Approving and Signing Association Contracts (OH)

Associations act through their boards of directors. This means that, for an association to take any action, the board of directors must collectively vote to approve that action. As it relates to contracts, boards of directors should vote to approve contracts and document all votes approving contracts in the association’s minutes. The minutes should read […]

Contracts and Community Associations (CT)

One of the items our office is often asked about is entering into contracts. Contracts are generally simple enough to understand. Party A agrees to provide a good or service to Party B. Party B agrees to pay Party A for said good or service. Seems like a simple proposition, so why do so many […]

Common Contract Concerns for Community Associations

Most community associations in Florida operate with the assistance of outside vendors. As such, many community associations do not have in-house staff to pressure wash sidewalks or maintain the elevators. Communities often have a compilation of contracts with multiple vendors ranging from one-page estimates with no contractual provisions other than price, to lengthy contracts with […]

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………………………..

9 Important Questions to Ask Before Signing a Service Contract

A community association protects every homeowner’s interests by maintaining the community’s standards. However, for an association to operate effectively, board members, active homeowners, advisors, and even vendors must work collectively.  Read the article………………………..

Bids vs. Contracts: Warnings and Legal Liability (CO)

We have previously addressed the importance of Associations having proper, legal contracts that protect the Association and how proposals are not to be signed in lieu of contracts, etc. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more issues with bids & contracts that produce liability for the Association and at times managers. Please note the following […]

Association Contracts, What to Look for to Protect Your HOA

HOAs often enter into contracts with contractors and vendors, but these agreements can contain hidden pitfalls that can cause trouble down the road. To ensure that your HOA is protected and avoids any unwanted surprises, it’s important to evaluate each contract carefully before signing. Here are some key factors to consider:    Read the article………………………..

Doing it right: Tips for Hiring HOA Contractors

Whether it’s landscaping, a plumbing fix, or a major clubhouse renovation, selecting the right contractor for your HOA or condo requires ethical and diligent work from board members. It’s important for board members to specify exactly what services the association needs to avoid a conflict of interest.     Read the article………………………..

Condo Column: Snow contractor contracts (NH)

It is inevitable that the leaves will fall, the tree limbs become barren, the Halloween candy will have been eaten, and the Thanksgiving preparations made, leaving nothing left to distract condominium boards of directors from the task of preparing for winter. That means the annual snow removal contract.  Read the article………………………..

Don’t Let Vendor Standard Contract Terms Hurt You; You Have Negotiating Power!

You’re a busy practice; you’re presented with a vendor’s standard contract with standard terms and conditions to sign for services to your practice software that submits your insurance claims. Who has time to read all of that information, especially the small, 8-font type?! You sign the vendor’s contract.  Read the article………………………..

“Evergreen” Clauses – Avoiding Self-Renewing Contracts

Asked – Our Board of Directors has been seeking to switch out a vendor for some time, but we have been waiting for the current contract to expire. It has become known that the current vendor contract automatically “renewed” for another 5-year period because we did not provide notice of our intent to terminate at […]

It Ain’t What It Used to Be: 5 Tips for Managing the Bidding Process (OR)

In the wake of pandemic delays and a new focus on deferred maintenance since the Surfside tragedy, many associations have significant projects to bid out to contractors. But the process has changed in the past couple of years. Read on for advice on navigating it effectively.   Read the entire article……………………………….

Prevent Automatic Contract Renewals in Service Contracts (OH)

Community association boards execute contracts on the association’s behalf with various types of contractors to maintain, repair, and replace their associations’ common elements. Project specific contracts involve a contractor completing a particular project, for example, replacing the roof of a building. Project specific contracts should always include a start date and completion date requirement.   Read […]

9 Important Questions to Ask Before Signing a Service Contract

A homeowners’ association protects every homeowner’s interests by maintaining the community’s standards. However, for an HOA to operate effectively, board members, active homeowners, advisors, and even vendors must work collectively. For your HOA to serve the community effectively, you should choose a competent service provider. Service providers minimize your association’s expenditures while delivering outstanding services, […]

Associations may make payments to vendors by ACH (FL)

Q: According to the Condominium Act, an association and its officers, directors, employees and agents may not use a debit card issued in the name of the association, or billed directly to the association, for the payment of any association expense. Does this apply to ACH debit payment of expenses billed to the association?     Read […]

Cautionary Tales: Signed Proposals Are Contracts (OH)

One of the primary functions of community association boards is entering contracts for services to be provided to the association, whether it is for ordinary landscaping or significant repairs. Boards are commonly presented with proposals or estimates by contractors about their services. However, boards must be extremely careful in reviewing proposals and signing such documents, […]

9 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Service Contract

Successfully running a homeowners’ association (HOA) is a group effort. To maintain a well-functioning community, it takes an engaged board, involved homeowners, and a team of trusted professional advisors and vendors. Professional service providers play a big part in the stability of your association. The right vendor partnership can increase efficiency and optimize spending, while […]

Tips from Your HOA: How to Choose a Vendor for Your Maintenance Projects (MN)

For the most part, the idea of actual “maintenance free living” in a homeowners association is just that – an idea. In reality, people living in associations still have some maintenance responsibilities. When it comes time to perform maintenance on your home, here are some tips from the association’s perspective to keep in mind:    Read […]

HOA Construction Contracts: Review Closely Before Signing

Far too many homeowners associations fall into the trap of signing biased HOA construction contracts. Avoid becoming one of them by familiarizing yourself with these contract must-haves.  Read the entire article……………………………….

Be Careful with Swimming Pool Contracts (GA)

Associations can minimize potential liability and set the stage for a successful pool season by carefully negotiating and reviewing swimming pool contracts.   Read the entire article……………………………….

Navigating Community Association Construction Agreements with Contractors for Renovation and Remodeling Projects

Construction agreements can often be some of the most costly expenses that condominium associations and homeowner associations (HOAs) will ever review and consider for approval regarding their common element projects. However, many associations neglect to retain legal counsel who has the expertise needed to draft and implement the most effective terms and agreements. Instead, Boards […]

Does Your HOA Need a Snow Removal Policy?

In 2016, more than 3 million older Americans were injured due to a fall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and falls alone led to more than $50 billion in medical costs in 2015. With common causes of falls being snow and ice, more associations should evaluate their snow removal policy to […]

HOA Snow Removal Contracts: What You Need to Know

Does your HOA have a snow removal contract? If you’re a board member, it is vital to ensure your HOA has a good contract with a reliable snow removal vendor before the snowstorm hits.  There are three types of snow removal contracts that an HOA can sign with a snow removal vendor. These contracts determine […]

Community Association Service Contracts Do’s and Don’ts (FL)

One of the most important tasks for community association board members is the oversight of maintenance, cleaning, security, valet parking, construction/painting, landscaping and other vendor services. These essential services require the use of written contracts that should include vital protections for associations, which would be well advised to turn to highly experienced community association attorneys […]

The Pros and Cons of Bulk Cable / Internet Service Agreements

Fast, reliable internet service is an amenity that most residents value in their homes. Some even want that to extend this to common areas, expecting the community association to provide at least some additional wireless connectivity. In many cases, Condo Associations and even some traditional Homeowner Associations are turning to Bulk Service Agreements to provide […]

Condo questions: Don’t enter into a contract without proper protections (FL)

Q: We signed a contract for a landscape vendor to install various trees and shrubs throughout the community. The contract is simply an estimate of $50,000 with no content other than a price and a description of the plant materials. Our president signed the estimate and now the contractor claims he can’t get the materials. […]

Contractors using Subcontractors and Your Community Liability

It’s inevitable: at some point, a community association needs to hire a contractor. Some need their contractors for standard maintenance, others hire help for repair after an emergency or national disaster; but no matter why your HOA is looking into hiring a contractor, you should know that they don’t always work alone. Contractors oftentimes hire […]

Mind Your Bid-ness: Combating Kickbacks & Other Fraud

Kickback schemes, bid mishandling, and the like are not always easy to identify—or to prove – because like any illicit activity, this type of fraud is perpetrated in secret. That’s why it’s imperative to build a few basic safeguards into your community’s contracts and procedures to prevent (or at least significantly hinder) wrongdoing by bad […]

Indemnity and Hold Harmless Provisions in Association Contracts

Condominium and homeowner associations frequently enter into contracts with third-parties. Examples include landscaping contracts, management contracts, and construction contracts. In order to protect the interests of the association, many community association attorneys include indemnity provisions in the contract. Here’s a common example of an indemnity provision:   Read the article………………………….

Project contracts need to protect the association (IL)

Q: Our association enters into many contracts each year with different contractors. The contractors typically give the board its one or two page proposal that the board agrees to and signs. The proposals are also reviewed by our property manager before the board signs them.   Read the Q&A………………………….

Condominium Mechanic’s Liens

Mechanic’s lien claims are complex in that each state’s statutes differ dramatically.  There are certain unique issues when a contractor seeks to commence a mechanic’s lien proceeding for improvements made to a condominium.   Read the article……………………….

Vendor Bid-Outs: A Guide to Choosing the Right Vendor for Your HOA

Whether it be for a single task or an ongoing project, selecting a vendor to perform work for your association can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. In selecting a vendor, it is important to consider various factors such as dependability, liability, cost-to-quality ratio, reviews, and expertise. Fortunately for SpectrumAM customers, […]

Essentials of Vendor Contracts

All too often, condominium, townhome, and/or homeowner associations enter into contracts that are no more than a one- or two-page proposal. The deficiencies in these contracts often only come to light when there is a problem.    Read the article…………………………..

Association Construction Contracts Require Deft Negotiation by Legal Counsel (FL)

Construction contracts often represent some of the costliest expenses that condominium associations will ever approve, yet many associations fail to utilize the necessary legal resources and expertise to craft and execute the most effective terms and agreements. Instead, they focus merely on obtaining competitive bids, as most associations are required to do for projects exceeding […]

Firing HOA Vendors | How to End Contractual Agreements

The primary purpose of an HOA is to manage, maintain, and repair common areas. This often requires contracts with 3rd party vendors for services such as landscaping, plumbing, and painting. Vendor contracts are a large responsibility of HOA boards. While board members cycle off, the signed vendor contracts remain, leaving new board members with limited […]

You’re Fired – Terminating Contractors Versus Employees (OH)

Most community associations utilize independent contractors to service their property. A general example of an independent contractor is an association’s landscaper who uses its own machinery, works on other properties, and is paid in lump sums. However, some associations hire employees who only work for the association, are paid by the hour, and are subject […]

Attempts to Unilaterally Modify Contracts by Service Providers

Recently our firm has seen an increase in various service providers attempting to introduce new fees in the performance of their contracts with community associations. These fees are typically introduced on an invoice, and accompanied with a short explanation that they are associated with some cost incurred by the service provider. When assessed on a […]

‘Indemnity’ and ‘subrogation’ among legal terms to question

Every now and again, I have to remind myself — or be reminded by a client — that not everyone speaks “law.” What are familiar terms to lawyers aren’t necessarily so to those in other walks of life. I suppose this is common to most professions. Who, other than an orthopedist, throws around terms such […]

Important Parts of a Vendor Contract for Work in an HOA Community

HOA Boards often find themselves entering into vendor contracts for landscaping, pool maintenance, security, gate maintenance, and more. However, not all contracts are created equal. That’s why we’re about to offer tips to help you separate the good ones from the bad.    Read the article………………

The Ultimate Board Cheat Sheet to Completing an RFP

Interviewing a management company is no doubt important – finding a true partner beyond the facts and figures matters for a mutually beneficial working relationship. But before any company can confidently say how they can best serve your community, they need to know and understand as much as possible. That’s why writing a detailed request […]

Five proven steps to landing your first HOA client (Landscapers)

I was 14 years old working in my father’s landscape business over the summer when I saw them. I was impressed by the fully uniformed staff with the logoed trucks all working together. This company did everything in the fancy community.  They had a truck that did just irrigation. Another that did just trimming and […]

Sure, you can read it but this is our STANDARD LANGUAGE

We have all seen onerous and unfair language in contracts, waivers, releases, invoices, disclaimers, disclosures, notices. Sometimes it is in the dreaded “fine print.” Sometimes it is in large bolded, underlined print. When one party challenges such language, we often hear the response: This is “industry standard.” Don’t agree to proposed language based on an […]

HOAs, Contracts – A Checklist and Basic Guide

Samuel Goldwyn said that “an oral contract isn’t worth the paper it is written on.” Unfortunately, the same can be said for many written contracts. The purpose of this brief article is to identify key provisions that should be included in association contracts. A well written contract can reduce liability exposure, reduce the risk of […]

Vendor Consolidations

Board members, community managers and homeowners are constantly hiring vendors for various reasons, such as landscaping, painting, fencing, roofing, etc. However, some vendors just do a better job than others, which is why some communities with HOAs have pre-approved vendor lists. When something needs to be done, it has to be performed by one of […]