations?

Many folks in various association groups on Social Media complain about the concept of shared ownership community governance and lament the fact that they cannot purchase homes (particularly in Florida) anywhere else other than inside a mandatory community association.   Read

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Start early on shaping next year’s budget

Quick question for community association volunteers: When does budget season begin and end? If you have prepared an annual budget, perhaps while on the board or finance committee, you know that preliminary meetings usually take place in late summer or

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When a condo association messes up a home sale

If you own a condominium or a property within a homeowners association, the association’s behavior could derail your home sale. The lender looks not only at your financial situation, but also at the financial condition of the condo association or

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The Status Woe In Homeowner Associations

There is a tendency for traditions and habits to take hold and be repeated without question. This is often the case with homeowner association boards. Rules are enacted with good intent. Budgets are squeezed with the idea that less is

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An Active Adult Community’s Obligations with Respect to Transport Buses and the Disabled

Active adult communities often purchase transport buses for the use of their owners and residents. In relation to such a purchase, that community must consider whether any such bus must be equipped to service the disabled. Title III of the

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Property Managers not immune from claims by owners

Claims are brought against community associations and community association managers (CAMs) all the time for various complaints relative to the maintenance, management and/or operation of the community.   Read More……

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Not All HOA Bylaws Are Etched in Stone

Many people who live in housing developments are required to join homeowners associations. A homeowners association is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of any common areas, such as swimming pools, tennis courts and other recreational areas.    Read more….

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Homeowner Groups Can Support Native Species in Suburbia

Although it’s known that construction of homes in suburban areas can have negative impacts on native plants and animals, a recent study led by University of Massachusetts Amherst ecologist Susannah Lerman suggests that well- managed residential development such as provided

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Repairing Waterways One Subdivision at a Time

My enthusiasm was kindled a few months ago when Barbara Brown, president of our homeowners association, shared a consultant’s report that she had commissioned at her own expense regarding the potential for creating a neighborhood wildlife sanctuary.  Read more….

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