Risk Management

Use Confidentiality and Indemnification Agreement When Divulging Membership List

With the proliferation of social media, YouTube, and photo-sharing websites, it may seem like personal information is everywhere—and easy to get. But in an era of what some people call “oversharing,” association managers need to remember that members still are entitled to some measure of personal privacy. You could be faced at some point with a member’s request for a membership list. Prepare yourself for this request by having a plan for protecting the association when it divulges that information.

Recognize Warning Signs, Get Help for Elderly Members

Although many elderly members in your community are capable of living independently, sooner or later you may have an elderly member who has trouble coping with day-to-day concerns, such as managing money or keeping his unit tidy. An elderly member who has trouble coping may neglect normal upkeep in his unit. Oversights can lead to property damage and safety concerns. For example, the member may eventually stop cleaning, let his bathtub overflow, or leave the gas range on—putting himself, other members, and your condominium building at risk.

Know Your Rights When Sued for Speaking Out

By Andrea Brescia

Set Guidelines for Solar Energy Installation

by Andrea Brescia

Distinguish Between Social Club, Association to Minimize Liability

For some members, part of the appeal of living in a planned community is the feeling that they are part of something bigger than themselves and having the opportunity to interact with other members. That’s why it should come as no surprise that the larger the community association, the more social clubs there are likely to be. A group of members can form a club for any number of reasons, from recreation to promoting philanthropic goals. These clubs can create a sense of community and greatly add to the quality of life of your members.

Set Sports Court Rules to Minimize Association Liability

Sports courts, such as basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts, are a great amenity for a community. But they can also lead to problems—for example, members arguing over how much time should be allotted on a court—or serious injuries. Creating a set of rules that govern the use of sports courts is a smart way to avoid liability for injuries and to head off member disputes.

Check Pool Lifeguard’s Qualifications

Many associations hire lifeguards to reduce the likelihood of accidents at the community pool. But if you hire an unqualified lifeguard, you could increase your liability for accidents. Your association can be held legally responsible if the lifeguard you hire lacks the proper training and somebody drowns or gets hurt in the community’s pool because of the lifeguard’s incompetence.

Set Rules for Postings on Community Bulletin Board

Even in the age of Facebook and other social media, many communities still feature bulletin boards in their lobbies or common areas. Since not every member will be tech savvy or want to go online to check the association’s Web site, a bulletin board can be an effective way for an association to inform members about upcoming events and renovations, and other noteworthy information. A bulletin board can also be a good way for members to share information or ask for help. But letting members post on bulletin boards can cause problems.

Generating Income with Storage Space Rentals

At some point, you may have considered providing storage rooms or lockers for members. It can work in your favor in two ways because it gives members a great amenity, especially those who are living in smaller units, while providing an opportunity to generate income for the association—if you charge a fee. Using common space storage to generate income also shows members that the association is being proactive in investigating any and all means to generate income without having to unnecessarily raise common charges or impose assessments on its members.

Get Police Assessment to Cut Liability, Keep Community Safe

Keeping your community safe should be a priority for every association manager. Some communities have funds to spare for consulting fees from outside companies that will evaluate just how secure their properties are. But this can cost thousands of dollars and you may end up feeling pressured to buy expensive security equipment that you might not even need. Is there a way to get an objective assessment? Yes, if you’re open to asking local police to come to your community to assess its safety and give recommendations that will improve your current security strategy.