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Four Tips for Condo Association Budgets

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Fall is typically the time for developing Condo Association budgets.  This is because most Condo Associations run on a calendar year fiscal cycle and most Bylaws require a 30-day Owner comment period.  Budgeting is an extremely personal exercise – every community is different, with different amenities, costs, and tolerance for Condo fees.  Nonetheless, there are several tips that are...

Late Fees and Delinquency in a Condo Association

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One constant challenge in Condo Associations is the issue of delinquency and debt collection.  Homeowner’s Association or Condo Association fees, also called “general assessments,” are the financial lifeblood of your Association.  While you may have alternate revenue streams, general assessments make up the bulk of your cash flow in.  Without money, you can’t invest in...

Condo Association Per-Use Fees

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If there’s one thing that drives people crazy, it’s the feeling of being nickel and dimed.  And of course, if you want to get people upset, hit them with a fee in a Condo Association.  On the flip side, however, you run into the interesting question about the majority subsidizing the behavior of the minority within an Association – my “Shared Cost Delusion” phenomenon.  Condo Association...

Shared Cost Delusion in a Condo Association

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One bad habit I see in Condo Associations – whether it is from Board members or Owners – is what I called the Shared Cost Delusion in a Condo Association.  This is the idea that if you shift the cost on a fee from an Owner to the Association, the cost magically goes away.  This can cause all sorts of strange behaviors which are detrimental to the interests of your Condo Association...

Managing a Major Project in a Condo Association: Hiring Technical Representation

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Managing a major project in a Condo Association is one of the more grueling parts of Condo life – whether you’re an Owner, Board Member or Management.  The costs, disruption, and constant oversight will impact you no matter who you are.  If you haven’t already checked out the overview, learn about the full life cycle here. The first part of nearly any project is to ensure you have proper...

New Guide: The Condo Association Special Assessment Process

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According to one study, approximately 70% of all Associations are underfunded.  This means that odds are you live in an Association where there is at least the threat of a Condo Association Special Assessment.  If that’s the case, hopefully your Association is taking proactive steps to get control of your financial situation to stave off a Special Assessment.  The reality is that sometimes you’ve...

Condo Association Security Plans

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Condo Association security is a tough topic – as I’ve covered here and here.  Although my Association is in a nice neighborhood, we’ve had our share of incidents, and each time it’s a bit jarring.  Today I’ll be covering the fundamentals of how to build a Condo Association security plan.   I will preface this by saying you should always work with a qualified security consultant who can...

New Guide: Managing a Major Project in a Condo Association

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It is inevitable that there will be a major project in your Condo Association.  All major systems will degrade over time and eventually will need to be repaired or replaced.  Examples include roofs, garages, facades, elevators, HVAC systems, fire alarms, etc.  For our purposes, a “major” project will be defined as one that is paid for out of reserves and is around 10% or more of the Association’s...

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...

Thoughts on a Condo Association Employee Holiday Fund

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Tis the season for giving!  I’ve alluded to the fact before that my building is pretty big compared to many Associations.  We have a sizeable staff when you include management, maintenance, housekeeping, etc.  For as long as I can remember, our building has had a condo association employee holiday fund.  It isn’t organized by the Board – a number of Owners have historically organized it...

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