Time for a Financial Check-Up (FL)

When did you last take a close look at your investment account statements, have a meaningful discussion with your financial advisor or broker, or reassess your investment goals and time horizon due to changing circumstances or major life events?   Read the article…………………………

New law improves online protections for homeowners (NV)

This is the first of two columns by Las Vegas attorney Adam H. Clarkson. Today, he addresses Senate Bill 378, which imposes cybersecurity insurance and data protection requirements for homeowners associations’ online assessment payment processors. Next week, he will address what the new law says about email notices.    Read the article………………………..

Costs Clients May Not Know When Buying a Condominium

Investing in a condominium can be an enticing prospect for many prospective homeowners. With amenities, maintenance, and a sense of community all bundled into one package, condos offer a unique living experience.   Read the article………………………..

Monitoring Fraud in Condo Associations: The Do’s and Don’ts (IL)

Condominium associations hold a significant level of trust, as they are responsible for managing the community’s financial affairs and overall well-being.  Fraud can have devastating consequences for the condominium, both financially and reputationally. Not only does fraud have the potential to break down relationships between neighbors, but it can also cause a significant increase in […]

Your Accountant Wants You To Know About Section 57 Of The Condo Act (MI)

Condominium associations with annual revenues exceeding $20,000.00 should take specific note that Section 57(2) of the Michigan Condominium Act provides that an independent certified public accountant must perform an annual review or audit of the association’s financial documents, including its books, records, contracts, and financial statements.    Read the article………………………..

Sharing Community Financials

As a community association board member or manager, you are ultimately responsible for managing the finances of a business – your community. The association members are all stakeholders in that business, so sharing financial information with them is essential to building and maintaining trust and credibility.   Read the article………………………..

Safeguarding Association Assets in Turbulent Financial Times (OH)

As George Bailey explained to the frightened citizens of Bedford Falls trying to withdraw their savings in the film It’s a Wonderful Life, “The money’s not here. Your money’s in Joe’s house. And in the Kennedy house, and Mrs. Macklin’s house, and a hundred others.”   Read the article………………………..

Inflation and Capital Planning: What You Need To Know

Inflation. We’ve all heard the word, and frankly, we’re all probably sick of hearing it. The reality is that many associations may feel the impact of this current inflationary period, regardless of when it lets up, for years to come. Part of what makes this particular period of inflation so impactful is that prior to […]

How To Practice Checks And Balances In Your HOA

Practicing checks and balances in your HOA is a good way to protect the association’s funds, but not many boards even know where to begin. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to ensure you keep your finances in check.    Read the article………………………..

Community Associations and Tax Returns – Yes, You Need to File!

You may have heard rumors that because your community association is a non-profit organization, you are not required to file a tax return. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Even though your association may not owe any taxes, you still need to file federal and state (as applicable) tax returns.  Read the article………………………..

Can the HOA Board Borrow Money from the Reserves? (CA)

Homeowners associations (HOAs) are organizations responsible for maintaining and managing common areas and amenities within a community. To accomplish their objectives, HOAs require funds, which are raised through member assessments.   Read the article………………………..

How To Financially Plan For Condo Improvements

Condo ownership comes with many financial planning considerations. It is important to plan for the cost of repairs and improvements that can arise, as well as the regular maintenance costs associated with owning a condo. In order to ensure that you have enough money saved up for any necessary upgrades or repairs, it is essential […]

Financial, Physical, & Operational Health: How Does Your Association Measure Up?

In early 2020, our firm was hired to prepare a reserve study for an unremarkable 136-unit, 12-story condominium in south Florida. It was the kind of association you could drive right by without noticing, not much different from all the other high-rise buildings in this coastal neighborhood.  Read the article………………………..

Condo Board Wrestles With Ways to Pay for $7 a Million Facade Project (NY)

We’re working with a high-rise, 300-unit condo that needs about $7 million for facade work. At the moment, interest rates are increasing, so banks would probably offer them a 10- to 15-year loan at about 4.5%, maybe 5%. So the association’s monthly mortgage installment would be about $72,500, which would then be spread among all […]

Appeals court: HOA inspection fees unlawful (VA)

A challenge to inspection fees assessed by a homeowners’ association in a large development has succeeded after the Court of Appeals of Virginia found that the individual fees weren’t expressly authorized by the association’s declaration.   Read the article………………………..

Managing Cashflow for Community Associations

The highest use of a community association manager is as an experienced, certified professional who eases the burden on volunteer board members with expert guidance and hands-on management of administrative, financial and maintenance tasks.   Read the article………………………..

How Much Money Is Recommended to Keep in a HOA or Condo Operating Bank Account

We frequently are asked about how much money is recommended to keep in a HOA or Condo operating bank account. The answer varies as each HOA is unique (different sizes, different structures and amenities) and so has different financial needs. However, there are some rules of thumb and principles to keep in mind when you […]

Bankruptcy Basics for Condominiums (MA)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, both the federal government and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts imposed foreclosure and eviction moratoriums. Due to these moratoriums, consumer bankruptcy filings fell dramatically as the urgency to protect assets, especially residential property, was no longer an immediate concern. Once the moratoriums ended, there was concern that a tsunami of bankruptcy filings […]

A Guide to HOA Budget, Accounting, and Finance

Understanding how to interpret your HOA management company’s financials are an important part of your role in an HOA. The management company you’re working with keeps detailed financial records and HOA members’ ability to read and understand them will be key in maintaining community funds. This skill set is even more important if you are […]

HOA Accounting Reports You Should Know That Are Not Financial Reports

Many homeowners associations focus on the operational side of community management. But, the financial aspect is just as important. And one of the ways to evaluate the financial health of the association is through HOA accounting reports.    Read the article………………………..

Investing Association Reserve Funds—A Historical Perspective

When we discuss the best practices for investing association reserve funds in today’s world, it is probably best to review a bit of history with this topic. Community Associations began to take hold during the 1970s. During the 1980s, association reserve accounts began to grow. At the time, interest rates were substantially higher than today.  Read […]

Increases from Insurance, Inspections and Reserves Rattling Many Condominium Communities (FL)

A recent article in the Palm Beach Post chronicled the early signs of the financial strains that Florida condominium associations are beginning to experience. Unfortunately, these early issues involving increased insurance costs represent just the beginning, and things are indeed expected to get worse in the months and years to come.   Read the article………………………..

4 Ways Inflation Can Impact Your Condo and HOA

Condominium, homeowner (HOA), and townhome community association board members and property managers prepare budgets to cover operational costs. These expenses include services (ex. landscaping, snow removal) along with routine maintenance, repairs, and replacement over time to ensure the property remains in good condition.   Read the article………………………..

HOA purchasing policies

Members of HOAs and condo communities pay fees that are used to maintain the development. A lot of that money goes towards purchasing materials and services.  In order to ensure money is used ethically and responsibly, associations create and follow purchasing policies to guide boards, managers, and other staff who handle community finances.    Read the […]

How to Investigate Suspicious Financial Activity in Your HOA

Today, a homeowners’ association’s (HOA’s) board of directors depends on technology to store contracts, banking information, and other confidential documents. While digitization increases efficiency, it also intensifies the potential for fraud and theft of community funds. Even with checks and balances in place, like collective oversight of a community’s financials from board members and community […]

Can your association pay all its bills during the 2022 inflation storm? (FL)

Most condos and homeowners’ associations prepared their 2022 budgets in the fall of 2021. At that time, the expectation was for 3-4% inflation in 2022. Unfortunately, we are now dealing with CPI inflation of 8.6% in 2022 and real inflation in South Florida feels even higher. Even if you included 5% contingency in your budget, […]

Money Laundering – What to Watch For

In 2020 the Foundation for Community Association Research discovered that community associations in the U.S. handle $96 billion dollars in assessments, and California communities alone manage more than $12 billion in association housing services (operations, physical asset management, reserves, capital improvements, conservation & environment). With so much money at play, associations need to be aware […]

Your Guide to HOA Finance, Accounting, and Budgeting

Keeping the association in good financial standing is one of the most important duties of an HOA board. Poor HOA financial management can have lasting consequences, so it’s crucial for board members to understand the basics of association finance. In doing so, they will know how to properly manage community funds and ensure the continued […]

Condo Column: Access to your money (NH)

An issue arises occasionally at condominium associations that arose lately at an association I am fortunate enough to represent, and a board member thought it might make a worthwhile column. He was right, so here we are. Besides, I don’t want to lose one of the readers or a client.   Read the entire article……………………………….

Understanding the Basics of Board Financial Reporting

As a property manager or community association board member, sometimes it’s tough to remember that associations are businesses. Some of them are pretty large, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in dues collected and expenses paid each year. That requires regular, proactive monitoring to ensure that issues, like mistakes or variances, are quickly identified and […]

Condo Column: The crypto mistake (NH)

There have been rumblings in Condo World about cryptocurrency, i.e. digital money with no physical presence like coins or bills. A lot of people have made a lot of money by investing in it and seeing it double, triple or more in worth in a very short period of time. Good for them.   Read the […]

HOA balance sheets

Balance sheets are used by all types of businesses. HOAs also use balance sheets to understand how much money is coming in, how much is going out, and how much equity they have.  This financial document provides a clear snapshot of the company’s finances at any given point in time. The items listed on the […]

6 HOA Financial Reports You Need to Know

Homeowner Associations in Santa Clarita can involve lots of reports. Here are 6 financial reports that you need to know   Read the entire article……………………………….

Financial Management and Planning is Key to a Healthy Condominium Association (FL)

We have all heard the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” The same is true when it comes to condominium associations—you cannot judge the “health” of a condominium association by its polished marble floors or its breathtaking gulf shore views. The true lifeline of a condominium association comes from successful financial planning, […]

Preparing Your HOA for Inflation

Virtually, all economists agree that the economy is humming. The country’s unemployment rate is at the lowest level in 50 years. Housing prices are increasing in nearly every market in the country. The problem with all of the good news? Inflation. It is currently at the highest level in 40 years. Prices of everyday items […]

HOA Capital Improvements

When communities are built, they are done so to provide the lifestyle and amenities that residents desire at the time of development; however, as time passes, residents’ desires change, and so do their desired amenities for the communities that they live in or want to live in. In order for communities to keep up with […]

5 Ways to Keep Your HOA’s Financial Stability

Your homeowner’s association (HOA) will achieve success when its financial health is maintained. Your role as an HOA board member goes beyond ensuring that fees get paid in a timely fashion. You should be involved in the budget-making process and monitoring of financial expenses. Board members provide the availability of funds to cater to the […]

How to Get Your Condo or Homeowners Financial Records (FL)

If you live in a condo or homeowners association, you may wonder: where is all your money going? Do you have a right to the records, and if so how do you get them? Which is why one South Florida woman called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.   Read the entire article……………………………….

AB 1101 Signed! Welcome Clarity to HOA Financial Protection Requirements (CA)

AB 2912, passed in 2018, provided welcome protections to homeowners in HOA’s from fraudulent activities by those entrusted with managing an HOA’s finances. AB 2912’s protections included: 1) requiring Associations to secure fidelity bond insurance in an amount equal to or exceeding current reserves, plus three months of assessments; 2) requiring a monthly review of […]

Caring for the Financial Well-being of the Association (FL)

To ensure the financial well-being of the association, boards and managers should focus on at least four factors in the association: budget, reserves, insurance, and collection practices. This article will take a brief look at each of these, but this is not a finite list. It is recommended that you consult with your association attorney […]

Community Association Best Practices – Finances (CO)

I like to say that the best practices are born out of the trials and tribulations of the worst practices. If you are a board member or community manager of homeowners associations and condominium communities, the way to learn these best practices without suffering yourself is to learn from the mistakes of others. Over the […]