Behind the Scenes of Your Utah HOA Rule Enforcement & Site Visits

Utah homeowners associations (HOAs) help maintain the peace and beauty of their communities. However, homeowners can feel targeted when told they’ve broken the community rules. This has caused many misconceptions about how rules and regulations are enforced.   Read the article…………………………….

How to Form an Effective Utah HOA Social Committee

For many, homeowners association (HOA) living is nothing but strict rules and high fees. That’s a reality for some, sure, but many HOAs have far more to offer. HOAs should be dedicated to an equally important role: encouraging a sense of community and belonging among residents.   Read the article…………………………….

5 HOA Committees All Utah Communities Should Have

Living in a homeowners association can be complicated. Many homeowners are confused about the general operational setup of their neighborhood. Why do the assessments seem to keep going up? What does my money even pay for? Who actually calls the shots?   Read the article…………………………….

Homeowner Rights and Responsibilities in a Utah HOA

As a homeowner in a Utah HOA community, you have more power than you may realize.  For some homeowners, living in a homeowners association can feel like a maze of rules and regulations. It may seem at times that the HOA simply exists to put up roadblocks that tell you “no”.  This can lead to […]

Getting Your Utah HOA Community Ready for the Spring Thaw

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…………………………….

From Tragedy Comes Opportunities to Give Back

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 […]

HOAs Must Understand Use and Power of Contracts

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………………………..

Bringing the Strategic Power of One-Degree Shifts to Your HOA Board Meetings

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………………………..

ChatGPT’s Opinion About HOAs (UT)

(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 […]

Addressing the Ongoing Issue of Aging Infrastructure in HOAs (UT)

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 […]

The Value of Professional Intermediaries: Don’t Turn HOA Issues into Safety Issue

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 […]

Happiness and Harmony in the Perfect HOA: Homeowner Compliance

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………………………..

Keep your community safe with policies and procedures

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 […]

Community Maintenance & Emergency Preparedness in the Perfect HOA

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 […]

Communication in the Perfect HOA: Homeowner Relationship Management

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 […]

Staying Informed in the Perfect HOA: Board Member Education

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……………………………….

Laying the Groundwork for the Perfect HOA: Your Governing Documents (UT)

“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 […]

New Fannie Mae Changes and Their Impact on Utah Community Associations

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 […]

Should You Compare HOA Assessments To Other Communities? (UT)

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……………………………….

What are my HOA Fees Paying For?

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 […]

When the Grass Flies: A Strategy to Solve your HOA Landscaping Problems

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. […]

Should Your Utah HOA Adopt a Reinvestment Fee Policy?

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……………………………..

Which Laws Apply to My Association? (UT)

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 […]

Open Meetings, What’s Required? (UT)

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…………………………………..

How to Choose Professional HOA Management (UT)

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 […]

7 Strategies to Keep Assessments Low in Your Community Association

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 […]

Myth to Reality: A Strategy to Achieve 1-Hour Association Board Meetings

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 […]

Reserve Fund Investment

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 […]

Who’s in Charge of Your Homeowners Association?

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 […]

New 2020 Utah HOA Laws

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………………………………

Statute of Limitations for Construction Disputes (UT)

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 […]

Can an HOA Board Draft their Own CC&Rs? (UT)

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………………………………..

7 Signs Your HOA’s Governing Documents May Be Out of Date (UT)

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 […]

Relieving Board Members’ Burdens through Committees (UT)

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 […]

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………………………………..

What to do about Nightmare Renters (UT)

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 […]

A trick for resolving disagreements

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. […]

2018 Utah Legislative Session

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……………….

HOA Revisions (UT)

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 […]

2017 Utah Legislative Session – HOA/Developer Issues

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 […]

The Shakespeare Case and What it Means to Utah HOA’s

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. […]

Architectural Control, What Can an HOA Actually Enforce?

Architectural Control is one of the key reasons people either choose to live in or run from an HOA. Some people appreciate the HOA’s ability to enforce architectural controls via an Architectural Control Committee (“ACC”); whereas, others resent the thought of another organization telling them how they can modify or decorate their home. When these […]

Taking Action Without a Meeting (UT)

While SB 99 from the 2015 legislative session required Board meetings to be open to all Association members, the Utah legislature, effective May 10, 2016, has provided 2 ways by which a Board can take action without a meeting.

Amending Governing Documents

A common question of HOA directors and managers is “How often should the Association be amending its governing documents?” A common answer provided by HOA lawyers is “It depends.” This brief article outlines a few important considerations in deciding whether it is time to amend.    Read the article…………

Member E-mail Addresses & Phone Numbers Subject to Disclosure?

A Utah court recently ruled that under the Utah Nonprofit Corporation Act an association is not obligated to provide a member with the email addresses and phone numbers of other members. Although this case was decided by a Utah court interpreting the Utah Act, it demonstrates how a court in Washington might decide a similar […]

HOA Collections

HOA’s are by and large mini-municipalities.  Just as our local cities and counties are funded by the payment of taxes by the citizenry, HOA’s are funded by the collection of assessments from HOA members.    Read the article……………