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Improving Indoor Air Quality

As the heat continues to bear down, most people find themselves retreating indoors to beat the heat. But what most people don’t realize is that air quality indoors can be just as bad as it is outdoors. If your HOA

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Have a condo? Pay attention to percentage ownership

If you own a condominium, or plan to, read closely. You might not own exactly what you think.  When his association levied a special assessment, a reader of this column was unhappy to learn he was charged 20 percent more

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Will insurance cover an Irma-related special assessment? (FL)

Q: My condominium association lost a portion of the roof as a result of Hurricane Irma. The board adopted a special assessment to pay for the repairs. Will my individual insurance for my unit cover this special assessment?   Read the

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Condo board may be ‘terrible,’ but withholding dues will make matters worse

Q:  I live in a 55+ condominium community and many residents, myself included, feel that the board is doing a terrible job at maintaining our community, despite the high dues that we pay. We have spoken out at board meetings,

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Withholding Your Maintenance Payments: Do You Have a Right to Do That During a Dispute?

Conflicts between both unit owners and their co-op or condo, or between neighbors, can get ugly pretty quickly. Often due to many considerations–in particular the slow pace of anything in common-interest properties and the general reluctance to spend money–these conflicts

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The budget process and determining your condo fee

I often hear buyers proclaim that a condo fee is “too high” yet these same buyers seem not to know exactly what determines a condo fee. It is impossible to assess if the fee is “too high” without knowing the

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What Owners Need to Know about Community Association Board Meetings

A Board Meeting is a meeting that is held regularly by the Board of Directors. This meeting is held to discuss and make decisions on association business. Owners are welcome to attend these meetings. These meetings are usually held monthly

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Problem Boards: What to Do When Your Board Breaks the Rules

A condominium, cooperative, or homeowners’ association elects a board for a specific purpose: to manage the community’s day-to-day business, oversee special projects, and draft and uphold the rules and regulations that keep life orderly and harmonious. In fact, the board

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6 Pet Rules Every Homeowner Should Follow

If you’re wondering how to be a good neighbor, a great place to start is by understanding proper pet etiquette in an HOA community. Thankfully, many boards offer existing guidelines for you to follow, which makes everything easier.    Read the

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The ABCs of HOAs… Why not abiding by the rules can get you in trouble (MI)

It’s estimated 63 million Americans who live in a newer subdivision or multi-unit development, are likely members of an HOA, or Homeowner’s Association. They can provide a number of benefits, such as taking care of common areas and maintaining the

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The 411 on Community Associations

There are thousands of community associations and many of them are full of owners who are unaware of how their association functions. This post provides the information owners should know in order to understand the most important community association basics.

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How to Make a Difference in Your Homeowner Association

Homeowner associations were created to provide a governing body for residential developments to make decisions regarding upkeep, appearance and finances. These agencies are usually composed of residents of the community. Periodic meetings are held to ensure that members of the

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Reading Your CC&Rs

Show of hands: Who has actually read their community’s CC&Rs cover to cover and word for word? Statistically speaking, not many have. And while it may feel unnecessary to read them, we assure you it’s better to familiarize yourself with

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Weeding Out Your Yard

Nothing ruins a beautiful, well-manicured summer lawn like weeds. From those ugly ones that have thorn-like leaves to the tall, unsightly ones that demand to be seen, weeds are an equal opportunity annoyance. As an HOA board, it’s important to

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Should you ride out a hurricane in a high-rise? (FL)

“Should I stay or should I go?” asked The Clash in their classic 1981 rock song.  That’s the same question Miami high-rise dwellers could be asking themselves as hurricane season enters its busiest stretch.  Thousands of people who weren’t around

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Do You Live Next to a Hot Pink Gazebo? (AZ)

Happily, at a time when so many folks can find so many things to debate, there is one topic on which most can agree: they hate their HOA. Yes, homeowner’s associations get a bad rap, but is this always justified?

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The Secret to a Well-Maintained Condo Association

Everyone wants to live in a well-maintained Condo Association – the kind where things are well-kept, orderly, and picturesque. There is no denying that money plays a part in this process. You need to ensure your Condo is properly funding

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Homeowners’ Associations: Homeowners Rights & Duties

If you own a house in a planned residential development, you’re a homeowner. All of the homeowners in the development typically belong to the homeowners’ association (HOA) for that development. Membership is automatic with the purchase of a home in

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HOA Living: Homeowner Rights and Responsibilities

If you are looking at buying an HOA property, or if you already live in one, then you want to know what your homeowner rights and responsibilities are. Well, we can help you with that. Read on for the list

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Homeowners Associations

When you finally buy your own home after years of renting, you might think you’re done following someone else’s rules (bye-bye, landlord!). But if you’re considering a house or condo within a planned development, you may find yourself answering to

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Three Ways to Annoy Condo Association Boards

Most people want a to live a simple Condo life and generally be left alone.  Sometimes, however, life gets in the way, and there can be complications.  While Condo Boards have a bad reputation, the reality is that most are

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Lessons as a First-Time Condo Owner

Professionals who work in the condo industry often say they’d never buy a condo. I was no different. A large part of my day is spent dealing with the problems faced by condos, such as disputes between neighbours, financial concerns,

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HOA Homefront: Before you paint garage doors purple, check out association rules

Associations are normally created with an initial architectural and landscaping theme that boards are responsible to protect and preserve. Condominium association boards also are expected to protect and preserve common area. Therefore, owners are usually prohibited from changing the exterior

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Management company not obligated to answer all inquires from owners

Question: I have a question regarding the management company that serves a community association/HOA. I realize that there is a board of directors; however, I am always told by the management company that I can’t call them to ask questions

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How To Avoid Getting HOA Fines When You’re On Vacation

It’s sweet, sweet summertime. That means you’re headed out for a much-needed family vacation. Maybe you’re off to the beach or an amusement park, but wherever you go, the last thing you want to see when you come home is

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The Informed Condo Association Owner

Many Condo Owners – possibly the majority – purchase a Condo property without a full appreciation of what they’re getting into. They anticipate that by owning their property, they will be free from any sorts of burdens. These individuals are

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Your HOA and Home Repair Scams

As the weather starts to draw people outside to plant flowers and make improvements, dodgy contractors and other types of business start targeting homeowners with scams and rip offs.  A scammer will usually use some sort of fear tactic, suggesting

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Ten Things Property Managers Wish Owners Knew

We are human too. Property managers really do want to help you resolve issues. Profanity and shouting are counterproductive. We cannot enforce rules that are not in your documents.       Read the entire list……………

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How to Win a Fight With Your Condo Association or HOA – Without Going Broke

More than 68 million Americans live in community associations, according to the Community Associations Institute, meaning 1 in 5 of us is required to follow the rules and regulations of a condo, cooperative or homeowners association.  According to a 2016

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The Most Important Condo Association Documents You’re Not Reading

Most Condo Association business is as exciting as watching paint dry. Unfortunately, this further extends to most Condo Association documents, as well. The fact that these documents are boring and often intimidating leads most Owners to ignore them. These same

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Resident Rights: Knowing Them, Upholding Them

To paraphrase the Declaration of Independence, all men and women are created equal with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That may not be the case if you live in a condominium, co-op, or HOA,

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Weed Tips to Avoid the HOA Letters

Lawn maintenance can kind of be a hassle, but with some patience and some weed tips and tricks, you can have a beautiful lawn and landscaping in no time. Avoid the HOA warning letters with these weed tips, and keep

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What Homeowners Should Know About the HOA Documents

A few months ago I wrote an article titled “Should Owners Really Read the HOA CC&R’s”. I must admit, the title was intended to get the attention of community association professionals. As a result some of the comments on social

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Understanding the pros and cons of Homeowners’ Associations

As a homeowner in an estate or boomed-off area, a buyer may be required to join a Homeowners’ Association (HOA), which means adhering to numerous rules and regulations stipulated by the HOA.   Read the article…………..

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What Not to Do When You Receive Communications from Your HOA Board

In our busy world of the internet, mobile phones, television, email, social media, and daily conversation, we’re on 24-7 information overload. We’re communicating non-stop all day, and when we finally reach the comfort of our home we just want to

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10 Tips to Improve the Lives of Condo Owners… and of Condo Directors

Condo democracy has had a fair bit of bad press recently. Vote rigging, fraudulent proxies and director collusion made headlines in May. But is it really all gloom and doom in condos under Ontario skies? In this post, we provide

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Love Where You Live: Building Emotional Equity in Your Community

When you’re leading a community, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks like scheduling maintenance, enforcing rules and creating budgets. But, when we only focus on work that’s in front of us, we forget why we do

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6 Easy Steps To Solving Neighbor Disputes Without Your HOA

Some of the most common neighbor disputes include noise, pets, children, your home’s aesthetic, property boundaries, suspected criminal behavior, building violations, and parking.  If you find yourself in one of these sticky situations (and you don’t want to draw the

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When is selling entire condo building the best move?

A condominium association enters into myriad negotiations for goods and services. Sometimes the best deal is to sell itself. That is, to sell the entire property to an investor or multifamily developer who will turn the condo units into apartment

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Does Your HOA Board Have a Policy for Home Security Systems?

We know you want to feel safe at home and you should. Maybe you have tried trimming foliage, increasing exterior lighting and are considering installing a home security system to feel more secure. Before you invest in a high-tech home

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Condo Children

What do you think about raising children in condominiums? It seems everyone has an opinion about it. Most write about the perceived cons of condo living, like having no backyard. Recently, I’ve read several articles (like this one and this

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Tips for Asking Good Questions at Condo Association Meetings

The monthly Condo Association meeting is one of the most important – yet ignored – aspects Condo life. Often these meetings are about as exciting as watching paint dry or grass grow. However, they also offer deep insights as to

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4 Reasons Why HOAs Need HOA Governing Documents

Real Estate developers create a legal corporation known as a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) when they are ready to manage and sell the homes they built for residential communities. Each such corporation needs HOA governing documents to enforce the rules for

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HOA Governance: What Roles Does an Owner Play?

When you think about becoming an owner of property within an HOA, you might wonder about HOA governance, what roles does an owner play? You may wonder if an HOA property is right for you. Rest assured, it is, and

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Outdoor Spring Cleaning 101

With spring in full swing, it’s time to start working on that spring cleaning checklist. While almost everyone has a list of indoor spring cleaning tasks, you don’t want to forget about the outside of homes and common areas.  Here

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Why it pays to get involved with strata

When you invest in an apartment, it’s important that you are aware of the strata meetings that occur which dictate changes to the apartment complex. Getting involved in these meetings however can help increase the value of your investments.  Every

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HOA Homefront: Owners have very broad rights of access to association financial records.

Q: I am one of a couple employees in a small, self-managed, association. Regarding opening the association records to owners: How much detail are they allowed to see? The manager is concerned that if someone insists on details (i.e. specific

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Home Fire Safety for Older Adults

The U.S. fire problem is severe. Each year, home fires result in a significant number of deaths and injuries. Older adults are burdened with the gravest fire risk, and are consistently more threatened with injury or death by fire than

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How to Enjoy Life as a Member in Your Homeowners Association

Whether you’re a resident of a homeowners association or a Board member looking for ways to encourage residents to get involved in their community, here are some great tips for being an active member of your Association and enjoying the

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HOA 101: An Introduction to Living in an HOA

So you purchased a property in a community governed by a homeowners association (HOA).  But what does that really mean?  What are your rights and benefits under this structure?  How does an HOA really run?  Where can you turn if

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