Dos & Don'ts

Use Authority to Add Community-Wide Amenity

May 29, 2015    

Internet access is now a must-have for most people, including the members in your community. But as ubiquitous as the Internet is these days, some communities still require members to arrange for and pay for Internet access in their own units. If your association has decided that it wants to...

Don't Grant 'Unreasonable' Accommodation Requests

May 29, 2015    

If a member comes to the management office requesting an accessible parking space because he’s disabled, and you see no obvious signs of disability, like use of a mobility device, you might have to ask for the appropriate documentation to support the request, such as a government-issued...

Don't Let Member Rent Out Parking Spot

May 29, 2015    

If your community includes mixed-use space, your association may be afraid that members will have to battle customers who are visiting retail stores or entertainment venues for parking spaces. But worse than that is the increased risk of crimes happening at the community if nonmembers have...

Require Signature When Distributing House Rules

May 29, 2015    

When enforcing your community association’s house rules, you’ve probably heard members claim they weren’t aware that they were in violation because they never received a copy of the house rules in the first place. This could lead to a sticky situation if a member’s...

Don't Start Renovations Without Informing Members

August 22, 2014    

Common area renovation projects can be a nuisance to members. And while most members are usually supportive and tolerant of those projects because they realize they help to make the community a better place to live, not everyone feels that way. Frustration can crop up if members find that they...

Train Staff for Elevator Breakdowns

August 22, 2014    

If there’s an elevator in your community, it’s important that your employees know the proper steps to take if it breaks down while passengers are in it. If the employees don’t take the proper steps and passengers get injured during the breakdown, the association could get sued...

Don't Forget About Bedbug Threat

August 22, 2014    

Getting rid of bedbugs can be extremely difficult; they multiply quickly and can move easily from one location to another. Bedbug problems have been spreading in recent years, particularly in major cities like Boston and New York, sparking much concern among public health and housing officials....

Check Insurance Before Fighting FDCPA Claim

June 13, 2014    

If you’re threatened with a lawsuit by a member who claims that her consumer protection rights under the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) have been violated by you or your staff, your association's master policy carrier may consider settling the case rather than face...

Don't Invoke "Good Standing Status" Without Checking Association Rules

December 11, 2013    

If a member violates a rule, you might be tempted to deem him a “member not in good standing,” and use that status to deny him certain privileges in the hopes that he’ll rectify the situation. But in order to do this, the association’s rules must provide for using good...

Use Plants to Improve Common Area IAQ

December 11, 2013    

Take advantage of interior landscaping to do more than just improve the aesthetic of your community’s common areas. Interior landscaping improves indoor air quality (IAQ) and can even lower your energy costs. Plants filter air by absorbing pollutants and they produce oxygen—which is...

Don't Try to Sway Election

January 15, 2013    

Don’t try to influence your association’s election by stating that if a certain person is elected, you or your management company will cancel its contract. While it’s not illegal to seek to influence association elections, generally it’s inappropriate for community...

Check Insurance Policy Before Sponsoring Athletic Event

December 10, 2012    

Before sponsoring an athletic event like a basketball game at your community, read your liability policy to see if athletic events are covered and speak to your insurance broker also. Why? Insurers often exclude injuries resulting from athletic events from an association’s liability...

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