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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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Smart condo conundrum: Talk to appliances, or text them?

In today’s so-called smart home, you can dim the lights, order more toothpaste or tell the kids to go to bed simply by talking to a small Wifi-connected speaker, such as Amazon’s (AMZN.O) Echo or Google’s (GOOGL.O) Home.  This voice-first

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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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Condo Association Hearing Tips for Owners

The dreaded hearing. For whatever reason – maybe legitimate, maybe not – your Board has issued a hearing with your name on it. They want to meet with you over your behavior and they’ve got the power of the Bylaws

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Tips to Voice your Concerns and Get Results in your Community

Disagreements among homeowners and fellow board members are bound to happen. However, that’s not always a bad thing. When they’re handled properly, disagreements can lead to unexpected solutions and common ground. Below are five tips to help you keep disagreements

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You Can Make a Difference!

Driving to and from your garage and merely existing in an association is not the only option. Living within an association provides you with many opportunities to become involved in your community. Assuming you meet any qualifications which exist within

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Can HOA Fees Be Claimed on Your Taxes?

Tax season is here and we all want to deduct every last penny we can find. If you’re a member of a homeowners association, have you ever considered whether or not the HOA fees you pay are tax deductible? Every

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What homeowners need to know about having an HOA (AZ)

Perhaps because ours is a young state with lots of new planned developments and condominium projects, Arizona has 8,800 homeowners associations.  It’s possible you already live in an HOA or maybe you’re thinking about moving to a home with an

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What Does it Means to Live in a HOA?

It happens more than you might think. Home buyers get excited about purchasing a home in a surprisingly well manicured community. They later discover, upon receipt of the bill for their assessments, that their well-kept neighborhood costs money – their

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What Roles Do Owners, Boards And Committees Play Within Community Associations?

There are various opinions on the role of community and condominium associations. But, generally speaking, the main purpose and authority of the association are to maintain common elements and ensure compliance with the association’s governing documents.   Property owner associations

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3 tips for raising a family in a Condo

Healthy demand is forecasted for Canada’s condo markets in 2017, and it’s not just young professionals and investors fueling the boom. As low-rise housing prices grow further out of reach, families are increasingly turning to condo life as an affordable

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Is it Time to Revisit Restrictions on Home-Based Businesses in Condominium Associations?

What do Apple Computer, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and the Ford Motor Company all have in common? These corporations all started out as home-based businesses. With recent technological gains, more individuals are not only working from home but, in fact, more

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A Condo Owners’ Bill of Rights Is on the Table

Two state legislators from the Bronx have introduced a Bill of Rights for condominium unit-owners in the state legislature that’s designed to heighten the transparency of condo board operations. The proposed legislation was inspired by a nasty legal battle over

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How to Grow Veggies at Your Apartment or Condo

No access to land for growing a vegetable garden? No problem. You can still grow a vegetable and herb garden, enjoying all the benefits of gardening without the added cost and maintenance of a large outdoor garden bed. Perfect for

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Exploring how the “The Monthly Assessment” is determined

November’s column generated an interesting and challenging conversation with a reader about his condo’s monthly assessment and how it was determined. Specifically, that conversation related to the recent increase of 23 percent in the monthly assessment, the reason behind the

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Court Clarifies Condo Owners’ Right to Inspect (NY)

In its 2013 decision in Pomerance v. McGrath (Pomerance I),1 as noted by one of the authors in a prior article on the subject,2 the Appellate Division, the First Department handed down the first appellate decision delineating the rights of

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What’s Covered by Your HOA and What Isn’t

Many homeowners who live in HOA’s come to us seeking clarity about who is responsible for what in terms of their homes, yards, and amenities. We hear all sorts of questions, including things like: Am I responsible for trimming the

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Owner Function: Comply with Documents

As an owner within an association you should read, understand and comply with your governing documents. If you do not understand the documents, ask your neighbors, your board, or your personal attorney. Failure to understand your association’s governing documents (Bylaws,

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Four Signs of a Bad Condo Association

One of the focuses of Better Condo Life is exactly what the name says – living a better Condo life. This site believes in giving you the tools to succeed and flourish in community Associations of all types. While it

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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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