In the News

Lakes can become liabilities if not maintained

The   prospect of a nice home situated on a lake in a suburban community is very   appealing to prospective buyers. In many communities, the lakes continue to   be an attractive feature as residents or homeowners associations diligently   maintain the shared amenity. In other neighborhoods, what once was an asset has   become an eyesore and a liability, for a variety of reasons. U.S.   Environmental Protection Agency regulations now require on-site retention of   stormwater, making the lakes more than just an amenity.  Cincinnati.com

Lawyer: Association reserves benefit community
Condo buyers should make sure the community association has reserve funds, lawyer Donna Berger writes. Although some homeowners are wary of a large sum of money in the hands of association board members, having the funds to cover unexpected costs not only can save a community in a challenging time, but it can make the community more appealing to potential buyers. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)/Condos and HOAs blog

Seeking out and engaging new community association leaders

Perhaps you’re tired of seeing the same old faces sitting up at the front of the room at board and membership meetings. Maybe you own one of those faces and are tired of being up there, waiting for reinforcements to come in. We all recognize that an infusion of new energy, ideas and talent can stimulate any organization whether it’s a business, a sports team or even a community association. The real question is: How do you attract that new talent? Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)/Condos and HOAs blog

Community Association Management SmartBrief

Have you signed up for Community Association Management SmartBrief yet? A few weeks ago, NBC-CAM launched a free, weekly e-mail newsbrief specifically designed for community association managers. Sign up here.  Almost 3,000 of your CMCA colleagues have subscribed already.

This complimentary resource is aimed at bringing you a quick, two-minute read that will help you keep up-to-date with the latest news and trends in our profession. SmartBrief will provide short summaries of the news articles that will be of interest to you as a community association manager. We know it will save you time, keep you informed and add to your success. I hope you will subscribe.

Last week’s issue had an interesting article from Inc.com about diffusing complaints: Listening, refusing to engage in a fight and being willing to take a complaint to a higher authority are among the first steps in dealing with an unhappy client, writes Matthew Swyers. Other tips: Put yourself in the person’s place and offer empathy, work to resolve the issue and conclude your actions with a summary e-mail. Sign up here to get the full story.

In the News

What’s making headlines where you live?  Check out the latest news stories about the community association management profession from across the country.

Texas

Those volunteering with the Hidden Lakes Homeowners Association in Keller, Texas have been barred from HOA meetings in spite of recent legislation designed to protect the rights of homeowners.  By taking advantage of a loophole, the developer has been able to effectively bar homeowners from being able to attend and make decisions on the community and the use of its funds.  Now legislators are being forced to consider the law’s implications for all involved.  Read the full story.

 

Florida

In his Smart Money column Bruce Williams answers questions from homeowners on deed-restricted communities and mortgages.  Williams explains how homeowners can help ensure that the HOA truly does enforce guidelines in a deed-restricted community and whether it is better to pay for a house in cash or get a mortgage.  Read the full story.

 

New Hampshire

The town of Stratham is under suit for an alleged breach of the town’s Master Plan and subdivision regulations.  Members of the Spring Creek Homeowners Association and abutters have taken this action in protest of a newly revised development plan that they say would unnecessarily clear trees and disrupt the topography of the property.  Stratham must now respond to these allegations and those against its decision to create a “pork chop” lot behind its proposed 2-acre subdivision. Read the full story.

 

Arizona

Residents of Mesa’s Superstition Springs community have raised concerns about their HOA’s decision to move its offices into a single-family home on the property.  The HOA faces allegations that they are in violation of city codes dictating where businesses can be run.  Their resulting decision to apply for a zoning-district amendment has some worried about the kind of precedent the case would set.  Read the full story.

 

Nevada

Arnold Myers has pled guilty for his involvement in a conspiracy to defraud Las Vegas Valley homeowners associations.  Myers used his position as a homeowners association board member for Chateau Versailles to help commit mail and wire fraud.  The federal investigation surrounding the case is ongoing with multiple co-conspirators still uncharged.  Read the full story.

 

A frustrated homeowner asks certified property manager Barbara Holland what can be done to collect money legally owed by an HOA.  Holland also explains what constitutes a board meeting and how such meetings should be announced to avoid legal issues.  Read the full story.

 

Washington

Residents of Horn Rapids in Richland are still experiencing a drought two weeks after water pumps were pulled on June 27th.  This shortage came as a surprise to homeowners and the city, who are now having difficulty maintaining their properties.  Although the man-made drought is expected to end shortly, concerns remain regarding how the water supply is controlled.  Read the full story.

 

California

Irvine resident Al Schwartz’s protest against the HOA’s decision to remove unauthorized foliage from his home has opened up a controversy regarding how much rights homeowners should have over their own property.  Schwartz argues that the HOA’s covenants do not clearly specify what constitutes a violation in some areas.  Attempts to solve any issues surrounding the case through mediation rather than litigation are currently on hold as charges and tensions build.  Read the full story.

 

Riverside County, California’s plan to expand its wine country has the upscale community of Morgan Hill concerned.  While the planner, Mitra Mehta-Cooper, envisions a vibrant wine country and tourist destination, the Morgan Hill Homeowners Association contends that residents will face the kind of noise disturbance seen in other areas with neighboring wineries.  Both parties are currently in negotiations directed at finding a satisfying compromise.  Read the full story.

 

Illinois

The Red Oak Homeowners Association in Rockford, Illinois has received a grant to create a neighborhood park.  These funds, provided by the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, will enable the HOA to further beautify the area.  Read the full story.

Storm Season

Storm season is just around the corner. Believe it or not, June 1 is the beginning of another hurricane season for the East Coast. For other parts of the nation, events such as fires, tornadoes, landslides, and floods will take their toll in the coming months. Across the United States, associations must address a host of concerns and undertake preparatory procedures in anticipation of damage resulting from these and other catastrophic events.

What precautions have you taken and what advice can you give?

Trayvon Martin shooting = high cost for homeowners?

Residents of the Retreat at Twin Lakes development in Sanford, Fla., could face high costs for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by a member of the community’s crime-watch program. “They may wind up getting sued and getting hit with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and damages,” says Donna Berger, a lawyer who specializes in homeowners association law. “Who will pay is every member of the association, and they will have to make special assessments. … It’s a cautionary tale for other associations.” Get the full story.

Community Association Management SmartBrief

I am pleased to announce that NBC-CAM has partnered with SmartBrief to launch Community Association Management SmartBrief, a free, weekly e-mail newsbrief specifically designed for community association managers.

This complimentary resource is aimed at bringing you a quick, two-minute read that will help you keep up-to-date with the latest news and trends in our profession. SmartBrief will provide short summaries of the news articles that will be of interest to you as a community association manager.  We know it will save you time, keep you informed and add to your success. I hope you will subscribe.

Over the next few weeks, we will send you several issues of Community Association Management SmartBrief in the hopes that you will activate your free subscription.  You can also sign up here.

 

 

One of articles in last week’s SmartBrief that I found particularly useful was about a Microsoft Outlook feature to organize my unruly inbox.  I can’t always deal with e-mails as soon as they hit my inbox which is why I started using the “Delay Delivery” option.  Now I can specify when I want my messages to arrive.  If you don’t use Outlook, don’t worry – there are other providers of the same feature.  You can read the entire article at CBS MoneyWatch.

What kind of mobile device do you use?

NBC-CAM e-mails important reminders, e-news and CMCA updates to each of you.  If you’re like me, you read a lot of your emails on your phone.  We are optimizing our emails for better readability on your phone, but first we need to know what you’re using.  Please take this quick poll!  Your input is appreciated.