Working With Owners

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Owner Participation at an Association Board Meeting – The Fine Art of Herding Cats

Here is part three of the on-going conversation about keeping order and control in association board meetings, and getting the business done. This time, the focus is on participation of members in an association board meeting.  In recent years, I

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How To Defuse A Conflict

Anyone who’s ever had to defuse a tense work meeting or even a stressful Christmas dinner knows that sometimes thoughtful de-escalation is the best (and often only) way to get what you want. But some of us have hot tempers,

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Got Condo Conflict? Got HOA Headaches? No cooperation in your Co-Op? Here are 5 Tips & Techniques for Community Dispute Resolution!

Condo conflict driving you mad? HOA headaches wearing you down? No cooperation in your Co-op? How do you fix it? Conflict resolution is the solution! With the right training, education, and resources, Associations can reduce the high cost of conflict

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3 Tips for Effective Covenant Compliance

It’s a topic of discussion at every Board meeting – who’s following the rules and who isn’t. People choose to live in community associations because they want to preserve their property values, but if the board and management aren’t enforcing

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Tips for Entering Owners’ Units in Condo Associations

Living in a Condo Association means that you are subject to a wide variety of Bylaws, rules, and other conditions. One of the interesting – and often frustrating – issues results from entering Owners’ units in Condo Associations. This can

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Self-Managed Condos and HOAs: They Look Like Big Bargains, but Beware

If you’re looking to buy a house or condo but are balking at the steep monthly HOA or condo fees, one budget-friendly alternative is to find a self-managed condo or HOA instead. That means rather than paying a management company

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Above the Law: Why Homeowners Try to Skirt the Rules

You’ve seen it more times than you can count: rebellious homeowners living on the edge (or over the edge) of the HOA rules. While “rebellious” is probably a strong word in most cases, you are faced with a dilemma either

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How to Handle a Bully in Your Community

Search the term “bullying” on the internet and an array of corresponding stories and images will appear ranging from politicians to school accounts and social media trolls. Recognizing, understanding, and managing bullies has become even more important as the internet

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Conflicting Interests Lead To Disputes That Erupt At HOA Meetings

“O brave new world that has such people in it!” These immortal words from Shakespeare’s The Tempest aptly describe homeowner associations. Conflicting interests can lead to disputes that erupt at meetings. To control such outlandish behavior, HOA meetings are well

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Harassment in Associations – Boards Must Act

It has been illegal for a condominium board to discriminate against a unit owner on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and disability. What if a resident complains that other residents or even board members

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The Importance of Condo Association Good Will

Much of Condo Association planning and strategizing is based on maximizing resources. How do you make the most of Condo Association assessments? Does your community budget well? How do you maintain reserves? The answers to these questions are vital to

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Learning to Be a Condo Association Board Leader

You know what you’re getting into and you’ve learned how your Board does its work. You’ve probably been frustrated with some things, and wondered why they aren’t better, or why things aren’t done the right way. You have grown, grasshopper.

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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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Strategies for Handling HOA Neighborhood Disputes

In every community, there comes a time where there might be a neighbor-to-neighbor dispute. Typically, these differences stem from a noise complaint, landscaping violations, parking violations or a misuse of a common area. In every instance, it is the hope

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Handling Touchy Complaints in Co-Ops and Condos: It’s About Sense and Sensitivity

Conflict comes hand-in-hand with living in close quarters. Such is the nature of condominium and cooperative living. Some dust-ups between neighbors are settled with a polite conversation, or a mild nudge from the condo or co-op board. Others can get

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Dealing With Difficult People in Your HOA

Dealing with difficult people in any setting can be a real challenge. But in volunteer-based homeowner associations, where there is none of the leverage managers have with employees, there is an entirely new level of difficulty. And, believe it or

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Wearing the right hat: Managing condo owners’ expectations

Picture this: It’s a sunny Saturday morning, and a condo board director has just stepped out to grab the morning paper before settling in for a relaxing breakfast. As she turns to go back inside, a neighbor starts a long-winded

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3 Useful Tips on How to Deal With a HOA Resident Like Donald Trump

Don’t get us wrong. We’re not taking any political positions. It’s just the reality of living in a multi residential community. We live with all sorts of people and among them are those who exhibit strong personality quirks like The

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How to Start a Community Garden

A community garden can be a great way to boost community interaction and give everyone something to share. If you’re considering starting a community garden in your HOA, check out these how-to tips.  Before you run out and start planting

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Home-Based Businesses: Challenges for Today’s Co-ops, Condos and HOAs

Restrictions on home-based businesses vary from municipality to municipality and from state to state—so before opening that office and inviting clients to stop in, it’s wise to check the rules.

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What an HOA Board Should Do About Bullying in a Homeowners Association

Bullying can and is happening in the realm of homeowner associations as well. In fact, it seems to have escalated greatly in recent years.

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Who’s the Bully in your HOA? Could it Be You?

October is National Anti- Bullying Month, officially. It doesn’t just apply to bullying in the schools or in relationships between family members or friends. It applies to what happens in the boardroom, and in meetings in a homeowners association. It

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Community Association Liability – Neighbor to Neighbor Discrimination

Under this new regulation, community associations may be liable under the Act for the discriminatory actions of residents who harass or create a hostile environment for other residents.

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Neutrality

Regardless of the behavior or how much the board likes or dislikes an owner or their actions, the Board has an obligation to uniformly and consistently apply the association’s governing documents

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Neighbour vs. Neighbour

Lifestyle clashes are inevitable when people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds live on top of each other in a forced community. When different priorities collide, a siege mentality can set in.

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Halloween in Condos: It Doesn’t Need to be Frightening?!?

Halloween can cause all kinds of headaches for boards and managers in condominiums

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3 Tips to Give Homeowners a Voice

Not every homeowner who lives in the community is on the HOA board, but every homeowner is affected by what the board decides. That is why it is important to give homeowners a voice in their community. Check out these

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HOA Generationalizing

Homeowner associations can be a melting pot of age groups which carry unique values and perceptions of the world

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Overreaction in a Condo Association

One of my favorite sayings about Condo Associations is “the emotions are so high because the stakes are so low.”

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Dealing with Harassment as a Member of the HOA Board

What if a homeowner is verbally abusive to a member of the board, or to the entire board itself?

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Three Ways to Calm Hostile Owners in a Condo Association

The net result is that you may find yourself facing a large group of frustrated and hostile Owners in a Condo Association.

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Common Misconceptions of Community Association Management

Read on to discover some of the most common misconceptions regarding community association management.

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Dealing with Difficult People

In homeowner associations, we often find there is at least one person who refuses to listen to anything the board has to say.

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How to Deal With Upset Residents

You need to acknowledge their complaint and try to do your best to solve it

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3 Tips for Handling Owner Concerns

If your association is getting overwhelmed with trying to respond to every complaint a homeowner has, check out these three tips

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6 Tips for Recruiting Future HOA Leaders

“Have a program in which a board member is assigned to go meet new residents and bring basic information about the association.”

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Which Hat? HOA Board vs. Good Neighbor

If you’re spending too much personal time handling Board business, here are some ways to reclaim your “good neighbor” status

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4 Things to Look Out For With Serial By-law Warriors

The dark side of by-laws. While they’re essential for the effective running of strata, it’s possible for problem owners to use them as justification for campaigns of harassment or false accusations.

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The six signs you have a troublemaker in your strata building

They include, she says, the criminal, the know-it-all, the domineering committee, the rebel, the bully lawyer and, sadly, the mentally ill

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Incoming! When A Disruptive Resident Bombards Your Board With Complaints

The disruptive resident who never stops bombarding the board with complaints

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How Condos Can Deal with Difficult Residents (NY)

Difficult residents? In New York? Get outta here. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life for cooperatives and condominiums. Difficult residents come in all sorts: they may make noise at all hours or, even worse, not pay their maintenance, common charges

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Battling Bully Board Members and Homeowners

You’ve seen them (and felt your anxiety level rising).  The homeowner who takes four “guest only” parking spots for his cars. The board president who goes on a vendetta by holding secret meetings, making unapproved purchases and breaking confidentiality rules.

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Accommodating mental illness in condos (ON)

Accommodating mental illness in a condominium setting is no trifling obligation.  Just like physical disability, both the courts and the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal require that mental illness be accommodated up to the point of undue hardship. This is, by

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Does Your Community Association Have Your Current Contact Information?

If you live or own property that is located within a homeowners, condominium or other form of community Association, you will want to be sure to provide the Association or responsible management company with your current contact information so that

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How to Help your Residents Accept Their HOA Dues

One of the elements that cause many people to dislike the idea of having a homeowner’s association is the fact that there are dues. However, the dues are necessary to ensure the community continues to thrive and that there is

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Surviving Each Other in an HOA

Communication is a lost art in some HOAs due to lack of basic people skills. Board members often get more criticism than praise and then along comes an abusive owner who makes unreasonable demands. But it works both ways. Sometimes

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What We Can Learn From Dispute Between Brentwood HOA & Homeowner

The story that broke on Channel 4’s WSMV about a Brentwood elderly homeowner, whose Homeowners Association (HOA) threatened to sue over a wheelchair ramp installed without permission, brings to light something that most of us don’t think about, until we

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Ask Atty Pat: How To Deal With Bedbug Issues In Condos

The tenant or unit owner may complain to the landlord or the condominium association. If the occupant complains to public health authorities, bedbug infestations are a violation of health codes so the Health Department will contact the Association and the

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Why is Managing an HOA So Hard?

Seriously. Managing an HOA is not an easy job. I’ve been an association manager before and it didn’t take long before I gained a high admiration for those in this profession.  Don’t get me wrong, managing a community can be

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4 Tips for Homeowner Participation in your HOA

We often come across HOAs that are struggling to handle disagreements, complaints, or controversial topics that are voiced by homeowners.  This is normal.  Just like a big family, there are going to be disagreements – many of them, in fact.

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