Navigating the Future of Estoppel Certificates Amid Proposed Statutory Changes (FL)

Estoppel certificates play an important role in the Florida real estate transactions process. Not only do they provide buyers and sellers with certainty regarding monies owed at the time of sale, but they also provide Florida community associations (Homeowner Associations, Condominium Associations, and Cooperative Associations) with the ability to ensure that they are able to […]

Nuisance Violations: The Challenge Continues

One of the obligations of the Board of Directors of a condominium or common interest community association is to enforce the terms of the Association’s community instruments. In many cases, it is relatively easy for the Board to verify whether a violation of the community instruments has occurred. That is, by way of example, it […]

Video Cameras—for Surveillance Purposes Only (FL)

Many associations have installed video surveillance cameras within the community common areas as a means to provide security for their residents. However, good intentions often lead to unanticipated consequences. In fact the use of video cameras may expose an association to liability.   Read the article…………………………….

Roof Replacement 101: A Project Too Vital to Put Off

Nothing lasts forever, not even your roof. While roofs have a relatively long life compared to other building systems and components, at some point they will need either partial or full replacement. Here are the facts and factors you and your community need to know when your roof’s useful life starts winding down.    Read the […]

Tree Care & Maintenance: Keeping Your Biggest Landscaping Elements Healthy

Trees provide us with many benefits, from the obvious to the not-so-obvious. Whether your community is an urban high-rise surrounded by hundreds of others, or a sprawling suburban development with acres of grounds, its trees are an integral part of the landscape—one that we often take for granted, but which requires specific, dedicated care and […]

Artificial intelligence: How can communities safely harness the technology?

Artificial intelligence remains an elusive concept to many, including those in community associations. That doesn’t mean community association board members and managers can’t learn about it. Or that they can’t use it now with a little bit of forethought and determination.  Take the following examples of how artificial intelligence could make the job of a […]

What To Expect If Your Home Is Part of a Homeowners Association

It may not be the first thing you think about when you’re looking to buy a home, but it is a question you may find yourself asking: Do I want a home that’s part of a homeowners association?  A homeowners association is a planned development of houses, often nestled in a gated community or a […]

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 […]

Advice for Community Associations Facing Rising Insurance Costs (FL)

Exorbitant year-over-year insurance premium increases have been difficult to bear for many Florida condominium communities and their unit owners. Past hurricanes and the horrific tragedy of the collapse in Surfside have been cited as some of the causes that have led to skyrocketing premiums for condo communities, and many unit owners are having difficulty keeping […]

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 […]

Mastering ARC Applications: Best Practices for HOA Board Members

If you’re part of a community association board, you will become familiar with Architectural Control – the process for reviewing and approving additions or exterior modification requests for homes within the community. Whether the board is tasked with managing the process or delegated to an Architectural Review Committee (ARC) or Architectural Review Board (ARB), you […]

What is HOA Balance Sheet And How To Read Them?

As a member of a homeowners association (HOA), it’s important to understand the financial health of your community. One key document that provides insight into an HOA’s financial position is the balance sheet. In this post, we’ll explain what an HOA balance sheet is, review its key components, and provide tips on how to read […]

Arizona: The Ultimate HOA Records Retention Guide: What You Need to Know

HOA records retention is not just a procedural formality; it’s essential for effective association management. It’s the cornerstone for continuity, aiding decision-making, and assists in navigating legal processes. Every HOA board member knows the importance of maintaining organized and accessible documents—from board minutes to financial records. What’s more, categorizing these essential records, such as tax […]

The basics of condo insurance in Florida

Many condominium owners in Florida might wonder about the necessity of availing insurance for their homes, especially as most condo associations already have a master policy in place. Additionally, state law does not mandate homeowners to purchase condo insurance.  What does condo insurance cover, and how is it different from the homeowners association’s master policy?  […]

HOAs are blocking solar panels and native lawns. Here’s how to fight back.

More Americans than ever are running afoul of their HOAs for updating their homes in ways that benefit the environment, adding solar panels, native lawns, EV chargers, clotheslines or gardens. Once a rarity, 84 percent of newly built, single-family homes sold in 2022 were part of HOAs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.   Read the […]

Unleashing the Truth: The Impact of Canine Waste on Community Health

Is your community grappling with a dog poop predicament? Are unsightly piles of uncollected dog waste tarnishing your development’s appeal? It’s an unfortunate reality that many pet owners overlook or neglect their responsibility to clean up after their furry companions. Regrettably, pet waste is one of the most common challenges faced by communities everywhere.   Read […]

Maximizing Insurance Savings: A guide to maintenance, replacement, and risk mitigation in community associations (CO)

For community associations, managing insurance costs can be a challenging but crucial task. Focusing on maintenance, replacement, and risk mitigation can significantly impact insurance premiums especially when dealing with separate carriers for property and general liability insurance. Below, we explore strategies for community associations to proactively maintain and replace key elements, ultimately reducing the risk […]

Cameras, Are the Risks Worth the Rewards?

As technology has evolved and home security/camera systems have become more affordable and accessible, many associations have grappled with the question of cameras (both association and owner) and whether cameras should be installed: (1) on common areas to “protect” the association and to help control theft and vandalism in the community; or (2) on individual […]

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 […]

Roof Preventative Maintenance for Multi-Family Communities

A roofing Preventative Maintenance Agreement (PMA) is a key component in property up-keep. This article will cover the basics of roof preventive maintenance: what it is, why it’s important, and what to look for with different roofing systems.  To start off, roof preventive maintenance is scheduled maintenance and cleaning designed to help maintain the overall […]

Strategic Budgeting for Deferred Maintenance: A Roadmap for Long-Term Success

Analyzing the financial health of a homeowners association is a crucial task to ensure its ability to maintain and enhance the community and common areas. For a variety of reasons, sometimes the association will be faced with deferred maintenance. Creating a funding plan to address maintenance helps establish a sustainable financial foundation. Completing an assessment […]

When Pipes Fail & Preventative Maintenance

When considering your piping systems, there are two main systems in question: Domestic Water Systems and Drain, Waste and Vent (DWV) Systems. Below are some signs of aging to look out for with each system, and how to best maintain them. In the event that systems fail, repiping is the primary option that can prove […]

Construction Contracts: Best Practices and Important Considerations

Your reserve account is finally fully-funded and that pool house is looking shabby. It’s time for a refresh! Maybe you can remove that ancient, dead tree while you’re at it. Before you hire a contractor to perform work in your community – be it major or minor – it’s important to make sure that you […]

Fraud Is Out There: Helpful Tips to Guard Against Today’s HOA Scams

Fraud is an unfortunate reality. The good news is that by staying vigilant, we can protect our communities more effectively.  One common HOA scam is phishing, which involves fraudulent communications designed to trick people into divulging personal or business financial information.   Read the article…………………………….

When Should You Contact an Engineer?

When it comes to the reconstruction and restoration of HOA communities, the civil and structural engineers who make up a part of this niche market are accustomed to working behind the scenes. After all, there’s nothing high-profile and flashy about designing repair plans, pulling permits, or writing up engineering reports about potential issues within a […]

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…………………………….

“You’ve got to make changes”: why developers switch representation

Trinity Place Holdings’ condo at 77 Greenwich Street is a revolving door of sales teams.  Since sales launched in 2019, the developer has tapped four sets of brokers to take the reins, with news of the latest shakeup announced just last month. Five years in, only 40 of the tower’s 90 units have sold.  Brokers […]

HOA Homefront: Myths mold consultants use to scare residents, homeowners (pt 2) (CA)

Although mold trade organizations have created their own credentials and extensive and expensive cleanup protocols, the EPA recommendation to clean up a moldy area of up to 10 square feet is to wipe it with a cloth dampened with a diluted bleach solution.  Misleading and self-serving statements by the “toxic mold” industry continue to grab […]

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 […]

Reserve Studies and Their Impacts on POAs (TX)

The spotlight on POA financials has been shining bright over the last several years. Since the 2021 collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium in Florida, state legislators, the media and loan providers, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are more closely scrutinizing the financial state of POAs. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in particular […]

Who Was Robert and Why Do his Rules Rule?

As an attorney and professional parliamentarian, I’m sometimes asked, “Who was Robert and why do his rules rule?” It’s a timely question. Henry Martyn Robert, the original author of Robert’ Rule of Order, died 100 years ago on May 11, 1923. Since that time, versions of his parliamentary manual have come to dominate meetings.   Read […]

How to Address Resident Hoarding in Co-Op and Condo Boards: Strategies for Safety (NY)

Hoarding is becoming a major problem in many of our communities. This complex issue spans demographics, affecting both older and younger individuals. For co-op and condo boards, dealing with a resident who is hoarding requires compassionate intervention, prompt action and often strategic collaboration with the courts. The priority is resident safety, making sure the hoarding […]

Overcoming the Challenge: Ensuring Renters Adhere to Community Guidelines (CA)

In the vibrant tapestry of community living, harmony and order are often maintained through carefully crafted rules and regulations. These are commonly referred to as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). These guidelines serve as the backbone of residential communities, ensuring that each member contributes to the neighborhood’s overall aesthetic and functional harmony.   Read the article…………………………….

Reserve Study vs Property Condition Assessment

In a comprehensive examination, this discussion delineates the essential differences and similarities between reserve studies and property condition assessments (PCAs), pivotal in the realms of condominium, homeowners’ associations (HOAs), and townhome associations management.    Read the article…………………………….

How to Oust Your Condo Board or HOA

Close to 30% of Americans live in a property governed by a condo board, homeowners association (HOA), or other community association—more than 70 million people. These associations are generally responsible for property upkeep, enforcement of community rules, and acting as a go-between for residents when disputes arise. Most people have a good or at least […]

Everything You Need to Know About Concrete Restoration Projects (FL)

At some point, every building will require concrete repairs and restoration. If you’ve ever undertaken a concrete restoration project, you’re aware of the many challenges they entail: substantial costs, lengthy time delays, irritation over hurricane shutters, windows and doors, uncooperative owners and the potential for incidental damage.     Read the article…………………………….

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…………………………….

Maximizing Insurance Savings: A guide to maintenance, replacement, and risk mitigation in community associations

For community associations, managing insurance costs can be a challenging but crucial task. Focusing on maintenance, replacement, and risk mitigation can significantly impact insurance premiums especially when dealing with separate carriers for property and general liability insurance. Below, we explore strategies for community associations to proactively maintain and replace key elements, ultimately reducing the risk […]

Roof Preventative Maintenance for Multi-Family Communities

A roofing Preventative Maintenance Agreement (PMA) is a key component in property up-keep. This article will cover the basics of roof preventive maintenance: what it is, why it’s important, and what to look for with different roofing systems.  To start off, roof preventive maintenance is scheduled maintenance and cleaning designed to help maintain the overall […]

Strategic Budgeting for Deferred Maintenance: A Roadmap for Long-Term Success (CO)

Analyzing the financial health of a homeowners association is a crucial task to ensure its ability to maintain and enhance the community and common areas. For a variety of reasons, sometimes the association will be faced with deferred maintenance. Creating a funding plan to address maintenance helps establish a sustainable financial foundation. Completing an assessment […]

Emotional Support Animals Must Obey a Co-op’s House Rules (NY)

Q: We live in a small, no-pets Westchester County co-op. Our upstairs neighbors were recently allowed to acquire an emotional support dog. The dog runs back and forth for 30 minutes at a time, and it frequently scratches a bedroom rug, waking us up throughout the night. We have shared our concerns with the neighbors, […]

Getting Your Community Ready for Spring and Summer

As the winter chill begins to fade away, it’s time for HOA communities to gear up for the vibrant seasons of spring and summer. Ensuring your community is prepared for the warmer months involves a checklist of essential tasks to enhance safety, maintain amenities, and foster a sense of community spirit. Here’s a guide to […]

Achieving an HOA Meeting Quorum

It’s five minutes until the Annual Meeting starts. The governing documents require the presence in person or by proxy of at least 25% of the eligible voters to establish a legal quorum. With only 21% of the members so represented, the meeting has to be canceled and rescheduled.     Read the article…………………………….

Governing Document Reviews and Amendments (OH)

It is important for boards to be familiar with and to regularly review their community’s governing documents. The governing documents of a community generally consist of the declaration of covenants and restrictions (often referred to as declarations), the code of regulations/bylaws, the articles of incorporation, and possibly, rules and regulations, and these documents provide the […]

Effective Communication Strategies for Community Association Boards (OH)

Effective communication is vital for board members. In fact, it is the cornerstone of a thriving community association. Enhanced communication can make owners feel informed, involved, and empowered, and ultimately encourages confidence and participation. Let’s delve into why communication matters:   Read the article…………………………….

Co-Op and Condo Boards Face Challenges Accommodating Emotional Support Animals (NY)

The demand for emotional support animals (ESAs) can present challenges for co-op and condo boards, particularly in buildings with strict no-pet policies. The key to addressing ESA requests lies in recognizing the distinction between an ESA and a pet. Unlike pets, ESAs serve as therapeutic companions for individuals with disabilities and are protected under the […]

Addressing the Hard Insurance Market: Strategies for Boards (NY)

Rising insurance premiums and dwindling coverage have co-op and condo boards at the mercy of what’s called a “hard insurance market.” This is largely because insurers’ are trying to offset billion-dollar losses with higher premiums, lower coverage and exclusions. In the face of escalating costs, boards are forced to explore different ways to reduce liability […]