HOA Management Companies and Their Contracts

When it comes to the operations of an HOA, there’s much that has to be done on a daily basis. Oftentimes, an HOA board may opt to hire a property management company to assist with these day-to-day tasks, such as collecting dues and paying invoices. In addition, management companies can also take on financials, maintenance and contractors, creation of an annual budget, and more, which takes a lot of weight off the shoulders of the board members.     Read the article……………….

Steps for Crime Prevention in Your HOA

We all want our homes and communities to be safe. A high pressure is placed upon the shoulders of the HOA board to promote the security and safety of the neighborhood. Although the level to which the board is responsible for the safety of the community is outlined in the governing documents, there are a few steps that can be taken to ensure you are doing your utmost to prevent crime from occurring.   Read the article…………….

Do HOAs Need to File a Tax Return?

If you own a home in a planned community or development, there is a good chance you are a member of a homeowners’ association (HOA). One perplexing aspect of HOA management is following the tax reporting requirements of the IRS. Some common questions our office receives are “Must our HOA file a tax return?” “What return must it file?” and “What happens if we haven’t filed for a number of years?” In today’s article, I will address some of these fundamental questions. My goal is to clarify some of the confusion associated with HOA tax reporting and help your HOA avoid the frustration and additional expense that often accompany noncompliance.    Read the article……………

Condo Boards Are the New Co-op Boards (NY)

There are numerous reasons why so many of today’s apartment buyers prefer condos over co-ops. One of the biggest is that condo buyers don’t have to undergo intense scrutiny from a powerful co-op board.  Traditionally, a condo board’s only power has been the right of first refusal, meaning it can exercise the right to buy an apartment from the owner within a specified time frame, or must allow the sale to an outside buyer to go through.     Read the article……………….

Smoking: Can an Association Ban Smoking? Part Two

There are three ways we have seen clients enact (or attempt to enact) a no-smoking rule:

1) Amendment to Declaration/CC&Rs: This method is likely the most difficult and costly way to enact a smoking ban, but it will be given the most deference by courts and be relatively strong in the face of legal challenges.

2) Amendment to Bylaws: This is the wrong place for a use restriction, and no more enforceable than a rule.

3) Board rule or resolution: A new rule or resolution is the easiest way to implement a smoking ban, but would only be effective for common areas and limited common areas and would not be enforceable to prevent smoking in individual units or homes.      Read the article……………….

What do Your Rules Say about Your Community?

A lot has been said about community association rules, but most of these discussions center on the content of the rules as opposed to the overall language used or impression the rules give to owners within the community. Yet, there is another aspect of rules to consider. A good set of rules conveys not only what is permissible in a community, but says something about the character of a community.    Read the article……………..

The Dangerous Side of Security Cameras

Surveillance cameras are a valued tool for keeping co-op and condo residents safe. They also have a dangerous side – when their footage is needed as evidence following a crime or accident on the property. Boards need to understand that they have legal obligations – and that they’re open to liability – in such situations.  When a board learns that someone has slipped on ice and fallen on the property, sustaining personal injury, it should immediately do three things. First, notify the managing agent; second, have the agent put the building’s liability insurance carrier on notice; and third, implement a so-called “litigation hold” with respect to all surveillance videos in, on, or around the premises.   Read the article……………..

Why are Condo Associations Difficult to Work With?

Many Condo Owners have bad experiences with their Association. These interactions are driven by a variety of factors. There might be a bad Board filled with individuals who want to cause trouble. Often, however, the issue isn’t so straightforward. The reality is that a Condo Board’s job is complex. Their job is not to look out for the Owner – they must look out for the Association. And in many cases, that can make Condo Associations difficult to work with.   Read the article……………….

Mowing HOA Common Areas: The Sheep Solution

Lawn maintenance is a serious area of concern in many HOAs. Not only does everyone have an opinion about how the yards of the members should look, keeping common areas looking their best is important to the board and most of the homeowners. Many HOAs and private owners are turning to a unique solution to keep the common areas of their properties trimmed: they’re using sheep! Is this a viable option for your association? There are several things to consider when bringing in sheep for your lawn care.    Read the article…………….

Ways to Encourage Members to Attend HOA Board Meetings (CA)

Successful communities, governed by successful Home Owners’ Associations (HOAs), typically have strong, effective boards of directors. An effective HOA board of directors conducts their HOA’s business in a professional manner, including having regularly scheduled meetings. Problems can arise, however, when one or more directors fail to attend those meetings consistently.    Read the article…………….