Owner Information

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General Information for Owners

  • Ten Things Property Managers Wish Owners Knew June 26, 2017 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……………
  • How to Win a Fight With Your Condo Association or HOA – Without Going Broke June 23, 2017 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 CAI survey, 65 percent of residents find living in an association positive, with another 22 percent neutral on the experience. But a 2015 survey by the Coalition for Community Housing Policy in the Public Interest found that 72 percent had ...
  • The Most Important Condo Association Documents You’re Not Reading June 22, 2017 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 Owners who ignore documents find themselves shocked and upset when suddenly they are on the hook for thousands of dollars or find themselves in violation of a rule. No one wants to be caught unprepared – particularly when there’s money ...
  • Resident Rights: Knowing Them, Upholding Them June 15, 2017 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, however. Unlike a private home, living in a ‘common interest community’ represents a commitment to cooperative living—and along with that commitment come rules and regulations that just don’t come up in a single-family setting. For example, if you own a ...
  • Weed Tips to Avoid the HOA Letters June 15, 2017 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 your lawn properly cared for! HOA letters are no joke, you don’t want to have a violation on your yard, so making sure to follow the strict rules of your housing area are key. Check out these preventative tips or ...
  • What Homeowners Should Know About the HOA Documents June 14, 2017 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 media were a resounding “Yes! How could you ask such a stupid question?”. While I agree… I’m not convinced that some of them actually read the article — Ironic right? Anyway… The article revealed the “startling news (heavy sarcasm)” that ...

Owners – General Information Archives

New Owners

  • New Resident Screening and Avoiding Disparate Impact Claims September 20, 2016 Most well-run community associations incorporate a new tenant application and approval process, and some even utilize such a program for new owners. A typical new resident screening program includes criminal background checks, credit checks, employment verification, and prior rental history. A community association is likely to deny any prospective new resident whose background check produces questionable items. But are associations cognizant of the liability concerns pursuant to recent changes in federal law regarding disparate impact claims for administering a flawed ...
  • 6 Must-Haves in a Condominium Welcome Package May 26, 2016 It’s the condo board’s job to ensure that newcomers to the building feel welcome. For the sake of both the newcomer and the community-based atmosphere of a condo building, condo boards are responsible for ensuring that new residents are well-settled and aware of the buildings rules and regulations. A great way to receive new residents is to prepare a welcome package that shares valuable building and community information with the new addition to your condo family. What goes in an ...
  • The Need for Move-In Orientation September 9, 2015 Though the questions posed at the opening of this article are among the most frequently cited, there are many other issues that buyers may not even realize until long after their closing or moving in day. Just consider the specific areas where problems might arise: HOA contact and informational issues, emergency issues, building access and usage issues, insurance issues, and storage concerns.    Read the article…………
  • Why It’s Important to Read the CC&Rs in Your Homeowners Association October 12, 2014 Do you remember receiving the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) when you moved into the Association? Do you know that they are very important to you as the homeowner? Have you taken a look at these documents lately? If not, now is a great time to brush up on the do’s and don’ts of your community. There is no time like the present to make sure you are in compliance.  Read more………
  • Fences or flamingoes: Be sure you know your homeowner association rules September 29, 2014 A new homeowner moves into a neighborhood governed by a private association, receives an invitation to a potluck that doubles as an annual meeting and shows up with a bottle of wine and a dish to pass.    Read more………
  • Who’s Responsible for Repairs? Board and Owner Maintenance Responsibilities August 22, 2014 Say you’re in bed, and you hear what sounds like the shower going. It’s late, and you’re tired, so you pay it no mind. You wake up at 4 a.m. to get a glass of water and find half the rooms in your apartment flooded— you forgot to turn the shower off! You throw blankets and towels on the floor to soak up the water and call your building’s maintenance staff.    Read more……..

New Owners Article Archives




Insurance for Owners

  • HO-6 Insurance: Understanding Condo Insurance June 26, 2017 Condo owners have very specific property insurance needs. While condo owners have dominion over their individual unit, homeowners associations are usually responsible for the exterior of the building as well as lawn and landscaping features. Likewise, there is an incredible amount of variance in the governing laws of different homeowners associations that frequently affect the insurance needs of condo owners. As such, HO-6 insurance policies are customized for individual policyholders more often than other types of home insurance.  An HO-6 ...
  • Real estate Q&A: Condo building’s insurance policy may not cover individual units May 25, 2017 Q: With hurricane season right around the corner, I am concerned about insurance for my beachfront condo. Who is responsible for fixing or replacing the building? And if my unit did get damaged, would I still have to pay the mortgage if I’m not able to live there during repairs?   Read the Q&A…………….
  • Condominium unit owners allege insurance company refuses to pay coverage (WV) April 13, 2017 Two Webster County condominium unit owners are suing Nationwide, alleging breach of contract by refusing to pay coverage claims under an insured policy.  Wilma Sue Talbott and William Talbott filed a complaint March 22 in Webster Circuit Court against Nationwide Insurance Company of America, alleging failure to honor a written contract by refusing to pay insurance coverage.    Read the article…………….
  • Dogs Take a Huge Bite of Homeowner Liability Claims April 12, 2017 Dog bites man, man sues board. Are you adequately insured?  “My dog doesn’t bite.”  Don’t believe those four innocent words. Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability claims paid out in 2016 – a staggering $600 million – according to the New York-based Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and the insurer State Farm.    Read the article…………..
  • Owners, never skimp on insurance — the association policy isn’t enough April 11, 2017 Q:  I am about to purchase a condominium and need to know about insurance. I understand that the condo association has insurance coverage, so do I need anything extra?    Read the Q&A…………..
  • Dealing With Ice is Anything But Neat December 15, 2016 Those of us in the Northwest were recently hit with the first round of winter snowstorms. My children are avid weather watchers (in hopes of future school closures), so I understand that we are in store for several more storms in the coming months. Winter snow and ice inevitably result in a host of insurance claims. Some of these are relatively predictable. Think auto accidents and trees falling. Fortunately, many of these weather related claims are covered under standard home ...

Insurance for Owners Article Archives

Buying/Selling Your Unit/Home in an Association

  • Real Estate Advice: What to expect with condo documents (MA) June 15, 2017 Q: I am in the market for a condominium. This will be my first home. Can you explain the different documents I should be getting and the purpose of each?    Read the Q&A……………..
  • Why you need to check with the HOA about building defects before buying that condo June 14, 2017 I am planning to buy a condominium, which is part of a homeowner association (HOA). I observed that a couple of units have exterior issues. It looks like bubbles are in the siding. However, the unit I am looking at is so far good.  After inquiring more about these mysterious bubbles, I learned that there were construction defects in the material used (which was synthetic stucco) and there had been a lawsuit against the construction company.    Read the Q&A………….
  • Understanding the pros and cons of Homeowners’ Associations June 12, 2017 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…………..
  • HOA basics: What to know before you buy June 3, 2017 Before signing on the dotted line for your new home, make sure you know what your homeowners association fees are and what they cover.  Because most new planned communities have HOAs whether you’re buying a detached home, condo or townhome, factoring in that added cost is a necessary part of your homebuying budget. And it’s mandatory.     Read the article…………….
  • When is selling entire condo building the best move? May 30, 2017 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 rentals.  The process is known as a bulk sale or deconversion, and it’s trending across the country.    Read the article…………….
  • Self-Managed Condos and HOAs: They Look Like Big Bargains, but Beware May 25, 2017 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 to maintain common areas like lawns or a community pool, you and your neighbors take care of these tasks yourselves, thus saving money.   Read the article…………..

Buying/Selling Article Archives

Working With Boards

  • Crystal Vision: Why Communication Between a Board and Management Company Matters April 27, 2017 As a board member, you want your community to grow and thrive. Having a vision for your community—the aesthetics of it, its reputation, the kinds of programming it offers and amenities it provides—is critical to its long-term well-being. A well-crafted vision will transcend board and resident turnover and keep your community on track.     Read the article…………….
  • How Healthy Is Your Condo Board? How to Conduct a Thorough Checkup April 25, 2017 As uncomfortable as it might be to get poked and prodded while you’re clothed in a paper gown, medical checkups are essential to maintaining your health. Well, guess what? That same wisdom applies to buying a home—particularly if that home is a condo. Why? Because with condos, you’re paying someone else to be in charge of a lot of the maintenance, from lawn mowing to repairs. What if they slack off and let that stuff go? If so, things will ...
  • Effectively Working with Master Associations April 14, 2017 Having captured what Master Associations are, the challenge is for Condo Boards to find ways to effectively work with them. While there is a tendency to ignore them to a certain degree, that path is the path to failure. The secret to effectively working with Master Associations is simple: You must take off your Board hat and put on your Owner hat. The same tricks and tips that make informed and involved Owners successful will also enable Condo Boards to ...
  • HOA Model Remodeling March 14, 2017 Owning your own home is an American dream. In urban settings, homeowner associations have become a dominant form of new construction, often representing over two thirds of new homes. While HOA homeowners have many rights and privileges, they often concede certain freedoms usually enjoyed in more traditional home ownership. One particular area of concession involves remodeling.     Read the article………….
  • The Rogue One: Directors Gone Bad March 14, 2017 A condo director unilaterally fires the property manager, hires himself in her place, enters into several other contracts without discussing it with the other directors, bullies the other owners, sues the corporation, and causes thousands of dollars in damages. It seems like an unbelievable plot for a movie, but this one is based on a true story!  Sometimes referred to as a “rogue director” or “condo commando” these directors often make decisions without approval, bully the other owners, and ignore ...
  • Workplace Communication January 10, 2017 When most teams within an organization discuss communications, we tend to focus on communication with our customers or for recruiters and HR, that’s communication with our candidates. While this is essential for successful sales as well as recruitment and hiring strategies, effective communication is essential for organizations and their teams. So, how can you ensure good internal communications without losing your primary focus on candidates and/or customers?    Read the article…………..

Working With Boards Article Archives