Risk Management

Prepare Members, Staff for Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are frightening for any homeowner, but they're an even greater threat to clustered, attached, and stacked homes in a community association. When one home is damaged, others connected to it are more likely to experience damage either resulting from that home's damage or because of greater exposure to weather conditions.

Don’t Control Contractors’ Employees on Day-to-Day Basis

When you hire independent contractors to perform work at your community, you risk being sued if any of the contractors' workers are injured on the job. Any good community association manager will want to ensure that work is being done correctly, on time, and without risks to the community or its members. So, it's good to keep a keen eye on contractors' employees as they work on projects for which you've hired them.

How to Keep Condo Buildings Safe During Blizzards

Few parts of the country have escaped the wrath of Mother Nature this year—we've suffered tornadoes, floods, a hurricane, and even a blizzard. Last winter, New York City experienced record-breaking snowfall that challenged the city's budget and snow removal strategies. And in advance of a February ice storm, the National Weather Service urged building owners in the Northeast to clear rooftops, awnings, and overhangs of snow to avoid potential collapses.

How the Foreclosure Fraud Scandal May Affect Associations

Ally Financial, one of the nation's largest lenders, recently announced that it's withdrawing all of its foreclosures in Maryland that were approved by employee Jeffrey Stephan, the “robo-signer” who admitted he signed off on thousands of files every month with little or no review.

Three Tips for Avoiding Liquor Liability at Community Events

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Summer is approaching and your association may be planning some sort of community-building events, such as pool parties or cookouts with plenty of food and drink. Often at these events, an association will serve alcohol. The association knows that more members will attend an event that provides alcoholic beverages than they would for a “dry” event.

Three Ways to Minimize Dangerous Speeding in the Community

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Speeding drivers in your community can ruin your neighborhood's tranquility and, more importantly, threaten the safety of anyone on foot, especially playing children. According to the American Journal of Public Health, two-thirds of children who are hurt or killed in traffic accidents are struck and injured within several blocks of their homes.

Protect Condo Members from Christmas Tree Fire Hazards

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As Christmas approaches, many of your members will be setting up Christmas trees in their condominiums. While a beautifully decorated tree can add to the holiday spirit and help create a fragrant indoor atmosphere, Christmas trees can also pose a serious fire hazard to members' condominiums as well as to your building. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Christmas trees account for an average of 200 fires annually, resulting in six deaths, 25 injuries, and more than $6 million in property damage.

Set Smoke Detector Maintenance Policy for Condo Members

Operable smoke detectors can go a long way toward saving lives and protecting property in condominium communities, where a fire in one unit can damage other units or endanger lives. Unfortunately, sometimes members don't maintain their smoke detectors or may intentionally disable them. Members with battery-operated, rather than hard-wired, smoke detectors often remove the battery when the detector begins chirping to signify that the battery is weak, says California manager Rolf Crocker.