Dealing with Members

Dealing with Members

Help Members Avoid Improving Prohibited Areas

December 22, 2015    

Members sometimes build improvements on common areas or limited common areas without first getting the association’s consent, because they mistakenly believe the area belongs to them. This can lead to an unpleasant dispute between a member and the association, especially when the...

Add Amenities that Reflect Members' Interests, Lifestyle Trends

December 22, 2014    

By Andrea Brescia

As times and social tastes change, your board might explore adding amenities to keep your community association current and in line with newer associations. The amenities that were in place when your association was founded might not be completely satisfying to...

Enforce Late Fee Policy Consistently to Avoid Fair Housing Claims

March 14, 2014    

Unfortunately, sometimes you have to charge your members late fees if they don’t pay their common expenses on time (unless you've established an acceleration policy, as discussed in "...

Don't Let Noncompliant Pet Owners Run Wild in Community

February 17, 2014    

Just because you have pet rules for your community, that doesn’t mean that members with pets will always follow them. Noncompliant members can create problems that range from annoying to dangerous. What can you do? Periodically send a letter reminding them of the importance of complying...

Set Communication Policy for Responding to Member Requests

August 20, 2013    

Some aspects of association management will never change: You’ll always have to be aware of financial issues, deal with maintenance situations, hire and train staff, and work with board members to take the best possible care of the community. And there will always be a need for good and...

Set Rules for Sign Posting in Your Community

March 13, 2012    

With the presidential and other elections approaching, members may want to show their support for a candidate by posting signs on their lawns and porches, or putting posters or decals in their windows. But you don't want to end up with front yard “sign farms” that look unsightly...

Don't Let Community Rules—or How You Enforce Them—Lead to Discrimination Claims

December 15, 2011    

Fair housing claims often stem from adverse actions taken against members for violating community policies or rules. In some cases, it's a claim of “disparate treatment—that is, that the rules are being selectively enforced because of a member's race or other characteristic...

Control Members' Access to Association Records

November 17, 2011    

Community members may want to inspect the records of their association for a variety of reasons, some legitimate and some improper. It may be hard to tell whether a member wants access to records for a harmless reason, to harass the association, to gather confidential information to which the...

Handling Member Complaints About Marijuana Grow Operations in Community

August 29, 2010    

Recently, a Montana mixed-use condominium association board voted to amend its governing documents to specifically prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries in the community. The association had sent out a survey to its members regarding medical marijuana in February 2010 asking the owners of the...

How to Prevent Unacceptable Behavior Toward Board Members

June 29, 2010    

The decisions that a board makes very rarely please everyone. A board may have just approved a large special assessment to finance the replacement of the roof, and some owners may not be pleased with how the association's finances are being handled. Most displeased owners may focus their...

How to Avoid Discriminating Against Families with Children

March 28, 2010    

Your community may set reasonable rules to protect the safety of your members' children and respect other members' right to enjoy their property. But your community must be careful that your rules do not unfairly single out children, or your association may be charged with discrimination...

Dos & Don'ts for Taking Members to Small Claims Court

August 30, 2009    

Small claims court is used to resolve relatively minor civil disputes in a fair, low-cost, and timely manner. If the money damages that you're seeking are relatively small (typically less than $5,000, although the amount varies by state) and the association's preference is for a speedy,...