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Constructively Managing Conflict in HOAs: Tip #2

For those of you who follow our Colorado HOA law blog, you know that last week I started a series of blog entries aimed at providing tips on how to constructively manage conflict in HOAs. I’m convinced that if homeowners,

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Chalk Another One Up to Bad Communication

I recently read an article about a homeowner in Texas who received a violation notice from her homeowners association as a result of chalk drawings left on her driveway by her son – something the owner and neighbors do not

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Establishing Your Reserve Funding Plan: Considerations & Strategies

Sarah Anderson, PCAM, Director of Marketing & Operations of EMB Management, Inc., AAMC, discusses some of the challenges of reserve planning with industry veteran Jim Talaga, RS, President of the Association Reserves – Washington regional office. Their goal is to

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Be Prepared for Disasters

If you think hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and floods won’t happen to you or that you don’t need to insure against these disasters, you’re among the nearly half of U.S. homeowners and renters who lack the insurance coverage to deal with

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Insecurity Cameras

Homeowner associations have security issues from time to time like car break-ins. And there is an occasional issue with a violent resident. Particularly after a security “event”, discussions ensue about the need for the HOA to beef up security with

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Reasons Why an HOA Board Might Call an Executive Session

As a member of an HOA board you have many responsibilities in your position. One of the most important and least understood by many Board members is the Executive Session. A good understanding of this matter may save headaches in

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How community association management companies turn a profit

There are 3 sides to the industry we serve. You have the homeowners, who make up the board of directors for the associations, which hire the management companies. By nature of the fact that each one of these groups is

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Constructively Managing Conflict in HOAs: Tip #1

You are probably no stranger to conflict if you have served on the board of, managed or lived in an HOA. We all assume that conflict is bad and something that should be avoided at all costs. In fact, I

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Troubled Waters, Broken Dam

For the past few months, the Snellville City Council has been discussing the remedies available to repair the Lower Johnson Lake dam. In addition to addressing these remedies in Council work sessions, Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts chaired a very

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10 Things to Know About Condominiums (Insurance)

To adequately insure one’s condo apartment, it is important to review the condo association’s bylaws and proprietary lease to find out which structural parts of the condo units are covered by the association and which are not, the Insurance Information

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How a Committee Can Help

As a volunteer organization, a community association faces the unusual challenge of running a corporation with part-time leadership. Volunteer homeowners have varied experience and limited time to dedicate to their roles.  Read more…..

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$12 Million Reasons Your Associations Need Liability Insurance

On January 16, 2011, Andrew Curtis, a nine-year-old boy, and his father were riding their bicycles on U.S. Highway 1 in the town of Jupiter, Florida. Andrew was following his father as the two approached the driveway of the Villas

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A Property Manager’s Guide to ReConstruction Projects

Every manager of multifamily projects will encounter a large re-construction project several times in his or her career. These may be planned projects or the result of an emergency. Planned projects include those that are routinely projected by building inspectors,

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Man’s Best Friend: Requests for Exemption From Pet Rules Under the ADA and FHA

Associations are sometimes faced with a request by a resident for an exemption from a rule limiting or restricting animals to accommodate the resident’s disability. The use of an animal to assist a person with a disability may involve issues

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How an HOA Board Should Use the Reserve Fund vs. Operating Fund

Funding community operations by an HOA Board is one of the most important, if not the most important, functions of the group. Properly overseeing day-to-day actions and long-term projects insures the neighborhood will have a continuous supply of funds to

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Options for Dealing With Older Condo Residents Who are Unable to Care for Themselves

You may not have noticed this, but it is a fact that the United States has a large and growing population of senior citizens. Between 2000 and 2050, The number of older people is projected to increase by 135%. And

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Community associations and property insurance: many questions, many concerns

……Naturally, there was a lot of discussion about rising rates, shrinking coverage (particularly regarding sinkholes) and the fiduciary duties volunteer board members have when selecting insurance coverage and pursuing claims for damages. Not surprisingly, most of the people in attendance

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The Importance of HOA Year-End Financial Projections

Regardless of when your HOA or community association ends its fiscal year, you’ll find it much easier to operate in the second half of the year if you have a good understanding of where you’ll end up. You can accomplish

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The Condo Conundrum (Insurance)

Condominiums became popular largely because they allowed people to own property without having to take care of everything owning a home usually entails.  Read more…..

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Weigh pros and cons of association lawsuits

When bad things happen to a community association, sooner or later someone is bound to say, “Let’s sue.” Sometimes going to court is the best and perhaps only way to resolve a serious problem. Usually it isn’t.   Read more…..

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Basic Enforcement Concepts for HOA Boards

Lately I have been running into folks who have had a lot to say about how boards of HOAs are enforcing use restrictions in the declarations for their communities (commonly referred to as “covenants”) and the rules and regulations which

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Running your association like a successful business

Whether you are a brand new board member serving for the first time or a seasoned veteran or property manager, you need to understand one very simple but vital concept about your community association – it is a business and

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HOA Neighborhood Watch Liability After Trayvon Martin

Since the Trayvon Martin death in Florida, neighborhood watch groups in HOAs have become a hot button issue. The neighborhood watch group that George Zimmerman, the man that was carrying a gun and shot Trayvon Martin in self defense, was

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Things Potential Residents Should Consider Before Moving into a Homeowners Association

Finding your dream home in that great neighborhood is only part of the equation when looking to purchase a home. Buying a home involves much more than just finding the right house. You need to find out about your new

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Is there Ever a Reason to Replace a Component Early?

Interesting question, with an answer that is not obvious. Most associations deal with the problem of replacing components too late, resulting in deferred maintenance and related costs that make the project much more expensive than if it was done on

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Homeowners Associations vs Real Estate Investors

Real estate investors, who seek higher dollar properties, find themselves working hard to satisfy homeowners’ association regulations, while tracking down attractive properties to purchase. They do so in the hopes of generating income by renting the properties out to tenants.

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Tips for Handling Uncooperative Tenants in a Homeowners Association

As a Board member of a homeowners association you have many duties. Sometimes you might feel like you’re in a tug-of-war when dealing with uncooperative tenants who refuse to adhere to the rules. The Board must act in these situations

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A list of Do’s and Dont’s for HOA Management:

Customer service. Answer your calls and emails within 24 hours of receipt. Even if you don’t have an answer, let your client/homeowner know that you are working on it.  Read more…..

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Some Bees Make Headaches, Not Honey

When it comes to wood damage, termites are not the only ones giving homeowner associations cause to worry about exterior repairs. Summertime can sometimes bring an onslaught of carpenter bees, whose presence can be identified by perfectly round, half-inch holes

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HOA Insurance Proaction in Action

One of the biggest traps for common wall homeowner associations like condominiums is that their insurance coverage often permits payment of claims that rightly belong to homeowners. This is due to the broad or “blanket” coverage nature of the policy.

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The HOA was Sued and we Should Tender – What Does That Mean?

It is not uncommon for a condo association or HOA to become embroiled in some sort of dispute or litigation as a defendant, having been named in a lawsuit by a disgruntled owner. The lawsuit comes in, and after being

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Small Condominiums Can Have Big Problems

The lyrics of a 1970?s song insultingly declared, “Short people got no reason to live.” The same has been said, although usually somewhat more diplomatically, about small condominiums.  Read more….

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HOA HOMEFRONT: Selecting a manager, part 3 – the contract

After selecting the type of management services, and selecting the manager, the final step is the contract. Price is not everything: Hiring a manager solely on price is a mistake. You may discover “you get what you pay for.”  Read

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Dealing with Difficult People

Being elected to the Board might have seemed like the hard part, but now that you are behind the wheel expect a lot of ungrateful backseat drivers. Congratulations on your election or appointment to the Board of Directors. Now that

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Understanding Short Sales in Your Community

With the influx of new foreclosures the past few years, you may have heard of homes in your community that are being sold through a ‘short sale’. While short sales are fairly common, few people understand what they are or

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One simple trick to improve communications with your homeowners

How many times has something like this happened to you? A homeowner is frustrated because of something completely beyond Joe Manager’s control, like the street light bulb flickering right outside her bedroom window. She sends an email to the service

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Staying Close to Nature, and to Neighbors

There’s an unexpected bonus tucked within the Pinewood Lake community, just a few blocks from bustling Route 1 north of Fort Belvoir.  Read More……

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Boards can take the surprise out of special assessments

Suppose the decks at your community association are badly deteriorating. The board hires an engineer, who advises total replacement within a couple of years. Not all the owners have decks, but those who do will be assessed about $4,000 each.

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Coping With Arrears: When Residents Fall Behind

The foundation of any properly run condo association or co-op building rests on residents paying their monthly maintenance fees on time and in full, with no delays or delinquencies. However, in the wake of the recession, with many shareholders and

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Growing HOA Volunteers

A common homeowner association board question is: “How do we get better participation from our members with board and committee work?” Many HOAs experience a large degree of apathy from the membership when it comes to volunteering. On the one

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Pond owners: Plan ahead for dredging

Many ponds are more than 50 years old. Depending on their drainage area, they can accumulate debris, leaves, sediment, yard waste, decaying pond plants, etc.  Read More……

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The Importance of Hiring Licensed Contractors for Your Homeowners Association

One of the stated goals of a homeowners association is to oversee the upkeep of common areas in the community, such as clubhouses, pools, fitness rooms, and parks. When choosing contractors to maintain and repair community property it is imperative

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The Condo Insurance Every Unit Owner Needs

I own a condominium, and I am finding it very hard to get clear answers about the amount and kind of insurance I need. The confusion comes in interpreting the condo documents and the master condo insurance policy for the

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21 Questions to Ask the Homeowner’s Association

If you are thinking of buying a home in a Homeowner’s Association below are questions you should be asking. Some HOA’s are condos and some are single family homes so the questions below may not always pertain to the HOA

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Follow These Basic Steps When Writing a Strategic Plan for Their Community

Plan development is the first component of strategic planning. During this stage, the following steps should be completed.    Read more…

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Using Your Condominium Newsletter to Tell the FHA Story

Why does FHA matter to your community? How will you tell the story? Have you ever tried telling a very technical story to someone who isn’t very tech savvy? You know from the glossy-eyed look of your listener that they

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Tips When Attending a Homeowner’s Association Board Meeting

Every common-interest community conducts board meetings, and every resident of that community is permitted and welcome to attend these meetings. Most boards will post a meeting schedule on their community website or send a notice to the community. Residents should

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Condominium Dispute Resolution Model for Ontario

In early 2012, the Joint Government Relations Committee of the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO) and the Toronto & Area Chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI) formed a Dispute Resolution Sub-Committee.  Following is their report:

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What is“Zombie Debt” and What Is Your Community Association Doing to Collect It.

The classic definition of a Zombie simply put is “the undead.” That is to say a person is dead but still has some features of being alive so in essence they are not “totally dead.” It sounds creepy, and it

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6 Tips for Dealing with Strict Homeowner’s Associations

They’re strict, they can charge you fees if you step out of line and they arguably may have more control over your home’s aesthetic appearance than your mother-in-law—who are they? Your Homeowner’s Association.   Read More……

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