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The Basics of Living in a Community Association

Though many Southern Californians live in neighborhoods that are governed by a community association, we find that lots of residents are unclear about the rights and responsibilities they have as members of the association. As a result, homeowners and condo

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5 Actions an HOA Board Should Take to Clarify Maintenance & Insurance

One common subject that often causes confusion in a homeowners association is grasping the difference between the maintenance responsibilities of an association and the items that are covered by the association’s insurance policy. Often owners and even HOA board members

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Lawsuits Against HOAs Potentially Benefit Other Owners

In many HOA disputes, only one (or a small handful of) owners desire to challenge board actions that negatively impact a larger class of owners in the community. If the court finds that the board action was invalid, then the

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Owner Function: Be a Good Neighbor

Aside from complying with the documents, each owner within associations should always strive to be a good neighbor. The “good old times” of borrowing sugar from your next door neighbor need not cease merely because you live in an association.

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Reading The CC&Rs

One of the most frustrating aspects of association management is the lack of interest by homeowners when it comes to knowing community rules and architectural standards. If you’re a manager or have ever been a board member you’ve probably heard

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Remodeling? Beware of condo association rules

Your condominium is your castle, until you try to remodel it.  Associations have a say in the types of alterations that can be made and the materials that can be used. If you don’t follow their rules, you could be

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Demystifying Homeowner Associations

Townhomes, condominiums, homes in planned developments, co-op style housing — most of these types of residences are sold along with a homeowner association (HOA) agreement.  Educational Community for Homeowners (ECHO), a San Jose-based nonprofit that assists homeowner associations with everything

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8 Things Your Homeowners Association Wishes You Knew

Part of the joy of owning your own home is the relative lack of rules. No one can say “no” to that adorable pet axolotl. Not a soul will protest if you paint your bedroom purple. And you want to

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These are the Five People You’ll Meet at the Annual HOA Board Meeting. Which One Are You?

You’ve received your annual meeting notice and you may be wondering, should I go and what is this about? The answer to the first question is a resounding YES! The answer to the second question takes more than one word.

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Condo Association Budget Tips for Owners

Condo Association budget season is in full swing. Condo Association Boards and Management are busy developing their budgets for the new year. Ideally they are eliminating waste, identifying high-value projects, and putting enough into reserves. While Boards are hard at

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What Happens When Fellow Owners Don’t Pay HOA Dues

As a homeowner in a planned community, you might enjoy using the perks in your development, such as the common swimming pool, parks, fitness room, or clubhouse. You also know you must pay for those jointly owned benefits, in the

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What an HOA Board Should Do About Bullying in a Homeowners Association

There’s a lot of talk, along with articles and commentary these days about online bullying. This can take place on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. It can take the form of inappropriate pictures that someone secretly takes of

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Handling Homeowner’s Associations: A Mini-Guide for Malcontented Members

If you’re in the neighborhood for purchasing an existing home or building a new one, you might have to deal with a Homeowners’ Association or (HOA). A (HOA) is an organization of property owners who upheld set rules and upholds

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Hidden Dangers and Quick Tips to Keep Properties Safe from Electrical Fires

It’s officially Fire Prevention Week (October 9 – 15, 2016), a regularly recognized campaign organized by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to stress the importance of fire safety and preventative measures for home owners. According to the National Archives

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“Why Can’t I Paint My House Orange?”

“Why can’t I paint my house orange? Or have a giant flamingo in the front lawn? Or build a triple-story playground in the backyard?”  As a community management professional, you understand the value of belonging to a community association. Homeowners,

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What Do Condo Fees Cover? A Lot More Than You Think

If you’ve ever looked into buying a condo, you’ve noted that, in addition to your monthly mortgage payment and property taxes, you’ll be required to pay monthly condo fees. So what do these fees cover?  Generally, they pay for the

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Tips to take on your HOA head on

Think your HOA is going overboard? There may be something you can do to right the ship.  Start by attending the HOA meetings regularly. That’s where the decisions about your neighborhood are made. Know when meetings are held and how

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3 Tips to Give Homeowners a Voice

Not every homeowner who lives in the community is on the HOA board, but every homeowner is affected by what the board decides. That is why it is important to give homeowners a voice in their community. Check out these

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Tips to Help Homeowners Association Residents Prevent Kitchen Fires

Fire can be a fear of residents within a homeowners association. They can break out in all sorts of situations, so it’s always good to remind owners in your community about fire safety.  Did you know that nearly two-thirds of

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The Truth about HOAs: Involved Homeowners are Happier Homeowners

Board members are community leaders. They volunteer their time to make decisions on the well-being and financial health of their association. Every homeowner has a right to know what’s going on in the community and the board should embrace that.

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How to Handle Difficult Neighbors

When searching to buy your home, you probably have a checklist of needs and wants for your new house and location. But do you factor in the potential neighbors? Finding dream neighbors is always a gamble, as you never know

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Tips from an HOA Board: Help Residents Breathe Easy in Their Homes

Believe it or not, the air inside the homes in your homeowners association may be less healthy than the air outdoors. Modern and well-insulated homes can actually trap pollutants, thus raising their potential for harm. Several common houseplants, however, can

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Fighting Apathy #9: Be a Better Condo Association Owner in Minutes

One of the biggest mental hurdles for changing your behavior is where to start. You want to be a better Owner, but it’s hard to break the habit of apathy. You don’t have to go from an un-involved Owner to

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Fighting Apathy #8: Building a Network of Involved Condo Association Owners

In any democratic community, you’re only as strong as your voting block. People are often apathetic towards Condo Associations and HOAs, not realizing the importance of participation and representation. The bottom line is Associations are a form of democratic government

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Tips to Prepare a Family Emergency Plan in Your Homeowners Association

Natural disasters affect thousands of people every year, and with the increased risk of severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and tornadoes these days, it’s a good idea to think about having an emergency plan in place. Consider preparing an emergency plan

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Neighbor Disputes Turn Wealthy Areas Into War Zones

The battle between homeowner Marshall Jenney and the Seabreeze Homeowners Association in Rehoboth Beach, Del., began innocently enough: Some of Mr. Jenney’s bushes and trees had grown too high.  After years of litigation, a contempt order, tens of thousands of

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Tips from an HOA Board: What to Look for in Home Warranties

As a homeowner, you probably received a new home warranty when you purchased your home – many owners within your homeowners association may also have one. If no major problems have been encountered with your home, then you probably have

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What Everyone Should Know About Their HOA

“You won’t believe what my HOA did.” That’s a line probably uttered by countless residents of communities governed by a homeowners’ association. It’s like many other things in life; people are quick to complain, but not as quick to congratulate

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The Types of Owners in a Condo Association

Just as there are different types of Board Members, there are also different types of Owners in a Condo Association. While each category is not a perfect indicator of the types of Owners in a Condo Association, they generally will

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Tips For Condo Living

Many homeowners purchase units in a condominium association thinking it will be maintenance free living. If you’re considering buying a condo, please don’t sign on the dotted line and assume everything outside your four walls will be handled.   Read the

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Running for the Board of Directors in Your HOA

Question: I want to run for election to our Community’s Board of Directors. What exactly does the Board do? What can it not do? Please advise.    Read the Q&A……………

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Three Tips to (Politely) Deal with Noisy Neighbors

You and your next-door neighbor don’t share the same taste in music. You know this because every night you can hear the bass thumping and the guitar riffs screeching…well past your normal bedtime. Handling noise—be it music, construction, or a

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What Exactly Are the Governing Documents in a Homeowners Association?

We’re always talking about the governing documents of a homeowners association, but what are they, why are they important, and what do they say?    Read the article………….

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4 Tips for Surviving Condo Life

Condo life. It’s, for the most part, a city thing. People who don’t want to be able to see their neighbors or who want to own land don’t understand those who choose to live in condos. Sometimes it’s not about

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Condo-friendly security tips

Security is an issue no matter where you live or in what, and condominiums are no exception. From Weiser Lock Corp., the lock manufacturer, come some ways to be safe in your condo building.  It should go without saying, but be

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3 Tips for Friendly Neighbor Relationships

One of the best ways to promote a happy, friendly community is to boost neighborhood relationships. In a community where neighbors know each other, you’ll see less problems because everyone is watching out for each other instead of just themselves.

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Summer Safety – Inform Your Members

Springtime is a great time to get ready for a busy summer at the community you manage. Many members invite guests into the community and host seasonal parties or activities. There may even be association-sponsored summer fun. But it’s important

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House or condominium, know your rules for landscaping

This is the time of year when everyone’s thoughts turn to landscaping and outdoor maintenance.  Whether it’s buying that Bell’s hanging basket for your deck or installing a brand new yard, each homeowner and condo association is unique in their

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Fighting Apathy #4: Leading a Condo Association Resistance Movement Part 2

Now that you have your team and you’re educated on the issue, it’s time to define what success is and if it’s achievable. If a popular amenity was shuttered – let’s say a decision was made to halve the size

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Having HOA Neighbor Knowledge

One of any homeowner association’s challenges is helping neighbors “make nice”. The board is frequently called on to mediate disputes and fine neighbors for doing bad things. Actually, it’s not the board’s job and in most cases, except those that

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Home Security Tips for Condo Owners

It should go without saying but be mindful of others even when you’re inside your building. Pay attention when walking in stairwells, meet your neighbors and know the general layout of the building.   Read the article………….

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Common Misconceptions of Community Association Management

To many Americans, living in a homeowner’s associations is a new concept. Since 1964, homeowner associations have become increasingly common in the United States. With one in six homes in America now in a community association, many homeowners have less

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5 Ways You Can Help Your HOA

Your community’s HOA is not just tasked with enforcing parking notices and trashcan warnings.  Your homeowners association provides a very serious function: to protect the multi-million-dollar asset that is your community. Your HOA board is comprised of volunteers who share

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You are all Neighbors!

The first thing to remember when living in an association is that you are a neighbor to someone. If nothing else, your neighbors all likely share at least one common desire: to live in your community. Owners may have bought

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Fighting Apathy #2: Get Involved in Your Condo Association Part 1

This is the second installment in a series of articles designed to help Condo Associations fight apathy, the number one cause of Condo Associations breaking bad. Today’s focus is on helping Owners get involved in your Condo Association    Read

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6 Ways to Be a Good Neighbor This Winter

Winter weather got you down? Take these six steps to a happier, safer winter season.   Read the article…………

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How Defining Residents’ Rights and Responsibilities Creates Happy HOA Communities

“When a community’s residents and HOA leaders understand their roles and responsibilities, it creates a clarity that leads to cohesiveness,” says Lisa Leidy, a community association manager for FirstService Residential, a leading property management company in Maryland. “If you’re a

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How to Avoid a War with the Neighbors

A disagreement between neighbors can escalate quickly. One minute you’re mowing your lawn, the next you’re plotting revenge on the homeowner next to you for parking his car on your freshly cut grass.   Read the article…………….

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5 Unique Ways HOA Board Members Can Save Money with Resident’s Help

Are you looking for ways to save money in your homeowners association? After necessary repairs and upkeep, it seems like there’s never enough dollars to get all the jobs done. Your fellow HOA board members all agree that a last

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Rate Your Board’s Strategic Leadership Skills

HOA Board members possess a wide variety of talents and skills. Each person brings a different perspective based on his/her experiences and knowledge. Although your Board members may be quite diverse, you can still have knowledge gaps. How does your

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