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 […]

HOA Homefront: Why ‘toxic mold’ myths continue to panic residents (CA)

In 2000, a new panic swept the country — “toxic mold.”  Twenty-four years of lawsuits and untold billions of dollars later, major mold myths continue to frighten residents and cause exaggerated repairs and unnecessary conflict. On one side of the debate is the mold industry: testers, consultants and mold clean-up contractors. On the other side […]

Why do residents break HOA rules? (CT)

If you run an HOA, or a Homeowners’ Association, you know that residents are going to break the rules. One of the challenges for an HOA is determining how to enforce these rules and what steps to take when residents break them consistently.    Read the article…………………………….

Conflict Management How to Handle When Things Get Out of Hand (NV)

Living in close quarters can—and often does—lead to conflict. In co-op, condo, and HOA communities, conflict can occur between residents, or between a resident and the board. And to complicate matters, a seemingly isolated conflict between residents may spill over to become a conflict between resident(s) and the board. What’s the key to resolving differences? […]

The Ariel West’s Terra Cotta Troubles (NY)

Ariel West has found that when it rains, it indeed pours. The 32-story luxury condo on Manhattan’s Upper West Side has been forced to take on the lengthy and expensive process of replacing its terra cotta rainscreen after dangerous defects appeared less than 10 years after the building’s construction. The alarm was raised in 2015, […]

Condo/HOA Boards – Don’t Let Lenders Block Your Collections (NY)

Condominium and HOA boards in New York have lien foreclosure rights against delinquent properties. But, when the primary mortgage lender isn’t qualified to do business in New York, delays and complications can arise. Here’s what you need to know:   Read the article…………………………….

How does a condominium assessment lien work? (FL)

Condominium associations have various tasks that require them to interact with unit owners, such as collecting overdue fees or payments. These delinquent dues can impact all other unit owners, requiring the association to respond appropriately. Sometimes, sending notices can be enough to collect these fees, but other scenarios may call for further actions, such as […]

7 Traffic-Calming Devices To Slow Speeding In Your HOA

Speeding cars on private roads is a widespread concern that can result in serious consequences. In fact, speeding in residential areas is one of the most common complaints to local police stations across the country. While your homeowners’ association (HOA) may be able to implement several measures to combat speeding, traffic-calming devices can effectively reduce […]

How Condos are Reassessed (IL)

The job of the Assessor’s Office is to calculate a fair market value for your property. The market value is how much your property could sell for based on the current real estate market. For residential properties, including condos, your property’s assessed value equals 10% of its fair market value, per Cook County ordinance.   Read […]

Navigating the Shadows: HOA Fraud and Community Safety (CA)

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) play a pivotal role in maintaining harmony and order in the fabric of community living. However, this structured environment is not immune to fraud and misconduct risks. HOA fraud casts a shadow over community trust and safety, raising concerns and demanding vigilance. This blog explores the intricacies of HOA fraud, offering insights […]

Navigating Financial Challenges: Structural Integrity Reserve Studies

Ensuring the structural integrity of buildings is a primary concern for community associations in Florida, where climate and weather events can pose a significant threat to buildings and their residents. Structural Integrity Reserve Studies (SIRS) address this by offering crucial insights into a building’s condition and future maintenance needs, safeguarding buildings against potential damage and […]

Artificial Intelligence: Responsible Guidelines for Your HOA

Community association board members and managers should approach the use of artificial intelligence thoughtfully and responsibly. Consider the following:  Clearly define objectives. Outline your goals. Whether it’s building community, streamlining processes, or enhancing decision-making, understanding your objectives is essential.   Read the article…………………………….

Waging War on HOA Weeds

Why is it that the plants you want to keep green and living always brown and wilt, while the weeds you try to kill flourish and drive you nuts? It’s a problem that plagues every yard, in every community, no matter in what part of the country you live. While the problem is inevitable, there […]