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What Condo Bylaws Matter the Most

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Everyone gets a copy of their Association Bylaws both when they put an offer in for a Condo and after they close.  Too often, this is the first and last time Owners think about their Bylaws – until the Association does something they don’t like.  People don’t fully appreciate (and perhaps, real estate agents don’t fully make clear) the depth of the legal covenant you’re agreeing to when you...

How to Help a Condo Association Board Make Decisions

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One of the greatest challenges that Management has is helping the Condo Association Board make decisions and take action.  While Management has latitude in many issues, most major decisions rightfully belong with the Board.  Boards are, of course, notorious for their inability to move things forward.  While a Manager can’t solve all of a Board’s problems, what you can do is present actionable...

January 2016 Condo Association News Roundup

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Time for a review of the most interesting, depressing, and just plain odd condo association news.  2016 is off to a predictable start from an Association perspective – we’ve got new laws around accountability, arrests for embezzlement, and sharks.  Not loan sharks, real sharks.     Mandatory Training for Community Association Board Members – source: JDSupra A county in Maryland has...

Income Streams: Increase Your Condo Association Revenues

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Money makes the world go round.  In a Condo Association, you want money.  But money comes, primarily, from your Condo Association members.  That means you!  If you’ll recall from Finances 101, the primary method for increasing revenues is to raise assessments.  While assessments are going to be the vast majority of your income, there are some things your Association can do to create alternate...

Drones and Condo Associations: Welcome Your Tiny Overlords

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Drones, Drones, Drones!  You may be tired of all of the “droning” by bloggers about these little pesky nuisances.  You better get used to it because they’re here to stay.  Given their increasing prevalence in society and in Association news, I wanted to do a deep dive on the little suckers, with an emphasis of how drones and Condo Associations will collide.  Welcome your tiny overlords- drones...

Fighting Apathy #1: Condo Board Get to Yes Stretch

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Building upon my first post of the year, I am going to be posting tips to combating apathy in Associations.  These will be tips for everyone – Owners, Board members, and Management, focusing on different techniques.  Let’s start off with the first exercise: The Condo Board Get to Yes stretch.   Big bureaucracies – government is the worst offender of this – love one word:  “No.”...

Buying Pools: Save Money for Your Condo Association and Be an Unsung Hero

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A Condo Association often has maintenance activities that are not covered by the Association but nonetheless are quite important.  Things like HVAC inspections, dryer vent cleaning, etc. – all should be done on a regular maintenance schedule.  This lead Owners to ask a logical question of our Board – can we organize a shared buying pool, where many units go in on the same service to...

The Top Four Most Useful Board Member Professions

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Condo Boards come in all shapes and sizes and are made up of a wide variety of characters.  Boards are volunteer entities, meaning that everyone typically has a day job of some sort.  Your Association may already pay to have various experts to help manage the building – such as engineers, management companies, lawyers, etc.  Building on that, Board members with a useful skill from their day...

Four Things to Know Before Buying a Condo Conversion

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So you’re ready to buy your new Condo, and you already read my previous article here.  However, you just learned that your new Condo is a “Conversion.”  This is where a Developer buys an apartment building and turns it into a Condo.  A building may have a prime location where it is profitable for a Developer to buy the old property and flip it into Condos.  Buying a condo conversion is more...

The Number One Reason Association Boards Break Bad

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Looking at my Twitter feed, it often feels like a parade of Association horrors.  Embezzlement, corrupt Boards who never hold elections, Associations that have underfunded reserves – it seems like a nightmare.  Yet it’s estimated a whopping 20% of people live in either a Condo Association or HOA.  How do you avoid being a victim?  Why do Association Boards Break bad? Here’s the number one...

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