Month: September 2013

Keep Audit Separate from Association

Q: Like many associations, the association I manage performs a comprehensive annual audit. Is it okay to have a board member do it?

Take Two Steps to Keep Up with Community’s Changing Demographics

Community association managers today have to keep up with ever-changing technological, financial, legal, and management trends. But one thing largely stays the same: the language in many associations’ governing documents and other materials. Typically, this language hasn’t been updated in several decades, despite a drastic change in membership demographics. And that can create frustration among members whose cultural understanding of certain terms is at odds with the meaning the terms were originally supposed to convey.

Collect Damages if Contractor Delays Completion of Work

When you hire outside contractors to make repairs in your community, how do you know they’ll finish when they say they will? The stakes are high. After all, delays cause not only financial problems, but also impact the quality of life of your members. For instance, a delay in repairs that involve a security gate or fence can create risks that end up being catastrophic. How can you prevent contractor delays? Get the right in your contract to penalize the contractor when work isn’t completed on time.

Association Has Discretion in Determining Assessments

Facts: After purchasing undeveloped townhome lots, a residential property company refused to pay assessments to the association as required under the community’s restrictive covenants. The company asserted that the assessments for water and trash collection for its lots was arbitrary because the empty lots didn’t have houses yet that would require trash collection or water.

Contractor’s Faulty Work Triggers Consumer Protection Law

Facts: An association sued a general contractor because of drainage issues that became apparent in the community after construction had been completed. The drainage plan developed and installed by the contractor during construction but before the association had taken ownership of the property was inadequate, which caused standing water to collect in the common areas between the units. The members of the association brought the drainage and resulting flooding problems to the attention of the contractor.

Condos Not Mentioned in Governing Documents Must Pay HOA Fees

Facts: A planned community consisted of 124 single-family homes. In addition to these homes, the same developer built three waterfront condominium buildings nearby. The association tried to treat the unit owners from the area nearby as if they were association members that were subject to the association’s fees and rules and regulations.

Sign of the Times in Arizona Court HOA Ruling

A Pine Canyon HOA must allow “For Sale” signs in the community, the Arizona Court of Appeals recently ruled, despite deed restrictions that ban them. The ruling trumps restrictions, and squelched the association’s argument that its pre-existing ban on such signs can remain despite a 2009 law to the contrary.