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“YAY! I’m on the Board!” or, “OMG, What Did I Get Myself Into?”

Boards serve a necessary function in any corporation, and especially within a homeowners association. It would be impossible for an association to function without one. In an association, the buck ultimately stops with the board. The board is elected by

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More Momentum for Smoke-Free Co-ops and Condos, with Help from HUD

Hate dealing with secondhand smoke in your co-op or condominium? As an attorney I often hear complaints from co-op board and condo association members about the extra costs incurred as a result of heavy smokers. Staff sweep up cigarette butts

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Gaining support for your association’s budget

Yikes! The board studied the bids, crunched the numbers and scratched its collective head. There’s no way around it. Monthly dues at your community association are going up 30 percent in 2013. Illinois law allows owners in condominium and homeowner

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Dangerous Dogs List – HOAs Take Heed

Pets That Are a Nuisance; Dogs That Are Uninsurable – Beware! I don’t like to pick on dogs – I love animals – well behaved animals that is. Pets that are allowed to become a nuisance should trot their owners

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HOA Hosted Public Events: ADA Compliance Required?

Asked – Does hosting a public bingo game at our association’s clubhouse expose the association to any liability under the Americans with Disabilities Act? Read More……

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The Debate Rages On: Establishing a Building-wide Smoking Ban

Concern over health, the environment, and an evolving legal landscape has prompted a number of condo and co-op boards in communities across New Jersey to ban cigarette smoking not only in common outdoor areas but in individual units. This restriction

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What’s Going On In There?

What is the proper role of your community association and its board of directors when it is suspected that there may be something illegal going on inside an owner’s unit? For instance, a neighbor may believe he smells marijuana smoke

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FHA Announces New Procedures to Account for Condos & HOAs

FHA issued a new Mortgagee Letter last week. It requires foreclosing lenders torecognize and communicate with a community association, especially if the association already liened the property. Read More……

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Effective Collection Tactics for Associations Against Owners Who File for Bankruptcy

Associations have been contending with unit owners who file for personal bankruptcy protection in greater numbers since the start of the economic crisis. In response to a unit owner bankruptcy, and in an effort to preserve and protect the rights

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Condo Boards Take a Stand on Delinquencies

A SUCCESSFUL condominium depends, in large part, on owners’ paying their monthly fees promptly and in full. Delinquencies can mean less money for maintenance and amenities — and draw the ill will of fellow residents. While the sheer size of

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What Should be on Your Agenda

Planning and conducting an effective board meeting starts with a good meeting agenda. The agenda is the “road map” of the meeting and is a useful and powerful tool to keep both board members and homeowners on topic and in

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HOA Insurance Victimization

An oft repeated scenario in common wall communities is water damage which originates from a neighboring unit. Whether a broken pipe or washing machine hose, surf’s up! and usually between midnight and 4 am (disasters are funny that way).  Read

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A Reporter Calls: Part 2

I talk to reporters almost every day, and one thing is clear: Many of the most negative stories we see are generated by homeowners who have turned to the media for public redress of their personal grievances—valid or not. Reporters

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A Reporter Calls: Part 1

First things first: Get the full name of the reporter and get his or her phone number and e-mail address. Make sure you identify the news outlet. Be friendly and respectful. Don’t convey a tone that indicates defensiveness, anger or

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The Trayvon Martin Case: The Liability of Community Associations for a “Neighborhood Watch”

The tragic death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is a vivid reminder to community associations that neighborhood watch programs, while intended to protect the community with the best of intentions, may also create major risks. Read More……

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Condo Talk: Basic guide to unit owner bankruptcies

The filing of a bankruptcy petition by a unit owner can have a harmful impact on the association’s cash flow. When a bankruptcy petition is filed by a unit owner, an automatic stay goes into effect. The stay prohibits creditors,

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Court Decisions on Pit Bulls Could Make More Community Associations Growl at Dog Owners

Ask condominium managers and trustees about the major headaches in their communities, and pets will invariably be at or near the top of the lists they create. Many issues engender strong feelings in the condominium world, but few equal the

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The Battle With Homeowners Associations

Congratulations! You’ve just bought a new house in a great neighbourhood and you’re ready to move in. A signed contract together with all the necessary documents is resting in your briefcase. Is there anything that can disturb your happiness? Many

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Committees: Delegating Board Authority to Achieve Efficiency

The 2012 amendments to the “Common Interest Development Open Meeting Act” have made it significantly more difficult for Boards to manage the affairs of their HOAs in a quick and efficient manner. Those amendments, as discussed in our previous resource,”Senate

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Termites, Business Judgment Rule and Second Guessing Boards of Directors

Resulting in one of the most important common interest development cases decided by the California Supreme Court, Mrs. Gertrude Lamden disagreed with her homeowners association’s board’s decision to address a terminate problem by spot treating the affected areas rather than

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Helpful hints for condo and HOA members

What Dave Biemel finds most gratifying about serving on the board of directors of Arielle Condominium Association in Palmer Ranch is the feeling of accomplishment in “getting stuff done that didn’t seem like it was getting done before.”     Read

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