CategoryTips for Owners

How to Email your Condo Association to Get Results

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Continuing this week’s theme of communications, today I’m going to give Owners some tips on how to email your condo association in a positive and effective way to get the results you want.  Bad stuff happens in home ownership – whether a house, townhouse, or condo.  With a regular house, if something breaks, you have the responsibility to fix it – pretty straightforward.  In an...

Lawyers and Condo Associations: Tips for Owners

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“I’m going to call my lawyer!”  Welcome to America in the 21st century.  It seems even the most mild disagreements can escalate to someone defiantly exclaiming those six words.  The phrase has gotten so tired and so blustery that it often carries no weight.  For my building, our Management doesn’t even bother to tell us when owners threaten us with legal action unless they actually call a lawyer...

Condo Association Special Assessment 101

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  The words “Special Assessment” are dreaded in Condo life.  A Condo Association Special Assessment means the community is having financial troubles and is out of money and needs to get money out of the normal budget cycle – hence the “special” in the name.  For a quick primer on financials, check out my Financials 101 article.  For a deep dive on Special Assessments, click here. What...

The Top Three Priorities for Condo Associations

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Sometimes it seems that everything related to a Condo Association sucks.  If you’re an Owner, the Association seems out to get you at every turn.  If you’re a Board member, it feels like the building is full of whiners and every vendor wants to screw you.  For Management, it can seem like every Owner is intent on doing dumb things and your Board is out of control.  It can be easy to lose sight of...

Condo Association Finances 101

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Time for a quick and dirty lesson on Condo Association finances.  There are three things that are the core of Condo finances: income, operating expenses, and reserves.  The goal of every Condo is to have income exceeding expenses and reserves, but not by too much, or you’re overcharging the Owners.  On the other hand, if you run too much of a deficit, you’re likely underfunding reserves, which...

How to Identify what Maintenance you are Responsible for in a Condo

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In all likelihood, you pay a ton of condo fees every month, and that makes you think, “My maintenance is covered, I don’t have to do anything!”  This may be a dangerous and incorrect assumption.  Like everything else in your Condo life, what is and is not covered is completely dependent on what is in your Bylaws.  You may, in fact, not need to worry about anything.  On the other hand, you might...

Four Tips to Being a Responsible Condo Owner

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Living in a Condo means that you have to be a responsible condo owner in you Association.  Many of the most common issues I see as a Board member are because people don’t follow these basic rules.  Who can blame them?  Associations are nebulous things — there to be ignored until you have a problem, want something from them, or they want something from you.       That’s one way to look at...

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