Crime & Security

Walk on the Wild Side: Managing Owner-and-Wildlife Interactions

Homeowners with an affinity for animals often pose problems for community associations and their managers. But it’s one thing when you’re dealing with domesticated pets — it’s another when the owners want to interact with area wildlife. As the president of a Florida gated golf community recently told the Panama City News Herald, “[i]f someone…

Wildlife: A Draw for Owners — but Also a Risk

Proximity to wildlife is a draw for some community associations, with owners treasuring the opportunity to live close to nature. But that nearness can lead to destruction and the risk of bodily harm. As the president of a Florida gated golf community recently told the Panama City News Herald, “[i]f someone was to get hurt…

Thinking About Common Area Cameras? Proceed with Caution

When it comes to installing cameras in common areas, your clients may have any number of motivations. They could be driven by an uptick in area crime, pressure to crack down on rule violators, or just the desire for a greater sense of security, among other reasons. Cameras may be more affordable and less obtrusive…

Cameras in Common Areas: Yay or Nay?

Leaps in technology have made it easier and less expensive to conduct surveillance, prompting more and more community associations to consider installing cameras in their common areas to combat problems like crime and rules violations. But cameras might not turn out to be the simple solution they expect. In fact, they could create problems of…

Associations Target Community Gun Control

Gun rights can trigger emotional responses on both sides of the issue, and the debate is becoming more common among community associations, as they aim to protect themselves. But even when a community is largely in agreement about the need to restrict firearm possession on the property, it might not have the power to do…

In the Crosshairs: Can — and Should — Your Clients Regulate Firearm Possession?

With gun violence making headlines almost daily in some parts of the country, responses among communities vary widely. “There are some associations where they’re open to owners having firearms for self-protection, but others don’t feel the same way and are more concerned about firearms in the community,” says Michael Kim of Michael C. Kim &…

Keeping a Lid on the Cauldron: Handling Hostility at Association Meetings

This week, we dig into the rise in incivility at community association meetings. Examples abound of inappropriate behavior these days, making it difficult for managers and boards to perform their duties. Rather than ignoring such conduct, though, they need to take a proactive stance, and we’ll explain how. From profane name-calling to fistfights, the behavior…

Bickering and Brawls: How to Deal with Rising Tempers and Incivility

From profane name-calling to fistfights, we’re hearing from experts that the behavior at community association meetings has been on the decline. Owners’ anger and anxiety are spilling over, and they’re directing their vitriol at board members, fellow owners, and managers. “The ability to contain oneself and act appropriately in a public forum seems to be…

Help Associations Protect Themselves from Financial Fraud

This week, we dig into the significant risks smaller community associations shoulder when they leave the handling of financial matters to only one or two insiders and suggest some steps they can take to control those risks. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for under-resourced or overtrusting associations to find themselves the victims of fraud. In April…

Could a Treasurer Be Defrauding Your Community Association?

In April 2019, an Iowa man pleaded guilty to a scheme to defraud his homeowners association out of almost $125,000, which he used in part to pay the mortgage on his unit. The scheme ran for nearly five years. The man, who served as treasurer, funneled the funds from an association account to another account…