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HOA Noise Ploys

Noise is a common complaint in common wall communities. That new and beautiful hardwood floor in Unit 2A is Unit 1A’s worse nightmare. Suddenly, a normally soft shoed neighbor sounds like a flamenco dancer at full crescendo. While new construction

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Creating Community in Planned Communities

Over the course of the last 50 years a ‘quiet revolution’ fostered by federal mortgage lending regulations has given rise to the creation of thousands of private community associations with the power to impose charges on members. In some areas,

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Happy and Effective HOA Residents: Trait #2

Yesterday I began posting a series of blog entries outlining traits of happy and effective residents in HOAs. While members of the boards of directors of HOAs certainly have a significant role in creating vibrant, healthy and livable communities  Read

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Rules of engagement key to effective meetings

Have you ever been in a meeting where things didn’t seem to go properly? Perhaps people cut each other off mid-sentence or a healthy dialogue struggled to get started? One way or another, it just lacked order and nothing seemed

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Happy and Effective HOA Residents: Trait #1

For those of you who follow our blog, you know that last spring I posted a series of blog entries outlining the Traits of Highly Effective HOA Directors. This popular series focused on those traits of HOA directors that contribute

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Guard yourself from lawsuits against your HOA

Your homeowners association, or HOA, could be sued because of its crime watch program. There are steps you can take to protect your HOA and your own pocketbook from a lawsuit.  Read More……

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Businesses different than HOA operations

Serving as a volunteer director is hard enough, but it often is made more difficult by directors themselves. The problem is not a lack of good will, good thinking or hard work, but a misunderstanding about the basic nature of

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Avoiding the appearance of self interest as an association director

A reader of my blog recently wrote to discuss a situation in her community where the interests of the membership came second to the interests of some board members. The reader wrote that the community had been polled and the

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What is “Reasonable”?

Reasonable is a term that is used a lot in the world of homeowner associations. It is a term that can have different meanings depending on who is interpreting the term and in what context the term is being used.

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Cities are going bankrupt because they didn’t project their funding needs into the future—will community associations be next?

An assumption of a building component’s “infinite life” is permissible under most states’ statutory reserve requirements. Only those components that are visible and accessible are required to be studied, the rest are assumed to have an infinite service life unless

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Preventing a Condominium Renovation Nightmare

Has this ever happened at your condominium? You’re on the Board of Directors. The building has not been painted in 20 years and could definitely use some restoration. You realize that a special assessment is going to have to be

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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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