EPOHOA_HOA_Guidance

 

Helpful information to aid YOU in the business of handling a homeowners association – we graciously thank Community Associations Institute for the majority of this information. Other professional contributors are also included.

 EPOHOA Board of Directors are CAI Members.

 

EPOHOA_FancyBullet What HOAs Need to Know About D&O Insurance
uploaded July 13, 2016 by Beth Ross, Attorney – legal information is NOT legal advice
Numerous types of homeowner lawsuits are possible against the HOA — such as for an HOA’s failure to maintain the common areas or adopt an annual budget, or for misusing HOA funds. An HOA board member is typically only personally liable in these lawsuits if the member breached his or her fiduciary duty to the HOA.

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Alternative Dispute Resolution POLICY
uploaded June 24, 2016 Community Associations Institute
ADR is viewed as a preferable option to litigation for the settling of housing-related disputes within a community. Subject to jurisdictional differences, qualified housing disputes may constitute everything from interpretation and enforcement of the governing documents and rules, allegations of improper maintenance or infringement of owners’ rights.

EPOHOA_FancyBullet CAI Public Policies
uploaded June 24, 2016 Community Associations Institute
To guide CAI’s advocacy efforts, CAI’s Government & Public Affairs Committee (G&PA Committee) has worked to develop public policy positions on key issue areas that affect CAI members. These policy statements reflect the public policy preferences of CAI on key issues and guide CAI volunteer advocates and staff in their advocacy efforts. CAI’s over 30,000 members participate actively in the public policy process through more than 60 local, regional and state chapters and 34 state Legislative Action Committees.

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Reserve Studies/Management 
2014 Best Practices – Report #1
Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research
22 pages 4.7 MB ISBN 978-0-941301-63-3

Community associations come in all sizes. They vary in age, amenities provided, and maintenance obligations. Careful planning for future repairs and replacements is not only in the best physical and fiscal interests of the community association, it is required by law in some states. Maintaining a reserve fund not only meets legal, fiduciary and professional requirements, it also minimizes the need for special assessments and enhances resale values. Every community association requires a different amount of cash in reserves to complete repair or replacement projects on schedule without special assessments or loans. How does an association properly determine and compile adequate reserves to fund necessary repair and replacement costs? By conducting reserve studies

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Governance
2014 Best Practices – Report #2
Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research
27 pages 1.9 MB ISBN 978-0-941301-64-0

  • Governance and Resident Involvement
  • There is a functioning board that meets regularly and that is carrying out its duties
    and responsibilities as prescribed by applicable laws and governing documents.
  • The association’s legal documents, resolutions, books and records are kept in a location
    that is open to inspection by owners on reasonable notice during regular business hours.

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Strategic Planning
2014 Best Practices – Report #3

Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research
28 pages 1.8 MB ISBN 978-0-941301-67-1

Strategic planning is the cornerstone of every common-interest community. Without strategic planning, the community will never know where it is going—much less know if it ever got there. An important concept of strategic planning is an understanding that in order for the community to flourish, everyone needs to work to ensure the team’s goals are met. Team members include all association homeowners, the board of directors, professional management—whether onsite or through a management company—and various service professionals such as accountants and reserve professionals. This team needs to work as a collective body to be successful. Part of the team concept is the establishment of roles for the team players. Teams usually perform poorly if everyone or no one is trying to be the quarterback.

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Financial Operations
2014 Best Practices – Report #4

Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research
24 pages 2.1 MB ISBN 978-0-941301-65-7

  • Banking
  • Planning
  • Disclosure
  • Policies/Record keeping
  • Budgeting
  • Budgetary Responsibilities
  • Board of Directors
  • Treasurer
  • Owners
  • Manager
  • Accounting Practices & Financial Statements
  • Assessments, Taxes and Investments
  • Case Studies [examples]

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Community Harmony & Spirit
2014 Best Practices – Report #5

Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research
21 pages 3.6 MB ISBN 978-0-941301-66-4

  • Create a neighborhood assistance program
  • Hold a neighborhood swim-a-thon
  • Print a community T-shirt
  • Hold a clothing drive
  • Build and install park benches along walking trails and ponds
  • Discover ways in your community to support local charities and schools
  • Recognize children
  • Sponsor a safety seminar
  • Promote health and well-being
  • Schedule a poolside movie night
  • Conduct a resident survey
  • Facilitate neighborhood block parties
  • Choose a signature shrub or tree and celebrate each Arbor Day
  • Publicize upcoming events via e-mails and the web
  • Publish event photos … and more

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Energy Efficiency
2014 Best Practices – Report #6

Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research with the U.S. Department of Energy
20 pages 1.7 MB

  • Retrofitting Existing Homes
  • Appliances
  • Insulation and Weatherization
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Landscaping
  • Lighting
  • Windows
  • Case Studies [examples]

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Transition
2014 Best Practices – Report #7

Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research
55pages 5.1 MB ISBN 978-0-941301-68-8

  • Construction
  • Governance
  • Preparation of the Documents
  • Guidelines for Governance
  • Communications
  • Maintenance of Common Property by the Association
  • Financial Control
  • Budgets
  • Litigation
  • Engineering Reports and Punch Lists
  • Insurance

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Community Security
2014 Best Practices – Report #8

Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research
54 pages 360 KB ISBN 978-0-941301-73-2

Community security is not a one-size-fits-all venture. What may work for a highrise condominium may not necessarily meet the needs of residents in a large-scale, planned community. A small, rural townhome association will approach community security needs and systems much differently than an urban, mixed-use development, which may employ security guards, video surveillance, and perimeter gating. Surveying residents about the community’s security needs, desires, and goals is an important first step in the decision-making process—to get a sense of the security level members need and want. A board must also take into consideration the community’s budget and make decisions that align with the association’s financial and legal obligations and objectives.

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Green Communities
2014 Best Practices – Report #9

Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research
81 pages 6.3 MB ISBN 978-0-941301-74-9

  •  Defining Green
  • Green Concepts and Sources You Can Use
  • Energy Management
  • Transportation Management
  • Waste Management
  • Building Management
  • Land-Use Management
  • Governing Documents
  • Top 10 Ways to Help Your Community Go Green

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Reserve Studies/Management 
October 30, 2010 Best Practices – Report #1
Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research
20 pages 357 KB ISBN 978-0-941301-63-3

  • Definition of Reserve Studies
  • Types of Reserve Studies
  • Contents of a Reserve Study
  • Disclosure
  • Determining a Reserve Schedule
  • Establishing a Preventive Maintenance Schedule
  • Selecting a Funding Plan
  • Developing an Investment Policy
  • Financial Reporting
  • Common Terms

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Strategic Planning 
October 30, 2010 Best Practices – Report #3
Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research
26 pages 253 KB ISBN 978-0-941301-67-1

  • Definition and Philosophy
  • Strategic Planning Models
  • Applying Strategies in Community Associations
  • Strategic Planning in Your Community
  • Components of Strategic Planning
  • Case Studies [examples]
  • Long Range Planning Process

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Transition 
October 30, 2010 Best Practices – Report #7

Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research
52 pages 333 KB ISBN 978-0-941301-68-8

  • The Challenges
  • Construction
  • Governance
  • Preparation of the Documents
  • Guidelines for Governance
  • Communications
  • Maintenance of Common Property by the Association
  • Financial Control
  • Budgets
  • Litigation
  • Engineering Reports and Punch Lists
  • Insurance
  • The Association
  • The Manager
  • The Approving Authorities
  • Emerging Strategies to Discourage Litigation

EPOHOA_FancyBullet At Risk – In Harm’s Way

March April 2013 Managers and board members can expect hostility and threats as they serve their communities, but they can take steps to limit the violence and vitriol too. (Mike Ramsey, Common Ground – Community Associations Institute Magazine)
 
EPOHOA_FancyBullet Community Harmony & Spirit

October 30, 2010 Best Practices Vol.5
18 pages 222 KB ISBN 978-0-941301-66-4
Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research

  • Create a neighborhood assistance program
  • Hold a neighborhood swim-a-thon
  • Print a community T-shirt
  • Hold a clothing drive
  • Build and install park benches along walking trails and ponds
  • Discover ways in your community to support local charities and schools
  • Recognize children
  • Sponsor a safety seminar
  • Promote health and well-being
  • Schedule a poolside movie night
  • Conduct a resident survey
  • Facilitate neighborhood block parties and more . . .

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Community Security

October 30, 2010 Best Practices Vol.8
53 pages 324 KB ISBN 978-0-941301-73-2
Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research

  • Your Association’s Obligation to Undertake Security Measures
  • Section 2 Impact of Crime on the Community
  • Section 3 Developer Considerations
  • Section 4 Security Services
  • Section 5 Video Surveillance Systems
  • Section 6 Alarm Systems
  • Community Perimeter Security
  • Residential Security and more . . .

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Energy Efficiency 

October 30, 2010 Best Practices Vol.6
20 pages 325 KB ISBN 978-0-941301-62-6  
Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research

  • Retrofitting both existing homes and community structures
  • Utilizing the increasing support of the “Building Green” movement
  • Gaining ideas from case studies of community associations

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Financial Operations   

October 30, 2010 Best Practices Vol.4
22 pages 239 KB ISBN 978-0-941301-65-7
Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research

  • Banking
  • Planning
  • Disclosure
  • Policies/Record Keeping
  • Budgeting

and don’t forget the Board of Directors fiduciary responsibilities:

  • State statutes and requirements established in the association’s governing documents.
  • Owners’ needs and expectations (the balance between mandatory and discretionary items).
  • Committee and owner feedback.
  • The need to reconcile income and expenses, otherwise known as balancing the budget.
  • Financial forecasts (e.g. budgets) and analyses of past financial activities prepared by the manager or accountant.
  • Capital budget and reserve study requirements.
 
 EPOHOA_FancyBullet Governance
October 30, 2010 Best Practices Vol.2
26 pages 238 KB ISBN 978-0-941301-64-0
Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research

Looking for a way to assess the governance-related operations of your community association? Minimally, a quality community association should comply with all of the following statements.

  • There is a functioning board that meets regularly and that is carrying out its duties and responsibilities as prescribed by applicable laws and governing documents.
  • The board has disclosed to the owners the association information that is required by law and the governing documents.
  • The association’s legal documents, resolutions, books and records are kept in a location that is open to inspection by owners on reasonable notice during regular business hours.
  • Owners may attend board meetings, except when the board meets in executive session.
  • The board provides for due process (the opportunity to be heard) for owners in association- related matters and the board encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution in appropriate. 

 

 EPOHOA_FancyBullet Green Communities 

October 30, 2010 Best Practices Vol.9
81 pages 265 KB ISBN 978-0-941301-74-9
Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research

  • Defining Green
  • Green Concepts and Sources You Can Use
  • Energy Management
  • Transportation Management
  • Waste Management
  • Building Management
  • Land-Use Management
  • Governing Documents
  • Top 10 Ways to Help Your Community Go Green

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Board Member Tool Kit – A Guide for Community Association Volunteer Leaders
2005
112 pages 378 KB ISBN 0-944715-97-4
Published by the Foundation for Community Association Research

  • Governing Documents
  • The Role of the Board
  • The Role of the President
  • The Role of the Secretary
  • The Role of the Treasurer
  • Working with a Professional Manager
  • Working with Professional Partners
  • The Importance of Meetings
  • Electing Board Members
  • Finding Volunteers
  • Finances
  • Reserves
  • Selecting Contractors
  • Communicating with Residents
  • Rules

 


 
FREE content for homeowner and condominium association newsletters
These articles can be used to:
  • Educate homeowners about common association functions and issues
  • Support budget increases or board decisions
  • Explain why a particular project is being undertaken
  • Provide background information
  • Augment other articles you have written or use as stand-alone stories
EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 001

December 27, 2011 – 6 pages

  • Beyond Lawn Care Maintenance, common areas
  • What Is Strategic Planning?
  • Here’s What HOA Residents Have to Say
  • Meet the President, Officers of the association
  • Home Values Increase Faster in HOAs
  • Ten Reasons to Volunteer for the Association
  • We Don’t Need You
  • Why Scoop the Poop?
  • Why Do We Need Reserves?

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 002
December 27, 2011 – 6 pages

  • Homeowner forums
  • What’s Bugging You? Termites
  • Why a Fee [Assessment] Increase
  • Who Lives in Our Community?
  • Running for the Board—Do I Have What it Takes?
  • Five Ways to Keep Fees Down Conserving resources
  • Do You Know Where Your Association Documents Are?

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 003
December 27, 2011 – 6 pages

  • Government Urges Americans to be Prepared Security & Safety/Emergency Preparedness
  • Flags in Our Community Associations  Governance
  • The Importance of Fire Extinguishers
  • Help Keep Our Community Green  Maintenance
  • What is a Community Association?
  • Why Must the Association Approve My Fence?
  • Are You Adequately Insured?
  • Assessments: The Best Bargain in Town

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 004
December 27, 2011 – 7 pages

  • Government Support is One Click Away Resources/Websites
  • Reduce Threats to You and Your Children
  • Working to Protect Your Money
  • How the Budget Committee Works
  • Homeowner Rights & Responsibilities
  • About our Association Attorney
  • Community Associations by the Numbers
  • Tips for Successful Renting
  • Assessments as Important as Mortgages and Taxes

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 005
December 27, 2011 – 5 pages

  • Influenza Pandemic: A Matter of When—Not If
  • Go West, Young Man, Go West. And South!
  • Stop That Barking!
  • Association Uses Reserve Specialist in Budget Prep Contractors/Reserve Specialists
  • The Essentials of Due Process Rules
  • Our Community’s Insurance
  • A Pain in the Drain?

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 006
December 27, 2011 – 6 pages

  • Five Guidelines for Dealing with Contractors
  • Attention Renters: Welcome to the Neighborhood
  • Who Lives in a Community Association?
  • Are Our [HOA] Rules Reasonable?
  • Why We Contract for Professional Landscaping
  • Who Do They [the Board] Think They Are?
  • What’s So Great about Community Associations?

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 007
December 27, 2011 – 5 pages

  • About Our Insurance Agent
  • The Purpose of Community Associations
  • Tips for Saving Water
  • Love Your Dog, Leash Your Dog
  • Welcome, First-Time Buyers
  • Mortgage Loans—Do You Qualify

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 008
December 27, 2011 – 8 pages

  • Resources to Avoid Foreclosure
  • Excuses, Excuses Assessments
  • Tracking Down Air Leaks
  • Preparing for, Recovering from Fires
  • Keep Warm, but Safe
  • What is this Thing Called Fiduciary Duty? Board Officers
  • Why a Maintenance Schedule is Important

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 009
December 27, 2011 – 6 pages

  • What Do Residents Think?
  • Beware of Foreclosure Scams
  • Free Safety Information for Homeowners
  • Home Improvement Reminders
  • How the Budget is Prepared
  • What is a Board Resolution?
  • Sounds Like a Good Idea maintain civility
  • Curb Appeal Counts

Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 010
December 27, 2011 – 7 pages

  • About the Association’s Investment Policy
  • Tips to Discourage Burglars
  • About Our Association Secretary
  • Recycle that Cell Phone
  • Surviving Job Loss
  • Be Prepared for Disasters (48 percent of homeowners and renters said they did not have an inventory of their possessions. Of those who reported having a checklist, 32 percent had not taken any pictures and 58 percent had no receipts validating the cost of their possessions. In addition, 44 percent of respondents acknowledged that they had not stored their inventory in a separate location)
  • Flying through a Fowl Situation

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 011
December 27, 2011 – 7 pages

  • Electronic Payment an Option for Assessments
  • What Our Accountant Does for Us
  • Who’s Responsible for What? often asked by residents
  • Power Down, Save Money
  • All Residents Welcome at Annual Meeting
  • How to Prepare for the Worst September is National Preparedness Month
  • Get Registered. Vote!
  • Misconceptions about Property Values
       True or False: Assessments are too high
       True or False: We have too many renters
       True of False: Community living is carefree
       True or False: Architectural and aesthetic uniformity are necessary to protect property values
EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 012
December 27, 2011 – 8 pages

  • [your] Community Association Fundamentals
  • Free Directory Assistance for Cell Phones
  • Indoor Water Conservation Tips
  • Fire Safety Tips
  • Avoid Silly Mistakes on Your Tax Returns
    Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: You cannot deduct your association assessment
  • Association Documents Open to Owners
  • Community Policy on Security Cameras

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 013
December 27, 2011 – 7 pages

  • Surviving Job Loss
  • Sign Up for Free Online Newsletters
  • Clarifying the [your HOA’s] Manager’s Role
  • A Helping Hand
  • Clubhouse Access Policy
  • Outdoor Water Conservation Tips

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 014
December 27, 2011 – 7 pages

  • Call an Electrician
  • Tips for Keeping Water Clean
  • Goodbye Clip, Hello Click
  • Dealing with Graffiti
  • Thieves in the Waste Basket
  • Volunteer for an Association Committee
  • Bike and Scooter Safety Tips

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 015

December 27, 2011 – 9 pages

  • Tips for Protecting Your Identity during the Holidays
  • Saving for the Holidays
  • Lead Paint Warning
  • Governing by Representation
  • Do It Yourself Pest Control
  • Important Information for Landlords
  • Reduce Home Energy Bills
  • Consumer Handbook Available

reference: https://www.usa.gov/handbook
You can get a free copy of the Consumer Action Handbook in one of three ways:

  • Online: Order a printed copy of the Handbook online.
  • Download a digital copy of the Handbook as a pdfepub, or mobi file for an e-reader device.
  • By mail: Write “Handbook” to:
    Federal Citizen Information Center
    Pueblo, CO 81009

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 016
December 27, 2011 – 5 pages

  • Protect Yourself from Vermiculite
    homes built before 1990, there’s a possibility they contain vermiculite insulation that it is contaminated with asbestos
  • Why We Have a Design Review Process  guidelines & architectural standards
  • Cold Weather Advice
  • Eyeing a Vision Statement
  • Tips for Reducing Waste
  • Professionals Hired to Conduct Reserve Study

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 017
December 27, 2011 – 9 pages

  • No Secrets association documents
  • Maintain Your Yard Safely
  • Heading Off Burnout
  • Protect Your Windows from Bird Collisions
  • Frugal Ways to Stay Healthy
  • Flooding: How to Protect Your Family & Finances
  • The Care and Feeding of Your Garbage Disposal
  • Shedding Light on New Bulbs

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 018
December 27, 2011 – 6 pages

  • Online Shopping Safety: Credit Card, Debit Card or Check?
  • Organic or Conventional? Smarter Shopping, Better Health
  • Grill Safety Tips
  • Home Renovations Can Generate Lead
  • Tips for Safe Swimming
  • Safe Summer Fun
  • Website Names Recalled Products

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 019
December 27, 2011 – 10 pages

  • Are HOA Residents Happy?
  • Contractor Caution
  • Big Tips for Small Fixes
  • Going Cashless
  • Doing Your Part to Stop Invasive Species
  • Prepare Now for Job Loss
  • Avoiding Conflict with the Neighbors
  • Speak Easy keys to grab and keep your audience’s attention
  • Homeowner Help—All in One Place

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 020
December 27, 2011 – 8 pages

  • Sidestepping Solicitors
  • Increase Your Home’s Value
  • Mortgage Relief for Distressed Homeowners
  • Statistics on Bed Bugs
  • Promoting Your Cause in the Community Association
  • The Mess in the Mailbox
  • Keeping the Coyotes at Bay

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 021
December 27, 2011 – 7 pages

  • Maintenance/Landscaping
  • Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • Free Trees for Arbor Day
  • Clutter No More
  • Complaining Effectively
  • Search Engine Basics
  • Why Shop at the Farmers Market?

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 022
December 27, 2011 – 7 pages

  • Saving Energy to Stay Cool
  • Stay Safe in the Water
  • Critical Component: Insurance—Ours and Yours
  • Keep Your Home Safe While on Vacation
  • Tax Relief from Mortgage Forgiveness
  • Keep Your Backyard Bug‐Free…Naturally
  • Mobile Marketing: Instant Information Anywhere

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 023
December 27, 2011 – 7 pages

  • When Foreclosure Is the Final Option
  • Have a Safe Halloween
  • Mold Management
  • What Your Association Board Does for You
  • Over Your Head
  • Rules for the Holidays
  • The Value of Our Association Attorney

EPOHOA_FancyBullet Just For You & Your HOA – Volume 024
December 27, 2011 – 7 pages

  • Chimney Safety
  • Snow Removal: Watch Your Back
  • Board Candidates – We Want You!
  • Simple Stain‐Removing Solutions
  • Keep the Home Fires (Safely) Burning
  • The Games Kids Play—and Debate