Finance - General

Back to homepage

Three Condo Association Special Assessment Questions To Determine Project Timing

An informed and involved Owner will often attend monthly Condo Association meetings. If your Board has been discussing big projects during meetings, you might start to wonder if things are going well or not. Sometimes work is routine, but other

Read More

How can my condo fee be too low?

I often hear the question “Why is this condo fee so high?” by both potential buyers as well as agents. But I ask the opposite question of some condominiums, “Is this condo fee too low?”   It shows me that

Read More

Understanding Special Assessments

There’s no way to sugar-coat it: everyone hates special assessments. Getting a notice that you owe more money to the association can not only put a damper on your day but also a dent in your wallet, both of which

Read More

Condo Association Special Assessment Preparation for Owners

One of the scariest and impactful things that can happen to a Condo Association Owner is the dreaded Special Assessment. Special Assessments are caused by a number of things – poor budgeting, unexpected repairs or perhaps deferred maintenance from a

Read More

I’m a Manager, Not a Magician

Our management company was referred to a property that had not performed regular preventative maintenance for at least a decade or more. We accepted the account. Unfortunately, they also had a board that has always partially funded the reserves (with

Read More

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees, or Does It?

What can a condominium do when it is facing a large deficit or an unexpected repair project has depleted the reserve fund? Typically, the condominium would levy a special assessment or increase the monthly fees. In some cases, a loan

Read More

The unwelcome surprise of a condo special assessment and why the fee is needed

We often welcome things that are special – birthdays, gifts, events. But condominium special assessments? Not so much.  While monthly condo fees are an ordinary part of condo ownership, special assessments represent an unanticipated expense that is levied on all

Read More

Making Special Assessments Work: Fixed Incomes, Low Incomes, & Hard Times

For residents on fixed incomes, or those who are already struggling to make ends meet because of a job loss, illness or divorce, any hit to their already-stretched-to-the-max budget can be devastating. So when a board levels an assessment on

Read More

Keep Track of the Money: Finance and Condos Part 2

This blog is part 2 of “Keep track of the money: Finance and Condos.” Financial policies are the topic of this post. Part 1 covers reviewing financial statements and condo fees, and Part 2 provides insights into the art of

Read More

Keep track of the money: Finance and Condos

Be sure to check out my post on governance policies for condo boards, and an earlier post on best practices for condo board communication. Financial policies are the topic of this post. I have divided into two parts. Part 1

Read More

Back From the Brink: Financial Ruin — and Recovery

happens infrequently, but when it does, it can be an enormous challenge: a co-op corporation or condo development has a long-running squabble with the building sponsor/developer, falls victim to long-term mishandling of funds — or outright fraud — by the

Read More

The Importance Of Protecting Your Association’s Money

One of the most important responsibilities of a property or condominium association board of directors is protecting the association’s funds. In doing so, it is important for the board of directors and management company (if you are professionally managed) to

Read More

Will Your Community Association be Sponsored by Advertisers Someday?

I read recently that some of our national parks in the U.S. are going to permit advertising in certain locations within the parks. The reason for this move is ostensibly due to the appeal of millions of annual park visitors

Read More

Community Associations Countdown to Year-End!

The end of the year is approaching and before long we will be setting New Year’s resolutions for 2017. But before that new beginning, we need to wrap up 2016. For those associations whose year-end is December 31st there are

Read More

Effective HOA Financial Management – Six Magic Tips to Success

Armed with 15 years of experience working with HOAs and community associations, I’m finally about to publish my first white paper on effective HOA financial management. As we were poring through 75 blog posts and a pile of CAI magazine

Read More

HOA Funds Transparency

Just about any situation can deteriorate when there is no transparency. This is true in any business setting, including an HOA. With good transparency, homeowners know exactly the direction in which their neighborhood is heading, which leads to less problems.

Read More

Dealing with Bad Debt in Community Associations

Occasionally, homeowners can’t or simply don’t pay. When that happens, you do have options, but even with a lien, there is likely to be some amount owed that you aren’t able to recover. Leaving bad debt on your books for

Read More

Condo Association Special Assessment Guide for Owners

Continuing the Special Assessment series, today is the Condo Association Special Assessment Guide for Owners. You’ve just been handed the news that you’re either obligated to pay a big check or there will be vote to hand over a big

Read More

Financial Record-Keeping: Following the Money

Whether your community is a condo, HOA, or co-op, proper record-keeping is the difference between a healthy property and one headed toward peril. And while meeting minutes and election results require well-organized documentation, records such as bills, invoices, bank statements,

Read More

How to Communicate a Condo Association Special Assessment

Now that you’ve figured out your plan for your Special Assessment, you need to communicate it to your Owners, and in some cases, you may also need to hold a Condo Association Special Assessment vote. This guide is focused on

Read More

Financing a Condo Association Special Assessment

Today’s update to the Special Assessment guide focuses on how to structure the finances of your Special Assessment. This is the step where you figure out how you’re financing a Condo Association Special Assessment. In this guide, the major steps

Read More

HarborView Towers (MD) condo association seeks bankruptcy

The condominium owners association at the HarborView Towers has filed for bankruptcy-law protection from its creditors after its bank accounts were frozen amid a long-running legal dispute over water leaks and mold problems in one of the building’s penthouses.  The

Read More

5 Signs a Condominium Association May Be in Trouble

Condominiums. Not always everyone’s first pick for housing, however the combination of affordability and location usually make them an ideal choice for city dwellers, especially here in DC.  Many people don’t realize how communal condo living can be, particularly when

Read More

The Condo Association Special Assessment Process #2: Assessing the Situation

A correctly performed Condo Association Special Assessment is one that is not done in haste, but rather after thorough and exhaustive research that demonstrates a Special Assessment is the best path forward.  Read the article…………

Read More

Condo Association Per-Use Fees

If there’s one thing that drives people crazy, it’s the feeling of being nickel and dimed. And of course, if you want to get people upset, hit them with a fee in a Condo Association. On the flip side, however,

Read More

Paying Maintenance with Credit Cards (NY)

Late last year, along about November, Ira Meister started noticing something strange. A lot of people living in co-ops and condos started paying their monthly charges with credit cards.   Read the article………….

Read More

Maintaining Financial Health as Your HOA Ages

I live in a community that is nearly 25 years old. I certainly haven’t aged 25 years since we moved in, but my community has. As a board member, treasurer, and president for 8 years, I’ve experienced first-hand how amenity

Read More

HOA Board Function: Protect Assets

Part of a board member’s fiduciary obligation is to protect the assets of the association. In addition to money in the bank, these community assets may include tennis courts, golf courses, pools, tot lots, utility rooms or other recreational areas

Read More

The Condo Association Special Assessment Process: An Overview

According to one study, approximately 70% of all Associations are underfunded. This means that odds are you live in an Association where there is at least the threat of a Condo Association Special Assessment. If that’s the case, hopefully your

Read More

Capital Improvements: Getting Financing and Board Approvals

Even if your condominium or homeowner’s association (HOA) is a fortified castle atop a hill and surrounded by a moat, one day, someone will hit it with a really big rock, and thus it’s inevitable: work will be done, repairs

Read More

Protecting Association Deposits

On occasion, we get to cover more complicated subjects in our newsletter. This is one of them.     Read the article…………

Read More

Income Streams: Flood Your Association With Money

Money makes the world go round. In an Association, you want money. But money comes, primarily, from your Association members. That means you! If you’ll recall from Finances 101, the primary method for increasing revenues is to raise assessments. While

Read More

How to Save Your HOA Board Money Without Raising Owner Dues

Are you looking for ways to save money in your homeowners association? After necessary repairs and upkeep, it seems like there’s never enough dollars to get all the jobs done. Your fellow HOA board members all agree that a last

Read More

Maintenance vs. Capital Improvements – What’s the Difference?

Maintaining your buildings’ assets is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. The common areas require a broad range of routine maintenance and repairs to keep them looking good and operating smoothly. Maintenance activities can include simple lightbulb replacements, housekeeping and paint touch-ups

Read More

What to Do If You Have to Levy a Special Assessment

In a previous post, we talked about the importance of adequately funding your reserves as an HOA. While it would be ideal for every HOA to have a healthy reserve fund that could cover almost any unexpected cost, that’s not

Read More

Why are HOA Assessments So Important?

Most homeowners understand that assessments are a regular part of homeowners association membership. However, some owners—and even board members—may not fully grasp the importance of assessment payments on the community. Assessments are a large part of member benefits and when

Read More

HOA HOMEFRONT: Tips for avoiding financial abuse

Some associations suffer damage from financial abuse, which can be every bit as devastating as a fire, except that this financial damage might not be covered by insurance. Other associations struggle in a toxic atmosphere of mistrust, where unfounded accusations

Read More

Top Financial Fails of Community Associations

Community associations are like businesses; they need money to function and thrive. However, like many businesses, they can make mistakes, leading to financial fails. Check out these three top financial fails and learn how your association can avoid them.   Read

Read More

Announcing a Special Assessment

It’s always difficult when a condominium or homeowners association must levy a special assessment against the owners. Sometimes there’s no choice. If the association failed to reserve money for major repairs or an unexpected cost arises, a special assessment may

Read More

Condominium Special Assessments in Florida: Understanding the Business Judgment Rule

Special assessments, under the Florida Condominium Act, are those assessments imposed against condominium unit owners, other than those assessments required by the association’s annual budget. See 718.103 (24) of the Florida Statutes. Regular assessments, on the other hand, are fees

Read More

Top 5 Community Association Financial Fails

As a CPA (and community association board member) who has been providing tax and audit support to community associations for over 15 years, I work mostly with communities and community association management companies that are well-run and trying to stay that way. However,

Read More

How To Bulletproof Your Association’s Biggest Asset: The Money (Pts. 1-4)

If you are elected treasurer of your community association and accept the challenge, there are many policies and procedures you will need to learn before you start planning budgets, collecting assessments, and signing checks. Board members and officers of all community

Read More

Money Talks: Communicating About Condo Finances

Imagine sitting down with your significant other to pay the monthly bills. You both put your checks into a joint account and know how much there is to take care of expenses, or so you think. Out of his wallet

Read More

Money Talks: Communicating About Co-op/Condo Finances

Imagine sitting down with your significant other to pay the monthly bills. You both put your checks into a joint account and know how much there is to take care of expenses, or so you think. Out of his wallet

Read More

Ways to raise funds for big-ticket association projects

Sooner or later, every community association will face an expensive remediation project. Roofs eventually leak, and boilers conk out. Sidewalks, parking lots and tennis courts require periodic resurfacing. Hallway carpeting wears and tears.  When your association’s time comes, how are

Read More

Community Association and HOA Board Finance 101

Every month, your property management company, a board member, or someone with financial experience should be producing some sort of financial reporting for your community. These reports provide an overview of your community’s revenue and expenses against your financial projections

Read More

Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization: viable option for condo associations, HOA’s

While the housing market in South Florida is continuing its recovery, many of the community associations in the region are still struggling with delinquencies by unit owners in the payment of their association dues. The shortfalls in the associations’ collections,

Read More

2014 Community Association Financial Survey

In 1996, Berding|Weil published “Latent Liabilities” a treatise which explored the long-term impact of underfunding of the reserve accounts of community associations. Some of the data came from our clients, and some from Levy, Erlanger & Company. We predicted that

Read More

Protecting Against Embezzlement in Your HOA

An excerpt from a news story read: “Bridgett Freeman of Sheboygan stole more than $11,000 from the Westridge Homeowner’s Association in West Bend. Thursday, she was sentenced to six months in jail and three years probation, and was ordered to

Read More

Community Association Credit and Debit Cards

One of the financial management seminars I conduct for property managers is called “How to improve your client relationships and minimize financial liability, one balance sheet at a time.” At a recent seminar, there were a lot of questions raised

Read More