Month: October 2012
Members of a gated community sued the homeowners association for negligence after they were attacked in the home of one member by a known assailant. The members claimed that the homeowners association, which managed, maintained, and controlled the premises, failed to maintain an adequate level of security at the two entrance gates of the community. The court granted the association's request to dismiss the case without a trial.
Your association's board is often called upon to make judgments about various important community issues. A member might sue the association over a decision he or she thinks is in the interest of individuals on the board and not in the best interest of the association. A member might sue an association based on the concept of fiduciary duty. A fiduciary duty is a legal obligation imposed on all board members. It refers to their duty of loyalty to the association. Board members have a fiduciary duty to the association.
Over the past few years, numerous associations have seen an increase in the number of members defaulting on their mortgages and not paying their association fees. As a result, some of these associations have had to cut back on services and amenities that attracted their members to a community lifestyle in the first place. That’s because if even a few members don’t pay their assessments on time an association can face serious financial problems.
Working with your association’s board, fielding member concerns, and overseeing your own staff can take up a lot of your time. Occasionally, you may get hung up on handling major issues that become important to the community, too. But prioritizing day-to-day maintenance is crucial, no matter how busy you are. Preventative maintenance can save you time and the association money later by eliminating the risk of having to replace major items if they’ve deteriorated because of a lack of maintenance.
In the October 2012 issue, we described ways to boost employee productivity (see “Implement ‘Workplace-Improvement Program’ to Increase Employee Productivity”). A recent study shows that this type of initiative is more important than ever. A new Global Workforce Study by global human resources consultant Towers Watson found that almost 63 percent of U.S. workers aren’t “fully engaged” in their work. Moreover, these employees say that they’re struggling to cope with work situations that don’t provide sufficient support.
Community Associations Institute (CAI) recently commended the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for issuing new guidelines that will provide more opportunities for homebuyers and sellers and greater stability for condominium communities. CAI has pressed FHA to revise rules that determine if a condominium community meets certain guidelines that enable buyers to obtain FHA-insured mortgage loans. FHA is the only source of low down payment mortgages that many borrowers use to become first-time homeowners. For many Americans, condos are often the first step in homeownership.