Co-ops and HOAs Are Democracies. They Run on Laws

The board at a homeowners’ association (HOA) on Long Island has mandated that residents allow an outside inspector onto their properties to determine the condition of building exteriors and windows. If deficiencies are found, owners will be given time to correct them — then fined if they fail to do so.    Read the article…………………………..

Reader Questions: Who’s the Boss – Manager or Board? (CA)

Q:  I am president of an HOA with management whose performance has been lackluster. Lackluster is characterized by little to no communications unless initiated by the board, not following through with board instructions, and inability to manage our violations process in a steady and predictable manner.   Read the Q&A……………………………..

Simple Bylaw Amendments to Improve Community Operations (CO)

Outdated and burdensome provisions within the association’s bylaws can serve to hinder operations and needlessly increase administrative costs. For example, does your board conduct business via email? The association’s bylaws likely have a provision that sets forth the requirements for the board to make decisions outside of a board meeting (such as email) and it […]

Understanding the Hierarchy of Governing Documents in a Community Association

Living in a community association entails adhering to a set of governing documents that guide residents, maintain order, and protect property values. These documents exist within a hierarchical structure, each serving a specific purpose and establishing a distinct level of authority.   Read the article………………………..

The Handbook of Board Governance

What is the first order of business for a board? When should directors ask questions? What is a competent director? How important is an effective chairperson? The answers to these questions and more are contained in the big, heavy, “suitable for use as body armour” textbook I had to read called “The Handbook of Board […]

How Your HOA Can Write the Perfect Mission Statement

So, you volunteered for the board of directors of your neighborhood’s community association or HOA. Congratulations! It can be daunting to determine priorities and next steps for the association.  Reviewing your community association’s mission statement is often a great place to start prioritizing.   Read the article………………………..

Receiverships in HOAs and Condos (OR)

Volunteering to serve on the Board of a Community Association can, unfortunately, often feel like a thankless job. In many cases, conflict among the Directors, or between owners and the Board, can make service to the community an extremely stressful experience. Several of our clients have reported that they are finding it difficult to recruit […]

Board Member 101: Best Practices (IL)

Board members who are elected to represent their condominium, homeowner (HOA), and townhome community association carry a weight on their shoulders to ensure they are acting in the best interest of their fellow neighbors.   Read the entire article……………………………….

HOA Board Mass Resignation: What Happens Now?

It is not uncommon for a board member to step down from their position in a homeowners association. But, what happens if all HOA board members resign simultaneously? Is an HOA board mass resignation even permitted?   Read the entire article……………………………….

Setting Up HOA Goals the SMART Way

For any professionally-run community association, goal setting is an annual task. First off, one of the roles of a community association is to improve the community through fresh ideas, coming up with achievable goals, and putting in measures to ensure all the community’s goals have been achieved.    Read the entire article……………………………….

Managing the Pandemic: Boards Must Balance Compassion With Their Fiduciary Obligations to Protect the Community (MA)

Condominium owners must pay their common area fees. This is not a stop-the-presses revelation. It is a statement of principle, embodied in governing documents and affirmed by countless court decisions over the past 25 years. But the coronavirus pandemic, which has tested so many assumptions, is also challenging this one.    Read the entire article……………………………….

7 Tips to Better Run a Homeowners Association

Running a homeowners association is no easy task. Every real estate investment someone makes matters to them and residents want an HOA that will live up to the expectations of their property. There is a lot of responsibility involved and a lot of people looking to you to run things correctly. If you’re in charge […]

Does a Community Association Board President Have Executive Action Authority or Unilateral Powers? (FL)

Community associations are not administered by a single director or officer of the board, instead, the affairs of such associations are administered by its board. The articles of incorporation and/or bylaws of an association most often specify the required minimum number of board members. In the condominium context, the Florida Condominium Act provides that in […]

Community Association Governance (ID)

Tip O’Neill, longtime Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, coined the phrase “All politics is local.” He wasn’t speaking of community associations rights, but he could have been. There’s nothing more local and, therefore, more accountable than those elected by their neighbors to the governing boards of homeowner associations, condominiums and cooperatives.    Read the […]

HOA Homefront – Your corporate success could create failure in the HOA

Many talented successful people find themselves continually frustrated with volunteer service on their HOA board, and often are surprised to find themselves in conflict regarding their HOA service. This can be rooted in the failure to understand that HOAs run very differently than businesses, and some of the practices which bring career success are not […]

A community association management guide

When you purchase a home within a planned community such as a condominium complex, an apartment building or a gated estate, you automatically become a member of the community association.  A community association is there to provide operational structure and manage the affairs of the overall community. Among the duties of a community, the association […]

What Power Does My Florida Association Have?

Disputes do arise between homeowners and their HOA or condo associations. Whether arguing over paint color, pet, or fee, it’s important to know how far your association can go, and what rights you have as a homeowner in Florida.  While the association does have the right to implement many rules and regulations, it’s true that […]

Can an Association Be Held Liable for Discriminatory Conduct of Residents? (FL)

On a daily basis we read about acts of hatred and discrimination occurring in our society. As residential communities are microcosms of the society at large, associations, too, are increasingly faced with determining how to deal with such issues. Legal precedent has established that associations may be held liable for discriminatory acts committed by its […]

Common courtesy: How to promote civility in community associations

Raised voices, reddened faces, and angry gestures. You might think you are watching a congressional hearing on C-SPAN, but you are at your community’s board meeting.  The erosion of civility in our society has begun to manifest itself in private residential communities. This comes in many forms—from rudeness and disruptive behavior at meetings to more […]

Be flexible: Steps for effective and consistent board governance

Community associations have rules and regulations to provide certainty, order, and safety. Regardless of size or shape, every community association should strive to enforce its rules properly. And if they’re necessary and reasonable, they promote community harmony.   Read the article………………………

8 Misunderstood Points of HOA Governance (UT)

HOA governance isn’t simple or easy and, unfortunately, board members are just volunteers doing their best with too little time and too little money. I think that’s why even basic principles of HOA governance are often misunderstood by board members (and managers too). Here is some clarification of 8 frequently misunderstood issues:    Read the article………………………………..

Management vs. Governance: 3 Functions of an Effective HOA

The distinction between governance and management in a homeowners’ association may seem minor but understanding it is crucial to ensuring a successfully directed community association. Homeowners’ associations and their Boards benefit from recognizing three “P’s” – Process, Priorities, and Policies. Management and governance work together like two hands of an association, and the three “P’s” […]

Three Condo Association Governance Tips

Governing a Condo can be an exceedingly trying task. One of the big surprises you’ll face as a new Board member is sorting through what’s important and what is not. Some things that seem really stupid turn out to be important. Other things that are obviously important won’t be told to you. Here are three […]

Master Association Overview

Master Associations are yet another of the often unheard of bureaucracies in the world of HOAs. A Master Association is an “uber HOA” that sits on top of other HOAs and Condo Associations. They are created for various reasons – political, geographical, aesthetic, and sometimes for no understandable reason at all. It often seems they […]

Board Owner Do’s and Don’ts: What Makes a Board Successful

It only takes a few minutes of a web search to uncover the traits that make a successful person or business owner. For example, Entrepreneur magazine’s Steven Key wrote the article, “5 Qualities of Successful Persons,” which included such traits as open-mindedness, unwavering passion, and a forward-looking approach. But what makes a board of trustees, […]

Banning Lawns

Recognizing their role in sustainability efforts, many local governments are enacting climate change plans, mandatory green building ordinances, and sustainable procurement policies. But thus far, local governments have largely ignored one of the most pervasive threats to sustainability — lawns. This Article examines the trend toward sustainability mandates by considering the implications of a ban […]

8 Points of HOA Governance 101

HOA governance isn’t simple or easy and, unfortunately, board members are just volunteers doing their best with too little time and too little money. I think that’s why even basic principles of HOA governance are often misunderstood by board members (and managers too). Here is some clarification of 8 frequently misunderstood issues:   Read More……

So Now You’re On the Board

The first steps to superior board performance are clarifying your board’s job and then following through with appropriate plans, actions and evaluation of results. The checklists presented here are intended to assist you in those tasks. They cover a significant number of your responsibilities. The checklists will apply to virtually any association. To use them, […]