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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Community Associations and Snow

From Thanksgiving until the end of winter (and sometimes even later), snow may fall in area community associations and create issues of safety and parking that can escalate and become dangerous. The biggest concern and perhaps the biggest complaint that

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How to Order a Community Entrance Sign, or Any Other Signs (NC)

Signage is an important part of the impression created when someone visits your community. It’s the first thing residents see when they enter. It’s also the first thing that prospective home buyers see when they are considering buying a home

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How to decipher a condo homeowners association budget (AK)

Not all condos are created the same and therefore not all homeowners association budgets will be alike. A townhouse style condo generally sits on a single tract of land. But it can also sit on a platted duplex or four-plex

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It’s Time to Communicate Your Association’s Snow and Ice Removal Policy

Unfortunately, snow and ice are a fact of life in Ohio. When temperatures drop and snow starts falling, board members are often faced with questions and complaints about snow and ice removal. To better protect the association from liability and

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4 Quick Tips to Protect Your Trees from Damage during Fall

With fall upon us, we await the arrival of the beautiful, vibrant colors to dawn the leaves of our beloved trees. Over just a few weeks, those bright green leaves transform into shades of dark brown, buttery yellow, deep red

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You Can’t Prevent Snow and Ice but You Can Manage the Liability Risks They Create

Condominium residents, not unreasonably, expect parking lots to be plowed and walkways to be cleared of snow and ice. Boards that fail to deliver those expected services face not only the ire of residents, but also potential liability if residents

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Can’t Top That! Tree Topping in HOA’s

Homeowner associations often deal with tree issues in the form of view blocking or overcrowding as they age and grow. Tree topping is sometimes used to address the view issue. But tree topping is perhaps the most harmful tree pruning

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Waging War on HOA Weeds

Why is it that the plants you want to keep green and living always brown and wilt, while the weeds you try to kill flourish and drive you nuts? It’s a problem that plagues every yard, in every community no

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Who Is Responsible for Community Upkeep?

If you are curious about Home Owners Association or community common areas and upkeep, the answers are going to require a bit of legwork and investigation. After all, the governing documents of towns and HOAs vary widely, and the bylaws,

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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.    Read the article……….

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Goats return to the Issaquah Highlands (WA)

Goats have returned to the Issaquah Highlands to clean up dry growth on the area’s steep hillsides, with nothing but the power of their prodigious appetites.     Read the article……….

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Reducing Liabilities in Your Community Parking Lot

No one likes being sued, but unfortunately, America has become a litigious society. Whether you were not warned that your coffee was too hot, or you slipped and fell on your untied shoelaces, it always seems to be the fault

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Yes, in My Back (and Front) Yard!

But in communities overseen by homeowners associations—where 20 percent of all U.S. homeowners live—progress can be slower. While some HOAs support and even codify gardening for wildlife, many are still attached to the anachronistic symbol of suburbia: lush lawns that,

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Going Green by Design: Committees Saving Money and the Environment

While it is common for buildings or associations of any size to have designated committees in place to help boards and management handle aesthetic, social, and other community concerns, “green” committees are a more recent trend…though, one that is gaining

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Smart Planning and Care of Trees

They are the greenery that gives life to our cities, the leafy giants that give us shade and that unforgettable rustling sound just outside our windows late at night. Trees are the unsung heroes of the urban landscape and with

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Landscape Committees Embracing the Challenge, Improving Curb Appeal

No matter the size of community, one of the goals any condo or HOA has for their landscaping plan is to increase owner enjoyment of the property and enhance their investment purchase.  Larger complexes often have a landscaper in house,

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Six ways to maintain curb appeal in your neighborhood

Neighborhoods with plenty of curb appeal tend to maintain property values better. Surprised? No, we didn’t think you would be. While it is obvious that well-kept homes, yards, and common areas help neighborhoods stay desirable, it’s hard work keeping neighborhoods

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The Landscape Renovation Process in Your HOA

As homeowner associations age, both structures and landscape wear out. And just like those groovy harvest golds and avocado greens of the 70s, landscape tastes have changed. Fortunately, the varieties of plants available have made the options wonderful and numerous.

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Case Tests Homeowners’ Associations’ Icy Sidewalk Liability (NJ)

The New Jersey Supreme Court is considering whether homeowners’ associations and their maintenance contractors can be held liable for injuries caused when they fail to clear snow and ice from sidewalks that they own and have pledged to maintain.  

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Caring for Paved Surfaces: It’s a Pave New World

The pavement you walk and drive upon daily is easy to take for granted—but it’s a major part of your condo or HOA’s infrastructure. Understanding the materials and methods involved in installing and maintaining a multifamily community’s paved surfaces can

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Grow Low H20 Plants in Your HOA

One of the great challenges most homeowner associations experience is how to reduce landscape maintenance and water costs. Xeriscaping is a method of combining attractive, pest resistant and low maintenance native plants in a way that conserves water. It is

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HOA Board Checklist: Help Residents Stay Prepared in Cold Weather

Cold and wet conditions cannot only make an Association miserable, but they can also create damage to the homes and buildings within the community. Some winterizing can wait, but some cannot! An HOA board can help residents out by making

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Limit Liability of a Slip and Fall

Winter is a great season for many reasons. The beautiful snow makes a breathtaking landscape and means it’s time to go skiing. However, winter also brings ice, which increases the chance of someone slipping and falling. If someone slips on

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The Five Most Common Slip-and-Fall Areas Co-ops & Condos Should Guard Against

How significant are slip-and-fall cases in the world of co-ops and condos? A quick and unscientific review of the cases filed in the last year shows that more than half seemed to be slip-and-fall cases. A cross-section of insurance brokers,

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Asphalt Paving 101 in Your HOA

Asphalt is the material of choice for homeowner association roads and parking lots. It’s a mix of about 92% stone aggregate and mineral filler combined with 8% asphalt binder. This combination allows it to stay in place and repel water.

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BRRR! Cold Weather Maintenance Headaches: Who is Responsible?

So far this winter, the Denver area has experienced mostly unseasonably warm weather, which has spared us from the usual flurry of snowflakes and frozen pipe claims. But as we all know, Colorado weather is a fickle thing and a

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