Fighting Apathy: New Members on Condo Association Boards


The goal of every Association is to provide a safe, secure, and financially solvent community for its Owners.  The vast majority of Associations succeed in this endeavor.  This makes it all the more disappointing when Boards break bad and you end up with horror stories in the news.  There are many drivers of what makes Boards break bad, and today we’ll touch on one of the greatest remedies: new...

Five Personalities at Condo Association Meetings


Monthly Condo Association meetings are critical for the operations and maintenance of an Association.  This is where the vast majority of real work gets done.  Involved Owners show up to see the sausage made, or at least read the minutes.  From a Board’s perspective, you’re typically thrilled to see ANYONE show up.  Nothing is more disheartening than a monthly meeting with no attendees.  When...

How to Start a Condo Association Committee


Next to the Board of Directors, Condo Association Committees have a significant impact on an Association.  They are extremely valuable for both the Board and Owners.  For the Board, they serve as a mechanism to pursue important, but lower priority projects.  For Owners, they are a way to directly contribute to the Association without the pressure and stress of being on the Board.  Committees are...

Fighting Apathy #9: Be a Better Condo Association Owner in Minutes


One of the biggest mental hurdles for changing your behavior is where to start.  You want to be a better Owner, but it’s hard to break the habit of apathy.  You don’t have to go from an un-involved Owner to the head of the finance committee in one day.  The key is small, incremental time commitments to build the habit of involvement and break the habit of apathy.  I am a big fan of James...

What to Expect as a New Board Member in a Condo Association


Joining your Condo Board is the ultimate leap you can make in terms of your participation in your Condo Association.   Far beyond being an involved Owner or a committee member, joining the Board involves a new level of dedication, thick skin, and perseverance.  It is not for the faint of heart.  It does have benefits board and puts you in a position to protect your investment in your home and do...

You Get the Condo Association You Deserve


I recently had a Twitter exchange with the folks over at Independent American Communities about this article.  The article in question blamed two things: local laws for lack of enforcement and the Community Associations Institute (CAI) for advocating for “authoritarian” powers for Associations.  While these are worth discussing as possible causes, I strongly believe that apathy is one of the...

Techniques for Assessing Condo Association Owner Opinions


As a Condo Association Board, you are elected to represent the views and interests of the Owners of your Association, while also upholding your fiduciary duty.  Your Association’s hot topics may be much less dramatic than those in current politics, you still will face issues where there is no “right” answer – simply different options with different pros and cons.  While you can, as a Board...

Fighting Apathy #8: Building a Network of Involved Condo Association Owners


In any democratic community, you’re only as strong as your voting block.  People are often apathetic towards Condo Associations and HOAs, not realizing the importance of participation and representation. The bottom line is Associations are a form of democratic government – with the authority to tax you and govern your lifestyle.  An Involved Owner will want to find a network of like...

Condo Association Special Assessment Guide for Owners


Continuing the Special Assessment series, today is the Condo Association Special Assessment Guide for Owners.  You’ve just been handed the news that you’re either obligated to pay a big check or there will be vote to hand over a big check.  Your first instinct is most likely going to be to fight and resist.  In some circumstances, you’re justified in fighting and resisting.  But in most cases...

Fighting Apathy #7: The Importance of Owner Feedback in a Condo Association


When you’re an Owner in a Condo Association, sometimes it feels like you have little say in your community.  You have major surprises sprung on you – Special Assessments or Major Projects.  It often seems like these are big undertakings, things that the Board is tackling.  It may feel like your input and contributions aren’t welcome – even if your Condo Board is doing the...

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