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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The Emotional Cost of Foreclosure

Have you ever had to foreclose on a neighbor? The word “foreclosure” strikes a note of fear and panic in most people. Typically, foreclosure is only considered when all other possibilities have been considered and no other solution can be found. It is the final remedy an association has to fix a problem that could otherwise financially cripple a financially sound community. If you’ve ever seen the classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, then you can easily picture the antagonist, Mr. Henry Potter (portrayed as the perfect villain by Lionel Barrymore). Mr. Potter was an evil banker, ready to foreclose with joy on any home owner who has fallen behind… Read More

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Tell Everyone How You Maintain, Protect, and Enhance!

Maintain – Protect – Enhance. This is the prime directive for Boards of Directors of Homeowner Associations across the country. By maintaining, protecting, and enhancing the assets of the association, the Board ensures that property values are maximized and owners’ interests are served. The majority of your association’s common fund will be spent on maintaining common elements of your association. The many details of this story are seldom told to homeowners yet they need to hear it. Take a look at your association’s budget for the current fiscal year. Where is your money being spent? I am willing to bet you have several line items for large ticket items that… Read More

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Are Your Communications Secure?

Fences, security cameras, guards, and gates can go a long way towards bringing condominium owners peace of mind when it comes to their physical safety. But there is another type of security that should be pondered by community association leaders. Theft of data can be just as damaging to unsuspecting condo owners. Do you practice good security measures with your data? Would you know what to do if your email, website, or database of sensitive information were breached? In this age of technology-driven communications, digital identity crimes have increased dramatically. While the numbers vary widely, the Better Business Bureau reported an estimated 11.1 million people reported their identity stolen in… Read More

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Condo & HOA Collections For Condo & HOA Budget Time

Once a year in every community association the most significant event occurs and that is the formulation of the association’s annual budget. It’s even more important than the annual election because this budget is the road map for how the association is to be run for the next year. The board can decide to on many issues including capital improvements, added amenities, reduced services, and everything in between. However, the one item that always leaves the board and management confused is the disposition of delinquent fees and questionable debt. What can be done to predict the unknown because the more accurate you’re are the more realistic and functional your budget… Read More

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Storm & Catastrophic Preparation – An Emergency Line of Credit

We are in an age of dramatically more devastating natural events: frequent and expansive wild fires, intense hurricanes, stronger tornadoes and historic rains/snowfall resulting in record flooding. As never before, establishing catastrophe planning strategies supported by adequate insurance coverage is a critical element to restoring the facilities impacted. There is a banking program specific to community associations that is particularly valuable for the environmental changes being experienced. The program has traditionally been referred to as a “Standby Line of Credit for Named Storm Damage”. The reason such a bank facility becomes valuable has largely to do with expediency and unforeseen dilemmas with insurance coverage. The general description of such a… Read More

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Building Components: Technological Advancements Make Upgrades Worthwhile

With technology advancements, replacing worn elements may be less effective than upgrading to new materials. For instance, wooden decks may look fantastic at a shore side condominium complex. It’s too bad they need to be replaced every 10 years. They just don’t hold up to the elements. Until recently, using wood to replace wood may have been the only option. Now, it is not uncommon for modern materials like plastics, amalgamations, and even recycled products like rubber from tires to be used to offer beautiful options with the benefit of longer life and lower cost of ownership. There was a time when most condominiums were referred to as “brick and… Read More

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Governing Those Who Don’t Care

In May of 1966, comedian Jack Parr said on his television show, “I don’t vote for politicians. It only encourages them.” By 1976, the sentiment was so popular it was regularly seen on bumper stickers all across America. While undoubtedly humorous, that same sentiment can have dire consequences in your community association. Lack of involvement and indifference towards association leadership are not signs of a healthy community. In fact, I would suggest to you that the fewer association members that vote, either in person or by proxy, the more concerned you should be as a community leader. Voting rights are inherent to condominium ownership. When condominium owners decide not to… Read More

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Tips on keeping the board meetings in control…

We often receive questions from board members seeking advice on how to handle board meeting conflicts. We are here to help. Board member vs. board member Board Member to board member conflict will bring the association board meeting productivity to a halt. It is important that all board members work together to prevent conflicts, and, when they do arise, the members should work together to properly address the conflicts. Limit potential board member conflict by focusing on these points set forth below: Give all board members an opportunity to contribute with equal time; Consider enacting regulations, such as discussion time limits; Allow follow up discussion on a topic after all… Read More

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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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