HOA Basics (TN)

HOAs get a bad rap among homeowners, and in far too many cases, that is regrettably justified. My legal education on the subject stems from personal experience.    Read the article………………………..

The Tennessee Short-Term Rental Unit Act

The Tennessee Short-Term Rental Unit Act plays a pivotal role in regulating short-term rentals. This legislation defines how local governments can regulate short-term rentals in their municipalities and guides grandfathering existing rentals. What this Act does not affect, though, are homeowners associations and condominiums.   Read the article……………………………….

Tennessee Supreme Court Holds Restrictions Limiting Property Use To Residential Purposes Do Not Prohibit Short-Term Rentals

The Tennessee Supreme Court held today that a property owner using his home as a short-term rental did not violate homeowner association restrictions requiring that homes be used for “residential and no other purposes.” However, the Court also held that the property owner’s short-term rentals violate later amendments to the restrictions that impose a minimum […]

How to Resolve Conflicts in a Positive Way (TN)

Community is a wonderful thing. But when groups of people live near each other, some conflict is inevitable. Often conflicts occur over small things. Other conflicts may be about big things. Whether big or small, it is important to resolve conflicts as quickly and positively as possible. Proactively addressing conflict will position the community for […]

Tennessee HOA Rules: Keeping The Community In Order

When it comes to preserving the quality of life and property values in HOA communities in Tennessee, the enforcement of rules is necessary. Learn about the different Tennessee HOA rules below.   Read the entire article……………………………….

Property Insurance for Condominium Communities (TN)

Section 66-27-413 of the Tennessee Condominium Act includes specific requirements for insurance obtained by the condominium association for condominium regimes. If there are horizontal boundaries (residential units above other units), the condominium association is required to obtain property insurance on individual units. The condominium declaration should describe, with specificity, the insurance that will be obtained […]

How Should You Set HOA Goals Every Year? (TN)

Set HOA goals at the start of each year. It’s a great way to use that fresh start to think forward to the yearly goals of the HOA you want to aim for. In your HOA Goal-setting session, think about the ways you can improve your association. What are the HOA goals that you want […]

HOA Remote Meeting Options In The Time Of The Coronavirus Outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak has forced many businesses to redefine the way they hold meetings. Homeowners associations are not exempt from this. Because board members make decisions during board meetings, most HOAs are concerned about halting operations amid the outbreak. But, through HOA remote meetings, your HOA can continue to run without hindrance.     Read the […]

The Ultimate HOA Architectural Review Guide

One very important aspect of maintaining the home values in the community is to have an established HOA architectural review board in place. Even though many HOAs have a system in place to review and approve any architectural requests from association members, few are fulfilling their obligations in a way that is simple for their […]

HOA Financial Reports: What Every HOA Board Member Should Know

Managing and overseeing the finances of your HOA should be the HOA board’s main priorities. That said, many HOA board members may not have experience with HOA financial reports previously, consider this article as a helping hand.    Read the article…………………………

How to Effectively Present HOA Budgets

When you are serving on the board of your HOA, you have several fiduciary duties that you have to complete each year. One of these fiduciary duties is preparing an annual budget and establishing assessments for your HOA. The budgeting process can be time-consuming and difficult to complete since there are so many factors that […]

Important California Laws To Protect HOA Owners Related To Accessory Dwelling Units & Religious Decorations On Doorways

When deciding to relocate to a new state, it is important to be constantly aware of new legislation that is going into effect related to your housing circumstances. This is also important for established residents to remain informed about their housing development and what protections they have. This is particularly true in California where recent […]

Appeals Court Deems Association Street a First Amendment Public Forum (TN)

Disputes between individuals and HOAs frequently occur on the roads or sidewalks owned by the Association. The rights of way are usually the HOA’s largest budgetary and operational responsibility. The lot owners and their invitees rely upon the roads to access properties. State and local governments benefit financially by shifting the maintenance burden of the […]

How to Keep Your Community Association Free From Any Conflicts of Interest

Conflict of interest is a real threat to your HOA’s integrity and reputation. As a board member of a community association, you should understand what this means, and how to recognize and avoid it. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to keep your community association from possible conflicts of interest.  […]

Top 13 Budgeting Mistakes Self-Managed Boards Make

Planning the right budget for the community is crucial in making sure the homeowner’s association is not underfunded. However, when the HOA is run by a self-managed board who are not financial experts, financial issues may unfold. Poor budget planning can cause serious conflicts between the HOA board members and homeowners, which is the last […]

The Complete Guide to HOA Financial Statements

Managing the finances of a community association is one of the most difficult, and most important, responsibilities of an HOA board of directors. Preparing detailed HOA Financial Statements on a regular basis serves a multitude of purposes from providing insight for financial planning, promoting transparency between the board and residents, as well as being a […]

Understanding HOA Bank Statements

HOA bank statements are just as they sound: a statement from the bank showing all deposits and withdraws from each association account over a certain period of time. The most effective way to prevent fraud within your community association is to keep a close eye on bank statements. Most associations have at least two accounts: […]

Understanding an HOA General Ledger

The foundation to all HOA accounting is the general ledger. Much like your checkbook at home, the HOA general ledger keeps an ongoing record of all transactions made by the community association. All other financial statements such as the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of receivables are created based on the ledger.     Read […]

What is an HOA Income Statement?

Unlike a balance sheet which shows a quick snapshot of HOA finances at a certain point, the income statement shows financial information over a period of time. Usually, the period of time is the rate at which you prepare your financial documents whether it be monthly, quarterly, or annually.  The income statement is considered the […]

What is an HOA Statement of Receivables?

A statement of receivables, or accounts receivable statement, is a document that details the outstanding charges owed to the community association. This can be from sources such as overdue dues, vendor credits, late fees, or any other outstanding source of income. It is essentially a list of every account that still owes the HOA money. Read […]

How To Understand Your HOA Balance Sheet

The balance sheet in your HOA financial statement is the quickest and easiest way to get a feel for the financial strength of your community association. There are three parts to a balance sheet: assets, liabilities, and equity.   Read the article……………………..

What is Remote HOA Management?

Not all communities are created equal. They come all sizes and income levels, from groups of only a dozen or so condos to developments of a hundred or more multi-million dollar homes. The needs of each community will vary just as wildly. The time and money members are able to devote to their association varies […]

3 Record Keeping Tips for HOA Board Members

Sorting through a stack of miscellaneous receipts, contracts, and other documents can be tedious at best. Having no organizational system in place to make that search any easier is downright cruelty. Ideally, every HOA board should take time to analyze their current record keeping habits and consider ways to improve them. Otherwise board members will […]

4 Ways to Trim Your HOA Budget

Typically, homeowner associations will appoint a treasurer to keep track of monthly expenses, create a working budget, and allocate funds appropriately. Yet, it is not the sole responsibility of the treasurer to manage the budget. One of the essential duties of the entire HOA board is to continuously review the annual budget and make adjustments […]

Enforcing HOA Violations (TN)

As an HOA board member, it is your duty to understand the rules, restrictions, and regulations of the association. Some rules have been in place since the association was created and others may be new additions or amendments to older rules. In any case, it is the responsibility of the HOA board to enforce any […]

Planning Your Annual HOA Budget

Whether you are planning on taking the burden of the yearly budget upon the shoulders of your HOA board, or you plan to get the assistance of an HOA management company, the annual budget is one of the most important items on the agenda of any homeowners association. Here are seven considerations that should be […]

Assessing the Financial Health of your HOA

Because of the uniqueness of every homeowners association, it can at times be difficult to form an exact opinion about the financial health of your HOA. However, knowing where your community stands in this area can be extremely helpful. There are a few ways that you and the rest of your board can assess the […]

Should My HOA Add Extra Fees to Increase Income?

Many HOAs experience extreme pushback when trying to raise monthly HOA assessments or add special assessments. As a result, it may be tempting to raise these funds by charging extra fees for amenities or other services in an effort to avoid angry residents. This article will take a look at the topic of extra fees, […]

Eight Warning Signs For Your HOA Finances

Although no one wants to look upon other board members with suspicion or doubt, there is a risk of fraud and mismanagement with any HOA board. There should always be checks and balances, and your board should always be on the lookout for any red flags that may indicate that your funds are being handled […]

Preparing for a Productive Annual Meeting

The mantra “Always be prepared” is especially critical in environments that could quickly devolve into chaos. Have your homeowners association’s annual meetings become a forum where the most critical homeowners regale your neighbors with an endless list of complaints? Annual meetings serve a specific purpose—primarily to receive financial reports and elect board members—but are often […]

Are Your Meetings Keeping Minutes but Wasting Hours

Board meetings are integral to the function of an HOA. They provide an opportunity for directors to discuss governance issues by determining policies and priorities for the association. By following appropriate procedure, accepting homeowner input, and distributing minutes, meetings are influential in maintaining an involved and informed community. Unfortunately, these sessions can often “go off […]

Dealing with Difficult People

Interacting with difficult people is an inevitability we all face. When confronted with a chronically upset person we’re given the choice to either reciprocate their anger or calmly address the situation. As a board member, you’re in a position of responsibility where escalating a situation is both inappropriate and unproductive. In the heat of the […]

Important New Case on the Rights of Home Owners in HOAs

In a case brought by two home owners against their home owners association (“HOA”), against the HOA directors, and against a bank that stacked the HOA board with directors which were its employees, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee recently issued an important and insightful opinion in the case of Urbanavage et. al. v. Capital […]

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” […]

How are Homeowners’ Association Fees Determined? (TN)

One of the important things to remember about the determination of Homeowner Association (HOA) fees is that no two associations are alike. Which means their regular assessments will be different, since they are based on the specific needs, obligations, and objectives of the homeowners’ association. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing your assessment with […]

Ways to Detect and Prevent HOA Embezzlement

Theft is something community associations hope to never encounter, but a volunteer organization like an HOA can often be a soft target for fraud. Here are the common warning signs of embezzlement and the ways to protect your HOA from fraud.   Read the article……………….

How to Enact and Enforce HOA Rules

All homeowners’ associations or HOAs will consider adopting rules and regulations by which residents must abide while living in the community. These policies should be developed for the common good of the community. Because of the interpersonal (neighbor to neighbor) dynamic, developing and enforcing rules and regulations are more challenging compared to residential property management […]

Check With Your HOA Before You Decorate (TN)

Before you break out the crates filled with holiday cheer or buy that new outdoor-lighted display, you may want to check with your Homeowner’s Association. Whether you rent or own, the HOA’s rules apply to all residents of the community. Read your HOA covenants or check with the Board to make sure your holiday décor […]

Wi-Fi Safety Around Pools, Public Buildings

Many homeowners associations offer free Wi-Fi around public areas such as pools and clubhouses. In order to make use of it, members will need to agree to the terms and conditions of HOA policy.   Read the article……………

HOA’s Should Adopt a Board Code of Ethics

While it’s certainly not mandatory, the board of directors for your homeowner’s association (HOA) should think seriously about implementing a code of ethics, which would serve to aid in the management of the HOA, as well as help community members.  Read the article………….

Tennessee Amends Condominium Lien Law to Clarify Lack of Superpriority Right

On April 19, 2016, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed HB 2401, amending Tennessee’s condominium statue to make it clear that condominium associations cannot acquire a “superpriority” lien that trumps a first security interest on the same property. As a result of the amendment, it is now clear that under Tennessee law a condominium only has […]

Best Practices for Board Members

If you’ve never served on a Homeowners Association board, it’s important you understand what your duties, responsibilities and obligations are and that you are, in fact, acting as a fiduciary on behalf of your fellow owners. First and foremost, you must take your responsibilities as a board member seriously, always use good judgment, avoid conflict, be […]

Effective HOA Meetings

It can be frustrating to be part of a meeting that’s disorganized and seems to go on and on. It’s not difficult to run an effective HOA meeting – all you need to do is follow these simple guidelines:  Read the article………..

Which Hat? HOA Board vs. Good Neighbor

Most of us wear many different hats in our daily lives. Perhaps you juggle the hats of a spouse, parent, worker, friend, HOA Board member, neighbor, etc. Keeping your personal and professional lives separate is challenging. Many HOA Board members find it even more difficult to separate Board responsibilities from simply being a homeowner. If […]

Unresolved Problems

This video will provide the necessary information needed when dealing with unresolved problems in your HOA. It not only covers the basics involved, but also includes different ways to handle these issues. For example, the issues could range from communication breakdowns and inadequate funding, to covenant enforcement.   Watch the video………

10 Things Homeowners Wish Your HOA Board Knew

Homeowners choose to buy a home in a managed association for a combination of reasons. They like the standards that maintain property appearance and values. They have access to amenities they might not be able to afford on their own. They lack either the time or skill needed to address exterior maintenance and repairs. Homeowners […]

Core Values and Expectations for HOA Board Members

Board members come together from vastly different backgrounds to focus on the common goal of serving their community. Some are inclined to research the smallest decision while others make decisions based on experience. This diversity helps bring different perspectives to the table for better decision-making. Regardless of their approach, Board members should share some core […]

Legal Obligations for HOA Board Members

Many HOA Board members don’t fully understand the legal obligations that come with serving their community. You rarely see one document that completely lists all responsibilities. State law may determine some. Governing documents outline others. And other regulations can further complicate the question. It’s little wonder that a lot of confusion surrounds legal obligations. Here’s […]