Month: September 2011
Several Long Beach, Calif., neighborhood associations have united to form the Downtown Residential Council (DRC), with the goal of bringing community members together by hosting social events in the downtown area. Ocean Residents Community Association (ORCA), which began about a year ago, is the newest—and most active—association to join DRC.
With a constant flow of money coming in and going out, some community associations take shortcuts with their cash management procedures. For example, they might have the same person who prepares the checks also doing the books. But without effective internal controls, you won't know if someone is embezzling from the association.
Effective controls and standard procedures for income and disbursements—that is, payments to vendors, employees, and others—are essential to the sound management of any business, including community associations.
Few parts of the country have escaped the wrath of Mother Nature this year—we've suffered tornadoes, floods, a hurricane, and even a blizzard. Last winter, New York City experienced record-breaking snowfall that challenged the city's budget and snow removal strategies. And in advance of a February ice storm, the National Weather Service urged building owners in the Northeast to clear rooftops, awnings, and overhangs of snow to avoid potential collapses.
Facts: A community association experienced numerous problems with trespassers entering the interior roads of the community. The unauthorized access resulted in substantial damage to the community's roads by all-terrain vehicles and property damage resulting from campfires, unauthorized parties, and littering. The association constructed a security gate with lights and a surveillance camera at the entrance of the community. To allow each of the community's owners to open the gate, the association provided numeric codes to them without a charge.
If your community is in a region of the country that gets snow, hiring a snow removal contractor may be inevitable. Typically, snow removal contractors provide associations with a form contract to sign. But a form contract may not always work to your benefit—for example, it may not have a payment plan that's beneficial to you or specifically spell out such things as when the company should start plowing after a snowfall.
If you draft your own snow removal contract, ask your attorney about including the following seven key protections.