Navigating Election Year in Your Community

Maintaining harmony within your community can be difficult during the best of times. But when election season rolls around, things can get especially tricky. With emotions running high and a wide variety of opinions among homeowners in your neighborhood, keeping things peaceful can feel like a true challenge.  During these times, clear community guidelines can […]

Spring Has Sprung! Is Your Community Association Ready?

Spring has sprung! Which means that community associations through North and South Carolina will begin seeing increased community traffic, amenity use (including use of playgrounds, pools, tennis and pickleball courts), and increased social events. So, is your community ready.   Read the article…………………………….

Ask the HOA Expert: Gutters That Work

Rain gutters are an inconspicuous but necessary building component that homeowner associations deal with. Their need to perform consistently triggers ongoing maintenance and repair to themselves, exterior paint, siding, roofs and trees. Failure to keep the gutter system running smoothly causes overflows, water intrusion, interior damage, structural dryrot and enormously expensive repairs. There is a […]

5 HOA Committees All Utah Communities Should Have

Living in a homeowners association can be complicated. Many homeowners are confused about the general operational setup of their neighborhood. Why do the assessments seem to keep going up? What does my money even pay for? Who actually calls the shots?   Read the article…………………………….

Navigating Dispute Settlements and Business Decisions: A Guide for Community Associations

In the complex realm of managing condominium and homeowner associations, disputes with contractors and other critical business decisions can unexpectedly arise. Successful navigation through these challenges requires proactive measures, clear communication, and careful decision-making. In this guide, we explore how to handle dispute settlements, important business choices, and the significance of release agreements for associations.  […]

How to Assess the Financial Stability of an HOA

Understanding a Homeowner Association’s (HOA) financial stability is crucial for maintaining property values and ensuring residents’ high quality of life. Key examination elements include reserve funds, special assessments and financial planning.   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

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 […]

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 […]

EV fast-charging comes to condos and apartments

Right now, the electric vehicle ownership experience is optimized for the owner who lives in a single-family home. A level 2 home AC charger costs a few hundred dollars, and with a garage or carport, an EV that gets plugged in each night is an EV that starts each day with a 100 percent charged […]

The Finer Points of Fining Condominium Owners

Condo association rules provide a behavioral road map for owners, explaining what they are allowed and not allowed to do. But creating effective rules is only half the challenge for boards; enforcing the rules is the other arguably more challenging half of this equation.  When it comes to enforcement, boards don’t have many tools. They […]

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 […]

Understanding Community Association Security Measures and Liabilities

A recent article from the Community Associations Institute in the organization’s excellent Ungated blog focused on important security and liability issues for associations. It discussed how communities can be exposed to legal liabilities for negligent security and crimes occurring on association property.   Read the article…………………………….

Upholding Decorum: Navigating Conduct at Association Board Meetings

Association board meetings are formal meetings where the board of directors conducts business. However, these gatherings can sometimes become arenas for discord, where conflicts escalate and civility wanes. Upholding decorum at association board meetings is paramount to fostering an environment of respect, collaboration, and effective decision-making.   Read the article…………………………….

Co-Op Board’s Carpet Rule Poses Dilemma for Allergy Sufferers (NY)

Tax Day is upon us once again, a timely reminder that for co-op and condo boards there are three eternal verities: death, taxes and noise complaints.  This was brought home by a woman with allergies so severe that she had to remove the carpets from her apartment years ago. In an effort to downsize, she […]

Nightmare Board Meetings (MI)

We have all been there at some point – a nightmare board meeting. This is the meeting that never seems to end. It is unorganized and chaotic. A nightmare meeting is the meeting where Ms. Smith, the longtime resident, shows up with a laundry list of complaints and completely derails the board’s meeting agenda. It […]

Finally, Education is Required for Board Members (FL)

I think everyone reading this knows how long and how hard I have fought for mandatory education for Board members. I always thought it was disgraceful to allow someone to get certified by signing a dumb form that says I read my governing documents and promise to enforce them. Finally, we have a change in […]

Deciphering Your HOA’s Financial Statements

Do you ever feel lost deciphering your HOA’s financial statements? You’re not alone!  This guide will equip you with the insight to confidently understand your HOA’s financial health and become an active participant in your community.    Read the article…………………………….

Why might a resident take your HOA to court? (CT)

Running a homeowners association (HOA) can be incredibly challenging at times. Residents won’t always agree with everything you do, despite you doing them to protect the interests of the HOA and the residents in general.  Dealing with a legal challenge from one or more residents can be frustrating, time-consuming and costly for an HOA. Understanding […]

Exploring the Impact of AI on Community Associations

In today’s rapidly advancing technological landscape, artificial intelligence is transforming various aspects of society, including community associations. From streamlining operations to enhancing security measures, AI has the potential to revolutionize how community associations operate and serve their residents.   Read the article…………………………….

Making a splash: Developing a community association pool policy

Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s almost time for pool season. Maintaining the perfect oasis is about more than just warm weather and water. Creating a safe, positive environment for residents to escape, unwind, and make cherished memories requires an ongoing process of routine checks, equipment upgrades, and meticulous planning.    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 […]

Pickleball in your Community Association: 10 Considerations (IL)

Pickleball is sweeping the nation as a popular activity for all ages. It’s one of the fastest growing sports with over 8 million estimated pickleball players in the US.  Before jumping on the bandwagon, consider whether your condominium, homeowner (HOA), or townhome community association has the space, budget, and interest to support a pickleball court.  […]

Importance of HOA Minutes

Homeowner associations should keep good historical records, because to know where one is going it’s necessary to know where one has been. Some of those crucial records are the minutes kept at Board, Special, Committee and Annual Meetings. Minutes document decisions made during a meeting and provide a public record of actions taken.    Read the […]

Crafting and Protecting Your Community’s Trademark (FL)

Has your association ever faced the challenge of a shadow website or social media page imitating your own? Have you discovered your community’s name being used by a business entity without permission? Host Donna DiMaggio Berger, along with guest Valeria Angelucci from Becker’s Corporate Practice, shed light on these common issues. Despite their prevalence, the […]

Flip Taxes: Co-Op & Condo Boards’ Tool for Boosting Reserve Funds (NY)

It began back in the 1970s as a tool to discourage real estate speculators and to avoid assessments and increases in monthly charges. Today it is primarily a tool for co-op and condo boards to keep their reserve funds robust. And when it comes to setting one — and determining who pays it — there’s […]

Properly Addressing Nuisance Violations in Your Condominium Association (IL)

The Board of Directors is responsible for enforcing the terms outlined in the Association’s community instruments. While some violations are straightforward to identify and address, such as unauthorized improvements or improper parking, others, particularly those concerning nuisance clauses like noise or smoking, pose complexities.    Read the article…………………………….

Increase Annual Meeting Attendance (AZ)

It’s Annual Meeting Season! Our firm has been busy helping clients prepare for and execute successful annual meetings. After all, the Association’s annual meeting is the Association’s TIME TO SHINE!    Read the article…………………………….

Harnessing Sustainability: HOA Community Composting and Rainwater Harvesting Programs (CA)

In the global pursuit of sustainability, homeowners associations (HOAs) are taking the lead by adopting innovative practices to make their communities greener. Two key initiatives, community composting, and rainwater harvesting programs, are gaining traction worldwide. These eco-friendly practices not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also foster a sense of community and shared responsibility among […]

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 […]

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. […]

What HOAs Need to Know: Medical and Recreational Cannabis

As more states across the U.S. decriminalize the growing and use of medical and recreational cannabis, community associations must confront a variety of issues.  Twenty states and Washington D.C., have legalized the personal use of cannabis.  In addition, 18 more states permit medical use. Each year, the number of states where cannabis use is legal […]

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?  […]