Month: August 2017

Use Reserve Study to Keep Contributions at Pace of Deterioration

No matter how high the quality of the homes and amenities in your community is, it’s inevitable that over time they’ll need maintenance to keep up their appearance and performance. Ultimately, some will need to be replaced—and members will be required to pay for the expense. It’s tempting to put off contributing to repairs; members, and especially those who are feeling a financial pinch, might argue that the replacement and maintenance of items that are currently in fine working order is an issue that can be dealt with in the future.

Bring Out the Best from Members Campaigning for Board Seat

The 2016 presidential election involved an unprecedented level of negative campaigning for office, including vitriol and attacks on candidates and their political parties. Campaigns aren’t limited to just political office, though. Association boards are comprised of elected members—which means campaigning is something managers will have to help handle.

How to Negotiate a Favorable Laundry-Room Service Contract

Some condominium buildings have a shared, central laundry room for members, instead of washing and drying appliances in units. Even in planned communities with freestanding homes, the association may decide to use a common laundry room. But it’s not as easy as buying washers and dryers and installing some method for charging members for the services. It’s more involved than that. Having a well-maintained laundry room in a condominium building or a community is important for both residents and associations.

Arizona HOA Bristles at Artificial Turf

Many people are switching from real grass landscapes to artificial turf because of lower water usage and less maintenance. Residents of one Arizona homeowners association who switched to artificial turf cited the climate—specifically scorching sun and temperatures—as making it nearly impossible to grow green, healthy grass year-round; others were concerned about water bills. Homeowners at this association are required to have 50 percent of the front yard and 50 percent of the backyard covered by grass, and two trees, which can use large amounts of water.

Flag Mailbox Puts Spotlight on HOA’s Violation Notification Process

A mailbox decorated like an American flag is causing two kinds of controversy within a Florida homeowners association. The 82-year-old owner of the mailbox—a retired Navy veteran—was upset when the association sent him a letter apprising him that the mailbox violated a covenant and was allegedly reducing property values. The homeowner is gearing up for a fight with the association, which he has accused of bullying him.

Ability to Collect Assessments in Danger

A recent amicus curiae brief aims to help protect associations' financial stability. Virginia-based Community Associations Institute (CAI) has endorsed a new amicus curiae brief supporting community association priority lien rights. CAI, an international authority in community association governance, management, and education, announced that Jaime Fraser Carr, Esq., and Marvin J.

Treat Board Member Term Limits Seriously

Sometimes, to comply with the law, association boards must be restructured. If you find yourself in the position of having to deliver the news and help with the restructure, you could be faced with accusations by board members that you’re improperly trying to oust them for your own motives. For example, if you’ve had difficulty working with the current board members, they could assume that you’d like to replace them with members who will be more accommodating. The laws that apply to condo association and HOA board term limits vary from state to state.

Ensure Work Is Up to Par Before Final Payment

Paying a contractor up front to do work for your association isn’t a good idea. If it does a shoddy job, your only recourse would be to sue the contractor for not living up to the agreement. But this can be costly. And it’s avoidable—if you protect yourself from subpar workmanship or a failure to finish the job. Having the contract state that the association can make “progress payments” as the contractor moves ahead with the work, and including a “retainage” clause, is a way to encourage a contractor to complete the job to your satisfaction.