Community Association Considerations

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Articles We’d Like to See in 2016

I’m often asked how to increase visits to web sites and my main answer is always the same – new content – educational and informational articles about community associations.   Here are some of the articles I’d like to see

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Predictions for Community Associations in 2016

Going back through the news stories from 2015, I got to see some trends that I think will continue into 2016.  So, here’s my look into the crystal ball (I should point out that I’m really bad picking sports winners,

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Top Condo/HOA News Stories of 2015

Wrapping up the year I thought I would pick out some news items that I thought were representative of issues associations are facing.  There were a lot of important stories in 2015 and narrowing them down to these is completely

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Read Your Reserve Study, Then Look Down

At a recent conference/expo I asked all of the reserve study companies if they had begun to include the things that are not obvious, in their studies.  Most said ‘no’, but they would try to help an association if they

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Colorado Senate Wins the “Arizoonie” Award

I thought I had retired the “Arizoonie”.  This was originally an annual award I gave to the state that proposed the dumbest community association proposed law each year.  The nickname “Arizoonie” was given because Arizona continually won the award and

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10 Issues That Community Associations Will Face in the Not-So-Distant Future

My presentation at UCOM, Nov 8, 2014   For those who attended, two interesting stories appeared the next day:  http://communityassociations.net/dallas-tx-homeowners-association-turned-mans-sprinklers-threatened-gunplay-according-strange-lawsuit/              http://communityassociations.net/attorney-explains-boards-verify-bank-statements/ Download the MS Word doc

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Transfer Fees and other add-on costs in management contracts

When I began managing condos back in the mid-’70’s, the management contract contained only a few add-on costs above and beyond the basic per-door management fee.  Copies and postage were the main two and I can’t even remember if their

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Mother nature, idiots and patience

Watching and reading of the problems winter storm Nemo caused brought back memories of my early days in condo management.  My first job in the industry was as a resident manager of a 72-unit condo complex on an island in

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11 “Natural” Laws of Community Associations

Like science, community associations also have certain immutable “natural” laws that exist outside of state or federal legislation.  This is my take on them: 1. Community associations are going to continue to be THE major component of new development Unless

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We need to scare the hell out of boards and owners – Raven’s Cove didn’t do it!

Once again in the news today, an association that failed to reserve for major repairs and the low-income owners are now looking at a $5,400 additional assessment due in a couple weeks.  The particulars or location of this association isn’t

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2012 in Review

In 2012 , we linked to over 4,000 news stories and 2,200 articles about condominium and homeowner associations.  Over 1,300 news items rose to the level of national interest.  Why point this out?  Well, it wasn’t all that long ago

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Present a Budget That Actually Means Something (and might actually get read)

(It’s not that I’m lazy, but every year when I go to write a new post about budgets, I realize that everyone else is writing about them also, and the best I can contribute to the discussion is what I’ve

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Signs of the Times

It seems that with every election cycle, the campaigns start earlier and earlier.  It’s almost to the point where it feels like there is no break or rest between them.  Also, the politics of our country are getting more and

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Banging My Head On My Desk (and other therapeutic behaviors)

Subtitle: “Stupid is as stupid does” In going through the news feeds last night, I ran across this in a column of posts to the newspaper: From Ranson: My mother is recuperating from a debilitating stroke that has left her

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The “X”, “Y” and “Z” Generations and Community Associations

Recently I was reading a forum discussion about the video recording of board meetings.  Without going into the pros and cons commented on in the forum, my basic thought was “Really, we’re still talking about this – when anyone can

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Kicking the Can Down the Road

On Sunday mornings, I really love to sit down and actually read, from front to back, the Sunday newspaper.  I know, newspapers are so yesterday, and to be honest, they’re hardly a shell of their former selves, but it’s a

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Should Condo Associations Be More Proactive in Fire Prevention?

In going back over the news stories for January, I was surprised to find that there were more condominium fires in those 31 days, than  in any previous month during the 10 years I’ve been tracking those stories.  I was

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2012 – What should you plan for?

If you read my last post, you understand that that money, more specifically the lack of it, was the main problem faced by most associations in 2011.  The likelihood of a major turnaround in that area during 2012 is not

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2011 – The Year of the Missing $$$$$$$$

If there was a single theme running through news stories and articles about condo and homeowner associations in 2011, it was the shortage of money to carry out their responsibilities. First, the trend of owners not paying their association assessments

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Out of Sight – Out of Mind

I’ve spent the past two days without electricity, heat, cell phone or internet.  A cold front, pushing wind gusts of up to 50 mph blew through and damaged some power lines.  This is the third time this year, and about

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Owners and Association Can Work Together

Even though you might not believe from reading the various “horror” stories the media love to relate about HOA’s, more often than not, people figure out a way to get along.  Here’s a good example from the “The Reporter” inVacaville,

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It’s Budget Time Again – Let’s See If We Can Get the Owners to Read It

[This is a re-print of a blog I did last year, from a longer article I wrote a number of years ago.  The point is still valid, even more so in these tough economic times] One of the most common complaints

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Budgets and the “Tea Party”

So, I’m in northern Michigan, taking care of an ailing parent – a place where the discussions usually revolve around health and the weather – never about my business. I decided to drop in on the local AmVets post, to

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Oh Canada!

Today is Canada’s “birthday”.  So why am I writing about it?  Well, recently someone asked me why I post Canadian news about condo’s and HOA’s.  I thought the question was odd until I remembered that not everyone is used to living

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Welcoming New Owners and Renters

A number of years ago I went to work for a subsidiary of a local management company. The owner of the company had surveyed new owners six months after they moved in asking them about their understanding of the association they lived

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“Open Meetings” may not apply, but it’s still a good idea

Most states have “Sunshine” or “Open Meetings” laws, requiring that meetings of governing bodies be open and transparent.  The laws were designed to prevent “backroom” politics from undermining the political process and making sure that citizens could see just what

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Using the military or veteran card in HOA disagreements

One of the favorite news stories that the media likes to run (and run and run and run…) is anything that has to do with an HOA/condo and someone who is in the military, has a family member currently serving in

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When Was the Last Time You Looked Down

The next time you’re out walking around the property, take a look down.  What is actually below ground, and more importantly, do you know who is responsible for it and what condition it’s in? Today I posted four news stories

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Associations can learn something from government infrastructure failures

It’s in the news media every day – towns, cities, counties, states and the federal governments struggling to keep up with crumbling infrastructures with the problems magnified by revenue shortfalls that prohibit even temporary fixes.  Roads, bridges, dams, levees, lakes,

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We Need to Read About the Good Board Members

I was reading Ryan Poliakoff’s blog about board member term limits that he had read about onHOALeader.com.   Ryan points out that we often read about the “dictatorial” boards and boards running rampant, but for those of us who actually work with associations, those

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There’s a reason for long-term planning –

….because not thinking about it usually leads to problems, or even a disaster. Utility costs are going to continue to go up, so why not plan for converting the high cost items to energy and cost savings items.  Now is

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Why you should pay special attention to closing your books this year

I’ve been posting the condo and HOA news for over 8 years now.  During the first 6 years, I might have run across 3 or  4 cases  of people stealing from an association.  During the last 2 years, I’ve seen

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