Month: November 2018

Avoid Insider Crimes with Four Safeguards for Employee Hiring Process

Every person who works in your community—from maintenance employees to office staff—will interact with members and potentially have access to sensitive information, including financial documents. When employees are trustworthy, this exposure isn’t an issue. But it’s incredibly difficult to ensure that a new hire won’t turn out to be an opportunist who uses her position for an ulterior motive. This creates serious risks for you and the association.

Take Four Steps to Minimize Heat Complaints from Members This Winter

Winter weather can make community managers’ jobs more challenging if they’re managing associations that are located in cold-weather climates. You’ll typically field an influx of heating complaints. Often, these complaints are unfounded or result from easily correctable problems. Provide too much heat, however, and you’re just wasting fuel and money. The best bet is to address heating complaints right away, while also controlling your heating costs.

Defining Board Officers’ Duties

While serving on the board of a community association is a volunteer position, board members can get very invested in it. It’s not uncommon to hear about board members who overstep boundaries. That’s why it’s important to be able to gently—or in some cases, more firmly—remind a member who’s taking over duties that aren’t part of her position about the board members’ official duties and why it’s important for everyone to play his or her role.

Don’t Fire Staff Before Investigating Complaint

Unfortunately, you might encounter a situation where a member of the community association you manage complains about a maintenance or other type of worker who is left alone with the member. But what if it isn’t clear exactly what the employee may have done wrong? Sometimes, an interaction might be described in general terms as “creepy” or as having made the member feel “scared.” But if the member didn’t say anything specific that the worker did that was inappropriate and you’ve never had any complaints before, you should tread lightly.

Avoid Fair Housing Violations When Enforcing Community Rules

There are some common fair housing problems that can arise from community rules. But you can avoid them if you understand where you might go wrong. In general, community rules trigger fair housing problems in one of two ways—either the rules are enforced unfairly or the rules themselves are unfair.

‘One Contract’ Theory Didn’t Relieve Association’s Obligation to Repay Loan

Facts: Over the course of several years, a construction company performed construction work for an association. When the association encountered financial trouble, it requested a loan from the construction company. The association also needed to replace a deteriorating retaining wall and asked the construction company to bid on the project. The parties agreed to and executed: (1) a promissory note memorializing the loan; and (2) a contract for the construction of the wall.

Engage Members in Mold Prevention in Community

Mold in any property can present multiple serious health issues. It has been a controversial issue at residential properties in particular, because it can cause serious health problems and be expensive to remediate. Mold prevention techniques and effective remediation of existing mold should be high on your list of maintenance and safety concerns. But perhaps the biggest concern for the community association is the issue of responsibility for mold-related problems.

Use Well-Planned Annual Member Meeting to Showcase Skills

An efficient annual member meeting not only encourages future member participation, but also exhibits your and the elected directors’ expertise and leadership skills. The success of this meeting goes a long way toward building trust in board members to protect and faithfully serve the community’s interests. Given the importance of this yearly event, you should already have—or now create—a checklist of meeting preparation steps. If no checklist exists, create one with a list of tasks to get you to the finish line.

HOA Managers Seeing Success Across U.S.

Association life continues to thrive across the country, as seen in the 2018 Homeowner Satisfaction Survey, conducted by Zogby Analytics for the Foundation for Community Association Research (FCAR). This is great news for community association managers for the seventh time in 13 years. Once again, Americans living in homeowners associations (HOAs) and condominiums say they’re satisfied in their communities. According to, the majority of survey respondents say their association’s rules protect and enhance their property values.