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Texas Condo & HOA Articles Archive

/ Owner - July 2, 2012
  • Let it snow: Texas community creates winter wonderland
    While nestled in the heart of Spring, Texas, where snowfall is a rare sight, the Windrose Community Association has found a creative way to bring the joy of winter to its residents. For years now, this close-knit community has been making cherished memories by building an annual winter wonderland and snow hill for the children. This heartwarming tradition not only fosters a sense of togetherness but also showcases the community’s commitment to creating magical moments for its youngest members.   Read the article…………………………….
  • Client Alert – Corporate Transparency Act
    Millions of entities across the United States must get ready to comply with the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), a new federal law that goes into effect on January 1, 2024. Subject to a few limited exceptions, the CTA requires all new and currently existing entities to file reports with the federal government, identifying information about themselves, their “company applicants,” and their “beneficial owners.”    Read the article…………………………….
  • A Neighborly Guide to Enjoying Christmas Lights in Your Neighborhood
    The holiday season is upon us, and one of the most cherished traditions is driving around neighborhoods to admire the twinkling Christmas lights. To help you make the most of your neighborhood Christmas light tour, we’ve put together a guide with tips for being a considerate and courteous neighbor during the festive season.    Read the article………………………….
  • Fireplace Safety
    As the colder weather sets in, many people are rushing to light their fireplaces to create a cozy and warm ambiance. If you have a woodburning fireplace in your home, it’s crucial to keep fireplace safety in mindto ensure the well-being of your household and your neighbors in your HOA community during the winter season. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and warm during the winter!   Read the article………………………..
  • Surviving the Holiday Season as a Board Member
    The holiday season can be a stressful time for board members, but with the right approach, you can navigate it successfully! Managing a community during this busy period and handling the conflicts that often arise doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are some valuable tips to help you effectively manage your community and reduce stress during the holiday season.   Read the article…………………………..
  • Update from Austin: 88th Texas Legislature Special Session 3
    The third special session for the 88th Texas Legislature called by Governor Greg Abbott began on October 9th. The Governor set out the issues that can be brought forth for this session in a proclamation. Those issues include: education freedom, border security, public safety and property ownership. The bill property owners associations are watching is SB 48.   Read the article……………………………
  • The How-To’s of ACCs (TX)
    A new year is quickly approaching and, after hours of inspiration from watching Fixer Upper, homeowners may be feeling inspired to add on to or remodel the exterior of their homes and update their landscaping. On top of that, the extended drought has led to many needing unexpected repairs, giving owners an excuse to undertake the full-scale remodel they have been dreaming of for years.    Read the article…………………………..
  • Update on New Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Condominium Seller Guidelines
    Following the collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium in Surfside, Florida, in 2021, government backed mortgage lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, issued temporary project review requirements relating to significant deferred maintenance in condominiums, co-ops, and similar developments.    Read the article……………………………..
  • Hierarchy of Governing Documents
    A POA’s governing documents, also referred to as the dedicatory instruments, are composed of a variety of document types that form the foundations for the operations of the community. While each document is important, each document has a different degree of authority and control over the functions of the association. In this article, we examine the hierarchy of governing documents and the authority they have in a POA.   Read the article…………………………..
  • How Texas HOAs Are Keeping Low-Income Renters Out
    A state law will prohibit homeowners associations from discriminating against tenants using rental vouchers. The practice is more widespread than lawmakers realized.   Read the article………………………..
  • What Board Members Need to Know on POA Budget Season
    For many, the start of fall marks the hope of cooler temperatures being near, but for POA community managers and board members that is another story. September means the heat is really cranked up with the stress of budget season falling upon the POA industry. The requirements on how the budget should be set depends on a number of factors in both the Texas Property Code and the governing documents of the specific association.   Read the article………………………..
  • Why Your Board Should List All Damages Following a Hurricane
    In the aftermath of a hurricane, community associations face numerous challenges, including assessing and documenting the damages caused by the storm. While the immediate focus is often on cleanup and recovery, it is crucial for association boards to prioritize the comprehensive listing of all damages incurred.    Read the article………………………..
  • The Role of HOA Management in Safeguarding and Improving Property Investments (TX)
    Owning a home means more than having a place to live; it’s a valuable investment we cherish. Many neighborhoods are blessed with a Homeowners Association (HOA) to safeguard and nurture this investment. This remarkable alliance consists of fellow homeowners who unite to manage and care for the community.   Read the article………………………..
  • Mother sues vacation home owners after her son was injured in shallow water (TX)
    A mother is suing the owners of their rented vacation home and the subdivision in which it is located after an accident on a family vacation led to serious injuries for her teenage son.   Read the article………………………..
  • How Your Condo Board Can Ensure Balconies Are Clear Before a Hurricane
    As a condo association board member, the safety and well-being of your residents should be your top priority, especially when it comes to preparing for natural disasters like hurricanes. One area that requires particular attention is the clearing of balconies before a hurricane strikes. Balconies can become potential hazards during high winds, posing risks to both the property and the people living in your condominium.    Read the article………………………..
  • Chickens and Your HOA (TX)
    It’s no secret that owning chickens remains a hot topic within HOAs across the country, but many people have a lot of fear around the idea. Whether it be noise, smell, property value, or other concerns, homeowners and board members alike want to know, is having chickens in your community worth it?   Read the article………………………..
  • 2023 Legislative Updates and How They Impact Your Community (TX/AZ)
    That’s a wrap! We’ve reached the end of our 2023 legislative session in almost every state. If you live in an HOA in Texas or Arizona and want the breakdown of what you need to know moving forward, we’ve got you covered!  If your community is in a state other than Texas or Arizona, check on your local legislative updates to ensure your governing documents are accurate and meeting requirements.   Read the article………………………..
  • How an HOA Can Promote Community Engagement and a Better Quality of Life (TX)
    Residing in a community governed by a homeowners association (HOA) presents a multitude of benefits that extend far beyond mere property value maintenance. Notably, the prospect of enriched community engagement and an elevated quality of life for all residents stands as a paramount advantage.   Read the article………………………..
  • How to Prepare Elevators in Your High-Rise for a Hurricane
    Keeping your community functional, safe, and beautiful can be particularly challenging if it is located in an area that is prone to hurricanes. Here are some of the most important things to consider when preparing your high-rise’s elevators to reduce the likelihood of damage during a hurricane.   Read the article………………………..
  • 88th Texas Legislative Session Action Items
    The 88th Texas Legislative Session has reached its conclusion. Several bills have passed that will require actions from POAs. Learn more about the actions POAs will need to prepare to take in the months ahead with our action items update below.   Read the article………………………..
  • To Feed or Not to Feed…Feral Cats (TX)
    Amidst the recent drama involving Governor Abbott and the Texas Senate following the conclusion of the 88th Texas Legislative Session, a largely unknown bill was able to slip through the legislative process mostly unopposed that could have drastic implications on our communities. This bill involves Trap, Neuter & Release (“TNR”) programs and feral cats.    Read the article………………………..
  • Social Media in Your Community (TX)
    Throughout history, communication has changed drastically. From petroglyphs in caves telling the stories of ancient hunts and battles, to the pony express taking letters across the frontier, to the notification of “you’ve got mail” signaling an email has arrived, the barriers to communication have steadily dropped over time. That evolution has continued over the last 15 years with the rise of social media. Now, the barriers are virtually gone. But what does that mean for our community associations? Should community associations have a social media page/pages? And if yes, what are ways the page can be implemented?   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, which ultimately protects your home’s value.   Read the article………………………..
  • How Your Board Can Foster a Sense of Community Among Residents
    Building a community where everyone feels welcome is not always easy, but there are several steps your association can take to create a community that goes beyond the appearance of homes and further enhances the lives of your members.   Read the article………………………..
  • Social Media in Your Community (TX)
    Throughout history, communication has changed drastically. From petroglyphs in caves telling the stories of ancient hunts and battles, to the pony express taking letters across the frontier, to the notification of “you’ve got mail” signaling an email has arrived, the barriers to communication have steadily dropped over time. That evolution has continued over the last 15 years with the rise of social media.  Read the article………………………..
  • 2023 Texas Legislative Update: Issues Affecting Texas Homeowners’ Associations and Condominium Owners’ Associations
    The 2023 Texas Legislative Session has come to a close. New laws affecting homeowners’ associations and condominium owners’ associations will take effect on September 1, 2023. Winstead was actively involved in the 2023 Texas Legislative Session,   Read the article………………………..
  • How Water Activities Boost Wellness in Active Adult Communities
    Pools are a wellness catalyst in many community associations. Many people find aquatic exercise a favorable and beneficial way of living a healthy lifestyle. Water activities have a greater advantage, with notable results for active adults with health challenges.   Read the article………………………..
  • 88th Texas Legislative Session Action Items
    The 88th Texas Legislative Session has reached its conclusion. Several bills have passed that will require actions from POAs. Learn more about the actions POAs will need to prepare to take in the months ahead with our action items update     Read the article………………………..
  • Texas Court of Appeals Upholds Rental Time Period Restriction Amendment
    A recent opinion from the Texas Court of Appeals, Angelwylde HOA, Inc., v. Fournier, No. 03-21-00269-CV (Tex. App. Mar. 17, 2023), held that a 12-month minimum rental restriction, which was adopted in accordance with the amendment provision in the CC&Rs is valid and enforceable. While the case law is not binding upon Arizona community associations, Arizona Courts will likely be addressing similar issues in the near future.     Read the article………………………..
  • Handling Vandalism in Your Community
    HOAs want nothing more than to create healthy, happy, safe, and clean communities. But too often, things happen that are out of the control of the HOA and may put this vision in jeopardy. Case in point: vandalism. Read the article………………………..
  • Drought-resistant HOA Guidelines (TX)
    What I often ask clients is, “What would someone think is reasonable after hearing the facts and not being involved in the emotion of the decision? Also, what would the neighbors think?” The best thing to do is to have guidelines as to what is appropriate and what is not. Having town meetings to discuss alternatives is always a good idea.   Read the article………………………..
  • First HOA Meeting? Here’s What to Expect
    A knowledgeable homeowner is a helpful homeowner. If you’re new to an HOA community, then you may not know what to expect when it comes to meetings held by the board. In this guide, we’ll cover what to expect when attending your first HOA meeting as a homeowner.   Read the article………………………..
  • Are Your Pets Good Neighbors?
    You try your best to be a good neighbor: you put your trash bins out on the right days; you keep your property neat and well kept; and you respect community areas and the people in them.  You are a good neighbor—but what about your pet?    Read the article………………………..
  • Bill Spotlight: SB 468 and HB 2450 – Political Rallies Coming to a Community Near You (TX)
    Turn on the TV or log on to any social media website and it will not take long before a report, or in the case of social media—an argument, about free speech appears. The debate on what constitutes free speech and how it affects people has taken over politics in many parts of the United States. The same debate is now positioned to enter into our communities. The 88th Texas Legislative Session has introduced a pair of bills targeting how property owners’ associations (POAs) can regulate assembly and speech in the common areas of associations.   Read the article………………………..
  • What Are the Responsibilities of an HOA Management Company? (TX)
    Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are organizations where homeowners work together to manage their properties and ensure a high standard of living for all residents. Managing an HOA might be a complex process because HOA’s volunteer board members often have jobs and other responsibilities.   Read the article………………………..
  • The Homeowner’s Guide to Architectural Review Requests
    One of the greatest joys of being a homeowner is being able to make your space your own. However, when you live in a community with an HOA, you may find that there are some extra steps that are needed prior to making any changes to your home.   Read the article………………………..
  • Bill Spotlight: HB 1367 The Possible Never Ending Election Season (TX)
    The bills of the 88th Texas Legislative Session are taking shape and early indications are this session will be another with great effect on the property owners association (POA) industry. One bill that is catching the eyes of many from this legislative session is HB 1367, relating to a board member’s violation of certain laws and provisions of the governing documents, and the recall of the board member by a vote of the property owners. Our latest bill spotlight turns to HB 1367 and the implications it could bring to POA boards.     Read the article………………………..
  • 88th Texas Legislative Session Updates
    The property owners’ associations (POA) industry saw, in month of January, the 88th Texas Legislative Session continue its fast start for bills that may have potential effects on POAs. A wide range of bills have been filed including those related to recalling board members, free speech in POAs and, of course, chickens. Our February Legislative Update details where we stand in the early days of this session.   Read the article………………………..
  • Why Are My HOA Fees So High? Inflation’s Impact on Your HOA Assessments
    Whether your HOA’s assessments are monthly, quarterly, or yearly, it’s that time of the year again where you may have noticed the dues are higher. While it can be frustrating and may feel unnecessary, there’s a reason behind those increased assessments, and recently, that’s been inflation.   Read the article………………………..
  • 88th Texas Legislative Session Bills Filed So Far
    The 88th Texas Legislative Session has unofficially started with bills that potentially affect property owners associations (POAs) already being filed. Before the session kicks into high gear later this month, let’s look at what has been filed thus far. The bills discussed below were filed prior to December 13, 2022.  Read the article………………………..
  • The Texas Property Code Chapters That Community Managers and Board Members Need to Know (TX)
    The POA industry is filled with policies, rules and regulations. As self-governing entities, POAs adopt governing documents, bylaws and more that outline the expectations for all residents. But it is not just the residents that have to follow rules and regulations. The majority of the rules and regulations POAs are required to follow are set forth, in the Texas Property Code. In this article, we break down the chapters community managers and board members need to be aware of to ensure a POA is run successfully.   Read the article………………………..
  • How to Set Goals for Your Community Association
    Goal-setting is an annual task that every community association should perform. It’s a great way to maximize the effectiveness of your association in the coming year.  The goals set serve as a roadmap to maintain and improve your community. They keep your community on track, accountable, and financially sound.   Read the article………………………..
  • Creating an Emergency Management Plan for Your Community
    Although it can be hard to predict when and where an emergency might happen, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared when a crisis impacts your community. By establishing a clear plan for disaster management ahead of time, you can help mitigate the effects that an emergency will have on your community and ensure that the situation is dealt with in a smooth and efficient manner.   Read the article………………………..
  • Here’s Why You Should Join Your Community Association Board
    If you have thought about giving back to your local community, joining your community association’s board is a great way to do that. As a board member, you are a leader in your community, and other residents rely on you to make choices in the best interests of the entire community and those living there.   Read the article………………………..
  • Deep Fried Turkeys: Don’t Let Your Holiday Go up in Flames
    A time filled with gratitude, food, and – disaster? The Thanksgiving holiday, with all its warm spirit, can unfortunately bring danger as well, especially when fried turkeys are involved.  Thanksgiving leads the holiday season with the most home cooking fires, as there are approximately two to three times more fires on this food-driven holiday than any other day in the year. According to FEMA’s research from 2017 to 2019, Thanksgiving had “an estimated average of 2,300 residential building fires” in the U.S., causing approximately “5 deaths, 25 injuries and $26 million in property loss.”    Read the article………………………..
  • 88th Texas Legislative Session Preview
    The time has come. The unofficial start to another legislative session is here. Bill filing for the 88th Texas Legislative Session begins Monday, November 14. Following the 87th Texas Legislative Session, uncertainty continues to reign over the POA landscape. Managers, board members and POA attorneys are waiting to see what potential bills could rock the industry this upcoming session. In this preview of the upcoming 88th Texas Legislative Session, we’ll briefly take a look back at what occurred during the last legislative session and discuss what may occur during this session.   Read the article………………………..
  • Must Have Insurance Policies for POAs (TX)
    Insurance has quickly become a hot topic for the POA industry. Claims are on the rise and as a result, combined with economic factors, rates for policies are costing more than ever. Along with the increase in claims and rates, there has been a decrease in coverage amounts and fewer available polices for POAs are on the marketplace. This has created a crunch in the budgets for many POAs with some even eschewing certain policies. Others are unaware of the polices POAs should carry to protect the Association. With these thoughts in mind, POAs should ensure their assets are protected by adopting these must have insurance policies.   Read the article………………………..
  • Minding mental illness: Solving community conflict that involves psychological disorders
    At a time of continuing economic and social unease, how should community association board members and managers confront mental illness issues? Sometimes, community conflict is unavoidable and associations must take action to avoid liability while honoring its obligations.   Read the article………………………..
  • Is Your Association Ready for a Recession?
    With inflation on the rise and economists forecasting a potential recession in the near future, it’s easy to start worrying about your finances and the finances of your community. A recession could result in job loss, difficulty finding employment, and cost of living increases, which could impact homeowners’ ability to pay assessments as well as increase the cost of any community maintenance or repairs. With this in mind, it’s important to prepare well ahead of time to ensure that your community is financially prepared for a recession.   Read the article………………………..
  • How to Make Online Voting Work for Your HOA
    Online voting is a great tool designed to pair the greatest need of an HOA—homeowner involvement—with a technological solution.  As a follow-up to an earlier article about community voting, this week we will share the benefits and challenges of online voting for your HOA. Then, we will provide some best practices to consider when planning your own campaign involving online voting.   Read the article………………………..
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