Working With Professionals

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Working With Managers and Management Firms

  • 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…………….
  • The Importance of Condo Association Good Will April 4, 2017 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 a Condo Association’s survival. But there is another resource that’s important – one that is not given nearly the same level of respect or planning – good will. The importance of Condo Association good will often goes unnoticed and unappreciated, ...
  • Breaking up is hard to do: PART I- How to Navigate Management Company Transitions February 26, 2017 Hopefully, most of us enter into relationships with the expectation that they will last. However, for those of us past adolescence, we realize that even long-term relationships can end and, even when they were good for a long time, the manner in which they do can overshadow everything that preceded that ending.  In the next few posts in this Breaking Up blog series, I will discuss the various transitions a board can face including transitions from the developer, from former ...
  • Sure, you can read it but this is our STANDARD LANGUAGE January 12, 2017 We have all seen onerous and unfair language in contracts, waivers, releases, invoices, disclaimers, disclosures, notices. Sometimes it is in the dreaded “fine print.” Sometimes it is in large bolded, underlined print. When one party challenges such language, we often hear the response: This is “industry standard.” Don’t agree to proposed language based on an opposing party’s assertion that it is standard or typical language. A vendor or contractor may claim that their contract is “industry standard”. Instead of negotiating what is ...

Working With Management Archives

 

Working With Attorneys

  • The Importance of Condo Association Good Will April 4, 2017 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 a Condo Association’s survival. But there is another resource that’s important – one that is not given nearly the same level of respect or planning – good will. The importance of Condo Association good will often goes unnoticed and unappreciated, ...
  • Attorney’s Fees In Homeowners Association Disputes (CA) March 6, 2017 Civil Code Section 5975(c) states: “In an action to enforce the governing documents, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.” There are a few things to note about this statute. First, this only applies to an action to “enforce the governing documents.” If this is not an action to “enforce the governing documents,” this statute does not apply. Also, case law has established that a former property owner does not have standing to bring an action ...
  • Check Your Privilege, HOA January 14, 2017 The attorney-client privilege is frequently misunderstood in the community associations context. When many owners request information, sometimes their board, board’s attorney or property manager asserts the attorney-client privilege. This may seem to obstruct their attempts to assess their property rights or how community funds are being spent. I recently had a conversation with a friend about an issue she raised at a HOA meeting. She asked the directors whether certain assessments were valid under the governing documents.     Read the ...
  • Want to Sue? You’ll Have to Pay to Play (NY) December 23, 2016 Despite the crazy illogic of it, some cooperatives and condominiums are repeatedly sued by litigious residents who disagree with the board’s decisions. One co-op I represent even had shareholders who were attorneys, which enabled them to sue without charging themselves any legal fees. Meanwhile, the board and the other shareholders had to absorb the cost of defending themselves against these lawsuits.  In order to stop this madness, I wrote the following amendment to the co-op’s proprietary lease (and a similar ...

Working With Attorneys Archives




Working With Accountants

  • The Importance of Condo Association Good Will April 4, 2017 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 a Condo Association’s survival. But there is another resource that’s important – one that is not given nearly the same level of respect or planning – good will. The importance of Condo Association good will often goes unnoticed and unappreciated, ...
  • When To Call In The Professionals To Advise Your Board February 9, 2016 Common areas of a community are vitally important. Not only do they ensure a better quality of life for residents, they also help the resale value of properties. So it makes sense that two of the most important duties of any community’s volunteer board of directors are to manage the affairs of the association and maintain the common areas. For some condominium and community associations, this also applies to the limited common elements.   Read the article……….
  • The Art of Picking Professionals: To Choose or Not to Choose November 13, 2014 Running the day-to-day business of a condo development or an HOA of any size—be it a sprawling, multi-building community, or a single self-contained building—requires not just a functional board but a team of competent outside professionals. These professionals keep things running smoothly and efficiently for residents and boards—from the legal counsel who advises board members on their responsibilities under the law to the accountant who balances the books and keeps tabs on the building’s assets to the property manager who ...
  • Essential HOA Professionals January 22, 2013 The board of a homeowner association is charged with making informed decisions. To make informed decisions requires consulting with knowledgeable professionals when the topic exceeds the board’s experience. Professional relationships that every HOA board should have include an attorney, CPA     Read more………

Working With Accountants Archives

 

Working With Insurance Agents

  • The Importance of Condo Association Good Will April 4, 2017 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 a Condo Association’s survival. But there is another resource that’s important – one that is not given nearly the same level of respect or planning – good will. The importance of Condo Association good will often goes unnoticed and unappreciated, ...
  • The Need for Professional Liability Insurance for Architects, Engineers and Construction Managers April 7, 2016 There are numerous insurance risks associated with every construction project, however, one of the most important policies is all too often overlooked by architects, engineers and construction managers. While many construction firms will do what they can to ensure they have coverage for builders risk, general and excess liability and workers compensation, owners fail to take into account professional liability insurance.   Read the article………….
  • When To Call In The Professionals To Advise Your Board February 9, 2016 Common areas of a community are vitally important. Not only do they ensure a better quality of life for residents, they also help the resale value of properties. So it makes sense that two of the most important duties of any community’s volunteer board of directors are to manage the affairs of the association and maintain the common areas. For some condominium and community associations, this also applies to the limited common elements.   Read the article……….
  • Does your community’s relationship with your insurance agent qualify as a “special relationship”? August 24, 2015 Does your board consider itself “special” in the eyes of your insurance agent? Do you believe your agent has a duty to advise you whether or not the coverage you are purchasing and the limits you are seeking are sufficient?    Read the article……….

Working With Insurance Agents Archives

 

Working With Vendors

  • Discover the Truth About Your Contractor (WA, OR) April 20, 2017 A recent newspaper article warned homeowners of an inspector who had been fined more than $80,000 by Oregon’s Construction Contractors Board (or “CCB”) for performing illegitimate inspections and using the license number of an inspector who had the same first and last name. It is a reminder that licensure comes with important consumer protections, including insurance and bond requirements and other reporting obligations intended to put owners on notice of a history of problems.    Read the article……………
  • When To Retain a Licensed Engineer April 10, 2017 It is commonplace for businesses and community associations to retain an accountant, or a lawyer, or a financial advisor; but how often does one think about retaining a Professional Engineer?  Engineering oversight on your technical projects pays for itself in lower total cost, higher quality, financial security, and legal resilience, and for an investment that may be surprisingly reasonable compared to the cost of a failed project. An engineering opinion can move mountains with contractors, insurance companies, banks, and lawyers. ...
  • Protecting Your Homeowner Association in Contracted Work April 10, 2017 I cannot tell you how many times this has happened: The phone rings…it is a board member at a homeowner association frantically telling me a story that starts out…we were referred to a company that (pick one): my brother in law swears by; another homeowner association used; my irrigation guy, who I have used for ten years, recommended; was advertised in our local paper; had a special one-time discount; happened to be working in our neighborhood and therefore could do ...
  • Correcting HOA Maintenance Dysfunction April 7, 2017 Here’s How The Problems Start:  The board of directors of a homeowner’s association is entrusted by the residents to hire a contractor to perform a complicated reconstruction project. Unfortunately, condominium board members are not very good at writing contracts or issuing requests for proposal or collecting bids. When a contractor is selected, the scope of work is often poorly established. The expectations between the community and the contractor begin to diverge. Soon, a law firm is engaged my some residents ...

Working With Vendors Archives

 

Working With the Media

  • Speed Busters: Group wants action taken on speeding problem in Seminole Heights neighborhood (FL) March 16, 2017 The Hampton Terrace Community Association is nestled in the Seminole Heights area. They believe there is power in numbers. 65 people showed up when the city of Tampa and the Tampa Police Department joined them in support of their speeding concerns. But without solid answers to the problem, they decided to form their own Traffic Calming Committee and contacted Leslee Lacey to Speed Bust in Seminole Heights.    Read the article…………..
  • Local flag fight gets national attention (FL) June 25, 2014 Despite Mr. Murphree’s claims to the contrary, the Tides Condominium Association is not pursuing legal action against him for his disrespectful flag display. We seek the monies due to the Association from Mr. Murphree and other owners whose accounts are delinquent. The Board of Directors has a fiduciary responsibility to the Association and all its residents. This includes ensuring that all monies due to the Association are collected. We prefer such payments to be made voluntarily, but when they are ...
  • Fact book an eye-opener on community associations June 20, 2014 A community association is a popular lifestyle choice for many people, but it has been difficult to determine just how many — until now.  A new body of research, the “Community Association Fact Book,” tallies the numbers of associations, housing units, residents and property values for the country and each state. It was published by the Community Association Research Foundation, the research arm of the trade group Community Associations Institute in Falls Church, Va.    Read more……..
  • Community Association Residents Are Overwhelmingly Satisfied June 10, 2014 Americans who make their homes in homeowners associations and condominiums are overwhelmingly satisfied with their communities, according to national survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the Foundation for Community Association Research.  Almost two-thirds of the 65 million owners and renters in common-interest communities rate their overall association experience as positive, while only 10 percent express some level of dissatisfaction. Twenty-six percent are neutral on the question.   Read PDF report………

Working With the Media Archives

 

Dealing With Governments

  • Condo owners’ assessments for Palm Beach utility project could fall (FL) April 19, 2017 Condominiums and homes in multifamily buildings would fare better than single-family homes in a revised method for determining how much property owners would pay for townwide undergrounding of utilities.  The revised assessments were presented to the Town Council last week by Habib Isaac, senior manager with consultant Raftelis Financial Consultants, who contrasted the new figures with those he developed for the town in 2015    Read the article………….
  • Condo owners want hydrant fee eliminated (MA) April 12, 2017 About 100 local condominium owners packed a meeting Monday night to get the selectmen/water commissioners to rescind a fee for private hydrants in complexes.   The show of force at the selectmen meeting was spearheaded by Bill Greilich, chairman of the board of Atlantic Breeze II condominium association.  Atlantic Breeze II is one of several condominium associations fighting private hydrant fees. Greilich sent an email to owners in the complexes, urging them to “mobilize” and attend the meeting to plead ...
  • Homeowners approach board for help in solving Chestnut Hill road issues (MS) April 5, 2017 Bad and unfinished roads brought Chestnut Hill subdivision representatives to the Madison County Board of Supervisors meeting seeking help. The 100-home subdivision off Highway 463 could be facing costly road problems. This issue comes after months and even years of issues between developer principal David Landrum and lot owners in the subdivision. “The biggest issue (right now) is the roads aren’t being maintained, so we don’t want more roads being built,” Homeowners Association (HOA) representative Russell Green said.    Read ...
  • The Importance of Condo Association Good Will April 4, 2017 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 a Condo Association’s survival. But there is another resource that’s important – one that is not given nearly the same level of respect or planning – good will. The importance of Condo Association good will often goes unnoticed and unappreciated, ...

Dealing With Governments Archives