The south is reeling from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but life goes on for community associations. From keeping fees low, to keeping up with the latest environmental actions (like the right to dry movement), to knowing when to waive fees, to flag flying and addressing harassment in the community, there is a lot for boards to learn! It's all this week in Community Association Management.
As an educated member of the Community Association Management industry, you already know how crucial it is to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest news, trends and happenings within the industry. Each week, we bring together our favorite reads of the week and share them with you! Enjoy the CAM Mash Up and please share it too!
Keeping Fees Low
Every community association is concerned about keeping fees low. As homeowners, the board doesn't want to pay extra, any more than any of the other members. Here are 5 tips that your board can implement to reduce costs and help keep fees low. Number two may surprise you, but it actually works!
When Should You Waive?
"Life is messy. There are many things that can unexpectedly happen which impact your life. You might run into unexpected financial hardship, be relocated unexpectedly for your job, or suffer personal tragedy. These issues can end up being overwhelmingly consuming. While Condo Boards can be difficult and there are things that annoy them, they can also be compassionate. Here are the three most common situations where a Condo Board will waive fees."
Blowing in the Wind
Ever heard of the 'Right to Dry' movement? With all of the efforts for going green, this one is the most likely to affect community associations. "A “right-to-dry” movement has sprung up and won laws in six states––Florida, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, and Vermont—to render bans on clotheslines void and unenforceable. In another 13 states, solar access laws already on the books appear to protect solar drying." Does your community association have rules that prohibit clotheslines? If so, check your state laws to see if your policies are legal.
Picture this - you wake up in the morning, slide on your slippers, and head outside to check the mail - only the be arrested by the sight of your neighbor proudly flying the nazi flag. Community associations have rules in place, precisely to prevent this sort of nightmare scenario, and yet the first ammendment protects free speech. What are your rights when racism rears its head in your neighborhood?
"Sometimes unexpected egregious behavior, in the form of harassment, occurs. While unit owners and residents may express their opinions and communicate with Board members and Association representatives about community business, harassment has become a growing problem in community associations, with owners offensively addressing managers, board members, vendors, and other residents and owners. As a result, boards are more frequently establishing policies to address communications that constitute harassment." Do you have a harassment policy for your community association?
CAM vs PM
"Community management is a tough job and community managers take pride in their work. Just try calling a community manager a “property manager”. You’ll probably get a strange look or even a stern correction. After all, those in the community association industry know there’s a big difference." What makes Community Association Managers different from Property Managers? First, you have to define what makes Community Association Management special.
Do You Have Big News This Week?
If you've got big news that would be relevant to other CAM professionals, please share it with us in the comments below!