How to voice out your concerns about HOA dues increase

When you live in a community managed by a Homeowners Association (HOA), you understand your responsibility to pay regular dues to help maintain the quality of your neighborhood. However, a significant increase in contributions might seem suspicious, especially when the change was not communicated properly to you. As a homeowner, you have the right to […]

How to Oust Your Condo Board or HOA

Close to 30% of Americans live in a property governed by a condo board, homeowners association (HOA), or other community association—more than 70 million people. These associations are generally responsible for property upkeep, enforcement of community rules, and acting as a go-between for residents when disputes arise. Most people have a good or at least […]

Elevate Your Co-op Board Game (NY)

Ever found yourself navigating the tricky waters of a coop board with that one steadfast but hesitant volunteer? Picture this: a decision hangs in the balance, and despite the collective will of the board, this one individual assumes/ possesses the power to halt, delay, or even stop progress.   Read the article…………………………….

The Age of the Homeowner

In the community management industry, we’re entering an era where homeowners and board members, the core stakeholders of every community, are becoming the new focal point. While the industry has long prioritized back-office efficiency, a new emphasis on putting technology directly into the hands of homeowners and board members is emerging.   Read the article………………………………

ACC Request Denied? Here are the Steps to Making a Proper Appeal

If you live in a community with an HOA, then you likely know that home improvement projects require approval from your association’s Architectural Control/Review Committee (ACC/ARC). While this extra step can feel tedious when you’re ready to break out the paint and tools, it is important as it helps your community maintain a cohesive look, […]

Condo Column: A board appreciation

Many of these columns have given boards of directors (and owners) advice on how to operate their condominium association a little bit better. But I have too often overlooked thanking board members for the work they do. So, I started out writing a thank you, but thought it might be a bit better if it […]

Lifecycle of a HOA: Keeping Property Values High and Communities Thriving (CA)

The lifecycle of a HOA is similar to the rejuvenating feeling of spring, with a surge of excitement when there’s newness in the air. Over time, new people move in and buildings get updated, which means communities at their inception look much different 10 or 20 years down the line.   Read the article………………………..

Your guide to HOAs & solar panels: 5 strategies to get approval

In many areas, Homeowners Associations (HOAs) can present significant barriers to homeowners’ ability to install solar.  In 2020, for example, Solar United Neighbors estimated that HOAs wrongly denying residents the ability to go solar had cost Virginia solar contractors more than $7 million in retail solar sales since 2014.   Read the article………………………..

What to do when you don’t agree with your Homeowner’s Association (OH)

Susan Gorman has lived in her Hilliard-area condo since 2012, but in late 2020, things changed after so-called “upgrades” were made to the parking lot.  “You just don’t have much room to maneuver around here,” Gorman said. “I have property damage to my car where my neighbor kept hitting it. Because there’s just not enough […]

Productive Community Association Board Meetings: Be Heard at Your Next Board Meeting

The management of a community takes the efforts of board members and ample collaboration from homeowners. The boards of the Homeowners Associations(HOA) and Condominium Owners Associations(COA) convene frequently to improve management. Some of the reasons these meetings are conducted are to make decisions on waste management, utilities, maintenance of roads, and a review of fees. […]

How to Communicate with an HOA Board of Directors (NJ)

Many homeowners typically wonder, “What’s the best process on how to communicate with an HOA board of directors?”  Good communication in an HOA community association relies heavily on how efficiently homeowners and board members respond to each other’s requests, proposals, and ideas. To ensure your community association feels they can efficiently and transparently communicate their […]

REAL ESTATE MATTERS: Moving to avoid board-run condo development

Q: I read your response to the 66-year old buyer who was considering the purchase of a home.  I’m 84 years old. I live in a small (75-plus unit) condo development. I love my unit but there are things I don’t like in the board-run community.  My dilemma is whether to simply accept the issues […]

HOA Homefront: But I disagree with the board. What next? (CA)

In our culture today, disagreement is mishandled more than ever before. However, disagreement is to be expected between directors of common interest developments (aka HOAs), and the way it is understood and handled can either enhance or harm the association community and its governance.   Read the article………………………….

What Not To Do When You Receive Communications From Your HOA Board

As the manager for homeowner associations (HOAs), it’s important to develop a good relationship with your client’s board. The HOA board is the association’s leadership, setting its policies and community guidelines. Association boards are made up of members who live in the community and oversee its direction, however, most board members also have full-time jobs […]

Board/Manager Relationship

The relationship between a community association board and the association’s management company (and community manager) is absolutely vital to the community’s success. How can your community association best ensure that this important relationship remains positive?   Read the article…………………………..

Climate Legislation and Emissions Issues: How Attorneys Can Advise Boards (NY)

While the ‘Green New Deal’ and other long-term climate solutions are being debated at the federal level, some states and municipalities are getting in on the action as well, setting legal emissions benchmarks that will have a real impact on the lives of multifamily community residents – including those in co-ops, condos, and HOAs.   Read […]

Relations in Associations: Symbiosis Between HOAs and Homeowners

Like any other organization, homeowners associations rely on people to make decisions and perform organizational functions. For important constitutional matters like amending an association’s declaration of covenants, this usually means a vote of all HOA members. But for more day-to-day affairs, an association acts through its board of directors and officers.    Read the article…………………

How Homeowners Can Have a Productive Relationship With Their HOA (FL)

A Homeowners’ Association (HOA) is a private association that chiefly exists to safeguard the property values of a particular building or community. An HOA is basically established by the developer of the community where the homes are built. HOAs have got a bad reputation generally because of their strict rules and arbitrary orders they enforce […]

Time to Call It Quits? When Management Breaks Up With a Client Community

In a New York TImes “Ask Real Estate” letter from last December, a co-op shareholder lamented the sorry state of her 10-unit building: the board president was abdicating his position with no willing successor, and the managing agent was opting not to renew their contract, leaving the co-op adrift as far as leadership was concerned. […]

How To De-escalate a Confrontational Exchange

Why do so many interactions these days become heated? Are people just meaner than they used to be? Have we lost our ability to be tolerant of one another? And, if so, what can we do about it?  In today’s society, it seems we are not only entitled to our opinion, but everyone else is […]

Seven ways to be heard at your next condo or HOA meeting

Residents are encouraged to attend and observe community association board meetings. If you’d like to bring an issue to your community association governing board’s attention, you’re welcome to speak during the homeowner forum—a time set aside just for you.  So that everyone who attends has an opportunity for a meaningful exchange with the board, typically […]

Bah Humbug! What to Do if an HOA Board Member is a Scrooge

There seems to be one in every homeowners association. That one HOA board member that consistently disagrees, goes against the majority, or at the very least enjoys playing devil’s advocate. Do you have a Scrooge – a mean spirited, miserly person – on your Board? There are ways you can deal with them.   Read the […]

How to have influence on your condo board

Q: I own a small condominium in a midsize building in Chicago. I pay around $500 per month in assessments, and the building has more than $600,000 in reserves. The association hired a consultant to deliver a reserve study to the board, but it has not been posted to the condo building website.   Read the […]

President’s Direction did not Survive Motion to Show Authority

You are hired by an organization to investigate claims against certain parties, and the organization’s president later directs you to file a lawsuit on those claims. Do you have authority to file suit? Maybe not, a recent case reveals.  The Board of Directors of Candle Meadows Homeowners Association voted to retain a lawyer to investigate […]

How to Host an Effective Board Orientation

Orienting a community association board is no different than onboarding a new team member – the first 90 days are critical to success. Regardless of your role on the community management team, if you take the time to get to know the board members, align expectations and educate the board about their role in the […]

Honest About HOAs (survey)

Homeowners associations (or HOAs) are supposed to exist to make our lives easier. Don’t want to mow your lawn or deal with noisy neighbors? Typically for a monthly fee, HOAs provide property maintenance and a code of rules meant to provide a uniform look and feel to a community. Sometimes, though, these codes can cause […]

8 common HOA violations that can land you in hot water

Plenty of people love living in a community with a homeowners association, or HOA. HOA rules are designed to prevent neighborhoods from turning into eyesores and keep the peace. Sometimes, though, the rules can catch homeowners by surprise and result in costly consequences.    Read the article………………

How to Be an Effective Community Manager

Managing people is no easy task. Whether you manage a small team of professionals or an entire organization, the following tips will help you break down barriers and foster great relationships. Establish trust. Your employees and clients look to you for guidance, so be consistent with your approach to communication and problem-solving. Set and manage […]

How An HOA’s Members Manage Their Boards of Directors

It used to surprise me if members of some HOAs or Condominium Associations felt controlled by their Boards, until I actually lived in an HOA. Therefore, I developed a strategy for dealing with this problem that may be helpful for others who feel the same way. It may be a painful process for one member […]

Can an HOA Board Make Important Decisions without Homeowners? (CA)

More precisely, does an HOA’s Board of Directors have authority to make important decisions for the community without seeking input from their homeowners – either informal consultation, a survey or a formal vote?  The short answer to the question is “Yes.” The HOA board is established to oversee the governance of the association on behalf […]

6 Red Flags for Difficult HOA Board Members

A well-focused board of directors is efficient, productive, and in most cases, a pleasure to work with. The board of directors sets the tone for how things get accomplished and how the HOA is maintained overall. But what happens when one, or more, of your directors has personality issues with the rest, or even worse, […]

HOA Homefront: What to do when you get a notice for a board hearing

A notice of a disciplinary hearing is not the best kind of mail to open, but in common interest communities that is how associations compel owners to be good neighbors.  How one responds to a hearing notice can greatly affect the outcome. Consider the following pointers toward a more productive presentation at the hearing, and […]

Crystal Vision: Why Communication Between a Board and Management Company Matters

As a board member, you want your community to grow and thrive. Having a vision for your community—the aesthetics of it, its reputation, the kinds of programming it offers and amenities it provides—is critical to its long-term well-being. A well-crafted vision will transcend board and resident turnover and keep your community on track.     Read […]

HOA Model Remodeling

Owning your own home is an American dream. In urban settings, homeowner associations have become a dominant form of new construction, often representing over two thirds of new homes. While HOA homeowners have many rights and privileges, they often concede certain freedoms usually enjoyed in more traditional home ownership. One particular area of concession involves […]

The Rogue One: Directors Gone Bad

A condo director unilaterally fires the property manager, hires himself in her place, enters into several other contracts without discussing it with the other directors, bullies the other owners, sues the corporation, and causes thousands of dollars in damages. It seems like an unbelievable plot for a movie, but this one is based on a […]

Your Professionals Should Stay Out of Board Politics

It seems to happen year after year after year: An entrenched board refuses to hold elections or annual meetings.  At one such co-op with the same board members “for almost 20 years,” writes a shareholder, a meeting finally was scheduled for the first time in four years. “There was no list of nominees provided,” the […]

When a Board Breaks Bad: Righting the Ship at Your Co-op or Condo

Owners and shareholders trust their elected boards with their very lives. Okay… it’s probably not a life-or-death scenario, but residents of co-ops and condos do put a great deal of faith in their association’s representatives to have their best interests at heart when it comes to their financial security and the maintenance of the properties […]

How to Prepare for Presenting Your Great Idea to the HOA Board

You live in a homeowner’s association. You have a great idea. You’re not on the board, and elections are months away. What next? Present it. Presenting a good idea, whether to the HOA board or to a boss or to anyone else in the position to approve it, isn’t about them or you — it’s […]

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 […]

I Really Don’t Like My Neighbor’s Tenants

It is an all too common situation, especially in coastal communities, mountain retreats, and college towns: You bought a home in a planned community that has a homeowners’ association with thoughts of being able to enjoy a quiet, family-oriented neighborhood. Then you find that your community’s amenities are being overrun with transient tenants and their […]

Getting an HOA Approval for House Color

Some homeowners associations have strict rules regarding what color you can paint the exterior of your home. In other communities, they may require you to get an approval before you paint your house a different color. Check out these tips for how to get HOA approval for a new house color.      Read the […]

We Don’t Hear You: Handling Board Complaints

Communication is vital to running a successful condo complex or co-op building. So what happens when dwellers complain that board members are not listening and—even worse —ignoring their problems?  Well, you can bet it will not foster warm, fuzzy open lines of communication. Instead, it creates animosity and even more problems for a now unpopular, […]

The Secrets to Handling Negative People in Your Board of Directors

All-in-all, many board members are people who simply care about the community in which they live and who sincerely want to do what is right for the condominium residents. They are often fairly well organized and willing to help out and take on any issues that they are equipped to deal with. The proof is […]

Roles and responsibilities of a community association board

To uphold their fiduciary duty, boards must run their community associations according to governing documents, applicable law and good business sense. Some responsibilities are given to all board members, while others are assigned to specific officers.     Read the article……..

5 Reasons There’s a Disconnect Between the HOA Board and Homeowners

The success of a homeowners association is based on the members and Board working together. If the community is not taken care of, it will catch up with Association, affect property values, decrease the quality of living, and create a disharmonious environment.       Read the article…………

Dealing with a rogue condo board

Most boards in condominium associations are filled with well-meaning, pleasant men and women who willingly give up free time. They do this, strangely enough, to volunteer at odd hours to help run their association, including setting budgets, interviewing contractors, answering complaints and following up on such things as landscaping and snow removal. Sadly, they do […]