There are times when even good planning cannot prevent significant and unforeseen budgetary challenges beyond an association's control. The latter half of this year has seen an increase of foreclosures that are affecting entire communities as members are abandoning homes and leaving dues unpaid. And when associations are short on funds, boards may struggle to juggle costs to prevent members from having to make up all the difference.
High energy costs and environmental concerns aren't the only reasons community associations should undertake energy-saving measures. Already, various state legislatures have taken steps to spur associations in a “greener” direction.
Some states have passed laws making it easier for members to use more energy-saving devices. For example, Florida, Hawaii, and Utah have laws that specifically safeguard clothesline-drying rights. And states such as Nevada and Alaska don't allow associations to prohibit solar panels and other power generators.
More and more first-time condo buyers are seeking environmentally friendly features in units and buildings. Many condominium developers are responding by incorporating various environmentally friendly elements into their buildings' designs.
While technology has made conducting business more efficient, it has also created the potential for new legal problems. “Unless you're sure that your company will never be in a lawsuit, you should be concerned with the costs and hazards of electronically stored information,” says attorney Robert Machson, an e-discovery strategy expert. Electronically stored information (ESI) includes any data stored electronically, such as email, documents, voice messages, and digital images.
Electronic equipment has become woven into the American way of life. Consumer electronics companies inundate us with commercials for the latest and greatest computers for our laps and desks, TVs for our homes, and MP3 players for our ears. And for each new product release, one or more of these items become outdated or obsolete. As a result, we are storing or discarding obsolete or unwanted electronic products at increasing rates.
Recent news stories of association fund thefts by board members or management companies may be causing concern in your community. In Colorado, the owner of an association's management company recently turned himself in to police for embezzling association money. At one time, he was the association's board president, and while he was in office, he started a management company to handle the association's management duties. Local police say that over a period of six years, the board president embezzled $42,819.46 in dues from the association.