When to File a Breach of Contract Lawsuit or How Long is Too Long? (CO)

The Colorado Supreme Court recently issued a decision that significantly impacts common interest communities’ need to enforce contracts by filing a lawsuit or an arbitration proceeding. This decision affects the timing considerations of when such proceedings must be filed.   Read the article…………………………….

Homeowner gets bid but does not follow proper procedure (NV)

Q: One of the residents knows a company who provides barrier arm installation and requested we ask the company for a bid, which is totally fine in my opinion.  However, the problem stems from the resident bypassing the board and our management firm and directly contacting the company and not having it send the sealed […]

New Law Affects Contractor Retainage for Co-ops & Condos: Add Another Item to Boards’ List of Things to Worry About (NY)

As if New York co-op and condo communities weren’t under enough pressure from sluggish sales, high interest rates, and the ever-increasing volume of work required to comply with environmental requirements like Local Law 97, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law on November 17 amending Sections 756-a and 756-c of the New York State […]

Tendering for Condominiums (ON)

It is not uncommon that lawyers are asked to review signed contracts from clients after the lengthy tendering process has already been completed. But there are reasons why you may want to involve your lawyer much earlier on in the process and here are the reasons why:   Read the article………………………..

What to Do When a Vendor May be Filing for Bankruptcy (CO)

With continued inflation, rising costs of materials, and the volatility of our current economy, we continue to experience financial impacts to community associations, including the impact to an association when one of its vendors decides to file bankruptcy.   Read the article……………………….

Helping Your Association With Vendor Management

When working with your community association, vendor management needs to take center stage to ensure the smooth operation of vital services like landscaping, maintenance, and security. Your role as a community member entails overseeing these essential functions. By effectively managing vendors, you guarantee that your community thrives     Read the article………………………………….

Navigating the Legal Snowdrift: Ensuring a Solid Snow Removal Contract (OH)

As winter arrives, associations and community association managers must prepare for the inevitable task of establishing smooth and safe snow removal operations. While hiring a professional snow removal service is essential, paying close attention to the language contained in these contracts is equally crucial. Unclear wording can result in legal complications piling up as rapidly […]

HOA Vendors: How To Select Vendors And End Contracts?

Choosing the right HOA vendors is vital to the community’s well-being. But, it can be hard to pick a contractor with the right experience and skills the community needs. Let’s take a look at the selection process to help your HOA choose a fitting vendor.   Read the article………………………..

Tips for Negotiating a Contract (OH)

Before entering into a contract, an association has the opportunity to negotiate terms that provide more protection for the community. One critical aspect of contract negotiation is defining the scope of work. It is essential that all parties involved understand what the project entails and how it will be completed.   Read the article………………………..

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………………………..

Requiring Workers’ Compensation (FL)

It is surprising to hear from so many community association board members and managers looking to protect their community association that, when asked if they require all vendors to have workers’ compensation insurance as a required term in all of their contracts, it can be like looking at a deer in the headlights.    Read the […]

Why Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor is Not an Option (CA)

Everywhere we look, costs are rising all around us. Labor costs, insurance costs, material costs. And for associations, business keeps moving forward. With pressure from homeowners to keep assessments low, and increased requirements being placed on associations contributing to rising costs, associations across the state are looking for ways to keep costs down.   Read the […]

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………………………..

HOA RFP Specifications

When selecting vendors to perform work or other services for an HOA, all Board Members must be involved throughout the bidding process. Before obtaining bids, the Board should thoroughly review the Association’s governing documents to ensure that the bid selection process complies with the rules and regulations.  Read the article………………………..

The High Cost of Terrible Service at your HOA or Condo

Have you ever been disappointed with the quality or service of something you have paid for? You aren’t likely to spend your money on that item again. Whether it was poor quality or poor service that caused your disappointment really doesn’t matter. The same is true for your Homeowners Association or condominium.   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………………………..

Unlicensed Contractors: What You Need to Know (FL)

Hurricane Ian made direct landfall in Southwest Florida, destroying thousands of homes and buildings. The destruction will now require the mobilization of hundreds of contractors in the construction industry. Unfortunately, a tragedy like Hurricane Ian will also attract a number of unlicensed contractors who will try and take advantage of desperate victims trying to rebuild […]

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………………………..

Tips for Reviewing Construction Contracts for Your HOA

A former construction company executive earned a 15 years prison sentence for his role in a scheme to control homeowners associations and took $58 million fraudulently. Often, homeowners association board members fall into the trap of inadvertently and unknowingly signing biased construction contracts.   Read the article………………………..

Vendor Selection for HOAs: What Board Members Need to Know (NC)

As a board member of a community association, you have a lot of responsibilities. One of the most important is ensuring that the association gets the best services possible at a reasonable price. This includes selecting qualified, licensed, and insured vendors (also called service providers) to provide services to the community    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 […]

What is Boilerplate Anyway? (VA)

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times – the general terms at the end of an agreement being referred to as “boilerplate” provisions, a phrase that misleadingly suggests that these provisions are of lesser importance. As it turns out, both the original boilerplates and the modern-day contract provisions that carry the […]

Competitive Bid Requirements for Florida Condominium Associations (FL)

Many Florida condominiums are responding to new inspection and structural-integrity requirements from lenders and insurers by planning for projects to bolster and repair their aging towers. For such major construction projects, competitive bids are literally a must, as they are mandated by Florida law. However, for very small associations as well as for some other […]

When Should You Contact an Engineer?

When it comes to the reconstruction and restoration of HOA communities, the civil and structural engineers who make up a part of this niche market are accustomed to working behind the scenes. After all, there’s nothing high-profile and flashy about designing repair plans, pulling permits, or writing up engineering reports about potential issues within a […]

When do Condominium Associations need to get competitive bids? (FL)

The Snow Birds are returning North so now begins the time, when less residents are around, for many Condominium and Homeowners’ Associations to perform needed building repairs and/or do that exciting lobby, social room or clubhouse renovation.    Read the entire article……………………………….

Protect Your Community Association’s Reputation by Protecting Contractors from Interference (OH)

Have your association’s contractors ever complained to the board about residents interfering with their ability to perform their work? Have you heard stories of residents scolding your snow removal provider for not doing their job properly this last winter? With spring clean-up season right around the corner and large landscaping projects, as well as routine […]

Engineering report lacks repair path for board (IL)

Q. An engineer inspected the balconies in our association, built in the 1980s. The engineer’s report was rather sparse. The report concludes there are construction defects with the spindles of the balconies that need to be corrected. Is there something we should be asking the engineer?   Read the Q&A……………………………….

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 […]

Your Association Received a Preliminary Lien Notice. Now What? (CA)

Under California law, most licensed contractors or suppliers that provide labor, services, equipment, or materials on projects involving the common area of a community association are entitled to record a mechanic’s lien or issue a stop payment notice if they are not paid for their work or materials. Associations involved in such projects often receive […]

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 […]