Prepping Your Property for Warmer Weather

With the end of winter comes relief. No more snow or sleet or slush or sludge; it’s sunshine and windbreaker season, baby! But the board of a condo, cooperative or homeowners association cannot be content with simply waiting for April

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How can we best terminate our landscape vendor?

Q: We are not happy with our current landscape vendor. We already have bids from various landscape maintenance contractors and want to terminate the current vendor. Any tips?   Read the Q&A………..

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Seasonal Maintenance: A Year-Round Responsibility

Building maintenance follows a schedule based on the seasons, each of which presents a unique set of challenges to a co-op or condo. At certain times of the year, it just makes sense to do certain regular maintenance projects: weatherizing,

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Caring For Trees: The Right Tree, in the Right Place

Trees may seem like the ultimate in low-maintenance landscaping; they’re naturally occurring, live for decades (sometimes centuries), don’t really require much in the way of watering, and sometimes don’t even need pruning. But while all that is true, in fact

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Water is an Enemy to Asphalt Paving

In the asphalt paving business we are asked many questions regarding proper maintenance of pavement surfaces for driveways, parking lots and roads. Our best advice is to be proactive about maintenance to ensure the life of your pavement surface.  As

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Prepare Your Trees for Spring in 4 Easy Steps

New blooms, warm rain, and bright sunshine are just a few reasons to love spring. Sleeping plants slowly awaken and the birds sing with joy. A quick look around tells you it’s time to start working on your landscape.  Spring

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How to Handle Every Stage of a Snowstorm

While residents of warmer clients experienced some early Spring weather, some regions have experienced extreme winter weather patterns this season and for a few of us that meant record breaking snow levels. Even right now, in some parts of the

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Battle Over Pesticide Spraying Heads to Court (IL)

A man with an autoimmune disorder claims his condition worsened after his homeowner’s association refused to stop spraying dangerous pesticides and threatened to increase spraying near his condominium.  An anonymous plaintiff sued Rob Roy Country Club Village Association, its board

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HOA Housekeeping 101: Proper Waste Removal and Outdoor Neatness

The word “housekeeping” may call up images of shower scrubbing, dusting and vacuuming; but the kind of housekeeping we’re talking about has to do with maintaining proper waste removal and outdoor neatness in your community.  When sidewalks are swept, poop

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Five proven steps to landing your first HOA client (Landscapers)

I was 14 years old working in my father’s landscape business over the summer when I saw them. I was impressed by the fully uniformed staff with the logoed trucks all working together. This company did everything in the fancy

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5 marketing practices most landscaping contractors get wrong

In a hyper-competitive industry like landscaping, marketing your business is critical. Even if you think you have enough customers now, people move all the time — more than 35 million people move every year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

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Gardening In Your Association: The Basics

As the bleak cold of winter finally breaks and signs of spring begin to pop up all around, thoughts of vibrant flowers and lush vegetables are on gardeners’ minds. For those green thumbs living in tiny quarters, an impressive garden

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Don’t Touch that Sidewalk! Doing Too Much Could Be as Problematic for Condo Associations as Doing Too Little

We regularly advise condominium boards to be wary of taking on obligations beyond those state laws or their association’s governing documents require them to assume. A recent decision by a Massachusetts Appeals Court adds a judicial exclamation point to that

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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

Read More