Flags, Signs and Displays

Flags, signs and displays have become major areas of contention in condo’s and HOA’s.  Actually they have always been, but with the divisiveness the country is going through now, it’s become even more of a problem. The problems start with the developer.  Developers do NOT want to give potential buyers any reason not to get […]

Electric Vehicles – Still an Unsolved Issue

In 2011 I wrote an article for Common Ground, the national magazine for the Community Associations Institute (CAI).  In looking at it, not much ground has been covered since then.  I am afraid the issue will be dealt with by state legislatures, who will probably screw it up royally.  Here’s the article (PDF):  https://communityassociations.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Common-ground-pgs-39-43-2017_10_23-20_24_34-UTC.pdf  

No one is building condos anymore. (UT) Experts are trying to figure out why

“Last year, builders assembled more housing units than at any time in the past four decades, and virtually all of them were rental homes.  For decades, condominiums made up about 20 percent of all attached housing stock built in the U.S. leading up to 2005. The share of attached condos rose to 53 percent in […]

Review or Audit the Books – always do one of these………

…..because if money disappears while you’re on the board, you might as well move, as your neighbors will blame you just as much as the crook. Over the last month or so, we’ve seen another boost in cases of  fraud and embezzlements in HOA’s and condo’s. I imagine this occurs after the beginning of the […]

More Stupid Legislation Proposed in Florida

Bill proposed by First Coast lawmaker would require Florida HOA’s to invest in their communities HB 173 proposed by Florida House Representative Kimberly Daniels would require HOA’s to use at least 15% of their annual income to benefit the community they’re in. Video news report…………………….. When I first started this site, I would periodically give out […]

Why Fire Prevention Emphasis is More Important Than Most Boards Think

“CONDO FIRES ARE RARELY CONTAINED TO ONE UNIT” This site has tracked condominium fires for over 18 years now.  The initial reason we started the tracking is because a fire in a condo unit usually takes out more than one home.  For that reason, we created an entire separate category for  Fire Safety & Prevention.  […]

To those who condemn HOA’s

I constantly see news stories about condo’s and HOA’s that have comments like:  “HOA’s are horrible, I’ll never live in one”, or ” I would never buy in an HOA or Deed Restricted neighborhood” or, “Is there an HOA? Immediate red flag and walk away”, or “We need to get rid of all HOA’s!”.   So let’s […]

Problems With a U.S. Flag

A news item about a former police officer flying an American flag with a blue stripe  (for “Blue Lives Matter”) being asked to take it down by his HOA,  is making the rounds of various sites.  The original news article and the other sites are basically condemning the HOA for it’s request.  The articles usually […]

Read Your Reserve Study, Then Look Down

At a recent conference/expo I asked all of the reserve study companies if they had begun to include the things that are not obvious, in their studies.  Most said ‘no’, but they would try to help an association if they were asked.  By “not obvious”, I mean those items that are underground, or inside of […]

Colorado Senate Wins the “Arizoonie” Award

I thought I had retired the “Arizoonie”.  This was originally an annual award I gave to the state that proposed the dumbest community association proposed law each year.  The nickname “Arizoonie” was given because Arizona continually won the award and that is also why I stopped giving it – the same state won every year. […]

Transfer Fees and other add-on costs in management contracts

When I began managing condos back in the mid-’70’s, the management contract contained only a few add-on costs above and beyond the basic per-door management fee.  Copies and postage were the main two and I can’t even remember if their were any others.  We absorbed all other costs in the basic contract.  This worked fine […]

Mother nature, idiots and patience

Watching and reading of the problems winter storm Nemo caused brought back memories of my early days in condo management.  My first job in the industry was as a resident manager of a 72-unit condo complex on an island in the Detroit River.  It was actually a very interesting, challenging job, in a beautiful location. […]

11 “Natural” Laws of Community Associations

Like science, community associations also have certain immutable “natural” laws that exist outside of state or federal legislation.  This is my take on them: 1. Community associations are going to continue to be THE major component of new development Unless the American populace makes a complete 180 on taxes, multi-unit developments that allow local governments […]

Signs of the Times

It seems that with every election cycle, the campaigns start earlier and earlier.  It’s almost to the point where it feels like there is no break or rest between them.  Also, the politics of our country are getting more and more divisive and well, just plain mean.  It only stands to reason that condominium and […]

Banging My Head On My Desk (and other therapeutic behaviors)

Subtitle: “Stupid is as stupid does” In going through the news feeds last night, I ran across this in a column of posts to the newspaper: From Ranson: My mother is recuperating from a debilitating stroke that has left her with impaired speech and a severe limp. Weeks after her return from the hospital, she […]

Kicking the Can Down the Road

On Sunday mornings, I really love to sit down and actually read, from front to back, the Sunday newspaper.  I know, newspapers are so yesterday, and to be honest, they’re hardly a shell of their former selves, but it’s a longstanding habit that I really enjoy.  This week I noticed one particular phrase was popping […]

Should Condo Associations Be More Proactive in Fire Prevention

In going back over the news stories for January, I was surprised to find that there were more condominium fires in those 31 days, than  in any previous month during the 10 years I’ve been tracking those stories.  I was surprised because I would have thought that with the mild weather, the usual causes of […]

Out of Sight – Out of Mind

I’ve spent the past two days without electricity, heat, cell phone or internet.  A cold front, pushing wind gusts of up to 50 mph blew through and damaged some power lines.  This is the third time this year, and about the 60th time since I’ve lived here, that I’ve gone more than a day without […]

Owners and Association Can Work Together

Even though you might not believe from reading the various “horror” stories the media love to relate about HOA’s, more often than not, people figure out a way to get along.  Here’s a good example from the “The Reporter” inVacaville, CA:  ‘Regular guy’ from Vacaville honored for small solar installation He knew the letter, an […]

Budgets and the “Tea Party”

So, I’m in northern Michigan, taking care of an ailing parent – a place where the discussions usually revolve around health and the weather – never about my business. I decided to drop in on the local AmVets post, to “ease some stress”, and give them an medical update, when one of the patrons looks […]

Oh Canada!

Today is Canada’s “birthday”.  So why am I writing about it?  Well, recently someone asked me why I post Canadian news about condo’s and HOA’s.  I thought the question was odd until I remembered that not everyone is used to living next door to Canada (I’m one of those few people in the US who have […]

Welcoming New Owners and Renters

A number of years ago I went to work for a subsidiary of a local management company. The owner of the company had surveyed new owners six months after they moved in asking them about their understanding of the association they lived in, based on the communications they had received to date. He found that slightly less […]

“Open Meetings” may not apply, but it’s still a good idea

Most states have “Sunshine” or “Open Meetings” laws, requiring that meetings of governing bodies be open and transparent.  The laws were designed to prevent “backroom” politics from undermining the political process and making sure that citizens could see just what their governments were up to.  The laws really don’t stop people from working behind the […]

Using the military or veteran card in HOA disagreements

One of the favorite news stories that the media likes to run (and run and run and run…) is anything that has to do with an HOA/condo and someone who is in the military, has a family member currently serving in the military or is a veteran. This usually has to do with flags or symbols that […]

When Was the Last Time You Looked Down

The next time you’re out walking around the property, take a look down.  What is actually below ground, and more importantly, do you know who is responsible for it and what condition it’s in? Today I posted four news stories about community associations around the country that found themselves stuck with major underground problems that […]

Associations can learn something from government infrastructure failures

It’s in the news media every day – towns, cities, counties, states and the federal governments struggling to keep up with crumbling infrastructures with the problems magnified by revenue shortfalls that prohibit even temporary fixes.  Roads, bridges, dams, levees, lakes, water systems, power grids, utility lines, and more, are all continuing to be put on […]

We Need to Read About the Good Board Members

I was reading Ryan Poliakoff’s blog about board member term limits that he had read about onHOALeader.com.   Ryan points out that we often read about the “dictatorial” boards and boards running rampant, but for those of us who actually work with associations, those types of boards are few and far between.  You wouldn’t know that if you just […]

There’s a reason for long-term planning –

….because not thinking about it usually leads to problems, or even a disaster. Utility costs are going to continue to go up, so why not plan for converting the high cost items to energy and cost savings items.  Now is not a bad time as there are grants floating around to help.  One association in […]

Why you should pay special attention to closing your books this year

I’ve been posting the condo and HOA news for over 8 years now.  During the first 6 years, I might have run across 3 or  4 cases  of people stealing from an association.  During the last 2 years, I’ve seen over 20.  And most of them haven’t been for small amounts.   The scams were often […]