Should You Discount Assessments for Board Members? (MI)

When managing a community association, the question of whether board members should receive discounts on their assessments can arise. While it might seem like a small gesture of appreciation for their volunteer service, there are several reasons why this practice is not in the best interest of the community.    Read the article…………………………….

Board Civility in Community Associations: 7 Best Practices

Civility plays a critical role in maintaining positive relationships within community associations. It can facilitate conflict resolution, enhance decision-making, preserve property values, promote community engagement, and align with both ethical and legal considerations.  Additionally, board members are responsible for maintaining and enhancing the value of properties within the association. A civil atmosphere encourages fellow owners […]

Common Mistakes HOA Boards Should Avoid

Homeowner’s association (HOA) boards are critical to the success of their communities, ensuring they are safe, well-maintained, and harmonious. However, well-intentioned volunteers new to serving on a community association board of directors may encounter potential pitfalls. Here are some common mistakes that boards should avoid in order to cultivate effective governance and community trust.   Read […]

Financial Literacy for Board Members: Knowing More = Governing Better

When a condo or co-op resident runs for a seat on their board, the decision to do so generally comes from a desire to ‘step up’ and participate in the governance of the place they call home, and the building or association community as a whole.   Often, the residents willing to serve on their board […]

Top Training Strategies for HOA Board Members

There are over 2,500,000 community association elected members of boards of directors and appointed committee members in the US., according to the Foundation for Community Association Research.  With millions of everyday homeowners making important decisions about community finances and operations, it stands to reason that HOA members should be both knowledgeable and capable in their […]

What to do When One of Your Board Members Violates the Rules

Many associations have at least one or two homeowners that think that they can do whatever they want and/or act as if the rules do not apply to them. It can be difficult enough to deal with someone who refuses to follow the rules, but what if that person is on the board? Despite what […]

10 Things Community Association Boards Are Doing Right

Community associations play a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing the quality of life within residential communities. In California, where community associations are prevalent, boards are implementing innovative and effective strategies to ensure their neighborhoods thrive. Here are the top ten things community association boards are doing right:  Read the article…………………………….

Maintaining Community Standards: Dos and Don’ts for HOA Board Members

As an HOA board member, you play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and appeal of your community. Upholding community standards is not just about enforcing rules; it’s about fostering a sense of pride, safety, and cohesion among residents. Balancing fairness and flexibility while addressing violations requires a thoughtful approach and effective communication. Let’s […]

What You Need To Know About The Growth In Condo/HOA Recall Elections (AZ)

Two of’s expert community managers say they’re seeing a notable spike in recall elections.  Is it possible these two managers are somehow in the eye of recall tornadoes that have touched down only in their states—Oregon and Florida?  Unfortunately, no. Some of our other experts are also tracking these events that can leave destruction […]

For a condo board trustee, neighbors demand much time

Q: About a year ago, I got roped into joining the board of trustees at my condo association, which has been more demanding than I expected since we’re dealing with a number of pressing issues. Now, neighbors will stop me in the parking lot or laundry room with questions and complaints, or even knock on […]

Avoid These Common Board Member Mistakes: A Guide For Condos And HOAs

Being a board member for a condominium association or homeowners’ association can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. From managing finances to resolving conflicts among residents, board members play a crucial role in maintaining the community’s well-being. However, even the most well-intentioned board members can make mistakes […]

The Ethics of the Fiduciary Duty from the Litigators’ Lens

The topic of an association’s board of directors’ fiduciary duties is not new to this publication. However, as trial attorneys that have seen a lot of HOA litigation, including representing community management companies, we have seen how this duty plays out in court cases for both board members and community managers. Moreover, as our industry […]

To Give or Receive: A Guide to Crafting a Gifting Policy for Managers, Management Companies, and Boards

Gift-giving in the workplace amongst managers, management companies and vendors can be a thoughtful gesture, but it can also be complicated by the untrue perceptions or lack of understanding where “the line” is. To ensure a positive and ethical environment, management companies need clear gifting policies that managers and our vendor partners understand and abide […]

Conflicting Interests In Your HOA

When people are elected to positions of power, there is always the possibility that a conflict of interest will develop. It is almost impossible to avoid them but how they are handled is critical. For example, when it comes time for painting your homeowner association and there isn’t enough money to do the whole job […]

What New HOA Board Members Need to Know: A Comprehensive Guide

Becoming a new board member of a Homeowners Association (HOA) board is both an honor and a responsibility. As a board member, you’re entrusted with the stewardship of your community, ensuring its smooth operation and the well-being of its members and residents. Here are some things that will help you to be an effective and […]

Boards & Boundaries: How ‘Available’ Should You Be?

In multifamily residential communities, where neighbors share common space, amenities, and maintenance—if not actual walls—establishing and maintaining boundaries can be a bit tricky……Non-physical boundaries are yet another thing. Living in close proximity to one’s neighbors requires a certain tolerance of other people being in one’s business, as well as (one hopes) a certain restraint in […]

Effective Board Leadership: A Strategic Approach

Prioritize goal setting with tangible outcomes. Establishing result-oriented goals should be the initial focus for all board members. These goals should stem from a thorough evaluation of the association’s current needs and its future aspirations.   Read the article…………………………….

Navigating the Transition Process with New HOA Board Members (CA)

Congratulations on your new role as an HOA board member! Your dedication to serving your community is commendable, and your commitment to ensuring the smooth operation of your homeowner’s association is vital. As you embark on this journey, it’s essential to understand the transition process and how to effectively integrate new board members into their […]

There is No “I” in Board – The Collective Responsibility of Your Condo Board

Condominium and common interest community associations operate under a board of directors typically comprised of three to seven owners, who then elect officers like president, treasurer, and secretary. The role of president is crucial, serving as the primary liaison between the board and professionals, setting meeting agendas, and leading discussions. However, the president’s authority is […]

Understanding Roles: The Board vs. Management Company in HOAs

Homeowners’ Associations play a pivotal role in maintaining the integrity and functionality of residential communities. Ideally, at the heart of every HOA’s operations are two essential entities: the Board of Directors and the Management Company. While both entities work towards the common goal of enhancing community living, their roles and responsibilities are distinct.   Read the […]

Helpful Tips for Effective Board Operations and Decision-Making (OH)

Effective governance is the backbone of any community association. The board of directors plays a pivotal role in overseeing the association’s affairs and making decisions that impact the entire community. However, navigating the complexities of governance requires more than just good intentions—it requires a solid understanding of legal principles and best practices. Here are a […]

Essential Guide to Understanding Your HOA Board of Directors

HOAs play a crucial role in maintaining residential communities, ensuring they operate smoothly and preserve property values. Central to the functioning of an HOA is its Board of Directors, comprised of volunteers elected by members of the association (owners). This article provides a comprehensive guide to understanding HOA board members’ roles and responsibilities.  Read the article…………………………….

Divided Gilbert community ousts HOA board (AZ)

About 12 years after he moved into the newly built Greenfield Lakes community in Gilbert, Brett Woolley noticed his perimeter wall was tilting toward the canal in back of his property.  Woolley said that he contacted the HOA board and the management company because it was their responsibility to fix it but for the next […]

Understanding Fiduciary Duty For Co-op and Condo Board Directors (NY)

Serving as a board director entails a range of obligations, and it’s not uncommon for newcomers to underestimate the scope of their responsibilities. Individuals are drawn to board positions with varied motives, ranging from personal interests to community objectives or concerns about finances. However, despite their eagerness to contribute, most new board members are unaware […]

Condo Associations Struggling to Find Directors (FL)

The firm’s latest Miami Herald column titled “Do We Have Any Volunteers? Condo Associations Struggling to Find Directors,” was authored by Gabriella M. Ruiz. The article focuses on how rising association budgets and special assessments can be a recipe for hostility and dissent that becomes too much to bear for even the most ardent and […]

What to Do if You Receive a Complaint or Subpoena

If your community association is served with a complaint or subpoena, you must promptly forward it to the community association’s legal counsel. As explained in this article, receipt of a complaint or subpoena triggers time sensitive legal obligations that can expose your community association to serious liability.   Read the article…………………………….

Community Association Boards: How Documents Protect or Expose Your Decisions

Community association governing documents offer a framework for board actions, but it’s imperative for boards to carefully follow them to ensure protection and validity of their decisions. Decisions and actions must be supported by the provisions in these documents and other applicable laws.   Read the article…………………………….

HOA Homefront: Officers, who does what? (CA)

Kelly,  I am a sitting board member for our HOA and we are coming up next week with our annual board election and a possible change of president (which is badly needed). As of right now, we have only three board members present out of five due to one moving away and another just resigned.  […]

HOA Board Governance: Roles, Responsibilities, and Ethics

Homeowners’ Associations play a pivotal role in shaping the communities they oversee. At the heart of every HOA is its board of directors, a group of individuals entrusted with the responsibility of making decisions that affect the entire community. However, being an HOA board member is not merely a title; it comes with a set […]

Board Relations: Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

It’s the time of year when many community associations welcome new board members. It also is a great time to review conflicts of interest and how to avoid them.  Community association board members are considered fiduciaries. Fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care imposed under law, and it occurs when one or more persons […]

Replacing Board Members

Problem: One member of our seven-member board has resigned, leaving us with only six members. The association’s documents require a seven-member board, but the next election, at which a new board member might be elected, is several months away and there don’t appear to be any owners willing to fill the vacant position.    Read the […]

Can’t We All Just Get Along? When to Consider Implementing a Code of Conduct for a Board of Directors

The reading of a community association’s election results can be filled with mixed emotions ranging from anticipation, to worry, to excitement, but those members elected to the board of directors generally are eager and optimistic to make positive changes within their community. Unfortunately, dealing with a multi-member board of directors can have significant challenges, and […]

How To Effectively Handle Conflict in Your Community

When people live in a community, there is bound to be occasional conflict. Homeowners associations (HOAs) and Condominium associations are no different. Conflicts may arise between homeowners or between the board and homeowners.  No matter the reason for the conflict, how you handle it will greatly affect the atmosphere and overall well-being of your community. […]

HOA Homefront: Why members won’t volunteer (CA)

Filling open HOA board seats is a vexing and discouraging problem for some associations.  There may be reasons why neighbors are not interested in serving.  Could any of the below characteristics describe your association?  Do directors spend many hours each week on HOA business, inspecting the property, observing vendors, and otherwise dealing with the HOA’s […]

Navigating the Decision-Making Process in Your HOA

In the dynamic landscape of homeowners associations (HOAs), decisions shape the trajectory of community life, from financial planning to rule enforcement and beyond. The process by which these decisions are made is intricate, influenced by governing documents, board dynamics, and the needs of the community at large. Let’s delve into how HOA decisions are crafted […]

Managing Delinquent Board Members: Strategies for HOA Leadership (CA)

In the complex world of managing a homeowners association, one of the most challenging issues that board members may face is dealing with delinquent board members. These individuals can disrupt the functioning of the HOA, cause financial strain, and create tension within the community. Addressing this issue requires a delicate balance of assertiveness, diplomacy, and […]

Director Disqualifications Are Limited (FL)

Q: It recently came to light that one of our board members has an ongoing dispute with another unit owner, resulting in the unit owner taking out a restraining order against the board member. This is very concerning. Shouldn’t this result in the board member being removed from the board of directors of our association?  […]

Condo Boards: Know Your Responsibilities to Avoid Liability (NY)

Condominiums have a contractual duty to maintain common elements. While the business judgment rule normally protects condo board members from personal liability if their choices seem unwise, it won’t shield the condo if the board breaches its contractual obligations to owners. Boards who neglect these responsibilities could open the condominium up to significant liability.   Read […]

Director Elections—What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Director elections are one of the most important powers association members have, so it makes sense that owners take elections seriously. Whether voting in an election and/or running for the board, the process and its results are personal to association members. Therefore, any appearance of impropriety or error in the process is oftentimes met with […]

HOA Codes of Conduct and Why They Are Unenforceable

Codes of Conduct are all the rage in HOAs and condominium communities. Some associations are even attempting to insert these Codes of Conduct into their bylaws, declarations, and other governing documents.  There’s just one major flaw with Codes of Conduct — they are invalid and unenforceable.    Read the article…………………………….

Board Member Code of Conduct (FL)

The law specifically provides that Board members have a fiduciary relationship with the owners and requires Board members to disclose conflicts of interest. However, the law does not specifically address acceptable (and unacceptable) behaviors for discharging these responsibilities. As such, a Code of Conduct for Board members is a good idea to have so that […]

Top 5 HOA Collection Policy FAQs for Board Members (GA)

Many board members and homeowners have questions about their HOA collection policy and how their HOA enforces the policy. We’ve asked our experienced HOA collection attorney team to provide the top questions they hear from association board members to help you better manage your community:   Read the article…………………………….

Understanding Director Conflicts of Interest in Florida Condominium Associations

In the realm of condominium associations in Florida, directors play a crucial role in decision-making processes. However, their actions must adhere to certain legal standards to ensure transparency and fairness. This article explores key legal cases and statutes that shape the landscape of director conflicts of interest in Florida condominium associations.    Read the article…………………………….

New York Court Decision Highlights the Importance of Corporate Guidance for Board Member Protection (NY)

A recent New York Appellate Division decision (Cortlandt Street Recovery Corp. v. Bonderman) underscores the significance of retaining experienced corporate counsel to protect both corporations and their board members from potential liability. The court rejected the plaintiff’s attempt to hold various related entities collectively liable for the actions of one, highlighting the complex challenges in […]

Say What? Court Says Boards Can E-mail (CA)

The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Appellate District recently handed down a landmark decision impacting HOA governance. In LNSU #1 v. Alta Del Mar Coastal Collection Community Association, the court delves into the issue of e-mail communications between board members. For better or worse, the court essentially eviscerates the transparency component of the Open […]