Are Community Leaders Politicians?

According to Merriam-Webster, the word “politician” is defined as follows: 1: a person experienced in the art or science of government ; especially: one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government 2 a: a person engaged in party politics as a profession 2 b: a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow, usually short-sighted reasons I had the pleasure of attending a recent CAI Condo/HOA Conference and Expo event in Connecticut where I met many fellow Board members from local community associations. In jest, one commented to me that he felt as though many of the residents in his community treat the board like… Read More

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Top 5 Problems with Self-Managing your Condo or HOA and Solutions

You know what?  Becoming a self-managed community may not be right for you.  It may be more work and you may have to learn a lot of new ways of doing things in an unfamiliar industry.  But if you are looking for a low cost alternative to full property management, have a core group of active volunteers and have some industry experts to help, well then being self-managed might be the perfect choice for your association. Over my career I’ve worked with hundreds of volunteer board members.  I’ve trained boards at Community Associations Institute (CAI) events and answered a lot of board member’s questions.  I’ve sat with dozens of boards… Read More

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HOA & Condo Collections

The Needy, The Greedy, & the Seedy. HOA & Condo Collections

Not all HOA & Condo delinquencies are created equal and each one has it’s unique circumstances. However, in most cases the delinquent owners can all fall in to one of three categories: The Needy, The Greedy, and The Seedy. The only question remains is: How do we handle these HOA & Condo Collections? The Needy member of an association may have fallen into bad circumstances either due to unforeseen financial events, unfortunate circumstances, or even by circumstances that often happen at community associations. People lose their jobs and sources of income or have their investments go bad due to no fault of their own, their family economy suffers a loss… Read More

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Delinquency and the HOA

The timely collection of fees and assessments is the lifeblood of any HOA, condominium association, co-operative, or timeshare. However, unit owners are not always able to pay their fees and assessments on time. Depending on the state you live in and the penalties for late payments ascribed in the governing documents, delinquency is handled in one a few different methods. This article describes some of the best practices common interest community associations can use to keep their delinquencies to a minimum and their collection efforts on track to keep the revenue flowing while the delinquency is remedied. Most HOAs have rules about when payments are late and what steps the… Read More

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Effects of Reverse Mortgages on Condos and HOAs

Many condominiums and HOAs are filled with units and homes that are financed with bank-held mortgages. Reverse Mortgages are available to home and condo unit owners over the age of 62 who would prefer to draw money from the equity in their home or condo unit. These mortgage owners can either take a lump sum or periodic payments from the equity in their home. The mortgage holder gets paid back when the home is sold or liquidated upon the death of the mortgage owner. The Federal Housing Administration, better known as FHA, is the leading insurer of these mortgages. Banks prefer to offer mortgages to borrowers and real estate that… Read More

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Telling the Story of Community Association Insurance

Most condominium association residents are likely to have little or no understanding of the insurance that protects the association in which they reside. Let’s face it; there just isn’t a lot of glamour in discussing deductibles, coinsurance, liabilities and such that make up the community association insurance story. Telling the story of your community’s insurance coverage is going to be a challenge but if done properly, can yield a wealth of rewards. Start with the basics. Every resident needs to know that the community has insurance and that the insurance covers certain elements which the entire community owns in common. Every resident also needs to know that community association insurance… Read More

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Commit to Unit Owner Education. Reward Yourself with a Better Community!

For years, I have been writing about the importance of communication as it relates to community association living. I have stressed how important it is that you tell your story well and that you tell it often. Condominium newsletters, HOA newsletters, letters, websites and any other tools used to communicate need to educate readers about what is happening within their associations and why. There has never been a time when communication and education efforts between Board Members, Property Managers, and unit owners have been more important. Community Association Volunteer Leaders at many events that I attend often indicate that there seems to be a vacuum of education between Board Members… Read More

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Elected to the Board… Now, What?

You’ve been an active community member for a few years. You served on a Committee or two and shown you have the right stuff to be a community leader. A neighbor who already serves on the Board suggested that you should run for a vacant seat. You finally decided to raise your hand at the Annual Meeting and volunteer to serve on the Board of your condominium or HOA. Enough of your fellow unit owners voted for you and you are now on the Board. Congratulations! Now, what? If you think it is simply enough to “do your best” while serving on the Board, you may be in for a… Read More

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The Two Biggest Mistakes Community Association Make Involving D&O Insurance

The Directors & Officers Insurance policy (“D&O”) is a small part of an association’s insurance coverage and premium puzzle, but it is a critical piece.  It is important because it protects the community members who agree to accept a very often no-win and often thankless volunteer job to manage the association.  Contrary to the other pieces of the insurance puzzle, D&O coverage can differ significantly from insurer to insurer.  There are currently two significant mistakes associations make in regards to D&O policies. The first mistake is price over coverage.  Boards have a fiduciary obligation to manage the association.  This obligation includes the procurement of insurance that is in the best… Read More

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The Attorney Audit of the Community Association Insurance Puzzle

The Attorney Audit of the Community Association Insurance Puzzle By Joel W. Meskin, Esq., CIRMS             You are sitting there surrounded by a couple of octogenarian retirees in Bermuda shorts and black shoes and socks, one a former life insurance agent and another a retired Chicago attorney.  Also around the table is a mother with her nine month old fusing in her lap, a middle aged couple in matching sweat suits and a nice looking young man in a suit.  You pinch yourself and yes it is true, you are sitting in the Bay View Condo Association club house in front of the association’s new board of directors.  You have… Read More

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