Are Management Companies Under Attack?

In what may become a national trend, two states are attacking the issues of whether certain types of activities routinely performed by management companies amount to the unauthorized practice of law.  Read More……

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SC: Fight for the rights of owners in HOAs

There is so much misunderstanding when it comes to homeowners associations but as yet we are still left with no help from the state. We still have no answers or recourse other than the high cost of obtaining one’s own

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Brad van Rooyen: Homeowner associations already have ‘protection’

At a time when a significant number of Floridians are still struggling to make ends meet, millions of Florida homeowners could be faced with the threat of yet another forced increase in their cost of living. At issue is what

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HOA Opinion Piece in Denver Post Paints Unfair Picture

Today in the Denver Post, an opinion was published by Jose’ Martinez entitled The dark side of HOAs. While there is no question that not every HOA is perfect, it’s unfortunate that Mr. Martinez made the leap that based upon

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Present a Budget That Actually Means Something (and might actually get read)

(It’s not that I’m lazy, but every year when I go to write a new post about budgets, I realize that everyone else is writing about them also, and the best I can contribute to the discussion is what I’ve

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Followup to earlier post: More Firms Bow to Generation Y’s Demands

They’re often criticized as spoiled, impatient, and most of all, entitled. But as millennials enter the workforce, more companies are jumping through hoops to accommodate their demands for faster promotions, greater responsibilities and more flexible work schedules—much to the annoyance

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Bradenton Herald: East Manatee condo builder should buy back defective units

On the heels of homeowner horrors over noxious Chinese drywall over the past few years comes another builder whose inferior product endangers condominium buyers in the Willowbrook community. With balconies ruled unsafe by Manatee County building inspectors because of sinking

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‘Peter Pan’ as Public Policy: Should Fifty-Five-Plus Age-Restricted Communities Continue to Be Exempt from Civil Rights Laws and Substantive Federal Regulation?

Although millions of Americans live in 55-plus age-restricted housing, little research has been done to determine whether these communities benefit their residents, or the nation as a whole. This is particularly ironic because these communities exist in contravention to anti-discrimination

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Signs of the Times

It seems that with every election cycle, the campaigns start earlier and earlier.  It’s almost to the point where it feels like there is no break or rest between them.  Also, the politics of our country are getting more and

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Banging My Head On My Desk (and other therapeutic behaviors)

Subtitle: “Stupid is as stupid does” In going through the news feeds last night, I ran across this in a column of posts to the newspaper: From Ranson: My mother is recuperating from a debilitating stroke that has left her

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The “X”, “Y” and “Z” Generations and Community Associations

Recently I was reading a forum discussion about the video recording of board meetings.  Without going into the pros and cons commented on in the forum, my basic thought was “Really, we’re still talking about this – when anyone can

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Kicking the Can Down the Road

On Sunday mornings, I really love to sit down and actually read, from front to back, the Sunday newspaper.  I know, newspapers are so yesterday, and to be honest, they’re hardly a shell of their former selves, but it’s a

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Should Condo Associations Be More Proactive in Fire Prevention?

In going back over the news stories for January, I was surprised to find that there were more condominium fires in those 31 days, than  in any previous month during the 10 years I’ve been tracking those stories.  I was

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2011 – The Year of the Missing $$$$$$$$

If there was a single theme running through news stories and articles about condo and homeowner associations in 2011, it was the shortage of money to carry out their responsibilities. First, the trend of owners not paying their association assessments

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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

One of the favorite news stories that the media likes to run (and run and run and run…) is anything that has to do with an HOA/condo and someone who is in the military, has a family member currently serving in

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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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