Month: January 2014

To Minimize Slip-and-Fall Liability, Remind Members of Hazardous Winter Conditions

If you're in a part of the country experiencing harsh winter conditions, you may be worried about the possibility of being hit with slip-and-fall lawsuits filed by members or guests. Although it’s inevitable that accidents will occur, the association can try to make the community as safe as possible for members and consequently avoid liability for any slip-and-fall accidents.

Don’t Remove Graffiti Before Taking Photographs of It

Before you remove or cover up graffiti at your community, take color photographs of it. Your first instinct will naturally be to remove graffiti immediately so that it doesn't send the message that your community is in decline or give the vandals the recognition they want. But graffiti is a crime. And the police can use color photographs of graffiti to identify, track, and prosecute the graffiti artists responsible.

How to Deal with Member-on-Board Member Harassment

If you manage a community association for long enough, you’ll inevitably encounter disgruntled members. Some of these cases may not amount to anything if the member’s issue can be resolved or if you simply acknowledge the member’s complaint even if it’s meritless. After all, it’s not uncommon for association members to misplace frustration over other issues onto the association.

Get Police Assessment to Cut Liability, Keep Community Safe

Keeping your community safe should be a priority for every association manager. Some communities have funds to spare for consulting fees from outside companies that will evaluate just how secure their properties are. But this can cost thousands of dollars and you may end up feeling pressured to buy expensive security equipment that you might not even need. Is there a way to get an objective assessment? Yes, if you’re open to asking local police to come to your community to assess its safety and give recommendations that will improve your current security strategy.

Reducing Traffic Speed on Community Roads

Q: There have been several incidents where cars have been speeding within the community I manage. It poses a real danger to members, especially because we have many children in the community who play in the common areas or on the front lawns of their homes. I’ve heard of other associations installing “traffic calmers” to stop cars from speeding. What exactly are traffic calmers and what should I know about them before installing them?

Trouble in Paradise: Hawaii Association Slapped with $1.2M Settlement

A couple will receive nearly $1.2 million to settle their lawsuit against a Molokai, Hawaii, condo association. The husband and wife claimed that they became targets for abuse after attempting to elect new board leaders for their condominium. Two insurance carriers for the association and its directors will pay the couple $1.175 million, as part of a recently approved settlement.

Assessments Not Based on Re-Platted Number of Lots

Facts: A homeowner purchased eight lots in a gated community. The lots were later re-platted into three lots. The association’s declaration wasn’t amended to reflect the re-platting, however. The owner’s property was still considered by the association to be made up of the eight lots into which it had originally been split.

Outside Buyer Can’t Challenge Condo Bylaws

Facts: The sale of any unit in a condo building triggered the condo board’s “right of first refusal” under the bylaws to purchase the unit before it was offered to an outside buyer. When the board learned that a member had entered into a contract with an outside buyer, it exercised its right.