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Lightning and Your HOA Community

When most of us think of summer, we think of hot sunny days by the water, but the summer months in Texas are also known for their wild storms. It can be hot one minute, and the next second the

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Appreciating Volunteers in your HOA Community

Most HOAs we work with rely on the help of volunteers to keep their community running smoothly, and while a job well down is something to be proud of, a little recognition goes a long way. Since volunteers can save

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Five Paths to Reducing Your HOAs Carbon Footprint

It’s one thing to want to reduce your carbon footprint in an HOA, but how do you actually go about doing that? Here are five pathways that might help.   Read the article………………

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Why Hire Insured and Certified Vendors for your HOA?

To us, it’s clear why it is important to hire insured and certified vendors for your HOA, but sometimes members of the HOA Board might need some convincing. Here are five reasons to consider doing so.    Read the article……………

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Collections and HOA Dues

In a perfect world, everyone would pay his or her fair share and everything would be just. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and your HOA likely won’t be either. In most cases homeowners are generally good about paying their

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A Quick Guide to Encouraging HOA Volunteerism

Sometimes people who buy a home in an HOA neighborhood may not be used to the core concepts of an HOA. In most places, you take care of your property and keep to yourself. Maybe you get to know one

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Be aware of HOA fees & what they provide

Being familiar with HOA fees and charges is an important part of budgeting. Though there aren’t any average HOA dues, factors vary from universal expenses shared by the residents and can be charged by the square footage of a unit.

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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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2017 Legislative Update Report (TX)

On May 29, 2017, the Texas Legislature concluded the 2017 legislative session. For the first time since the enactment of Chapter 82 of the Texas Property Code in 1993, the Legislature made no modifications to Title VII of the Texas

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Discouraging Wildlife in Your HOA Neighborhood

Waking up to a chorus of cheerful birds or looking out your windows to a gecko sunbathing on a rock is something most of us enjoy. While we always encourage HOAs to enjoy the nature that surrounds their homes, it

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Five Tips for Effective Enforcement of HOA Rules

One of the biggest mistakes we see are boards making inconsistent rulings or being very lax with what their CC&Rs say. While it may seem easier to let some things slide, like ignoring people who leave garbage bins in their

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Community Gardens in Your HOA

Community gardens are all the rage right now, and for good reason. Gardening offers people the chance to grow their own food and reap the rewards of hard work and diligence. But beyond that, a community garden offers a group

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Understanding HOA Fair Debt Collection Practices: Practice Tips

If you work for an HOA, serve on its Board of Directors, or own a property covered by one, there are a few things you should know about debt collection practices. So, to help you develop a greater understanding of

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Tips for Competitive Bids in Your Homeowners Association Community

A large part of running an HOA is hiring contractors. If your board doesn’t do their homework, your community could end up pay more than you should. Before hiring or renewing a contract with a third party, make sure you

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Avoid Over-watering in Your Association

With temperatures already on the rise, you may be worrying about keeping our plants watered and thriving. While plants die without proper water, the same is true of plants that receive too much water. It is easy to tell when

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Tips for Understanding the Role of an HOA CPA

Both Board members and homeowners have an interest in the money end of an HOA’s business. After all, it’s the owners who have to pay higher fees when the homeowners association goes over budget. And it’s the Board who is

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Service Animals & Your HOA

No matter what your community’s pet policy is, service animals are almost always allowed. Unlike pets, service animals are not subject to the same rules, so here are some general things to consider when dealing with service animals.    Read

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Tree Care for Your HOA

With spring in bloom and hot weather becoming the norm, it’s important to make sure your trees are properly cared for. We often hear about communities who ignored their trees until many were sick or dying. Instead, we encourage your

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HOA & Pet Policy: What You Need to Know

Almost everyone has a soft spot for animals, and just about every HOA allows pets within certain guidelines. Since pets are a reality, it is important for your HOA to establish clear, understandable, and easy to find guidelines on pets.

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Package Theft in your Community

While worse during the holiday season, package theft is a year-round concern for anyone who shops online. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, there are people who drive around communities looking for unattended boxes sitting on porches. If you or anyone you

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Help Your HOA Board Members Understand Crime and Fidelity Insurance

While nearly all HOAs have some type of policies on the books, many HOA boards have little or no idea what type of insurance they have or need. This can potentially lead to expensive litigation and claims that can cost

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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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Making Transparency a Priority in Your HOA Board

Nothing will sink your HOA board faster than secrecy. While there are times when confidentially is necessary, most often HOA board business is public information and required to be easily accessible to homeowners. Boards should always focus on clear communication

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“Succeeds to the Interests of” Does Not Require Assumption of Obligations

The individual insured, Robert Primo, previously served as a director and treasurer of Briar Green Condominium Association in Houston, Texas. In 2008 and, shortly before resigning, Primo wrote himself two checks from Briar Green’s account totaling roughly $100,000. Briar Green

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Package Theft in your Community

While worse during the holiday season, package theft is a year-round concern for anyone who shops online. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, there are people who drive around communities looking for unattended boxes sitting on porches. If you or anyone you

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Preparing for Pool Season

Summer is quickly approaching, which means pool season is just around the corner! If your community is fortunate enough to have a pool, boy are you lucky! To ensure that the pool season goes smoothly, you want to make sure

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Chapter 13 Plan, Not Texas Law, Governs HOA Payments

A Texas homeowners association that applied Chapter 13 plan payments first to pre-bankruptcy delinquencies, leading to improper late fees, penalties and interest, was penalized by a bankruptcy court March 27 ( In re Daulton , 2017 BL 96621, Bankr. S.D.

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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)

In Texas litigation, the burden to assemble all of the individual condominium unit damage information was recently shifted to the condo association

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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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