Featured Articles

Use Governing Documents to Determine Responsibility for Multiple-Unit Damage

The nature of condominium buildings—that is, units stacked on each other—means that occasionally an accident in one condo will affect the adjacent unit. Flooding is a common cause of damage to multiple units, and it can happen from appliances like dishwashers and washing machines that leak. So when an adjacent unit is affected by a leak in the original unit, who is responsible for fixing the damage? Does the association have a duty to get involved?

Rate Employment Applicants on Key Criteria Before Hiring

No matter what industry you work in, finding and hiring good employees is difficult. While the economy has recovered, there are still many jobseekers who apply for jobs that they are unqualified for, just because they need employment. And a candidate who seemed like a good choice for your community might end up not having the experience or attitude that’s necessary to help manage an association.

Make the Transition to Online Voting for Board Elections

Much of the national conversation and controversy regarding the 2016 presidential election has centered on the integrity of the voting process. Speculation that voting results can be influenced by hacking has been in the media. And whether high-tech interference with the voting process is a reality or an unfounded fear, it’s still worth considering. So is it a good idea to use technology for board elections at your community? Most likely, issues like hacking aren’t even on a community association manager’s radar, but making the community run better certainly is.

Strategically Pursue Construction Defect Claims

Association living has many perks, and it seems that around every corner there is a new development with condos, townhouses, or freestanding homes. But after the excitement of a new planned community or condominium building dies down, and you and your property management company have been hired to manage the association, members could begin to find construction defects. Because construction defect claims can be complex, time consuming, and expensive, they are one of the most difficult issues that you’ll face.

Include Four Steps in Age-Restricted Community Resolution

Age-restricted communities have become a real force in the housing market, providing a great alternative for elderly people who want to stay active and remain in their homes rather than move into nursing homes or assisted living facilities as past generations often did. But they’ve also presented challenges for their associations—members who are “aging in place” at such communities are more likely to develop medical problems or issues that are an inevitable part of getting older.

Put Plan in Place to Prevent and Deal with Fraud

Unfortunately, community associations—regardless of how well they are run—can fall prey to embezzlement or purposeful misuse of funds or resources. Association managers and board members should be aware of common ways that fraud is perpetrated and how to prevent—or in the worst case scenario, deal with—this white-collar crime.

Handle Death of Member with Diplomacy and Efficiency

Sadly, a member in the planned community or condominium that you manage could die. If you and your staff have gotten to know the member or her family well, it could be especially upsetting. But as an association professional, you’ll have to handle the practical aspects involved when a home or condo is no longer occupied for this reason.

Craft Detailed Records-Management Policy to Shield Association from Liability

Record keeping is an essential part of running an association. Not only does the law require associations to keep certain types of records for specified periods of time, but records also can prove that the association acted as it was required to in certain situations, like making necessary repairs—which in turn can relieve it from liability for wrongdoing and avoid lawsuits. Records can also help you keep track of things like association spending, complaints and requests by members, and board decisions.

Keep Rules Flexible Without Forfeiting Future Rights

Community association boards occasionally want to make an exception to an association rule or restrictive covenant for a member whose unusual circumstance the board feels warrants an exception. Other times, a board may want to make a community-wide exception. Boards worry, though, that if they make an exception to a rule or restrictive covenant, they might be prevented from enforcing it at some time in the future. That’s because some courts have ruled that associations had forfeited their right to enforce certain rules or restrictive covenants by allowing violations.

How to Handle Requests for Assistance Animals

Disability discrimination claims account for more than half of all fair housing complaints, often based on disputes over requests by members and other residents with disabilities to have assistance animals.

There’s a lot of confusion over assistance animals, which can go by so many names—service animals, therapy animals, companion animals, emotional support animals—and there are different sets of rules on when, where, and what types of animals may be used by individuals with disabilities in various settings.