Dos & Don'ts

Dos & Don'ts

Flag Members’ Delinquent Accounts

November 5, 2012    

It can be difficult for the person who actually receives members’ checks to know which are from delinquent members and must, therefore, be inspected more closely. This is even more problematic for associations whose members send their payments directly to a lockbox. One way to resolve this...

Provide Sign Language Interpreter at Special Meetings, if Requested

September 6, 2012    

If a hearing-impaired member in your community asks for a sign language interpreter to be present at a special meeting or at an annual meeting as a reasonable accommodation, be sure to provide one. Without a sign language interpreter, the disabled member may not be able to participate in any...

Offer Assessment Deferral Program to Financially Struggling Active-Duty Military Members

September 5, 2012    

As more military personnel are being called to active duty, you may find that service members in your community are falling into financial hardship from decreased income, and they may be having difficulty receiving notification of pending litigation against them. The Servicemembers Civil Relief...

Don't Use Members to Perform Reserve Study to Save Money

September 5, 2012    

Some associations have tried to perform a reserve study using their members to save money. Not only may the members lack the engineering experience to accurately evaluate the property, but their judgment may not be objective. They may be reluctant to apply accurate assessments of the costs that...

Refer to Federal Criteria When Handling Member's Chinese Drywall Complaints

September 5, 2012    

Federal agencies recently released a new set of criteria to help members and inspectors determine whether recent renovations or construction definitively has defective drywall. During the housing boom, it is estimated that more than 500 million pounds of possibly defective Chinese drywall was...

Document Slip-and-Fall Hazards

August 28, 2012    

If anyone reports a slip-and-fall injury at your community, take pictures of the hazard on which the person claims to have slipped. Do it right away—as soon as you hear about the incident—just in case the person sues you later. Photographs may help you prove in court that there was...

Don't Forget to Ban Violent Behavior in Employee Handbook

August 27, 2012    

Include in your employee handbook a ban against violent behavior by employees, to head off problems and put your employees on notice that this behavior won't be tolerated and that there will be serious consequences. Tell employees what's unacceptable, and draw a clear line that they may...

Write Effective Rule Banning Grilling

May 13, 2012    

Sometimes members in a community that has a ban on barbecue grilling on patios and balconies don't take this ban seriously, especially during the summer months. To combat this, write a rule that effectively bans grilling.

A rule stating “Grilling on balconies is against the fire...

Implement Employee Email Usage Policy

April 26, 2012    

Community association management offices commonly use email as their main communication tool. Because of that, your employees may need to frequently send and receive emails in order to do their jobs. However, personal or inappropriate emails that come from your management company or association...

Don't Let Painting Contractor Set Terms of Job

April 26, 2012    

If your community's spring cleaning plans include painting, don't agree to a “time and materials” paint job, where the contractor charges you at the end of the job for all the time it spent on the job and the materials it bought to do the job. With time and materials jobs,...

Don't Remove Graffiti Before Taking Photographs of It

October 30, 2011    

Before you remove or cover up graffiti at your community, take color photographs of it, suggests property owner and manager Kevin M. Fogel. Your first instinct will naturally be to remove graffiti immediately so that it doesn't send the message that your community is in decline or give the...

Stagger Hours of Part-Time Security Patrols

October 30, 2011    

Twenty-four-seven security patrols can be very expensive and, if your community doesn't experience a lot of crime, you may be tempted to cut corners and use only part-time patrols. But if you do this, stagger security guards' shifts to keep criminals off guard. If you change the shifts...