Tag: Climate Change
Unfortunately, as community association managers know all too well, sometimes the contractors your association hires for such jobs as snow plowing, painting, or providing security don’t perform up to the standards you expect. If you don’t terminate the contract and you let the company continue to provide poor service to your community, members could get frustrated and the management office could be fielding an increased number of complaints. Even worse, the association could get hit with a lawsuit by a member or guest hurt because of bad service.
Winter weather can make community managers’ jobs more challenging if they’re managing associations that are located in cold-weather climates. You’ll typically field an influx of heating complaints. Often, these complaints are unfounded or result from easily correctable problems. Provide too much heat, however, and you’re just wasting fuel and money. The best bet is to address heating complaints right away, while also controlling your heating costs.
Many people are switching from real grass landscapes to artificial turf because of lower water usage and less maintenance. Residents of one Arizona homeowners association who switched to artificial turf cited the climate—specifically scorching sun and temperatures—as making it nearly impossible to grow green, healthy grass year-round; others were concerned about water bills. Homeowners at this association are required to have 50 percent of the front yard and 50 percent of the backyard covered by grass, and two trees, which can use large amounts of water.
You know that organization is one of the keys to association management success, especially if you’re in charge of a larger community or one with many members. If you did an annual spring cleaning this year, you might also have realized that you need to cut down on clutter in your office, which might include boxes of association records—which can get sizable if they include accounting records, membership lists, meeting minutes, and other important papers—that the association has accumulated over the years. So, what should an association do with old records?
Working with your association’s board, fielding member concerns, and overseeing your own staff can take up a lot of your time. Occasionally, you may get hung up on handling major issues that become important to the community, too. But prioritizing day-to-day maintenance is crucial, no matter how busy you are. Preventative maintenance can save you time and the association money later by eliminating the risk of having to replace major items if they’ve deteriorated because of a lack of maintenance.
With the summer months coming to a close, it's time to start thinking about preparing your community for winter. Although winter weather may seem like it's a long way off, you'll need to take steps in the fall to get ready for harsh weather or other winter challenges, depending on where your community is located. Because there's always a lot to do during the fall, it's a good idea to have an annual checklist of maintenance tasks that you can refer to to “winterize” your community.
Creating positive curb appeal is essential to maintain or even increase property values in your community. Positive curb appeal can create happier members who get more profit for their investment, as well as an improved profile for the building or association as a whole. Due to the importance of first impressions, you may think that an expansive, rolling green lawn contributes to your community's overall attractiveness, but maintaining it probably puts a huge dent in your operating budget.
The Community Associations Institute (CAI) formed a working group of industry experts to identify specific areas of the FHA regulations that need to be changed. They have prepared a policy position to advocate the changes that are needed. On Oct. 23, 2009, CAI sent comments to David H. Stevens, commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, to assist the FHA in addressing the current challenges in the mortgage markets. The following are CAI comments and recommendations relating to the proposed regulations that affect condominium community associations: