Community Association Financials

Budgets, Dues, Association Fees, Assessments, Financial Controls, Insurance, Reserves

Budgeting for 2021: The COVID-19 Factor(s)

We're willing to bet that very few of your clients' budgets are on track for 2020, and figuring out how to adjust and plan for 2021 is complicated. “We’re looking at all those odd pieces, the additional costs associations have borne since March,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based…

Manager’s Conduct Doesn’t Make It a Debt Collector

A federal Court of Appeals recently ruled that a community association manager wasn’t a “debt collector” for purposes of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which strictly regulates the conduct of general debt collectors. (Bates v. Green Farms Condominium Ass’n, 6th Cir. 2020). But managers shouldn’t take too much comfort in the decision because…

How Should Association Assess Buyers’ Financial Health?

Your clients may be worried that the COVID-19 crisis threatens their financial stability, but you need to help them avoid going too far in their efforts to protect their bottom lines. One path to steer them away from, for example, is becoming overly invasive in their financial screening of prospective buyers. An association in Florida…

What Can Your Boards Request of Prospective Owners?

Depending on the governing documents, community associations may have some say on the buyers to whom owners can sell their properties — but, even armed with that authority, they can go too far and create problems for their associations. That’s what happened in a recent case in Florida, where the court characterized the association’s requirement…

Contract Re-Bidding Reaps Savings for Your Clients — Just When They Need Them

Nothing can you make you a star in your clients’ eyes like helping them save money. With the economy on the rocks and assessment delinquencies likely in the near future — if they haven’t already hit — the time could be right to reduce expenses by re-bidding some contracts. Community association boards of directors shouldn’t…

Time to Re-Bid? Vendor Contracts Under the Microscope

The economic crisis has shaken the finances of a wide variety of businesses, and the pandemic has changed the service needs of many community associations. Combined, these factors might make this an opportune time for your clients to re-bid some of their vendor contracts. If they do it right, they could save money and help…

Florida Court Expands Debt Collection Law to Assessments

A Florida Court of Appeals has rejected its own holding from more than 20 years ago, and the change isn’t good news for community associations and their managers. The court concluded that association assessments are consumer debts under the state law that imposes restrictions on debt collection practices — and therefore allowed a class action…

“Deadbeat” List Lands Association in Class Action Lawsuit

A condominium complex in Florida — and its manager — are facing a class action lawsuit after publishing a so-called “deadbeat” list of owners who were behind on their assessments (Williams v. Salt Springs Resort Ass’n (Fla. App. 2020). The state Court of Appeals that allowed the class action to proceed reversed both a lower…

Reserve Fund Management Best Practices for Times of Crisis

A public health crisis, a recession, civil unrest — any one of these could lead to financial difficulties for a community association, including a jump in dues deficiencies that threatens reserve funding. But maintaining adequate reserve funds is mandatory in some states and advisable everywhere. Here are some tips for helping your clients manage their…

Can the Coronavirus Excuse Contract Obligations?

The coronavirus crisis has thrown business as usual out the window. As your clients struggle to cope with the many effects, from operational to economic, they may be wondering about the enforceability of some of their vendor contracts in light of this unprecedented event. Depending on the circumstances, it possible that contractual obligations might indeed…