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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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Fireplace Safety in Your Home and HOA Community

For many, the essence of winter is curling up next to the warmth of a crackling fireplace while enjoying the sights of the snow-dusted scenery outside. Unless of course you live in a Arizona or Texas, in which case it’s

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Volunteer Labor in your HOA: Worth the Risk?

HOA Board members face a lot of decisions when it comes to finances. Usually those decisions involve trying to figure out how to be as responsible as possible to keep the HOA budgets in good shape. Sometimes, Boards will have

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Noise in your HOA Community

3 Steps for community peace; we’ll tackle world peace next time.     Noisy neighbors… Almost everyone will have to deal with them at some point in their adult life, whether they live in a single family home, condo, or apartment.

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New Year, New HOA Goals: 10 Ideas to Make 2016 Better

If you haven’t decided on any 2016 goals for your HOA board yet, it’s not too late! To give you a head start, we’ve compiled a list of several goals that we think could help almost every HOA board improve

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How to Read and Understand HOA Documents

As a potential buyer in a HOA community, it’s important that you know what rules you’re signing up to follow for before you actually sign on the dotted line. Unfortunately, too many potential buyers shy away from fully reviewing HOA

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Your Homeowner’s Association (HOA) and the role it plays

In many communities one of the fees a homeowner is expected to pay is an HOA fee. The amount of the fee varies greatly and most people don’t really understand why they need to pay it. The role of your

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HOA Board Members:Creative strategies for reducing HOA costs

As all good HOA board members do, they are always looking to help improve the financial situation of their HOA community. Everyone’s first reaction is always to look at the management costs or service provider (landscaper, pool servicing company,etc) and

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What to Do If You Have to Levy a Special Assessment

In a previous post, we talked about the importance of adequately funding your reserves as an HOA. While it would be ideal for every HOA to have a healthy reserve fund that could cover almost any unexpected cost, that’s not

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Tipping Point: In Huntington Village, the Community Association Has All the Power

Most of the time Ebony Washington is able to pretend everything is fine. She even waves when Huntington Village Community Association deed restriction inspectors pause near her house to record another infraction. Washington puts up a good front throughout the

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The Three R’s of HOAs: Rules and Regulations

When most people hear the term “the three R’s,” they probably think of the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” that they learned in grade school. But did you know that there are three R’s that apply to homeowner associations, too? Rules,

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New HOA Laws (TX)

The 84th Texas Legislature enacted several new laws that impact HOA & Condominium Communities. Full text documents of applicable legislation can be found on this website.”    Read the PDF’s………….

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New Hoarding Ordinance in Houston: What this means for you and your Texas HOA

Hoarding—If your Texas HOA hasn’t had to deal with it yet, you’ve probably seen a glimpse of it on some popular reality TV shows. It’s not a problem we’d wish on any community, but considering how rampant of a problem

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How to best use (or not use) your HOA Insurance Policy

While carrying insurance to protect your community is important, it’s also important to use the policy properly. Unlike personal home and auto insurance, the types of claims that an HOA may file can vary greatly and understanding when to file

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HOA Budgeting 101: How to Budget for Your HOA Community

It’s HOA budget season. Everyone talks about needing a budget, but very few people like budgeting. While it takes time, attention to detail, and intense practicality, a detailed budget is essential for any HOA that plans to operate with the

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4 Steps for Managing HOA Board Member Conflicts

No matter how hard you work to avoid conflicts of interests, you’ll likely find yourself encountering one at some point during your time as a HOA board member. A conflict of interest occurs when a board member places their own

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Statutory Civil Damages for Covenant Violations Requires Actual Damages (TX)

In a case of first impression, today the Houston Court of Appeals, 14th District, issued its opinion in KBG Investments, LLC v. Greenspoint Property Owners’ Association, Inc. The court held that in order to recover civil damages under Property Code

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New State (TX) Laws Effective as of September 1st

The 2015 Texas Legislative Session brought new changes to statutes affecting owners associations in a myriad of topics. For the complete text of the new statutes, visit the link at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/BillNumber.aspx . Below are the highlights:    Read the article…………

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Waging War on HOA Weeds

Why is it that the plants you want to keep green and living always brown and wilt, while the weeds you try to kill flourish and drive you nuts? It’s a problem that plagues every yard, in every community no

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