Homeowner Associations And Their Budgets

Diamonds in the Rough Many homeowner associations find it difficult to hold the line on expenses. Inflation erodes endlessly increasing budgets and members scream for relief. But help is on the way. There are practical ways to reduce costs without cutting services. The HOA’s budget is like a collection of uncut gems of different type,…

HOA Tenant Tenets

One of the issues that many HOAs grapple with is renters. Some ban them outright, others limit their number. Most live and let live. Interestingly, the HOA has no direct legal authority over renters, only its homeowners. This disconnect creates some practical problems for the board or Manager in communicating with tenants since there is…

Why Maintenance Tracking is Beneficial to HOAs

Homeowner Association property management can be a daunting task; however, there are ways to make it easier. One of the most efficient ways to make managing an HOA easier is to add maintenance tracking to your program of maintenance. The reason why maintenance tracking is efficient for HOAs is that maintenance tracking allows you to…

Ask the HOA Expert: Welcome to the HOA Board!

The annual homeowner association meeting convenes. The president announces that the floor is open for nominations. A fellow homeowner say to you, “You know, you would make a good board member.” Before you have a chance to reply, some body movement indicates that you are willing, ready and able to serve. “The nominations are closed”,…

Ask the HOA Expert: Pruning Perfection

Landscaping is a homeowner association asset that can and should improve with age. However, diligent attention is required in order to make this happen. Skilled maintenance work, along with occasional and ongoing improvement work are essential. Skilled shrub pruning is one of the most important requirements of a sound maintenance program. Selective cutting sustains a…

Nightmare Neighbor: Disturbing Marijuana

Question: I live in a high-rise condo I purchased a few years ago. A month after I moved in, I learned why the former owner was eager to sell and took my first (low) offer. The neighbor with whom I share a common wall smokes marijuana. Every time he lights up, he fills my unit…

Ask the HOA Expert: Gutters That Work

Rain gutters are an inconspicuous but necessary building component that homeowner associations deal with. Their need to perform consistently triggers ongoing maintenance and repair to themselves, exterior paint, siding, roofs and trees. Failure to keep the gutter system running smoothly causes overflows, water intrusion, interior damage, structural dryrot and enormously expensive repairs. There is a…

Lease Restrictions and Obtaining the 2/3 Majority Vote

Quesiton: I am the president of a 230-unit condominium. Our Board has imposed a 13% restriction on the number of leased units in the building; our declaration is silent on that subject, offering only a restriction on the number of times a unit can be leased in a 12-month period. The number of leased units…

Ask the HOA Expert: Professional Management Perks

All too often a homeowner association board of directors approaches problems as would a renter looking after the apartment building…reacting by crisis rather than by a long range plan. Guess what? Many HOAs are in constant turmoil because of this approach. A professional HOA manager can smooth out the bumps in this rocky road by…

Ask the HOA Expert: Recoat of Many Colors

Of all roofing designs used in homeowner associations, flat roofs are the most problematic, particularly in rain, wind or snow prone areas. The need for consistent and quality maintenance is extremely important for maximum performance and longest life. Recoating builtup flat roofs is a fundamental preventive maintenance which should be performed at least every five…

HOA Landlord Rules

One of the issues that many HOAs grapple with is renters. Some ban them outright, others limit their number. Most live and let live. Interestingly, the HOA has no direct legal authority over renters, only its members. This disconnect creates some practical problems for the board or manager in communicating with tenants since there is…

Using Independent Contractors

Question: It has been the practice at our condominium for the Board to permit independent contractors to work on our common elements without proof they are licensed or that they are properly insured (workers comp. and liability coverage). Everything I have read makes it clear it is important that the association not operate in this…

Insurance and Animal Bites

Question: My condominium association is overrun with dogs. We are concerned that someone will be injured, and we will be sued because we did not impose the proper precautions. What should we do? Answer: Over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, and according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) almost…