Winter is one of the most beautiful and exciting times to live in Utah. We have majestic mountains with stunning vistas, over 22 million acres of public land, and abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation during our long winter season. Read the article…………………………….
Sometimes, a small gesture of kindness and community can mean a lot to those affected by natural disasters. Following the deadly wildfires that tore through the historic town of Lahaina, Hawaii, in early August, many in the community association industry wanted to show their support to Maui homeowners displaced by the fires. The wildfires are […]
The board of directors in a homeowners association (HOA) is responsible for the functionality and governance of the community. One of the powers and duties delegated to the board of directors is the power to negotiate and enter into contracts, which is highly significant to the operation and bylaws of an HOA. Read the article………………………..
Running an HOA board meeting is no simple task–it’s easy to get caught in the weeds and risk losing track of time or missing an important topic. Determining all of the things that need to be discussed and decided upon can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Read the article………………………..
(Very interesting) I recently tried ChatGPT for the first time and decided to find out what computers think about homeowners associations. As Thomas Kuhn has been attributed as saying, The answers you get depend on the questions you ask.” So if you like HOAs, you may get positive answers. If you don’t like HOAs, I’m sure […]
Nothing stays new. Over time, things age, including infrastructure, and HOAs need to be prepared for this. Many HOAs run into problems because of aging infrastructure issues. Oftentimes, by the time HOAs realize there is an issue, they don’t have enough funding available, so they have temporary fixes completed. Sometimes these issues also get put […]
Homeowners association (HOA) disputes or enforcement should not require personal, face-to-face, confrontation with members. A recent tragedy in Florida underscores the risk of confrontations in the HOA context. It is alleged that on December 3, 2022, 75-year-old Hugh Hootman shot and killed his HOA president and her husband, Ginger and Henry Wallace, who were both […]
The holiday season is upon us. While it’s a special time of year, it can also be a time for more violations and neighborhood disputes. The good news is, HOAs can get ahead of some of these issues by making sure rules and regulations are clearly stated. Read the article………………………..
The end is in sight, folks! We’ve spent a lot of time discussing what it takes to create “the perfect HOA.” A strong foundation made up of governing documents, knowledgeable board members, engaged homeowners, and emergency planning is the basis of that achievement. So what’s the final piece of the puzzle? Read the article………………………..
The safety and well being of community members should be of utmost importance to your HOA. Associations should act to the fullest extent possible to adhere to all procedures and policies that keep communities safe. Ultimately, the safety and security of the community is in the hands of the HOA or the management company. That […]
When it comes to perfection in a homeowners association, there’s one area in which almost all communities typically fail: emergency preparedness & maintenance planning. Okay, yes, that’s two things technically, but they rely largely on the same information to accomplish, and they are very closely related, so they’re typically bundled into one neat package. Community […]
The Supreme Court of Utah recently denied the appeal of a group of landowners (the “Landowners”) who sought to invalidate restrictive covenants imposed on them by a homeowners’ association as violative of public policy. See Wdis v. Hi-Country Estates Homeowners Ass’n, 2022 UT 17 (Utah 2022). Read the entire article……………………………….
The Utah general legislative session for 2022 was January – March 2022, and the general effective date for legislation from the session was May 4, 2022. Read the entire article……………………………….
Communication is the key to success. Period, full stop, end of story. Without quality, consistent, transparent communication, relationships of all kinds crumble, including those in community associations. Boards have a responsibility to the community to keep everyone informed and involved in the decisions being made. Communication in the perfect HOA should cover a lot of […]
The more time I spend with community association boards of directors (“BODs”), the more my faith in humanity is restored. Sure, we’ve all experienced the odd bad apple. But more often than not, board members like you are dedicating their time and energy into their communities to make it amazing. Read the entire article……………………………….
“The Perfect HOA.” What a concept, right? To say the “perfect” anything exists is already a bit of a stretch. (Unless we’re talking about the perfect midnight snack because I think we can all agree that it’s double-stuf Oreos and milk!) So the idea of perfection in something as complex and challenging as a community […]
The tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers in Florida has forced lenders and other industry stakeholders to look for clear and standardized guidance on how to analyze ongoing risk in residential buildings with aging infrastructure and significant deferred maintenance. This concern is expected to grow in the future as most of the nation’s stock of […]
As a management company, when budget season rolls around every year we get board members asking us, “Can we compare HOA assessments to what other communities are charging?” Not only is this the wrong way to calculate your budget, it is also dangerous for your community’s fiscal health. Here’s why: Read the entire article……………………………….
More than 70% of all new developments in the United States are common interest realty associations, also known as Community Associations. The benefits of community associations are many. For the developer, it ensures that home values remain high, cementing in resale profits as the homes are sold. For the homeowner, it allows you to have […]
Almost summertime, and living is…okay well it’s HOA landscaping season so it might be a little chaotic. Water is getting turned back on any day now, pools are reopening in just a few short weeks, and a parade of new faces (landscapers and other assorted grounds maintenance folk) are about to start making weekly appearances. […]
For most community associations around the country, monthly assessments make up the bulk of an HOA’s income sources. Homeowners need to collectively contribute enough each year to cover the operating costs of the community, contribute to reserves, and fund any capital improvements that will improve life in the community. Read the article……………………………..
The Condo Act applies to property which the owner (generally, the “declarant”) submits to the Act by recording a declaration as provided in the Act. To determine if the property has been submitted to the Act, look for language in the first few pages of the CC&Rs/declaration that says the property is submitted to the […]
Both the Utah Condominium Ownership Act and the Utah Community Association Act require board meetings to be open to each homeowner (or the homeowner’s designated representative). Read the article…………………………………..
Before you even start your search for a professional management company, be sure the board has agreed on what the community needs. It may be that you have an active board and a robust architectural committee, and so you only need help managing the books. Or you may find that you just want someone to […]
Utah HOAs can breathe a little easier because associations are now protected generally from lawsuits and claims relating to COVID-19. A new Utah law went into effect August 18, 2020, that provides immunity from civil liability for damages or an injury resulting from exposure of an individual to COVID-19 on the premises owned or operated […]
You are not alone. Every community association struggles with filling empty board seats. And why not? In today’s society, we are busier and more connected than ever before. More and more things are clamoring to take up our attention and limited free time. Mix that with the fact that a board seat is an unpaid […]
No homeowner ever thought to themselves, “Gee, I wish my condo association charged me higher dues!” It’s a struggle Boards of Directors face universally. Assessments need to be high enough to accommodate the needs of the community, but not so high that homeowners struggle to pay them. If you serve on a board of directors […]
For members of the board, an HOA board meeting can be exhausting. Not only do you have to prepare what you’ll be presenting to the rest of the board, plus go over the agenda, previous meeting minutes and any other prepared statements, you then have the meeting itself to look forward to (or dread). Read […]
What would you do if you found out the treasurer of your community association had taken the money earmarked for reserves and bet it all on black at a roulette table in Vegas? You might be just a tad upset! Win or lose, gambling with the association’s future is risky and dangerous. It goes against […]
Staging a comeback isn’t easy. Without a strategy in place, things can go from bad to worse pretty quickly. That’s why, when it comes to reopening the country, the states and the economy, everyone has a plan. Does your community have a reopening plan for your facilities and amenities? Let’s talk strategies to your community […]
Can they do that? Whether it’s changing the pool hours, levying a special assessment, or foreclosing on your home, many homeowners are shocked when they realize just how much power an HOA Board of Directors has. But do they really? It might surprise you to learn that the board has a lot less power (and […]
Two bills were passed this year in Utah changing parts of the Condominium Ownership Act and the Community Association Act. The new laws that were passed by the two bills go into effect today, May 12, 2020. Read the article………………………………
Construction Defects can financially cripple community associations. The cost to repair leaky and sinking buildings is not budgeted for when the community is created, is not planned for in reserve analyses, and is not anticipated by homeowners at the time of purchase. Purchasers legitimately expect the residences are well constructed in a manner that “can […]
Whether your closet is filled with Costco toilet paper and you’re checking your phone every hour for the latest COVID-19 update or you’re urging your social-media network to stop panicking and just start washing their hands, one thing is certain: coronavirus continues to spread and, according to health professionals around the world, one thing we […]
I am routinely asked if I will review amended governing documents (CC&Rs, bylaws, etc.) which the board, the property manager or another person has drafted in order to save money over having an HOA attorney draft them. Read the article………………………………..
Many communities were established with governing documents that worked well for the developer, but may or may not work so well for the HOA and the homeowners. Many of these governing documents are outdated. Whether they are 10 years old or 50, Utah and federal laws, as well as best practices pertaining to community associations […]
On January 28, 2020 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) issued new guidelines regarding “certain obligations of housing providers under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) with respect to [assistance] animals that individuals with disabilities may request as reasonable accommodations.” A copy of the new guidelines may be found at https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/PA/documents/HUDAsstAnimalNC1-28-2020.pdf Read […]
Recently, a Federal District Court in Nevada made clear that homeowners associations, their boards of directors, and their management companies should ensure that their actions and omissions are reasonable, even when dealing with residents that may not be acting in good faith. This article summarizes a case where an HOA initially prevailed in the face […]
Many Utah families have utilized their increased equity from the strong buyer’s market and healthy economy to upscale or downscale their housing situation. All of this movement in the housing industry is expensive for nonprofit homeowners’ associations and requires adequate budgeting and preparation for current and future market fluctuations. Read the article…………………………….
As the old saying goes, the only things certain in life are death and unnecessary remarks in HOA minutes. Well, that might not be exactly like the original but, for our purposes, it’s close enough. When it comes to minutes, less is more. Details of things that are said at a meeting should only be […]
A board member in a small, close-knit community recently posed a question to me that I have heard many times in one form or another. He asked, if a local ordinance already bans an activity the HOA is trying to stop, is there any point to the HOA banning the same activity in their governing […]
When an association considers adopting new regulations, they often turn to their declaration (CC&Rs) or bylaws. Association rules are sometimes overlooked and underutilized. However they can be the most efficient and flexible means for implementing restrictions or procedures. Read the article…………………………
One of the most powerful but overlooked tools at the disposal of an association board is that of committees. HOA boards can face a number of issues and be pulled in many directions that would tax any full time, paid board. But HOA boards are volunteer and are not full time. To deal with this […]
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………………………………..
Oftentimes HOAs feel as though their hands are tied when dealing with problem renters. All one needs to do is a simple Google Search to see a litany of ugly situations. Luckily, HOAs have a variety of remedies that can be pursued to ensure that association rules are being followed by everyone, including renters. Read […]
Question: I live in a small planned unit development with four families. This is the second year we have lived in the community, as it is a new development. The control box for the sprinkler system is in my backyard. The park-strip grass we all share is watered by a valve in that control box. […]
Happy Laws Go Into Effect Day! (okay, I’m sure there’s a better name for that). Today, May 8, the HOA laws that were enacted this year go into effect. Specifically, those laws: Read the article……………….
This bill amends provisions related to condominium and community associations. Highlighted Provisions: This bill: provides that a condominium or community association shall comply with certain requirements before bringing a legal action against a declarant, a management committee or board of directors, or an employee, an independent contractor, or an agent of the declarant or the […]
HOAs have not come out unscathed by the 2017 Utah general legislative session, which ended yesterday, March 9. A new law was passed that requires an HOA to comply with rather onerous requirements before it may go after the developer for problems created by the developer. House Bill 157 (HB 157 3rd Substitute) was passed […]
On June 22, 2016 the Utah Supreme Court published the Fort Pierce Industrial Park Phases II, III & IV Owners Association v. Shakespeare case, 2016 UT 28. This case established a bright line rule that the Court rejected strict construction of restrictive covenants in favor of applying the rules of construction typically found in contracts. […]