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Georgia Condo & HOA Articles Archive

/ Owner - June 28, 2012
  • Corporate Transparency Act 2022: Reporting Required for HOAs (GA)
    The Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”) that was enacted by Congress in 2021 will go into effect at the start of 2024. While the Corporate Transparency Act was implemented to combat the use of shell corporations, LLC’s, partnerships, and other entities to facilitate terrorist funding, corruption, tax fraud, and other illicit activities, it will also likely apply to HOA and condominium associations.   Read the article……………………………….
  • A Guide to Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act (POAA)
    The Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act (POAA) is a Georgia statute that provides for rights and authority that a homeowners’ association (HOA) can elect to be governed by in addition to its community-specific governing documents. The POAA was enacted to provide HOAs with powers and procedures, similar to the Georgia Condominium Act that governs condominium associations in Georgia.     Read the article………………………………..
  • HOA Electronic Voting and Bylaws
    An election for the Flagship Wharf Condominium Association’s board was upcoming. Members were told they could vote in person at the meeting, by directed proxy, or electronically through a unique link sent to each Unit. One of the candidates asked the board to amend the association’s Bylaws to explicitly allow for members to vote electronically prior to the election, but the board declined to do so. That candidate lost the election and sued alleging the vote was void because electronic voting was used.    Read the article……………………………..
  • Homeowners’ association pros and cons (GA)
    Odds are that people in the market for a new home in the Golden Isles will buy one in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association.  Realtor Missy Neu, chief operating officer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, said the majority of newly developed neighborhoods have homeowners’ associations, while some of the older ones don’t.  Read the article………………………..
  • HOA Swimming Pool Maintenance Checklist (GA)
    As pool season quickly approaches, HOAs and condominiums should follow this simple checklist in preparation to open for the season.   Read the article………………………..
  • Six Common Types of HOA Litigation
    Litigation is a common way to resolve disputes, but is a legal action neither party wants to have to take. Litigation against homeowners’ associations (“HOAs”) and condominium associations most frequently filed by association members. Each lawsuit is unique but can often be categorized as one of the six most common types of HOA litigation filed against an association.    Read the article………………………..
  • The Importance of Homeowners Association Bylaws and Covenants (GA)
    Homeowners associations (HOAs) have become an increasingly common feature of residential communities across the United States. These organizations are typically established by developers to manage and maintain the shared amenities and common areas within a neighborhood, as well as to enforce certain rules and regulations designed to protect property values and maintain a high quality of life for residents.  Read the article………………………..
  • Condominium & Homeowner’s Associations FAQS (GA)
    How can an HOA tell me what to do? HOAs and condo associations are created when the property and community are first being developed. Before the developer sells the first property, documents are recorded with the local city or county creating obligations that attach to the property itself such that they are binding on anyone………….Read the article………………………..
  • Everything You Need to Know About Community Association Audits
    Conducting an audit is an excellent way to confirm the financial health of your community. An audit can also highlight areas of financial risk, such as budget issues, reporting mistakes, or even fraud. Whether highlighted in covenants, required by statutes, or driven by proactive financial management procedures, most associations start thinking about their audits in the 4th quarter.   Read the article………………………..
  • What To Do If Water Catastrophe Strikes (GA)
    Although snow and freezing temperatures are often anticipated events in Atlanta, for many community association managers, winter is something to dread. With winter comes freezing temperatures and frozen pipes, and, invariably, pipe bursts and failures, and water leaks.   Read the article………………………..
  • Behind the Scenes of Disrupting the Invasion of Institutional Investors (GA)
    The invasion of institutional investors has led to practical problems for communities outside of the expected compliance issues. For example, who will run for director positions for the board association or assume committee positions without homeowner volunteers? Will the annual meetings reach quorum? Overall, how does the surge of renters impact the character of the community? These associations struggle to preserve the owner-occupied character of a residential community without neighbors who intend to plant roots, foster a sense of community, and stay.  Read the article………………………..
  • Everything You Need to Know About Community Association Audits
    Conducting an audit is an excellent way to confirm the financial health of your community. An audit can also highlight areas of financial risk, such as budget issues, reporting mistakes, or even fraud. Whether highlighted in covenants, required by statutes, or driven by proactive financial management procedures, most associations start thinking about their audits in the 4th quarter.   Read the article………………………..
  • Kansas Association Votes to Amend HOA Voting Procedures
    The Board of Directors of Forest Lakes Master Association sought to amend the HOA voting procedures set forth in the Association’s Declaration. The Board requested all members vote in person or by proxy at the meeting they called to consider the amendment. With concern that they would not get full participation, the Board also announced that if they did not get enough votes at the meeting, they would go door-to-door for 30 days following the meeting to get the required two-third’s vote to approve the amendment.   Read the article………………………..
  • Superhero or Supervillain? Is Your Association’s Declaration Fighting for Your Community or Against It? (GA)
    A deep, gravelly voice blares through an old television set, “Citizens of Georgia, do you know what your association’s declaration is doing in the quiet of the night? It may be the superhero you wish for loaded with a host of collection powers ready to save your community’s floundering financial reserves. Alternatively, it may be the supervillain you dread attempting to foil collection attempts against those pesky delinquent owners. Only a closer look will tell. Stay tuned tonight with channel eight’s favorite community association news team, Diane and Bob!”   Read the article………………………..
  • Neighbor-to-Neighbor Overgrown Tree Disputes
    As a homeowner’s association board member, it’s important to know where your association stands when it comes to tree disputes. Some common questions are on rights of trimming trees between neighbors property lines, as well as communication between neighbors on how to remove overgrown landscaping and trees. Here’s one question we’ve received in the past that covers so many of these concerns:   Read the article………………………..
  • HOA Gardening Rules | Can I plant flowers by my condo (GA)
    It’s important to note any HOA gardening rules and guidelines in your community whether you would consider yourself to have a green thumb or are just looking to pick up a new hobby. Any landscaping you do to common property may require board approval, despite how beautiful you may believe it to be, because of maintenance, aesthetic, and expense concerns.   Read the article………………………
  • SWIMMING POOL RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR HOA (GA)
    As the temperature rises, so does the importance of understanding your HOA’s swimming pool rules and regulations before making a splash! Homeowners often have questions regarding who can enforce swimming pool rules, how to change any rules they dislike, guest fees for visiting grandchildren or friends, and the ability to teach swim lessons in your community swimming pool.   Read the article………………
  • The Basics of Condo & Community Grill Rules (GA)
    While the regulation is not brand new (it has been in effect since 1999), it is becoming more known because structural fires caused by “grills” are at an all-time high. As a result, virtually every state’s fire code now regulates cooking over an open flame. The Rules and Regulations for the State Minimum Fire Safety Standards for the State of Georgia  Read the article………………………….
  • Georgia Condominium Laws Require Rebuilding to Original Installation
    Brandon Lewis provided a speech at the Georgia Association of Public Insurance Adjusters Spring meeting discussing the adjustment of condominium losses in Georgia. He noted the following statute in the Georgia Code regarding condominium insurance:   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Understanding the Basics of Board Financial Reporting
    As a property manager or community association board member, sometimes it’s tough to remember that associations are businesses. Some of them are pretty large, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in dues collected and expenses paid each year. That requires regular, proactive monitoring to ensure that issues, like mistakes or variances, are quickly identified and addressed. In rarer situations, this oversight can uncover theft or fraud.    Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Georgia Legislative Update
    The 2022 legislative session has ended in Georgia. Here are a few state and federal legislative items impacting, or potentially impacting, community associations:   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Villages of Cascade Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Edwards (GA)
    Court reverses denial of Homeowners Association’s motion for summary judgment on injured resident’s claims for premises liability, nuisance, and punitive damages   Read the decision (PDF)…………………………………….
  • Learning from the Olympics: How to Welcome Diversity in Your HOA
    Countries around the world gather biennially for what could be considered the greatest cultural experiment of our time: the summer and winter Olympics. An exhilarating juxtaposition of unwavering nationalism and profound respect for athletes from a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities – all competing for the gold.  This event presents a lesson for all of us in community association management: the importance of recognizing the enormous benefit of embracing diversity and recognizing the different cultures that exist within our communities. Having that mindset within our boards, homeowners and management teams is crucial to creating a more inclusive community.    Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Understand Your HOA Collections Process (GA)
    Setting up an HOA collections process is one of the most important things a Board needs to do to maintain financial responsibility of the community association. While we always hope everyone will just pay homeowner’s association dues, you need to know what to do if someone can’t or won’t pay their dues.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • How to Collect Delinquent Homeowners Association Fees (GA)
    Delinquent homeowners association fees are a reality that most associations have to manage. While it can be a hassle, the HOA usually has several available options to collect, including recording liens against the property, filing suit and obtaining a judgment against the homeowners, and, in some cases, foreclosing on the property.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Benefits of Submission to the Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act
    The Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act (“POA”) was adopted in 1994 to expand the powers of homeowner associations. Communities are not automatically submitted to the POA. Instead, either the developer/declarant must elect to submit the community to the POA, or the members must amend the declaration to submit their community to the POA. Most developers do not submit the community to the POA for a variety of reasons, so most communities are submitted to the POA through an amendment to their existing declaration. Some of the benefits of the POA are provided below:   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Top FAQs on HOA Fees & Collections (GA)
    As a board member, you have many responsibilities including HOA fees and collections. There are a number of questions we hear from our clients on collections and we even represent them in court to help guide them through the process.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • How to Collect Delinquent Homeowners Association Fees (GA)
    Delinquent homeowners association fees are a reality that most associations have to manage. While it can be a hassle, the HOA usually has several available options to collect, including recording liens against the property, filing suit and obtaining a judgment against the homeowners, and, in some cases, foreclosing on the property.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Conflict Resolution Strategies for Homeowners Associations
    Differences of opinion are bound to happen when boards try to govern their property, even within the best community associations. When it comes to major community management decisions, in particular unpopular ones like increasing HOA dues, tempers often flair among residents and board members alike.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Buying a condo requires several considerations
    It’s no secret that with home ownership comes many responsibilities, including landscaping, repairs and upkeep that some people are either unwilling or unable to do.  For people looking to move into a living space with fewer challenges and responsibilities, a condominium may be the answer. Condominiums come in many sizes, and many have square footage equal to that of a single-family dwelling.    Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Recent Changes to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) recently adopted a new Final Rule that amends Regulation F, 12 C.F.R. part 1006, which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). These are Federal rules governing certain activities of debt collectors, as that term is defined in the FDCPA. This is applicable to community associations because law firms that pursue delinquent homeowner debts are considered debt collectors under the FDCPA.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Disputes Involving Party Walls and Fences (GA)
    Homeowners often look to their community association for help with resolving a dispute with a neighbor. But if the issue involves a party wall or fence (i.e., with no common property in between), there may not be much the association can do. The first step—as in most cases—is to see what the association’s governing documents provide. Hopefully there is language that offers some guidance or, at the very least, confirms that the association should not get involved.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Ensuring a Smooth Fiscal Transition (GA)
    All over Georgia, new “volunteers” are preparing to take their seats on an HOA or community association board of directions. Most boards have some, if not a majority, or seats turn over each year, with new board members voted in at annual association meetings.  Read the entire article……………………………….
  • When an HOA Fails to Follow Its Own Covenants and Procedures, Is Such a “Technicality” Actionable? (GA)
    Homeowners aggrieved by their homeowners associations (HOAs) often quickly notice when the Board of Directors of the HOA fails to follow its own rules, or otherwise conducts business in manner that appears inconsistent with the Board’s policies and procedures.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Finally Settling a Generally Accepted Fact: A Georgia Appellate Court Case Clarifying Insurance Requirements Under Georgia Condominium Act
    There are few events as calamitous as water damage to a home. Jesse Mainor, a condominium unit owner, experienced condominium unit water damage twice in short order. In his case, the source of the leak was another unit’s hot water heater which subsequently leaked into his ceiling, causing damages into the five figures.       Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Finally Settling a Generally Accepted Fact: A Georgia Appellate Court Case Clarifying Insurance Requirements Under Georgia Condominium Act
    There are few events as calamitous as water damage to a home. Jesse Mainor, a condominium unit owner, experienced condominium unit water damage twice in short order. In his case, the source of the leak was another unit’s hot water heater which subsequently leaked into his ceiling, causing damages into the five figures.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Not My Lake, Not My Bill: A Georgia Appellate Court Case On Hoa Governing Documents Interpretation & Responsibilities
    HOA governing documents usually account for and prescribe how maintenance and repair fees may be levied against the homeowners in the association for both the shared and individually owned property in the community. While this is commonplace and a normal part of membership, when the property in need of maintenance or repair is a large lake, these fees can rise to dramatic figures.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Can Our Association Continue with Board Elections Without a Meeting? (GA)
    Last summer we published a blog article on safely conducting community association business during COVID-19. Most of the advice was directed towards membership meetings. For example, many associations decided to hold board elections without a meeting by written ballot, and then they called virtual townhalls to announce the results and satisfy the other annual meeting requirements. Fast forward a year later, many associations are sticking to this procedure—or at least a hybrid version by sticking to board elections without a meeting.    Read the entire article……………………………….
  • HOA Fees in Bankruptcy: Beyond The Basics (GA)
    Although we are well past the halfway point of 2021, the pandemic continues to affect daily life and finances for many Americans. Critically, with eviction and foreclosure moratoriums coming to an end and government assistance programs expiring, there is a predicted surge in bankruptcy filings likely to occur.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • The ABCs of Community Association Financial Management
    With many schools now back in session, and our children learning everything they forgot over the summer, we thought it would be fun to prepare a primer with tips for good HOA and community association financial management.  The vast majority of community associations are well-run and in reasonably good financial health. The property manager and board of directors work well together to plan, protect, spend, and save. Their keys to success include open and honest communication, as well as financial vigilance.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Protecting Community Assets (GA)
    Four years ago, we published two separate blog articles on funding reserves and preparing for disaster (i.e., related to insurance claims). Although these general issues are always relevant for community associations with common property, they have unfortunately been thrown into the international spotlight within the last week.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • 7 Tips to Improve HOA Financial Stability
    If 2020 was the year of crisis management and pandemic survival, then 2021 should be the year for applying the lessons learned and improving HOA and community association financial stability. A financially stable HOA is not only better prepared for an unforeseen situation, but is also set up to meet goals, address maintenance needs, and keep residents informed and happy.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • As the State Continues to Reopen and More Individuals are Vaccinated, the Latest Modification to Georgia’s COVID-19 Mandates Lifts Restrictions Applicable to Community Association Operations and Amenities
    The mandates in effect for Georgia organizations, including community associations, have been discontinued with Governor Kemp’s latest Executive Order issued May 28, 2021. The May 28th Order does not impose the previous requirement that condominium associations and HOAs implement certain measures and protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Under the new Order, each community association’s board of directors may determine whether to continue mitigation measures in the best interest of their community.   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……………………………….
  • Georgia’s COVID-19 Restrictions Modified for Community Association Operations as Vaccine Rollout Expands and State Reopens
    With the expansion of vaccine eligibility to all Georgians aged 16 and over, Governor Brian Kemp’s Executive Order, Empowering a Healthy Georgia, issued March 31, 2021 (the “March 31st Order”), substantially revises the guidance and mandates applicable to all Organizations that continue in-person operations during the COVID-19 pandemic—including community associations.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • The Potential Pitfalls of Social Media for Community Associations (GA)
    Social networks like Facebook, Nextdoor, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, etc. have dramatically changed the way all of us – including homeowner and condominium associations – communicate. These networks allow community associations to easily, inexpensively, and instantly notify their members about a wide variety of issues. They also can be a useful forum where members can speak directly with their associations and each other. However, these powerful networks should not be utilized without analyzing their potential risks and developing a plan to limit those risks.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Handling a Housing Discrimination Complaint (GA)
    The Federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for housing providers, which includes community associations, to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability. This is enforced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). So, if one believes their rights have been violated by their community association (i.e., through the board of directors or property manager), he/she can file a complaint with HUD after the alleged violation.    Read the entire article……………………………….
  • The Potential Pitfalls of Social Media for Community Associations (GA)
    Social networks like Facebook, Nextdoor, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, etc. have dramatically changed the way all of us – including homeowner and condominium associations – communicate. These networks allow community associations to easily, inexpensively, and instantly notify their members about a wide variety of issues. They also can be a useful forum where members can speak directly with their associations and each other. However, these powerful networks should not be utilized without analyzing their potential risks and developing a plan to limit those risks.  Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Opening Your Community Amenities in 2021 (GA)
    Can we safely open our amenities in 2021? This is the question on the mind of every community association director, manager and member. This conversation started last year around this exact time, and many communities chose not to open their amenities last summer because of the great risks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other communities opened their amenities with greatly reduced capacity and substantially new protocols covering social distancing, disinfecting of surfaces, reservations systems and updated guest policies.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • HOA Board of Directors Financial Spring Cleaning (GA)
    The end of March is officially national spring-cleaning week! Your Board’s HOA spring-cleaning checklist should include a check-in with your association’s finances and plan for the rest of the year. While we cannot predict what will happen, the best way to protect the association from uncertainty is to have a financial plan.  Read the entire article……………………………….
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