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

Veterans and community associations sometimes bump heads, especially about flags

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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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