Dos & Don'ts

Dos & Don'ts

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...

Don't Let Your Maintenance Staff Work on Elevators

December 10, 2012    

If you have a continuing maintenance and repair contract with your elevator contractor, don’t let your staff do any work on your community’s elevators, except for routine cleaning and light bulb replacement. At most, when your staff members learn of an elevator problem, they should...

Return Assessment Check with Discrepancy in Written and Numeral Amounts

December 10, 2012    

If a member sends an assessment check on which the number written in digits in the small box on the right side of the check is correct, but the amount written on the line is incorrect, return the check to the member. Otherwise, the bank will pay the check in the incorrect amount that’s...

Use Group Re-Lamping to Cut Maintenance Costs

December 10, 2012    

Group “re-lamping”—that is, replacing the bulbs, or “lamps,” in a certain area, such as common areas, according to a set schedule—is more efficient and less expensive than replacing them separately as they burn out. That’s because group re-lamping saves...

Spell Out Authority to Boot Illegally Parked Cars

November 19, 2012    

If you’re tired of sending multiple notices and fines to members who have violated parking rules, you may have considered booting illegally parked cars. Be aware that booting has its drawbacks. Members or renters whose cars get booted may sue the association, claiming that it doesn’t...

Don't Let Employees on Roof in Winter

November 19, 2012    

When the weather is snowy or icy, don’t send an employee up to the roof to clear gutters, inspect for leaks, or remove snow. The employee could injure himself. By winter, it’s too late to do your inspections and gutter clearing, but you’ll still need to remove any snow that...

Completely Remove Snow and Ice

November 19, 2012    

When you clean up snow and ice, be sure to remove all of it and not take halfway measures—like only throwing down salt, which can leave common areas slippery. After the cleanup, designate an employee to check the sidewalks, steps, driveway, and parking lots to make sure they’re clear...

Draft Inclusive Pet Bylaw

November 5, 2012    

If your community allows only certain kinds of pets, write a bylaw that states which types of animals are welcome, and say that “all other types”  of animals are forbidden. If you try to specify the animals that aren’t allowed, you’re bound to leave something out....

Set Annual Budget According to Governing Documents’ Requirements

November 5, 2012    

Don’t overlook the requirements of your declaration and bylaws when you set your annual budget. If you do, you might not be able to enforce the assessments you charge your members. Example: Your association sues a member to collect unpaid assessments. The member says that the declaration...