Heated Association Meetings

For most board members, meetings are a fact of life and over time board members obtain valuable experience on dealing with issues that arise.  Part of this valuable experience is being adept at participating effectively and managing meetings.  This experience is not only a useful skill in an association meeting, but in unrelated matters that…

Pets – Rules & Regs 

Almost all associations have had pet issues at one time or another. Per the American Pet Products Manufactures Association, there are an estimated 74.8 million dogs and 88.3 million cats in the United States. Additionally there is an estimated 50 million nontraditional or exotic pets in American homes. When drafting Rules & Regulations pertaining to…

Going Above & Beyond

Usually when the term “Going Above and Beyond” is used, it is being used in a positive and complementary way to apply to someone who has exceeded themselves in helping someone else.  Unfortunately, “Going Above and Beyond” within the framework of an association’s governing documents is rarely a positive affirmation.  From exceeding maintenance responsibilities to…

Board Fiduciary Duty

From time to time you may hear that the board of the association operates in a fiduciary capacity for the homeowners. Or you may read about the board’s fiduciary responsibility in the governing documents. Just exactly what does this mean? Fiduciary duty simply means the board has an ethical and legal obligation to make decisions…

Meeting Minutes

Association Meeting Minutes are a written record of meetings kept by the secretary of the HOA.  Minutes document decisions made during a meeting and also provide a public record of actions taken.  Minutes are not a word-for-word transcription of everything that is said.  Minutes should state what was accomplished, rather than denote every detail of…

Changing Governing Documents

As many are aware, amending a condominium association or a homeowner association’s governing documents, be it declarations/master deed or bylaws, can be a trying experience that should not be undertaken lightly. Step 1: Spell out what needs to be changed, added or removed.  This may seem obvious, but there may be varying thoughts on this…

Finding Volunteers

Maybe you’ve been to the meetings where the person who failed to show up for the meeting is “volunteered” to serve on a committee.  Well there are better and more effective methods of finding volunteers.  Besides sitting on association boards, volunteers are the same people sitting on church committees, coaching little league, serving as Cub…

If You Play You May Have To Pay

Memorial Day 2012 in Bend, Oregon at the Sunriver Owners Association was a festive event celebrated by 350 residents of the 4,200 home association in their brand new 1,250 seat amphitheater.  The homeowners association did not charge admission or provide the entertainment for the Memorial Day celebration.  Other local non-association related groups sponsored the musicians…

Board Resolutions

A board resolution is a motion that follows a set format and is formally adopted by the board. Resolutions may enact rules and regulations or formalize other types of board decisions. There are generally four types of resolutions for a community association:   Policy Resolutions affect owners’ rights and obligations such as rules for the…

Meeting with the Association’s Attorney

All association boards of directors at one time or another must meet with the association’s attorney.  These meetings assist the board through the legal maze that every association encounters.  To reduce legal expenses there are some simple steps that should reduce legal fees and improve the efficiency of everyone involved. Preparation before the meeting is…