Tick-Tock: Exploring Your HOA Meeting Minutes

Over the past 40 years, Associa community managers have attended countless board meetings and reviewed many homeowner’s association (HOA) meeting minutes. In this blog, we explore what HOA meeting minutes are, their purpose, and best practices for taking and keeping good HOA minutes.   What are HOA meeting minutes? HOA meeting minutes are an official record of the actions taken by board members at a board meeting. Meeting minutes should be brief, objective, and reflect the actions taken at a meeting–not a complete transcript of what was said and opinions that were expressed.     What should be included in the HOA meeting minutes? If the board secretary isn’t taking minutes, he… Read More

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Keep an eye on your condo and HOA ledgers

Are your Community Association Ledgers accurate?

Are your community association ledgers accurate and are they being kept properly? Are they in good enough order that you would sit in a courtroom and swear under oath that they are accurate? If you have any doubt here are a few pointers that may help keep your ledgers in good order. WHAT YOU NEED TO ENSURE YOUR UNIT LEDGERS ARE IN ORDER As with anything you deal with in a community association the first thing you must do is read the governing documents and answer the following questions: What is your pay period (monthly, quarterly, annual)? What day are your assessments due? What is the grace period allowed in your… Read More

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How Does Transitioning HOA or Condo Community Accounting Work?

Some Boards are hesitant to change accounting mid fiscal year.  The fear may be that the accounting for the fiscal year end will be convoluted or inaccurate and can interfere with a year-end audit or tax filing.  Or the fear may be that it is a lot of work.  You don’t have to fear the mid-year accounting change.  To help explain I will answer the question: how does transitioning HOA or Condo Community accounting work? A “transition” is the process when a community switches from one way of doing business to another.  This can be switching from a self-managed board volunteer doing the accounting work or a community changing from… Read More

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The Indecisive Board

We’ve all been there. Wading through hours of Board meetings where decisions that need to be made just don’t get made. Important and often surprisingly unimportant items tabled for weeks, months… Sometimes years! Pretty soon the Old Business section of the agenda has a drop-down menu of 25! Ugh! Why is that? And what can we do to help our Boards along in making decisions? I’ve put together some standard causes of Board paralysis and how we can (maybe) help them move through it for their and the community’s sake. The major roadblocks to action Lack of leadership. Probably our biggest issue, a lack of leadership within a Board results… Read More

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When it’s Time for a Committee to Retire

Dear Julie: Recently I became the onsite manager for a large-scale, over-55 community – where the average age is about 78. I’m the first “professional” manager they’ve had, and they’ve been self-managed for 45 years. As this Board is moving towards and embracing a more professional administrative model, they are looking to disband some long-standing committees that hold a lot of power over the Board and the community. Truthfully, the folks on these committees like having authority without having the responsibility of being on the Board, and much of the time they make the Board’s life – and mine – a lot more difficult. The Annual Meeting is coming up,… Read More

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7 Answers to the Most Frequently Asked HOA Questions

A growing number of homes in the United States belong to a homeowner’s association (HOA). Neighborhood HOAs provide upkeep for shared spaces, and in most planned communities, they will give you access to amenities like swimming pools, gyms, and clubhouses. Belonging to an association can help increase your home’s value, and in general, HOAs help maintain home prices across the community. Read on to discover the answers to the most frequently asked questions about HOAs. 1. What is a homeowner’s association? An HOA is usually set up as a non-profit organization by a developer or builder when a planned community is first established to help support the sales and marketability… Read More

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Want to Self-Manage Your HOA or Condo but Will Volunteers Do the Work?

I’ve talked to many community board members that are interested in self-management but have doubts it will work for them.  There are clear benefits but who will do all the work?  A major theme we hear is the desire to self-manage your HOA or Condo but will volunteers do the work? The primary benefit is the association will save money versus using a management company.  The savings means you don’t have to increase common charges or you can put the savings towards a necessary project.  Next is increased control.  If the board is handling a majority of the operational issues they don’t have a manager making decisions for them, they… Read More

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Buried in Email Part II

Last February I wrote an article about staff being buried in email and WOW! I haven’t hit that big a nerve with the readers in some time! You all ARE buried in email! But here’s an interesting aside: In the two months since I wrote that article, I have noticed that… more companies have started using auto-response for everyday email. I know this as when our publication goes out, the auto-responses come directly back to my inbox. Another bit of intel: I’d say that well over 50% indicate they will return email in 48 hours or more. For those managers or companies that aren’t yet using auto-response to help manage… Read More

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