Slipping (and falling) in a Winter Wonderland

The winter season is upon us, and (not surprisingly), with this time of the year comes rapidly falling temperatures. As Canadians, we are used to this weather – but our winters can nevertheless be treacherous.  In addition to hazards caused

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The Snow Removal Business Is a Mess

As a blizzard threatened the Northeastern U.S. on Thursday morning, commercial landlords grappled with a problem that homeowners can relate to: Hiring someone to clear the snow is a slippery business.  There are plenty of good reasons to pay for

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Condo boards, look ahead to landscaping needs

While trees and plants may be dormant in winter, landscaping concerns never sleep. For community associations with trees and turf, the yearly landscaping contract starts around April 1, but outdoor environments shouldn’t be ignored until then.  “Many boards only think

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Snow Removal Planning for Community Associations

I was talking with a friend recently regarding the challenges that they have with snow removal, and how they were managing the record snowfall that they have had so far this year. In certain areas of our nation, the snowfall

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Condo Co-owner Magician Failed to Impress in Icy Slip-Fall Case (MI)

Although Michigan’s winter of 2016-2017 has been relatively mild so far, this is usually the season when attorneys see an increase in slip and fall accident claims due to snow and ice. However, Michigan case law that developed over the

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About 70 trees felled at Olde Colonial Greene (PA)

Olde Colonial Greene is a lot less green than it was — at least for now.  The recent felling of some 70 trees has left the 38-year-old Doylestown Township townhouse community looking like a “war zone,” said one resident.  Homeowners

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Ailing ash trees mean higher homes association dues; blame a green beetle (MO)

The holidays have wrapped up, a new year is underway and it’s time to start tackling those recently acquired bills.  For some homeowners, there’s a new one in the pile: an increase in HOA dues, courtesy of a metallic green

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Don’t Assume Your Homeowners Association Will Provide Plowing (NC)

If you live in the city limits, chances are, your Homeowners Association doesn’t cover snow removal. Why pay for something the city is eventually going to do anyway?  But you’re paying the HOA fees so you should look now to

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Dormant Season Pruning

Many of our associations were created and developed in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. Trees and shrubs were part of the enhancements and have been thoroughly enjoyed over the years. Unfortunately, in all too many cases, they have been neglected over

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Dealing With Ice is Anything But Neat

Those of us in the Northwest were recently hit with the first round of winter snowstorms. My children are avid weather watchers (in hopes of future school closures), so I understand that we are in store for several more storms

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Snow Removal: No Business Like Snow Business

Time will tell whether global warming and climate change eventually make winter – and its attendant snow, ice, sleet, and other challenging weather issues – extinct, but for now at least, the colder months can take a seasonal toll on

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Pros and Cons of Snow Removal Contract Options

Sitting by a warm fire or having a snowball fight on a snow day can be fun for the whole family. However, when you have to get around, the snow quickly becomes a hassle. If your area frequently sees snowfall,

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4 Fall Landscaping Tips

As the temperature starts to drop, your HOA needs to get on top of fall landscaping. There are many things that should be done to get your plants ready for the winter. Check out these four fall landscaping tips and

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Tree Trouble – Part II, Self-Help

In part one of our three-part series on Tree Trouble, my colleague David Silver wrote about Timber Trespass. In this post, I’m going to discuss self-help. Self-help is the legal term that describes “taking the law into your own hands”—literally.

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Do’s and Don’ts for Properly Pruned Trees

As the fall leaves drop and the winter wind starts howling, tree limbs will be left barren, making this the perfect time to prune. Pruning makes for happy, healthy trees for years to come.  “The best time to prune is

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160 Brookside trees might get chopped (CA)

A Brookside neighborhood association has asked the city for permission to remove up to 160 trees from a route often used by walkers and runners, saying that the roots are damaging property owners’ backyards and potentially their homes.  The city

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Hurricane Matthew’s tree damage – some of it preventable? (SC)

While plans for revising local tree policies have not yet been adopted, experts offer several suggestions to mitigate tree damage before the next hurricane.  Scientists at the University of Florida analyzed tree damage after 10 Florida hurricanes and found advanced

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Winterize Your Community

The winter can be a lot of fun, but it can also cause a lot of damage to your home and community. It’s important that before the winter weather hits, you get your neighborhood ready for bad weather. Check out

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Pesticide battle pits homeowners in Lafayette against HOA (CO)

The lawns in Lafayette’s Lilac Hill neighborhood may be covered with fallen leaves but they are still lush and green.  The HOA wants to make sure the grass stays weed-free and in tip-top shape. To accomplish that, they use fertilizers

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How to Start a Community Garden

A community garden can be a great way to boost community interaction and give everyone something to share. If you’re considering starting a community garden in your HOA, check out these how-to tips.  Before you run out and start planting

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What to Consider When Planning Your Community Landscaping

Beautiful landscaping is integral to any community. The right community landscaping can enhance your property values and make the area more enticing to prospective homebuyers and residents. Whether you’re investing for the first time or revamping your community landscaping, here

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Fall Landscaping Checklist

With fall upon us, we’re eagerly awaiting the transformation of bright green leaves to the buttery yellow, deep red and vibrant orange colors the season is best known for. The changing autumn colors really are the best part of the

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For my fellow property management pros, it’s that time of year again.

Yes! Can you believe it’s almost winter? And, you know what that means…it’s time to write and distribute your fall/winter newsletter to your renters. Too busy, you say? I know the feeling! That’s the reason for today’s post. I’m sharing

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Budgeting for Snow Removal Without a Crystal Ball

For community associations that maintain their own streets, exterior parking lots and sidewalks, snow removal services can easily be one of the highest budgeted expenses each year. In the real estate boom of the early 2000’s, buyers purchased homes without

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4 Tips to Winterize Your Community

The winter can be a lot of fun, but it can also cause a lot of damage to your home and community. It’s important that before the winter weather hits, you get your neighborhood ready for bad weather. Check out

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Budget Tips: 5 Reasons Your Landscape Maintenance Costs May Increase

Landscape maintenance budgets can be a major component for homeowners associations and in some cases condominium budgets. What should your association be prepared for in your 2017 budgets? Unfortunately, there are several market forces that have resulted in increased costs

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Budgeting for Snow Removal Without a Crystal Ball

For community associations that maintain their own streets, exterior parking lots and sidewalks, snow removal services can easily be one of the highest budgeted expenses each year. In the real estate boom of the early 2000’s, buyers purchased homes without

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Preparing For the Invasion: How Can Co-ops and Condos Deal with Invasive Species

Trees have their own natural enemies, but perhaps the most devastating for co-op, condo and HOA communities are invasive species of insects like the emerald ash borer (EAB).  Originating in Asia, this predator of ash trees is now present in

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Seeing Red Before Fall? Early Fall Color Can Be a Sign of Tree Stress

Vibrant red, orange and gold leaves are one of the best parts of fall. Many cities across the country are known for their beautiful fall show. But, it’s a problem when trees show early signs of fall well before summer

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‘Prevention is better than cure’: Local homeowners association warns residents of Zika threat (FL)

The news of Palm Beach County’s first non travel related case of Zika is putting many on alert.  Folks in one neighborhood in Palm Beach Gardens taking every measure they can – just in case.   Read the article…………….

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Weathering costs, the elements: Four tips for an association’s landscaping

Landscaping can consume a huge chunk of a community association’s budget, and hot, dry seasons are rough on that investment.  It’s easy to see when grass turns sandy-colored from lack of water. Other damage is less obvious until too late.

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July Is A GREAT Time To Discuss Snow Removal

On behalf of snow contractors everywhere, if you currently have your snow and ice management contract signed, and/or plan to have it signed on or before October 15th, please consider yourself “HIGH FIVED”. Your pro-active leadership should pay off big

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Operation: Landscape

There are many parts to the landscape “game.” Some are small, some large, some moving and some waving their arms frantically in the air, calling you over to handle the imaginary emergency that needs to get taken care of immediately

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The Spring Landscaping Checklist

Winter is finally a distant memory, although it did snow into April. It’s amazing how Toronto has lost its blended seasons and simply goes from one season to the next without any break in between. That being said, let’s get

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HOA & Xeriscaping

When you hear the word “xeriscaping,” does it evoke images in your mind of endless gravel, rocks, and cacti? Well, if you’re like most people, this is probably how you tend to view xeriscaping and it may seem less-than-appealing to

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Ashburn (VA) community chooses goats over lawn mowers

The Belmont Community Association in Ashburn has contracted a herd of goats from Eco-Goat, an Annapolis-based company, to spend the week removing invasive plants from one of its “tree save” areas.  David Mowbray, a grounds committee member of the Belmont

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Operation: Landscape

There are many parts to the landscape “game.” Some are small, some large, some moving and some waving their arms frantically in the air, calling you over to handle the imaginary emergency that needs to get taken care of immediately

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Starting A Landscape Plan As A Property Owners Association

If your association has landscaped common areas, then you should have a grounds maintenance (landscaping) contract for the association in place. The key to being successful long-term with any landscaping plan, and financial investment, is to start out with a

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Is Hardscaping Right for Your Community? Non-Organic Landscaping

When most people think of landscaping, they think of shrubs, trees, meticulously laid-out and maintained flowerbeds, and artful plantings scattered around a building or development. However, landscaping doesn’t need to end with the things that grow.    Read the article…………

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Tips from Our Property Management Team – Mulch

Keep mulch from exceeding 3” in depth. This includes OLD and NEW mulch. Consider removing old mulch before applying a fresh layer. Too much mulch leads to a decline in plant health. The extra mulch used leads to increased material

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Zika & Mosquito-Borne Viruses: The Best Course of Action to Protect Your Community

First, the best way to prevent any mosquito-borne illness is to prevent mosquitos! This is true for any mosquito-borne illness. Thankfully, mosquito mitigation is something that is well understood and simple to put into action. The most important task any

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Managing a Major Project in a Condo Association: An Overview

It is inevitable that there will be a major project in your Condo Association. All major systems will degrade over time and eventually will need to be repaired or replaced. Examples include roofs, garages, facades, elevators, HVAC systems, fire alarms,

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Mosquitoes in your Community?

Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading the Zika virus, which is why, now is the best time to ensure you are taking the necessary steps to limiting these pesky, and sometimes dangerous, populations on your condominium or homeowners association. Following a

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Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow (NC)

Many property owners’ associations across North Carolina are faced with the annual challenge of clearing snow and ice from the community’s roads, sidewalks, and other common areas. Assuming there is no specific guidance in the community’s governing documents, what is

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Snow Removal Contracts

If winter brings snow to your neighborhood, you need to hire a snow removal company. A good snow removal company can keep your streets clean, so your residents can get in and out with ease. If you’re considering hiring a

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Using Volunteers for Snow Removal Is Never a Good Idea

With budgets being finalized and the winter season approaching, association boards are again faced with the significant and sometimes unanticipated expenses associated with snow removal. In an effort to reduce these expenses, an unwise board may consider using volunteers to

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Tis the Season for Stress: Holiday Decorations and Snow Removal in Community Associations

Every year as the holidays approach, community association owners and renters become passionate about two issues: decorations and snow removal. With some forethought, boards of directors and managers can avoid conflict and liability around these issues.    Read the article………..

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Winter Preparation

Although temperatures are yet to seriously plummet, chilly mornings promise that frigid temperatures are on the way. To prepare for winter weather, there are a few things condo associations should do to ensure the safety of tenants and their guests

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7 Ways Condo Landscaping Can Increase Your Occupancy Rate

Take a moment to picture yourself in a beautiful location. Go ahead, I’ll wait.  What does that location look like for you? Is it filled with the beauty of nature? Are there water features or colorful trees? Now, think: how

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Do You Have a Problem With Trees?

Trees can add beauty to any yard and create valuable shade as well as improve property value. However, when trees become too big, they can lead to aesthetic and more serious problems. If you have big trees in your community,

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