Ask a CMCA

NBC-CAM hosts a listserv for community association managers. The listserv is intended to create a powerful, on-line community for community management professionals to share information. Recently, some questions have been sent to the listserv. Are you able to help? Leave and answer in the comment section below and NBC-CAM staff will post your answer to the listserv.  If you’ve got your own question, leave that in the comment section as well.

Question 1:  Jerry from New Jersey

This question comes up every budget season and is the source of disagreement between owners every year.  “Does maintaining a healthy Reserve fund, which increases fee collections, help or hurt property values?”  Or conversely, “does keeping fees as low as possible, by not adequately funding the reserve, and instead relying on future special assessments for repairs and replacements, help or hurt property values?”

Question 2:  Tom from Arizona

Can anyone provide input and/or verbiage about introducing a “No Loitering” rule for a community?  There is a mixed reaction on this issue, as some Board Members are pushing for it while other believe that persons have a right to “hang out” in the common areas.  Some Residents just sit on walls with no purpose, or hang out in the parking lots with no apparent purpose.  Any thoughts?

Question 3:  Julia from Mississippi

For those who manage condominiums – if a unit (in this case a lower unit, partially below grade) tested high for radon have you paid for the abatement as a common expense or have you left the individual unit owner responsible? My thinking is that the radon itself originates below the slab from ground that technically is owned by the Association. Any thoughts or experience on this would be appreciated.

One thought on “Ask a CMCA

  1. Question 1. Jerry, I am more than surprised that in NJ, a notoriously heavily regulated state when it comes to HOA and Condo’s do’s and don’ts, that there isn’t some regulation that dictates the imposing of ‘Special Assessments’ and the necessity of an entity to fund reserves. Here in Delaware, Special Assessments and Reserve funds are regulated in the new Common Interest Ownership Act, SA not being a supported means of collecting funding for projects, the theory being that if you manage your fy budgets correctly and forecast for contingencies within the Regular Assessments you should never need to impose a SA.
    Regular reserve contributions are also mandated, a formula for how much to contribute each year being included in the same act.

    Question 2. Verbiage for rules to prevent those who have every right to ‘Hang out’ in their own common areas sounds drastic. The question should be why you would not want to allow homeowners to do so. They pay for the common areas so they have every right to use those areas, whether or not someone else is uncomfortable with their presence. Provided they are not using the areas for illegal purposes then I don’t see what right anyone has to prevent them.

    Question 3. Radon is caused by the presence of arsenic and lead decay in the soil below grade, which depending on the amount of peticurlies measured within a closed area determines if the gas is a problem to the occupants. As this gas in not being produced from within the common area, ie moreso underground of the common area, then I don’t see how you can charge this to the Common fund. IMHO if the occupant feels they have a Radon issue in their living space then it should be the unit or house owners responsibility to pay for mitigation. Which may add is very simple to do so with the use of exhaust fans.

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