Month: May 2012

HOA Rents Out Home It Doesn’t Own

The owner of a home in a Wesley Chapel, Fla., development was shocked to find out that her tenant had been evicted by the homeowner’s association, which changed the locks and moved in its own renter. The owner said that the home hasn’t been foreclosed on, but that the association still has taken it over.…

Set Procedure for Making HOA Rule Exceptions

Every planned community has homeowners association rules, tailored specifically to the nature of the community, its members, and its board of directors. For example, an age-restricted community will have different rules than a condo building. It's important that, as the community manager, you strike a balance between making sure that the agreed-upon rules designed to keep the community operating successfully and its members happy are appropriately, but not overzealously, enforced.

Can Landscaping Make Community Safer?

Q: Landscaping is often overlooked as a security method. How exactly would landscaping deter crime? A: Since criminals usually like to take their victims by surprise, they tend to commit crimes in places that offer them hiding spots. Dense hedges or bushes or trees with low-hanging foliage at a community can provide perfect cover for…

Unauthorized Community Garden Sprouts Lawsuit

In Portsmouth, N.H., the 23-unit Atlantic Pointe condominium association is suing two members for planting heirloom perennials, shrubs, and other plants in the mulched common areas adjacent to their units. The members, who say they received permission from the developer before owners took over the association in 2010, defended their decision to plant the garden,…

Conduct Five-Point Summer Preparedness Inspection

As the seasons shift at your community, you'll be presented with safety, equipment, and maintenance challenges. Summer is quickly approaching. Are you ready? Follow the Insider's step-by-step summer preparedness guide to minimize risks associated with the season and ensure that community members get the most out of this pleasant time of the year.

Association Not ‘Debt Collector’ When Pursuing Late Assessment

Facts: A condo association's manager discovered that it had failed to invoice the correct monthly dues for 10 months to the 36 members of the association. As a result of this billing error, there was an $8,521.50 shortfall. With the association's permission, the manager divided the total of $8,521.50 by the number of members, and tried to collect a one-time charge of $236.71 from each. A certain member had paid her monthly and quarterly assessments and dues in a timely manner until that point but refused to pay the assessment.

Rental Fee Resolutions Required Owner Vote

Facts: A luxury recreational vehicle (RV) park association allowed the owners of lots in the park to rent them to non-owners. To regulate lot renting, the association's board of directors enacted three resolutions that imposed requirements for owners to meet before renting their lots, such as identification requirements and ensuring available liability insurance. The resolutions also imposed rental fees to be paid by owners and penalties for nonpayment of the fees.

Write Effective Rule Banning Grilling

Sometimes members in a community that has a ban on barbecue grilling on patios and balconies don't take this ban seriously, especially during the summer months. To combat this, write a rule that effectively bans grilling.

A rule stating “Grilling on balconies is against the fire ordinance” is not enough. A thorough rule should:

  • Cover not only “grilling,” but also the use of any type of outdoor cooking device;

  • Ban members from using this equipment anywhere—in the unit, on patios, balconies, and terraces; and

HOA Rents Out Home It Doesn’t Own

The owner of a home in a Wesley Chapel, Fla., development was shocked to find out that her tenant had been evicted by the homeowner's association, which changed the locks and moved in its own renter. The owner said that the home hasn't been foreclosed on, but that the association still has taken it over. Now, a legal battle is heating up over whether the eviction is legal. Some HOA legal experts said that it might be, because the owner moved a tenant into her house without paying off a lien the association had imposed.