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Tennessee Condo & HOA Articles Archive

/ Owner - July 2, 2012
  • HOA Basics (TN)
    HOAs get a bad rap among homeowners, and in far too many cases, that is regrettably justified. My legal education on the subject stems from personal experience.    Read the article………………………..
  • The Tennessee Short-Term Rental Unit Act
    The Tennessee Short-Term Rental Unit Act plays a pivotal role in regulating short-term rentals. This legislation defines how local governments can regulate short-term rentals in their municipalities and guides grandfathering existing rentals. What this Act does not affect, though, are homeowners associations and condominiums.   Read the article……………………………….
  • Tennessee Supreme Court Holds Restrictions Limiting Property Use To Residential Purposes Do Not Prohibit Short-Term Rentals
    The Tennessee Supreme Court held today that a property owner using his home as a short-term rental did not violate homeowner association restrictions requiring that homes be used for “residential and no other purposes.” However, the Court also held that the property owner’s short-term rentals violate later amendments to the restrictions that impose a minimum lease term of 30 days.   Read the article…………………………………..
  • EV Charging For Multifamily Properties: Demand, Implementation, And Planning Pitfalls
    There is a growing demand for EV charging for multifamily housing developments across the nation. These charging stations can serve as incentives to attract potential residents and buyers. It also helps multifamily housing developments maintain a sustainable community.   Read the article…………………………………
  • Tennessee HOA Foreclosure: What Can Happen To A Homeowner’s Property?
    Some homeowners may be surprised to find that their home has gone into Tennessee HOA foreclosure. But, can an HOA foreclose on your home in Tennessee? What laws govern this process?   Read the article……………………..
  • How to Resolve Conflicts in a Positive Way (TN)
    Community is a wonderful thing. But when groups of people live near each other, some conflict is inevitable. Often conflicts occur over small things. Other conflicts may be about big things. Whether big or small, it is important to resolve conflicts as quickly and positively as possible. Proactively addressing conflict will position the community for smooth operation and overall success.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Tennessee HOA Rules: Keeping The Community In Order
    When it comes to preserving the quality of life and property values in HOA communities in Tennessee, the enforcement of rules is necessary. Learn about the different Tennessee HOA rules below.   Read the entire article……………………………….
  • Property Insurance for Condominium Communities (TN)
    Section 66-27-413 of the Tennessee Condominium Act includes specific requirements for insurance obtained by the condominium association for condominium regimes. If there are horizontal boundaries (residential units above other units), the condominium association is required to obtain property insurance on individual units. The condominium declaration should describe, with specificity, the insurance that will be obtained by the association and whether each owner should obtain supplemental insurance, i.e., an HO-6 policy or equivalent. The declaration should also provide for an annual review of the property insurance policy by an insurance consultant to ensure that coverage is adequate or whether any additional endorsements which be considered.  Read the entire article……………………………….
  • How Should You Set HOA Goals Every Year? (TN)
    Set HOA goals at the start of each year. It’s a great way to use that fresh start to think forward to the yearly goals of the HOA you want to aim for. In your HOA Goal-setting session, think about the ways you can improve your association. What are the HOA goals that you want to target by the first quarter? Which ones should you budget for? We hope this guide helps you plan for the year ahead.     Read the article…………………………….
  • HOA Remote Meeting Options In The Time Of The Coronavirus Outbreak
    The coronavirus outbreak has forced many businesses to redefine the way they hold meetings. Homeowners associations are not exempt from this. Because board members make decisions during board meetings, most HOAs are concerned about halting operations amid the outbreak. But, through HOA remote meetings, your HOA can continue to run without hindrance.     Read the article………………………………
  • The Ultimate HOA Architectural Review Guide
    One very important aspect of maintaining the home values in the community is to have an established HOA architectural review board in place. Even though many HOAs have a system in place to review and approve any architectural requests from association members, few are fulfilling their obligations in a way that is simple for their members. If your HOA board is struggling with your architectural review procedures, review the information below:   Read the article…………………………..
  • HOA Financial Reports: What Every HOA Board Member Should Know
    Managing and overseeing the finances of your HOA should be the HOA board’s main priorities. That said, many HOA board members may not have experience with HOA financial reports previously, consider this article as a helping hand.    Read the article…………………………
  • How to Effectively Present HOA Budgets
    When you are serving on the board of your HOA, you have several fiduciary duties that you have to complete each year. One of these fiduciary duties is preparing an annual budget and establishing assessments for your HOA. The budgeting process can be time-consuming and difficult to complete since there are so many factors that HOA boards need to take into account to ensure that they have sufficient funds to pay bills, maintain common areas, and ensure the HOA’s operations are running smoothly. If you are in the process of preparing your HOA budget for the upcoming year, review the valuable tips listed below:    Read the article………………………
  • Important California Laws To Protect HOA Owners Related To Accessory Dwelling Units & Religious Decorations On Doorways
    When deciding to relocate to a new state, it is important to be constantly aware of new legislation that is going into effect related to your housing circumstances. This is also important for established residents to remain informed about their housing development and what protections they have. This is particularly true in California where recent legislation was passed that has a direct impact on HOA owners’ rights within the state of California. To learn more about the changes effective in 2020 in California, review the information below:    Read the article………………………….
  • Appeals Court Deems Association Street a First Amendment Public Forum (TN)
    Disputes between individuals and HOAs frequently occur on the roads or sidewalks owned by the Association. The rights of way are usually the HOA’s largest budgetary and operational responsibility. The lot owners and their invitees rely upon the roads to access properties. State and local governments benefit financially by shifting the maintenance burden of the roads, sidewalks and drainage features onto an association that assesses dues on lot owners.   Read the article…………………………
  • How to Keep Your Community Association Free From Any Conflicts of Interest
    Conflict of interest is a real threat to your HOA’s integrity and reputation. As a board member of a community association, you should understand what this means, and how to recognize and avoid it. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to keep your community association from possible conflicts of interest.    Read the article……………………………
  • Top 13 Budgeting Mistakes Self-Managed Boards Make
    Planning the right budget for the community is crucial in making sure the homeowner’s association is not underfunded. However, when the HOA is run by a self-managed board who are not financial experts, financial issues may unfold. Poor budget planning can cause serious conflicts between the HOA board members and homeowners, which is the last thing the HOA management wants to happen. For those who have self-managed boards, here are the budgeting mistakes to watch out for and avoid at all cost:    Read the article………………………
  • The Complete Guide to HOA Financial Statements
    Managing the finances of a community association is one of the most difficult, and most important, responsibilities of an HOA board of directors. Preparing detailed HOA Financial Statements on a regular basis serves a multitude of purposes from providing insight for financial planning, promoting transparency between the board and residents, as well as being a requirement by law in some instances. The frequency of preparation may vary depending on state laws, community bylaws, and the size of the association.    Read the article…………………………
  • Understanding HOA Bank Statements
    HOA bank statements are just as they sound: a statement from the bank showing all deposits and withdraws from each association account over a certain period of time. The most effective way to prevent fraud within your community association is to keep a close eye on bank statements. Most associations have at least two accounts: an operating account for regular costs of running a community association and a reserve account for setting aside funds for future projects.    Read the article……………………….
  • Understanding an HOA General Ledger
    The foundation to all HOA accounting is the general ledger. Much like your checkbook at home, the HOA general ledger keeps an ongoing record of all transactions made by the community association. All other financial statements such as the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of receivables are created based on the ledger.     Read the article……………………..
  • What is an HOA Income Statement?
    Unlike a balance sheet which shows a quick snapshot of HOA finances at a certain point, the income statement shows financial information over a period of time. Usually, the period of time is the rate at which you prepare your financial documents whether it be monthly, quarterly, or annually.  The income statement is considered the most important document within the financial statement because it shows the financial direction, whether that be positive or negative, of the community association.    Read the article…………………….
  • What is an HOA Statement of Receivables?
    A statement of receivables, or accounts receivable statement, is a document that details the outstanding charges owed to the community association. This can be from sources such as overdue dues, vendor credits, late fees, or any other outstanding source of income. It is essentially a list of every account that still owes the HOA money. Read the article…………………..
  • How To Understand Your HOA Balance Sheet
    The balance sheet in your HOA financial statement is the quickest and easiest way to get a feel for the financial strength of your community association. There are three parts to a balance sheet: assets, liabilities, and equity.   Read the article……………………..
  • What is Remote HOA Management?
    Not all communities are created equal. They come all sizes and income levels, from groups of only a dozen or so condos to developments of a hundred or more multi-million dollar homes. The needs of each community will vary just as wildly. The time and money members are able to devote to their association varies as well. Despite this, many communities still use the one-size-fits-all solution of full-service management companies. This is still a great option for large communities that need and can afford the level of service they provide.     Read the article……………………
  • 3 Record Keeping Tips for HOA Board Members
    Sorting through a stack of miscellaneous receipts, contracts, and other documents can be tedious at best. Having no organizational system in place to make that search any easier is downright cruelty. Ideally, every HOA board should take time to analyze their current record keeping habits and consider ways to improve them. Otherwise board members will spend more time looking for a document than completing their responsibilities.   Read the article…………………..
  • 4 Ways to Trim Your HOA Budget
    Typically, homeowner associations will appoint a treasurer to keep track of monthly expenses, create a working budget, and allocate funds appropriately. Yet, it is not the sole responsibility of the treasurer to manage the budget. One of the essential duties of the entire HOA board is to continuously review the annual budget and make adjustments when necessary.     Read the article…………………
  • Enforcing HOA Violations (TN)
    As an HOA board member, it is your duty to understand the rules, restrictions, and regulations of the association. Some rules have been in place since the association was created and others may be new additions or amendments to older rules. In any case, it is the responsibility of the HOA board to enforce any violations.  When handling a violation, there are many things to consider and therefore many ways to go about determining consequences. It is essential that a board member understand the violation process and what kind of power they hold in a violation scenario.    Read the article…………………..
  • Planning Your Annual HOA Budget
    Whether you are planning on taking the burden of the yearly budget upon the shoulders of your HOA board, or you plan to get the assistance of an HOA management company, the annual budget is one of the most important items on the agenda of any homeowners association. Here are seven considerations that should be included in the planning of your annual HOA budget.    Read the article…………………..
  • Assessing the Financial Health of your HOA
    Because of the uniqueness of every homeowners association, it can at times be difficult to form an exact opinion about the financial health of your HOA. However, knowing where your community stands in this area can be extremely helpful. There are a few ways that you and the rest of your board can assess the overall health of your association’s finances. Here are a few of these ways.    Read the article………………..
  • Should My HOA Add Extra Fees to Increase Income?
    Many HOAs experience extreme pushback when trying to raise monthly HOA assessments or add special assessments. As a result, it may be tempting to raise these funds by charging extra fees for amenities or other services in an effort to avoid angry residents. This article will take a look at the topic of extra fees, how they can impact your community, and things you should consider before adding a fee.   Read the article………………….
  • Eight Warning Signs For Your HOA Finances
    Although no one wants to look upon other board members with suspicion or doubt, there is a risk of fraud and mismanagement with any HOA board. There should always be checks and balances, and your board should always be on the lookout for any red flags that may indicate that your funds are being handled incompetently or even dishonestly. Here are eight warning signs to watch out for in your HOA finances.   Read the article………………….
  • Preparing for a Productive Annual Meeting
    The mantra “Always be prepared” is especially critical in environments that could quickly devolve into chaos. Have your homeowners association’s annual meetings become a forum where the most critical homeowners regale your neighbors with an endless list of complaints? Annual meetings serve a specific purpose—primarily to receive financial reports and elect board members—but are often derailed to become an unproductive and stressful exercise. What can your board of directors do to plan for a peaceful, productive annual meeting? Consider the following “Dos” and “Don’ts” of homeowners association meeting preparation:    Read the article………………
  • Are Your Meetings Keeping Minutes but Wasting Hours
    Board meetings are integral to the function of an HOA. They provide an opportunity for directors to discuss governance issues by determining policies and priorities for the association. By following appropriate procedure, accepting homeowner input, and distributing minutes, meetings are influential in maintaining an involved and informed community. Unfortunately, these sessions can often “go off the rails” when not navigated correctly. Poorly planned and executed meetings are inefficient at best and have potential to negate the good intentions of the volunteers who conduct them. There are many factors that determine an unsuccessful meeting, some of which are:    Read the article………………
  • Dealing with Difficult People
    Interacting with difficult people is an inevitability we all face. When confronted with a chronically upset person we’re given the choice to either reciprocate their anger or calmly address the situation. As a board member, you’re in a position of responsibility where escalating a situation is both inappropriate and unproductive. In the heat of the moment, take time to breathe and refer to the following steps to listen, think, and respond.  Read the article………………
  • Important New Case on the Rights of Home Owners in HOAs
    In a case brought by two home owners against their home owners association (“HOA”), against the HOA directors, and against a bank that stacked the HOA board with directors which were its employees, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee recently issued an important and insightful opinion in the case of Urbanavage et. al. v. Capital Bank, et. al. Home owners frequently face an uphill battle when trying to assert their rights or when pursued by an HOA. This opinion gives home owners some ammunition. It also reiterates how difficult it can be for a home owner to prevail on claims against directors of an HOA.    Read the article…………………………………….
  • Management vs. Governance: 3 Functions of an Effective HOA
    The distinction between governance and management in a homeowners’ association may seem minor but understanding it is crucial to ensuring a successfully directed community association. Homeowners’ associations and their Boards benefit from recognizing three “P’s” – Process, Priorities, and Policies. Management and governance work together like two hands of an association, and the three “P’s” break down a practical delegation of roles for each.   Read the article……………..
  • How are Homeowners’ Association Fees Determined? (TN)
    One of the important things to remember about the determination of Homeowner Association (HOA) fees is that no two associations are alike. Which means their regular assessments will be different, since they are based on the specific needs, obligations, and objectives of the homeowners’ association. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing your assessment with another association’s assessment, because another HOA will have vastly different factors driving its budget. Assessments are not set (or at least, they shouldn’t be), in relation to what some other HOA assessments are. Assessments should instead be determined in relation to the association’s annual budget for common expenses. Your association assessments are a product of the association’s annual budget apportioned according to your governing documents.  ...
  • Ways to Detect and Prevent HOA Embezzlement
    Theft is something community associations hope to never encounter, but a volunteer organization like an HOA can often be a soft target for fraud. Here are the common warning signs of embezzlement and the ways to protect your HOA from fraud.   Read the article……………….
  • How to Enact and Enforce HOA Rules
    All homeowners’ associations or HOAs will consider adopting rules and regulations by which residents must abide while living in the community. These policies should be developed for the common good of the community. Because of the interpersonal (neighbor to neighbor) dynamic, developing and enforcing rules and regulations are more challenging compared to residential property management (lease or rental). Recognizing the complexity of governing fellow homeowners, it’s important to ask yourself these questions: Is your association imposing rules it has authority to adopt? Is the rule being considered reasonable? How do you plan to enforce the rule?  Here are some tips to appropriately enact rules and successfully achieve compliance in your community.     Read the article……………..
  • Check With Your HOA Before You Decorate (TN)
    Before you break out the crates filled with holiday cheer or buy that new outdoor-lighted display, you may want to check with your Homeowner’s Association. Whether you rent or own, the HOA’s rules apply to all residents of the community. Read your HOA covenants or check with the Board to make sure your holiday décor is in line with the guidelines.   Read the article…………..
  • Wi-Fi Safety Around Pools, Public Buildings
    Many homeowners associations offer free Wi-Fi around public areas such as pools and clubhouses. In order to make use of it, members will need to agree to the terms and conditions of HOA policy.   Read the article……………
  • HOA’s Should Adopt a Board Code of Ethics
    While it’s certainly not mandatory, the board of directors for your homeowner’s association (HOA) should think seriously about implementing a code of ethics, which would serve to aid in the management of the HOA, as well as help community members.  Read the article………….
  • Tennessee Amends Condominium Lien Law to Clarify Lack of Superpriority Right
    On April 19, 2016, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed HB 2401, amending Tennessee’s condominium statue to make it clear that condominium associations cannot acquire a “superpriority” lien that trumps a first security interest on the same property. As a result of the amendment, it is now clear that under Tennessee law a condominium only has a “payment priority” interest – that is, the right to receive six months’ worth of delinquent common expense assessments owed by a unit’s owner when the mortgagee forecloses on the property.   Read the article…….
  • Best Practices for Board Members
    If you’ve never served on a Homeowners Association board, it’s important you understand what your duties, responsibilities and obligations are and that you are, in fact, acting as a fiduciary on behalf of your fellow owners. First and foremost, you must take your responsibilities as a board member seriously, always use good judgment, avoid conflict, be committed and be aware that the interests of the HOA take priority over your own. Being selfless and unbiased is a must.  Read the article………….
  • Effective HOA Meetings
    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………..
  • Which Hat? HOA Board vs. Good Neighbor
    Most of us wear many different hats in our daily lives. Perhaps you juggle the hats of a spouse, parent, worker, friend, HOA Board member, neighbor, etc. Keeping your personal and professional lives separate is challenging. Many HOA Board members find it even more difficult to separate Board responsibilities from simply being a homeowner. If you’re spending too much personal time handling Board business, here are some ways to reclaim your “good neighbor” status.  Read the article…………
  • Unresolved Problems
    This video will provide the necessary information needed when dealing with unresolved problems in your HOA. It not only covers the basics involved, but also includes different ways to handle these issues. For example, the issues could range from communication breakdowns and inadequate funding, to covenant enforcement.   Watch the video………
  • 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 have high expectations of their HOA Boards. How does your Board rate among the ten things homeowners wish you knew?  Read the article……………
  • Core Values and Expectations for HOA Board Members
    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 values and expectations.  Read the article……………
  • Legal Obligations for HOA Board Members
    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 a way to look broadly at your duties.  Read the article…………
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