Have a condo? Pay attention to percentage ownership

If you own a condominium, or plan to, read closely. You might not own exactly what you think.  When his association levied a special assessment, a reader of this column was unhappy to learn he was charged 20 percent more than his upstairs neighbors. How could this be?  It turned out his unit came with a higher percentage of ownership than the identical units above him.    Read the article………..

Earmarking Reserves In Your HOA

Most homeowner associations are entrusted with substantial common elements which must be maintained, replaced or renewed. All of this costs a lot of money. Borrowing said money is a very bad idea because it comes at a very high price in the way of interest and fees which must be repaid along with the principal. The cheapest and fairest way to pay for these expenses is to earmark a portion of the monthly, quarterly or annual fees and hold this money in reserve for future expenses. A properly done reserve study will inform the board how much the earmark should be so that all pay a fair share of a 30 year plan. If this is done, special assessments are never needed and the board has the money when needed.    Read the article…………..

Project Management: What Every Board Member And Manager Needs To Know

Your association is gearing up for a large project. Maybe it’s time to re-do the clubhouse or plan for that $2M dollar concrete restoration project that was put off for far too long. Other large scale projects can include painting, concrete restoration, interior restoration, deck/paver repair or replacement, and foundation repairs, and so much more.  Too often, associations rely on untrained personnel to handle these projects such as a board member or manager. Doing so, is penny wise but pound foolish. Sure, the Board feels as though they pay a manager so the manager should manage the project, too – but remember the qualifications for being a licensed community association manager have very little to do with construction project management. In fact, often times, management contracts have disclaimers that limit management company liability when the assigned manager finds themselves involved with project management.    Read the article……………..

With Insurance Claims, Time Is of the Essence

In our upcoming special November issue, “Governing Powers Through a Legal Lens,” several prominent lawyers advise boards and the residents of co-ops and condos on the vagaries of establishing liability for leaks, fires, and other unwelcome mishaps. Their advice, though varied, contains a thread: when filing an insurance claim, time is of the essence.    Read the article……………….

What to Do When Your Neighbor’s Dog Won’t Stop Barking

We’re all in agreement here – dogs are simply amazing. But, there are few things more annoying than a dog that barks nonstop, especially if it’s not your dog.  Perhaps you work a night shift and can’t sleep during the day because a neighbor’s dog is barking nonstop; or you have just put your baby down for a nap, only to have her sharply awakened thanks to the dog a couple doors down. It could be that you work from home and can’t jump on a call without everyone hearing your neighbor’s noisy pup.  Stopping a neighbor’s dog from barking can be frustrating and challenging. At least when it’s your dog, you can address the core problem, which is generally attributed to boredom, fear, or a lack of exercise. But when it’s your neighbor’s dog, the problem is not as easily addressed.     Read the article……………….

Clients Must Use Insurer’s Contractor or Face $10k Cap (FL)

Beginning in February, Citizens will be able to force commercial and residential property policyholders who file claims for all non-weather water losses to use the company’s preapproved contractor or agree to limit their total payout to $10,000. This arbitrary figure is artificially low, as many claims involving water losses often cost much more to repair.  It is no surprise that Citizens and other insurance carriers would seek to impose such a measure in order to keep their claim payouts as low as possible. By forcing policyholders to use carrier-preferred contractors, insurers would be able to negotiate deeply discounted rates from their selected vendors, which will always be incentivized to acquiesce to the insurance companies in order to maintain their preferred status.  Read the article…………….

Pros and Cons of Gated and Non-Gated Community Associations: Thoughts and Considerations

A safe neighborhood is a top priority of home buyers. For many of these home buyers, a gated community is an attractive option. The gate represents protection from the outside world by the careful monitoring of those entering the community. Is a gate, guarded or otherwise, an accurate representation of protection or just an illusion? Let’s examine the pros and cons of gated community associations.   Read the article…………….

The Condo Association Board Socialite Profile

The word “community” is prominent in community Associations. This implies more than just a Condo Association where bills are paid on time and reserve studies are built. While those are necessities, they are not enough. A Condo Association should thrive as well. That is where the Condo Association Board Socialite comes in. Their goal is to enhance the community they live in.    Read the article……………..

Always the same old HOA news

When there’s news about HOAs on TV or in newspapers, it’s mostly the same old news over and over again. Someone puts up a flag, changes something on their home, has hens, roosters or pigs on their property, maybe playground equipment. Things like that. If reporters happen to call, what happens? Lots of scrambling around, probably. An OMG! moment. There’s a reporter calling, emailing or knocking on the door! What are we going to do?    Read the article…………….