Keeping It Legal – The Story of Your Community Association’s Attorney

Comedian Milton Berle is quoted as saying “Attorneys practice law because it gives them a grand and glorious feeling. You give them a grand and they feel glorious”. While attorneys may be on the receiving end of many jokes, the contribution they make to your community is no laughing matter. Depending on the size of your association and the challenges you are facing, chances are you have one or more attorneys performing crucial work on behalf of your association. Telling the story of the important work these professionals perform on behalf of your association is crucial to helping your community cope and thrive in the face of legal challenges. Attorneys… 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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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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Suggestions for Changing Boards of Common Interest Communities

As communities Boards change over time there is often a change in direction for a community with regards to how common areas are funded or which projects are most important to the present community membership. A reserve study completed for new Boards will help to guide them in their specific direction as a reserve study provides an outline of the costs Associated with replacement of common area components as well as includes funding plans based on the client’s goals, statutory requirements and our recommendations based on our experience with similar communities.   Just Completing a Reserve Study is not Enough Just having a reserve study completed is not enough for… Read More

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Deck / Lanai Refurbishment, Replacement, Maintenance – A Common Budgeting Mistake

  Decks / Lanais systems are typically one of the larger project expenses a community will face. Budgeting for their short and long term care is not always as straightforward as it appears to be as the degree of deterioration of this component is heavily reliant on historical maintenance trends in the community. I will touch on one of the more common budgeting mistakes we see on a regular basis. Maintenance and proper care will actually save a community a significant amount of money in the long run; deciding who (and how) this component is maintained can have a significant impact on the budgeting recommendations in the reserve study as… Read More

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KEEP CALM AND CALL THE MEDIATOR!!

KEEP CALM AND CALL THE MEDIATOR!! As a Community Association Member, have you ever had trials and tribulations like…… My neighbor lets his iguana swim in the community pool- What, your neighbor has an iguana? Well, the Treasurer and Vice-President of our Board are at war with each other- Is that all? We have widespread parking disputes. That’s nothing! We have one unit owner that keeps storing his belongings in the Common Area. Well, at least he doesn’t hang superman sheets from the window. No, but the lady next door uses her garage as a disco-tech. The list goes on and on. When troubles like these arise: What to do??… Read More

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How To Stop Pass Sharing at Your HOA Pool

Why is my pool so crowded?  Who are all these people at the pool?  Those teenagers don’t live in the community.  Why isn’t the pool collecting any guest money? Does this sound like you? Believe it or not, some communities embrace this culture.  After all, it is a community pool.  The elected board members have made a decision to allow a loose pass policy and/or decided not to collect guest fees. When this is the case, you may hear comments like these: “My family uses XYZ HOA pool, my mother in law lives there.”  “When my girlfriend comes to visit, she uses my next door neighbor’s pass.”  “Everybody is allowed… Read More

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Types of Swimming Pool Pass Policies

Every pool owner, property manager, or board member have the same goals: 1.  Keep people out of the pool that don’t belong. 2.  Let people in that do belong. Easier said than done sometimes.   Below are some of the most common ways communities manage access to their facility and the pros and cons of each. Key Chain Passes (or Wrist Band) Advantages Cheap. Easy to implement.   When a patron’s application is approved, you simply give them the band or keychain. Disadvantages Passes do not include a picture or identify age. It is easy to share passes. Supervisors have difficulty determining if the pass policy is being enforced. Fewer guest passes are… Read More

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Communications and Community Governance

“That government is best which governs least” – Thomas Paine Thomas Paine was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and dubbed “Father of the American Revolution” by historians. He was born in 1737 and lived a remarkable life that spanned the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and life in France under Napoleon’s rule. His communication skills were legendary and he largely influenced many Americans to take up the cause that became the American Revolution. So important were his writings, we still talk about him today. Community Association Volunteer Leaders (CAVLs as they are designated by CAI) would do well to heed the words of Thomas Paine. In… Read More

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