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Energy Efficiency and your HOA Community

Taking your HOA to a place of energy efficiency doesn’t have to mean accepting a different standard of living. With today’s technological advances, becoming energy efficient can be as simple as switching out light bulbs or practicing strategic landscaping. Going

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All About Executive Sessions for HOA Boards

Unlike traditional board meetings, executive sessions are held by the HOA board to discuss privileged or confidential material generally tied to disciplinary action or personnel matters. Having a good understanding of when and how to conduct executive sessions can save

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Long Canyon Phase II and III Homeowners Assoc. v. Cashion, 03-15-00498-CV (TexApp Dist 03/03/2017)

Appellant, a homeowners association, alleged in a letter to owners Chris and Lisa Cashion that the Cashions damaged a drainage easement. The letter, part of a long-standing dispute, threatened fines and a lawsuit. The Cashions responded by suing for harassment,

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HOA Housekeeping 101: Proper Waste Removal and Outdoor Neatness

The word “housekeeping” may call up images of shower scrubbing, dusting and vacuuming; but the kind of housekeeping we’re talking about has to do with maintaining proper waste removal and outdoor neatness in your community.  When sidewalks are swept, poop

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Understanding Your HOA Documents

Understanding your governing documents is essential to every association – without governing documents, an HOA would not exist! These documents serve a specific purpose in the community and allow the association to function.  An association board or individual board member

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Increase Participation at Annual HOA Meetings

While members of the association should understand that it is in their own best interest to attend the annual meeting of the members, many do not realize how important these meetings are. Failure to attend annual meetings results in failure

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Taxes and Your HOA Community – To File or Not

If you live in a planned community, there is a good chance questions have come up about taxes and if your community needs to file them. We’ve heard many people admit that they didn’t realize their community needed to file

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Texas High Court Finds for Insurer in D&O Coverage Dispute

The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of an insurer in a case that hinged on the applicability of an insured-v.-insured exclusion in the carrier’s directors and officers (D&O) liability policy.  The Court’s action reversed the ruling in Great

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Dealing with Difficult Residents

At some point, every community will face conflict and difficult people. When this occurs, remember that patience and communication always prevail. By managing your reactions, listening and asking the right questions, your community and board will come to a resolution.

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How To Create an Effective Newsletter for your HOA

In today’s hectic world, very few find the time to seek out information concerning news and events in their community; this can sometimes lead to apathy among homeowners. One way to prevent this is to make it easy for homeowners

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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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Garage Sales and Your HOA Community

Even if you haven’t kept up with your New Year’s resolutions like you had hoped to, February is still the season of “New Year, New Me,” which means you shouldn’t give up yet on accomplishing those things on your goal

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Board members immune from personal liability (TX)

Plaintiff condominium owners sued association and board members to restore their homes after hurricane and fire damage. when complex was instead demolished,. Trial court granted summary judgment in favor of board members, and severed the remaining claims against the association.

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Court Affirmed Dismissal Of Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims Against Condo Board Members

In Brown v. Hensley, a condominium complex was damaged by a hurricane, and the board of the complex allowed the complex to be demolished. No. 14-14-00981-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 727 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] January 26, 2017, no pet.

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Strengthening Your Community

The community in which we live has a great influence on our lives. Whether that’s relaxing during the summer at the community pool. Or, on the other hand, getting frustrated that our neighbor’s perennials don’t mesh well in the spring.

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Snow Removal Planning for Community Associations

I was talking with a friend recently regarding the challenges that they have with snow removal, and how they were managing the record snowfall that they have had so far this year. In certain areas of our nation, the snowfall

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Short-Term Rentals in Associations

Have you wondered whether it’s allowed to rent out your home on a short-term basis? After hearing so much in the news lately about short-term rentals arranged through websites or mobile apps such as Airbnb. The answer really depends on

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AirBNB & VRBO: Do My Neighbors Have a Say? (TX)

Following his transfer to Houston, Ruel Benda decided to keep his posh gated neighborhood Rodeo Drive house and started advertising it on AirBNB. His profits were so good that he began renting for 7 days or less. Insisting that Benda’s

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Sierra Crest Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Villalobos (TX)

This was an action to enforce restrictive covenants in a residential subdivision. Appellees built a retaining wall on a lot they owned within the Sierra Crest Subdivision. Alleging that the wall was built without approval, was defective, and posted a

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Types of Committees – Part 2

Welcome back to our two-part series on committees. In the first post, we talked about how committees can benefit an HOA and how to organize them effectively. Today we are going to highlight the various types of committees and hopefully

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Pre-Litigation Requirements For Condo Associations (TX)

When general contractors, subcontractors, and design professionals face claims or lawsuits arising from original construction or remediation of condominium projects, one of the most important—and also sometimes one of the most difficult tasks—has always been to catalog, usually by unit

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Reserve Funds: Do You Know How Much Your HOA Needs?

Funding community operations is one of the most important functions of an HOA board. Typically, there are two types of funds in your HOA – operating funds and reserve funds.  Operating funds are used to take care of day-to-day operations.

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Condo association accuses insurer of deceptive practices (TX)

A Galveston County condo association is suing a Texas City insurance business, alleging deceptive trade practices.  Eibands Luxury Condominiums Associations Inc. filed a complaint Oct. 19 in Galveston County District Court against Rust Ewing Watt & Haney Inc., et al,

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The Value of Committees – Part 1

A well-managed community is a full time job, but it doesn’t have to be a burden. Instead of burdening the board and community managers with every HOA need, consider using volunteer-based committees. Like board members, volunteers from your community have

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Top 5 Legal Resources for Self-Managed Texas Homeowners Associations

As the Texas legislature continues to impose increasing amounts of statutory regulations on the operation of Texas HOAs, it has become increasingly more difficult for volunteer homeowners to self-manage their HOAs in compliance with such laws. This is because most

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What Every New (and Experienced) Board Member Needs to Do to Manage Their HOA in Compliance With Texas Law.

The Foundation for Community Association Research estimates that there are at least 18,600 “Homeowners Associations” (or “HOAs” for short)[1] in the State of Texas, and that the total value of all homes that are governed by a Texas HOA is

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All About Political Signs in Your HOA Community

With Election Day right around the corner more people are posting political signs in their yards. Regardless of yours or your neighbors’ political opinions, it’s necessary for your community to have rules and procedures around displaying political signage.  Most states/cities/counties

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HAM Radio Towers and Antennas in Your HOA Community

On July 13, 2016, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce gave its stamp of approval to a compromise version of H.R. 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act.  Community Associations Institute opposed H.R. 1301 as introduced, which preempted association

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HOA Towing: Can You Tow? Should You Tow?

Parking enforcement by any HOA can be an especially frustrating issue for both board members and homeowners because it concerns one of the most valuable items in any homeowner’s possession: their vehicle. Towing is a hot-button issue for most, so

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4 Tips for Choosing a Towing Company for Your HOA Community

So You Decided Towing Is for You?  Here are 4 things to consider when choosing a towing company:     Read the article………….

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Six Ways to Keep Your HOA Community Looking Good

An HOA is a non-profit entity with the purpose of protecting, maintaining, enhancing, or preserving the common property of the development. As we’re all well aware, a home is a substantial investment. How can you help keep your community looking

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Rainwater Collection Systems Policies in Your Homeowners Association

Some states like Texas prohibit HOA communities from banning rainwater collection systems, as the benefits of these systems are tremendous. However, if you are considering when outlining your HOA rainwater collection policy.   Read the article………….

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Know your Duty as HOA Treasurer: 6 helpful tips

Your HOA board is responsible for many important decisions, but one of the most important responsibilities is maintaining the financial health of the association. Although each board member needs to participate in sound financial decision-making, no one is more responsible

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Dealing with Squatters

While the term “squatter” may make you think of crumbling buildings and homelessness, it can be a very real problem for well-kept and well-managed communities. Since dealing with squatters can be difficult, knowing the telltale signs and how to properly

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Storms and Your HOA

You were just hit by a big storm, you know there is damage and are grateful everyone is safe; and that you have insurance. But, did you know that you as a homeowner are responsible to prevent additional damage and

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Pokémon Chasing: Coming Soon to an HOA Near You

This gaming craze has created stories and news all over the U.S. It’s even impacting HOA’s and homeowner association management companies. Homeowners are calling in concerned about the activity they are seeing go on in the community. After further research

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HOA Board Members Can Be Sued

“You’ve been served” is a phrase no one ever wants to hear. While lawsuits against board members are usually unsuccessful, it’s still important to protect yourself and your board from the threat. Since we hate legal speak as much as

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When a Storm Strikes Your HOA: How you respond is critical

You were just hit by a big storm, you know there is damage and are grateful everyone is safe; and that you have insurance. But, did you know that you as a homeowner are responsible to prevent additional damage and

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American Flags In Your HOA: Let the Stars and Stripes Fly Free

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, more and more homeowners will hang their American flag, and while you may be tempted to micromanage their flag flying freedoms, don’t. Instead, recognize that as Americans, their right to fly

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Coping with Change in your HOA

Change can be tough, and while it makes some people nervous, it also provides HOAs with the opportunity to improve their community. So, to help you manage change in a positive way, we thought we’d share a few helpful tips

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Becoming a Landlord in an HOA Community

Having a rental property can be a great way to add some supplementary income to your pocketbook. When that rental property is in a community with an HOA, it offers a lot of advantages for both you and your tenants,

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HOA & Xeriscaping

When you hear the word “xeriscaping,” does it evoke images in your mind of endless gravel, rocks, and cacti? Well, if you’re like most people, this is probably how you tend to view xeriscaping and it may seem less-than-appealing to

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7 Mistakes New HOA Board Members Should Avoid

Congrats, you’re the newest HOA board member in your community! Chances are if you made the move to get elected to the board, there was a reason why you wanted to get involved in your community—whether there were specific changes

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Security Cameras and HOA Policy – Prepare before assuming the role as big brother

Security cameras in your HOA can be a handy security tool, but if they’re not managed properly, they can end up being more of a headache (and a liability). Before your HOA installs them, make sure your board drafts a

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Defalcation and the Hazards of Board Membership – Lessons from the Fifth Circuit (TX)

Do you serve on your condominium’s board as a fun way to meet your neighbors and test out your governance skills? What seems like a low-commitment diversion can balloon into a stressful time suck – or worse. You may be

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HOA Security: How Safe is Your Community?

Safe neighborhoods are desirable, a safe AND desirable community is what every HOA strives to accomplish and maintain. While everyone knows living in a safe community is important, it isn’t always as easy to know how to make and keep

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Fiduciary Duty and What it Means for Your HOA Board

Just try saying that five times fast. Not only is it a serious mouthful, it also carries serious legal obligations and potential consequences. As board members, your community has entrusted you with the “power” to make decisions on their behalf

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How to meet quorum at Annual HOA meetings

Meeting HOA annual meeting quorum requirements can be difficult at times. What is a quorum? It is the minimum number of required owners to be present at an annual meeting to make it official. If the association does meet quorum,

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Google+ Hangout the future of HOA Board meetings?

Anyone that has ever lived in a HOA or Condo Association community knows that the feeling of being persuaded by a neighbor to volunteer for the board of directors for their community. Most people are scared to death to add

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Five Symptoms of Chronic HOA Board Fatigue

Most management companies claim to perform the “same tasks,” but the approach they take and whether or not they actually perform those functions are another question. Every day we get phone calls and emails from HOA board members who are

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