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- April 19, 2016
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A Missouri appellate court rejected a homeowner’s appeal of an order to remove solar panels from property in the Lake of 12 Oaks subdivision.  The Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals issued an 18-page judgement Tuesday denying all five of Matthew “Scott” Hausman’s appeal arguments. The judicial panel’s review follows a judgment issued […]

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- April 19, 2016
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Just try saying that five times fast. Not only is it a serious mouthful, it also carries serious legal obligations and potential consequences. As board members, your community has entrusted you with the “power” to make decisions on their behalf and in the best interest of the community. It is your obligation to remove your […]

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- April 9, 2016
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Being on a homeowners association board means volunteering your time for best of your whole community. It can be an incredibly fulfilling role, but it involves dealing with differences in opinion and finding times to get everyone together.   Read the article…………

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- April 4, 2016
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Drones. Everyone has heard of them. No one is sure what to make of them. Are they destined to be the scourge of the skies? Or are they simply a brilliant convenience that will allow regular folks to complete everyday tasks from the comfort of their computers? While the jury is still out, and will […]

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- April 2, 2016
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How you handle your HOA reserve funds really makes a difference in the successful running of your association. The quality of the strategic planning of your homeowners association can actually make or break your community. It’s also really important to the longevity and future investments of your association.       Read the article…………….

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- April 1, 2016
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Neighborhoods with HOAs are often very secure places in which to live. However, there are a lot of pitfalls that can affect your neighborhood’s security, making it more vulnerable. Check out these four tips to help keep your neighborhood safe.   Read the article……………

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- March 28, 2016
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A huge problem for HOA and condo associations over the past 5 years has been “zombie foreclosures.” That’s where a bank starts the foreclosure process on a property and the owner moves out, but then the bank doesn’t complete the foreclosure (no state law requires banks to complete foreclosure within a timeframe). We have seen […]

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- March 27, 2016
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It can be frustrating to be part of a meeting that’s disorganized and seems to go on and on. It’s not difficult to run an effective HOA meeting – all you need to do is follow these simple guidelines:  Read the article………..

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- March 24, 2016
7 views 27 sec

If you own a home with a mortgage, you already know one type of lien: your mortgage. However, there are other types of liens that can be placed on homes, such as HOA assessment liens. Nevada recently changed its laws regarding HOA assessment liens, and it’s made a huge difference.  Read the article…………

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- March 22, 2016
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Once all of the necessary parties have been added to the proceeding and some basic discovery has been conducted, the Board will need to prepare for significant settlement discussions.  Up to this point, the Board likely knows there are significant defects but likely doesn’t have a real concrete understanding of what is causing the problem […]

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- March 21, 2016
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Repairs and maintenance are part of owning any property. However, for homeowners who live in a neighborhood with an HOA, knowing who is responsible for those repairs may become a little confusing.  Read the article………….

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- March 17, 2016
8 views 37 sec

Setting off fireworks is a bright, colorful way to celebrate certain special occasions. While most commonly associated with the 4th of July, it is not unusual for people to set off fireworks on New Year’s Eve and other holidays, as well. When the Seahawks won their first-ever Super Bowl in 2014, the Seattle sky was […]

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- March 11, 2016
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As the weather becomes warmer here in Michigan, many homeowners or co-owners undergo the yearly “Spring Cleaning.” Unfortunately, many condominium associations in Michigan face co-owners, tenants or residents who do not maintain the same sanitary living space as their neighbors. At the extreme, hoarders may fill units and/or limited common elements with debris, combustible material, […]

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- March 8, 2016
9 views 44 sec

A building’s roof serves as the first line of defense against whatever the skies throw at its inhabitants—wind, rain and blazing sun, even snow and ice in some climates—so it’s crucial for that roof to be sound and well maintained. All it takes is one small crack or hole for the rainwater to get in […]

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- March 8, 2016
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FHA loans are government-insured housing loans that make it easier for people with low credit, low income or a high debt-to-income ratio to get a home loan. The Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2015 is an act that suggests making changes to these FHA rules in regards to condos. Check out these three important […]

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- March 8, 2016
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For many, the essence of winter is curling up next to the warmth of a crackling fireplace while enjoying the sights of the snow-dusted scenery outside. Unless of course you live in a Arizona or Texas, in which case it’s much less likely that your home will have a fireplace. If you do have a […]

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- March 8, 2016
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There’s only one thing left to do in the controversy over whether Colorado should back off requiring homebuilders to stand behind the condos they build and end so-called construction defect laws: Call it the total bull crap that it is.    Read the article…………

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- March 6, 2016
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Board members come together from vastly different backgrounds to focus on the common goal of serving their community. Some are inclined to research the smallest decision while others make decisions based on experience. This diversity helps bring different perspectives to the table for better decision-making. Regardless of their approach, Board members should share some core […]

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- March 5, 2016
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When it comes to excuses and denial, pet owners can be even worse than doting parents. It’s never the dog or cat’s fault – there’s always some factor other than the bleeding obvious.  “I am being slowly driven out by my neighbour’s dog’s barking,” writes Dog Dodger on the Flat Chat forum. “I live in […]

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- March 4, 2016
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A well-run condominium can be thought of as having two components: (1) physical assets, which are the buildings, structures, and grounds on which the condominium is located; and (2) financial assets, which are the funds necessary to maintain the condominium’s physical assets. So long as the financial assets are adequate to meet the maintenance needs […]

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- March 4, 2016
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We are often asked whether a condominium association may prohibit cigarette smoking in common areas, or in units or single family homes. Now that using marijuana is legal in Oregon and Washington, some associations are wondering if they can or should specifically ban marijuana usage too. There are several things to consider. Here are a […]

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- March 3, 2016
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Social media can be a great tool for any association, but only when used correctly. If you never post anything or only post basic information about HOAs in general, your homeowners won’t be interested. You need to make your accounts more personal and fun. Check out these three tips that can boost homeowner interest and […]

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- March 2, 2016
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In the recent case of Jallali v. Knightsbridge Village Homeowners Association, Inc., 2016 WL 320601 (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 27, 2016), Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal held that when where a bank files a lis pendens against a property, the Court in which the case is filed obtains exclusive jurisdiction over all encumbrances on […]

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- March 1, 2016
9 views 36 sec

A quandry that homeowner associations face is how implement security measures when a known violent resident exists. The board has a conundrum: Fail to inform residents about a violent resident who subsequently injures someone and the board is held responsible. Inform residents of a violent resident who subsequently files suit against the HOA for libel […]

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- March 1, 2016
7 views 35 sec

Your association board is planning for the big project on the horizon, and is currently reviewing how to finance it. For several reasons, you don’t believe you’ll have enough funds in the association’s operating budget or reserves to cover the project’s entire bill. What should you do? Split the project up over several years, levy […]

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- February 26, 2016
16 views 29 sec

Can snakes, the animal commonly known for instilling panic upon sight, actually help to ease anxiety? According to snake owner Darla McGinnis, they can.  WCVB-Channel 5 (ABC) in Boston recently covered a story about McGinnis and her fight with the City of Council Bluffs, Iowa, which currently has a ban on its residents having snakes […]

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- February 26, 2016
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Crime is a concern and a risk in any homeowners association. But incorporating certain trusted systems, such as a neighborhood watch, can ensure that your community stays collectively alert and focused on safety. To both deter crime and increase safety, your association should consider setting up a neighborhood watch program. Here are some tips for […]

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- February 25, 2016
11 views 42 sec

This week, we discuss how to react if you do not bulletproof your HOA against embezzlement and discover your HOA is the victim of fraud. Finding the proper authority to investigate allegations of fraud can prove to be extremely difficult. If your association has been a victim of the “condo confidence game,” gather as much […]

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- February 25, 2016
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Many HOA Board members don’t fully understand the legal obligations that come with serving their community. You rarely see one document that completely lists all responsibilities. State law may determine some. Governing documents outline others. And other regulations can further complicate the question. It’s little wonder that a lot of confusion surrounds legal obligations. Here’s […]

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- February 24, 2016
10 views 31 sec

Condominium associations and homeowner associations (HOA) are abundant in Florida. These types of associations are typically governed by declarations/covenants and restrictions, as well as bylaws and articles of incorporation (collectively referred to in this post as the governing documents). These associations are also governed by detailed provisions of the Florida Statutes. Chapter 718 (condominiums) and […]

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- February 24, 2016
6 views 26 sec

In a September 2014 ruling, the Nevada Supreme Court jolted the lending community by holding that a homeowners association’s (HOA) non-judicial foreclosure sale can extinguish a mortgage lender’s previously-recorded first deed of trust on a property if that foreclosure is to recover assessments categorized as super priority amounts   Read the article……….

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- February 23, 2016
9 views 22 sec

Even the most beautiful home in the most serene town can become a nightmare if you live next door to the wrong kind of people. And dealing with nasty neighbors can be enough to drive even the most peaceable person to distraction.    Read the article………..

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- February 23, 2016
7 views 35 sec

The first thing to remember when living in an association is that you are a neighbor to someone. If nothing else, your neighbors all likely share at least one common desire: to live in your community. Owners may have bought in the community for its location to certain schools, the layout of the homes, its […]

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- February 23, 2016
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As a member of a volunteer homeowner association board, it’s important to codify the goals and behaviors an effective director should strive for. It not only serves as a constant reminder for those that are serving but can also help screen out director candidates with hidden agendas. Consider adopting something like this:   Read the article……….

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- February 22, 2016
17 views 33 sec

Every property management company has strengths and weaknesses. Some have a national presence but little understanding of local challenges. Some offer more boutique-style service but simply don’t have the resources and manpower to provide consistently high service levels and tools your community requires, resulting in burnout and high manager turnover. And some are the perfect […]

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- February 22, 2016
13 views 55 sec

HOA Board members face a lot of decisions when it comes to finances. Usually those decisions involve trying to figure out how to be as responsible as possible to keep the HOA budgets in good shape. Sometimes, Boards will have the idea to rely on volunteer labor from community members for cleanup or maintenance projects […]

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- February 19, 2016
22 views 16 sec

The Michigan Court of appeals recently made the following significant rulings that impact Michigan Homeowners’ Associations in Conlin v Upton, Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 322458 (November 24, 2015) (Published Opinion):   Read the article……….

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- February 19, 2016
12 views 22 sec

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island supports the homeowner’s association “super priority” concept, making The Ocean State part of a growing list of states that are, in some fashion, ruling in favor of making HOA liens a priority above mortgage liens.     Read the article………..

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- February 18, 2016
8 views 20 sec

Whether you’re out of town or out of commission, you can still attend the homeowners association board meetings by tuning in online. This is not to be confused with a meeting via email, this is not allowed.  Read the article………

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- February 18, 2016
8 views 31 sec

Many common interest communities have not kept their documents current with changes in the law, changes in their community or changes in governance and operations of their association. Additionally, many communities have not formalized amendments owners have approved to their governing documents. Do out-of-date documents, or amendments approved but not reflected in written documents create […]

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- February 18, 2016
10 views 24 sec

Odors from marijuana have now come to the forefront. Not just from smoking, but from cultivation.  For many attached home communities, the issue is no longer theoretical, it’s practical – smoke from marijuana use and odor from marijuana cultivation is objectionable to most, except those using marijuana.    Read the article……………

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- February 17, 2016
7 views 23 sec

A good number of Board members understand that being a leader within their homeowners association can be a very rewarding yet sometimes thankless job. If they have been on the Board for any length of time, they also know that change is inevitable.     Read the article………..

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- February 16, 2016
10 views 28 sec

Choosing the best-fit property management company is one of the most difficult decisions an HOA or commercial property owner can make. Choose correctly and you’re on your way to a productive and stress-free relationship. Make the wrong choice and you can inadvertently set yourself up for a long and difficult road ahead.   Read the article……………

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- February 16, 2016
8 views 36 sec

Section 4750.10 has been added to the Civil Code in order to allow residents to use clotheslines and drying racks, under certain conditions, without fear of disciplinary action by a homeowners association. The new law defines “clothesline” to include “a cord, rope, or wire from which laundered items may be hung to dry or air.” […]

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- February 16, 2016
12 views 36 sec

3 Steps for community peace; we’ll tackle world peace next time.     Noisy neighbors… Almost everyone will have to deal with them at some point in their adult life, whether they live in a single family home, condo, or apartment. It can be anything from the early bird next door who starts the lawnmower at […]

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- February 15, 2016
11 views 22 sec

Over the last several years, homeowner’s associations and condominium associations across Florida have taken serious losses and written off large amounts of bad debt due to the housing market crash and the flood of mortgage foreclosures following in its wake.     Read the article……….

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- February 15, 2016
13 views 32 sec

There is a growing sense of concern among community associations regarding the legal ramifications as the popularity and availability of drones rises. This begs the question of whether there are limitations condominiums and HOAs can impose on the ability of residents to use drones within the community and how to minimize potential liability to community […]

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- February 15, 2016
10 views 27 sec

On October 20, 2015, Governor Rick Snyder signed into law Senate Bills 298 and 299 and House Bills 4521 and 4527, which became effective January 18, 2016. The Bills updated rules on the use of service animals in places of public accommodation, as well as, the identification and licensing of service animals and criminalizing certain […]

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- February 15, 2016
8 views 18 sec

The vast majority of condominium and community associations are nonprofit corporations, but even they have to file taxes. There are some tips your community association should follow when it comes to tax time.   Read the article……….

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- February 15, 2016
12 views 39 sec

In Part I of my blog post on guns in community associations, we discussed the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) categorized gun ownership inside a home as a fundamental right which likely means that a mandatory community association, despite being […]

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