Risk Management

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…

How to Reduce Your “Problem Clients”

When community association managers get together, it doesn’t take much time before the conversation turns to their problem clients. Almost everyone has stories about the difficult client who tries their patience and professionalism. For many managers, these clients have become more common and less restrained. Some management companies are responding by taking a proactive, rather…

Don’t Let Problem Clients Hold You Hostage

Just about every association manager has dealt with a problem client who’s difficult to work with, if not downright rude and obnoxious — probably more than one. These clients eat up time that could be spent more productively, create unpleasant and stressful work conditions, and lead to turnover. For many managers, these clients have become…

You Probably Have More Liability Exposure Than You Realize

Community association managers carry a lot of risks, and, contrary to popular belief, they’re not all covered by their clients’ insurance policies. If you’re counting on those policies for protection, you could be left on the hook for defense and liability costs. “Many managers mistakenly believe they have adequately shifted all their risk to clients,”…

Are You Sure You’re Covered? Filling The Insurance Gaps for Association Managers

Community association boards of directors often rely heavily on their managers to help them obtain insurance coverage for the association and the board. But what about the managers themselves? According to insurance professionals, many managers have insufficient protection, whether because of misunderstandings about their coverage under association policies or other reasons. “Many managers mistakenly believe…

ARC Blunders Lead to Association Liability

Architectural review committees play an important role for associations that strive to achieve consistent and pleasing aesthetics in their communities. But, as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility — and the irresponsible use of that power by an architectural committee can prove costly for its association. As a recent case out of…

Setting Your Compass, Part Two: Real-World Ethics for Association Managers

In the January 2020 issue of Community Management Association Insider, we talked to two property management professionals with decades of experience about how the numerous codes of conduct for association managers play out in the real world. They provided valuable insights on why ethics are so important in management and explored the first “bucket” of…

Save It or Shred It? Document Retention Tips for Managers and Associations

You’re not alone if you have hard time getting your clients to remember that community associations are businesses — and businesses need document retention plans. Yet many associations take an ad hoc approach (at best) to managing their paperwork. “This can become a problem because community associations are required to keep a great deal more…

Court Shields Manager from Class Action over Disclosure Docs Fee

A property management company in Chicago recently faced a class action lawsuit on behalf of community association members who were disgruntled about the fees charged for disclosure documents when selling their units. (Horist v. Sudler & Co.) The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals shut down the lawsuit, providing managers some important protection. But, warns Blake…

Architectural Committees Must Tread Carefully

In most community associations, the architectural review or control committee is among the most powerful, if not the most powerful. “Architectural control is probably the last area in HOA land that allows some flexibility,” explains David Wilson, who heads up the South Carolina community association department at the law firm Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A.…