Poolside Etiquette: How to Enjoy Your Community Pool Responsibly

As summer heats up, so does the activity at community pools. A community pool offers residents a great way to cool off, relax, and socialize with their neighbors. Still, it’s important to remember that a neighborhood pool is not the same as a private pool. While a backyard pool is only subject to a homeowner’s […]

HOA leaders tell how they transformed neighborhood with water-saving landscaping — and secured rebates for the projects

While many homeowners associations in America stand between residents and eco-friendly, water-wise updates, one HOA has gone the opposite direction by making money-saving and environmentally conscious upgrades to common areas.  For Paul Morsen and Richard Theisen, the president and the treasurer of the Hampton Bay Homeowners Association, converting to water-wise plants was “a no-brainer.” As […]

Structural maintenance: Fla. condominium prioritizes prevention

When the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Fla., partially collapsed three years ago this month, Daniel Gonzalez knew he had work to do at The Admiral’s Walk, the 18-story condominium in Boca Raton where he has served as manager since 2009.  Gonzalez called Howard Somers, the condominium’s board president, to develop a plan to […]

Deferring Maintenance In Your HOA

Deferring maintenance in a homeowner association has negative and lasting effects. While postponing maintenance may seem to be a money-saving technique, the consequences are usually a much higher cost over time.   Read the article…………………………….

How to Combat Elevated Costs with Property Management (MA)

Navigating property maintenance can be complex. However, it’s even more difficult when money and finances get involved, especially when inflation is causing rising costs. Yet, there are ways to make sure your property is getting the necessary care while preventing you from breaking the bank. Here are four ways to combat elevated costs with property […]

Condo reserves a growing issue (Part 2)

A few weeks ago, we wrote about condo and co-op reserves and the new Florida State law. This new law, passed in the wake of the Surfside collapse in 2021, mandates condo and co-op buildings at least 30 years old do milestone structural inspections by Dec. 31, 2024. They must do additional milestone structural inspections […]

Feeding Wild and Feral Animals in HOAs

As development continues to crowd out open space previously occupied by wild animals, North Carolina community associations find themselves increasingly close neighbors with deer, racoons, foxes, and other “wild” animals. These animals come into yards and happily munch on gardens, landscaping and occasionally someone’s beloved cat or dog. Combine development issues, poor control of domestic […]

Preventing Another Tragedy: New Resort Safety Measures Unveiled

Following the devastating collapse of the Champlain Tower South condominium in Florida three years ago, the resort industry has faced a critical call to action regarding building safety. This article explores the importance of proactive measures in safeguarding resort structures and guests.   Read the article…………………………….

Managing Disruptive Residents in Your Condominium Association

Living in a co-op, condo, or HOA often involves dealing with disruptive residents who create problems ranging from noise disturbances to more serious conflicts. Industry professionals note two main types of troublemakers: those who inadvertently break rules and those who deliberately disregard them, with the latter often proving more challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated tensions, […]

HOAs and golf courses

Imagine living 10 minutes away from your favorite golf course. Not only could you sleep in a little bit later if you have an early tee time, but you could probably play multiple rounds in a single day. Plus, there won’t be any debate about who will be hosting weekend get-togethers. Your friends will happily […]

Condominium Associations Need to Check Their Insurance Policies (PA)

Section 3312(c)(2) of the Pennsylvania Uniform Condominium Act requires that the Association’s insurer “waives its right to subrogation under the policy against any unit owner of the condominium or members of his household.” This means when the Association’s policy pays for damages to the Unit or Common Elements, the insurance company cannot try to get […]

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 […]

Behind the Scenes of Your Utah HOA Rule Enforcement & Site Visits

Utah homeowners associations (HOAs) help maintain the peace and beauty of their communities. However, homeowners can feel targeted when told they’ve broken the community rules. This has caused many misconceptions about how rules and regulations are enforced.   Read the article…………………………….

The Role and Responsibilities of an Association Board Member

Being a board member in an association is a position of significant responsibility and influence. It involves overseeing the management and maintenance of the property, ensuring the well-being and satisfaction of the residents, and adhering to legal and financial obligations. This role is integral to the smooth operation of the community, requiring a blend of […]

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 […]

Financial management: Understanding how community managers drive sound decisions

Community association managers wear many hats and must be well versed in a wide range of skills, all of which are equally important. One component of a manager’s role is to completely understand the financial management aspects of a business. This means knowing and interpreting the financial pieces as well as the nuances that come […]

Fiduciary Duty – Mandatory for Condominium & HOA Board Members

When Florida residential Condominium and HOA Board members are elected or appointed, they automatically and immediately enter into fiduciary relationships with all property owners in the building or community. This means the Association’s Directors and Officers are obligated to put the interests of property owners (Association members) above any personal motivations or views. Words used […]

Moving into a condo? Make sure you know what you’re getting into (IL)

Kate Liebelt moved into her condo at Park Millennium — a posh, towering 480-unit building in the Loop — in 2020 and was looking forward to enjoying the property’s pool, location and vibrant community.  But Liebelt and other residents said problems have started to surface — from broken elevators without a clear maintenance timeline to […]

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

Two of HOAleader.com’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 […]

Navigating changing laws and regulations: How HOAs and COAs can work with banking partners to plan and prepare

Florida is home to approximately 49,000 homeowner associations (HOAs) and 27,000 condominium associations (COAs), leaving a majority of homeowners impacted by changing association regulations and laws. From dealing with shifts in insurance demands to reserve requirements, HOAs and COAs are responsible for addressing pain points for both the present and future. This tremendous responsibility is […]

HOA Tenant Tenets

One of the issues that many HOAs grapple with is renters. Some ban them outright, others limit their number. Most live and let live. Interestingly, the HOA has no direct legal authority over renters, only its homeowners. This disconnect creates some practical problems for the board or Manager in communicating with tenants since there is […]

Hiring a Building Restoration Management Consultant and Advocate (FL)

In my forty (40) years of managing community associations, and providing building restoration management services, I have experienced a wide range of repair solutions necessary for many different types of construction due to coastal environment corrosion. The aging of buildings along Florida’s coast lines is not consistent, not typical, each is unique, and all require […]

It’s That Time of Year Again…Now What? (FL)

The snowbirds and spring breakers have all returned home. The weather is warmer, and the days are longer. The summer vacationers have not yet arrived but will soon be here. Unfortunately, this also signifies the potential arrival of a dreaded and uninvited guest: a hurricane. While hurricanes are unpleasant, as with many things in life, […]

Hurricane Preparation Shutters language for rules (FL)

This blog post suggests some helpful hurricane preparation language, rules, and advice.  Your association should have a vastly more detailed set of specifications for shutters, etc. base on your history, location, type of construction, and preferences as a group.  However, here are some helpful language to consider when preparing your own set of hurricane preparation […]

Vacation Rentals and Community Associations (FL)

Over the past few years, Airbnb and VRBO (collectively referred to as “Vacation Rentals”) have become a very popular form of short-term rental. Vacation Rentals include a range of rentals from houses, condos, or in some instances rooms for a period under 30 days’ at a time. While some owners believe they have this right […]

Hurricane Preparedness for Florida Condos & HOAs

Every year, natural disasters destroy hundreds of homes, cause catastrophic damage to thousands of others and change families’ lives. In Florida, hurricane seasons vary, with two or three storms some seasons, sometimes followed by a much-welcomed, prolonged period without a major storm. Living in a hurricane-prone area can be troublesome, and condo and homeowners association […]

I’d Like to Submit a Complaint. . .

One of the most important roles of a community association board is enforcement of its association’s governing documents, including CC&Rs, Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations. One way a board may become aware of alleged violations of the governing documents is through owner-submitted complaints. In some communities, reviewing owner-submitted complaints can be a full-time job and […]

Getting rid of amenities: Is it worth the trouble?

2024 has not delivered much financial relief. Money continues to be tight and everyone is feeling the pinch. Naturally, organizations are looking for new and creative ways to save or generate money, and governed communities are no different.  Condo and HOA members may be considering wealth-building initiatives including charging for visitor parking, upgrading to more […]

4 Step Process to Enforcing Condominium Bylaws

Enforcing condominium bylaws is essential for maintaining the harmony and integrity of a community. At Hirzel Law, we understand the complexities involved in this process and offer a straightforward four-step approach to ensure compliance and resolve conflicts effectively. Here’s a detailed guide on how to enforce condominium bylaws, incorporating our expert process:   Read the article…………………………….

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 […]

Service Provider Selection Process for HOA Board Members: A Comprehensive Guide

Selecting the right service providers on behalf of the association is a critical responsibility for HOA board members. This process impacts the quality of services provided to the community and reflects on the board’s ability to manage community resources effectively. Here’s a detailed guide to help board members navigate the service provider selection process efficiently […]

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 […]

Four Steps to Amending HOA Covenants, Bylaws, and Rules

Homeowners’ associations evolve over time as the world around us changes. For example, a new law gets enacted (e.g., marijuana legalization), or new safety or communication needs arise. Sometimes in response, an HOA must create a new rule or amend a bylaw. Boards must know how to change HOA rules properly. You’ll want to be […]

Using mediation to resolve HOA foreclosure disputes (CT)

Foreclosure can be tough for everyone involved, especially within a Homeowners Association (HOA). When foreclosure is looming, both community relationships and financial stability are at risk. In such cases, mediation can be a powerful, less aggressive and more cost-effective solution compared to court proceedings.    Read the article…………………………….

Keeping Your Community Association Solvent in A High Inflation Economy

If you are like me, you are becoming acutely aware of rising costs in our current economic environment. While inflation appears to be cooling off a bit, it certainly is not coming down at the rate necessary for most Americans to see much of a difference. In a post COVID world, we have seen prices […]

Breaking the Barrier: Getting Your First Reserve Study!

Whether it’s been years or decades, every association faces the need to get its first Reserve Study. Sometimes the trigger is new legislation, a big special assessment that the owners don’t want to repeat, a new board, a volunteer finally tiring of the task and risk of preparing the Reserve Study in-house, or just concern […]

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 […]

HOAs and political signs

Few things divide a community the way politics do, and considering 2024 is a U.S. presidential election year, HOAs might already be thinking about strategies to minimize conflicts between neighbors.  Read the article…………………………….

Block Parties in Community Associations

Block parties are an excellent way for residents in condo associations and HOAs to come together and celebrate community spirit.  Here are nine considerations for board member to ensure these events are not only fun but also safe and compliant with association rules and local laws.   Read the article…………………………….

Some Quick Rules About Making Rules (FL)

Boards of Florida condominium associations and homeowner associations are allowed to make rules regarding use of the common areas, access to records, the right to speak at meetings,and in a few other areas.  Here are a few rules regarding rules:   Read the article…………………………….

Insuring Electric Vehicle Charging Stations on HOA Grounds (CA)

QUESTION. Are homeowners who install an EV charging station required to carry insurance and name the association as an additional insured? –Andrew S.   ANSWER. Yes, owners are required to carry insurance. Unfortunately, the Legislature created some confusion over the additional insured requirement.     Read the Q&A………………………………..

HVAC Defects in New Brooklyn Condo: Who Pays for the Fix? (NY)

Five years ago, a man bought an apartment in a newly construction Brooklyln condominium. From the beginning there were problems with the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. The problems persist, and the repair cost is now $90,000. The sponsor has taken repair funds out of the building’s operating budget, leaving the budget in the red […]

Spring Is Here – Time To Get Your Architectural Review House In Order

Winter is over and spring has finally arrived! For many homeowners this means that the time has come to begin thinking about home improvement projects. Installing gardens, refreshing landscaping, expanding patios, constructing sheds, and house painting are common spring and summer projects. For associations, and their architectural review committees, this could mean an influx of […]