Month: June 2018
There’s always turnover for community association boards. A board member might move, retire, want to travel, or become too busy for some reason to fulfill her responsibilities. When a board member gives up her position, the association has the sometimes difficult task of replacing the outgoing member. There are certain qualities that some people have that make them more suitable for the role than others. Experience, of course, helps too. After all, the more a new board member knows, the more she’ll be able to contribute to the association in a meaningful way.
You know that organization is one of the keys to association management success, especially if you’re in charge of a larger community or one with many members. If you did an annual spring cleaning this year, you might also have realized that you need to cut down on clutter in your office, which might include boxes of association records—which can get sizable if they include accounting records, membership lists, meeting minutes, and other important papers—that the association has accumulated over the years.
A New York community association is facing a discrimination lawsuit brought in federal court by Jewish members of the community who say that the association is hostile to their religious practices. According to the members, the association has adopted rules that are “expressly designed to harass Hasidic Jews.”
A family who has installed a playground in the backyard of their home in a planned community is embroiled in a fight with the association over the structure, which was installed as a gift for their daughter who had a kidney transplant and will be returning home soon. The family moved to the community to be closer to medical care.
A Michigan family has been told by their homeowners association that they can’t raise chickens at their home in a planned community. In a letter to the family, the association demanded that the family comply with “applicable covenants” and remove the chickens they were keeping in their backyard as pets. But a lawyer for the family clarified that there was no regulation in the homeowners’ association rules prohibiting them from keeping chickens. However, the association changed its bylaws shortly thereafter; its rules now prohibit chickens.
Facts: A homeowner in a planned community violated several restrictive covenants by allowing his roof to fall into disrepair and keeping a tree stump and car on his lawn, among other things. The association began sending him warning letters. When the homeowner refused to rectify the situation, the association called him multiple times and then began legal proceedings. Throughout that process, the homeowner complained to the association that he was being harassed by the letters and phone calls.
Facts: A community association hired a management company to handle all aspects of maintaining the community, including notifying members of delinquencies and other assessment and dues issues.
Facts: A resident rented a condo unit for three years from its owner, who was a member of the community’s homeowners association. She lived there with her minor daughter under a month-to-month tenancy. Allegedly, the resident was under medical supervision for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Reducing the waste that a community association and its residents create is one of the most important aspects of responsible and sustainable property management.
Q: The maintenance staff for the community I manage handles nearly every aspect of taking care of the property including landscaping, ensuring there’s tight security, and even cleaning the pool. Recently, one of the elevators has been working improperly. Should I allow staff members to work on such a technical piece of equipment?