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7 Benefits Of The Meeting Management Feature In HOA Software

HOA meeting management can be difficult for many homeowners associations. That’s because voting, counting ballots, meeting quorums, and organizing minutes can be tedious and challenging — even for experienced HOAs. Automating HOA meeting management may be more beneficial.


What Are the Advantages of HOA Meeting Management in HOA Software?

Self-managed associations and HOA management companies can benefit from automated HOA meeting management. How can this HOA software feature help? Here’s what associations and management companies can expect.


1. Convenience & Accessibility

Traditional HOA meeting management is far from convenient and accessible. Homeowners associations have to notify homeowners and ensure there’s a quorum for a board meeting. They must also hold the meeting at a reasonable time and location, so more people can attend. This can be time-consuming for both the board and the members. At times, some members can’t even be bothered to attend.

However, homeowners associations will have to worry less about this when they use proper HOA management software. That’s because good software has features that make meetings more accessible and convenient for everyone. Through it, homeowners associations can count quorums automatically. They may also send automated notifications to homeowners and even compile all the minutes.

In addition, some programs can even automate the voting and election process, reducing the board’s workload. A reliable HOA software even provides built-in virtual meetings so more homeowners can attend without being physically present. This helps the community reach a quorum and complete more agenda items.


2. Speed & Efficiency

Automated HOA meeting management can speed up the entire meeting process. This is because HOA software can automatically count quorum, allowing associations to waste no time doing a manual count. Moreover, they can even speed up the voting process by creating and printing ballots automatically. This allows people to vote and elect board members in no time.

In addition, an automated system can scan barcodes and count the ballots automatically so the election results can come out almost immediately. The HOA can transition much faster and allow the newly elected board members to work sooner.


3. Tracking Minutes of the Meeting

Homeowners associations are required to keep minutes of every board meeting that occurs. Moreover, they must allow members to review the meeting minutes afterward. Some states even provide a strict timeline for HOAs. For instance, California law states that board meeting minutes or a summary of the minutes must be available for viewing 30 days after the meeting.

Given how important meeting minutes are, homeowners associations must take their duties of keeping and archiving these documents seriously. However, it’s often hard to do as meeting minutes can get lost in a sea of the HOA’s files. They can also be destroyed by accidents or natural disasters like fires and floods.

This is where automated HOA meeting management comes in. Through this feature, an HOA can not only track their meeting minutes chronologically, but they can also keep an online archive of all the documents. This allows the association to keep their minutes safe from external forces. Moreover, it makes meeting minutes more accessible for board members and the homeowners. HOAs can easily comply with their state’s inspection requirements by offering electronic access.


4. Fair and Transparent Voting

HOA online votingElections and voting are often a point of contention for many homeowners associations. After all, the community’s board of directors takes charge of the association’s affairs and heavily influences community matters. Many homeowners associations complain when the board is heavy-handed or abusing its power.

This is why having a fair and transparent voting and elections process is vital. Homeowners associations must see that there isn’t any dishonesty or unfairness in the voting process. Sure, HOAs may hire inspectors and third parties to help, but the current board members themselves often hire those people. It may be wise for homeowners associations that want absolute transparency to use software with HOA meeting management capabilities instead.

Through HOA software, homeowners associations won’t have to worry about rigged votes. An automated system can create and print ballots electronically for HOAs to use. Not only that, HOA software can even scan the barcoded votes immediately so nobody can tamper with the results. The HOA’s elections can stay fair and transparent, letting the homeowners feel at ease with the results.


5. Promotes Trust in the HOA

Homeowners associations that use automated HOA meeting management can promote a sense of trust in the HOA board. That’s because the residents are more likely to trust that the results of an election are fair if the voting process is automated. This eliminates any suspicion and keeps chaos at bay.

In addition, because HOAs are more able to keep track of and archive minutes, the homeowners who request to see them will be able to access them when needed. This can limit any complaints that accuse the board of keeping information from the residents.


6. Keeps Members Happy

Homeowners often pay hefty HOA assessments to maintain the community. Hence, it’s no surprise that many residents complain when the HOA doesn’t handle meetings properly. HOA meeting management software can help streamline the process and ensure everything is organized. This can keep the residents happy and make them less likely to complain.

Moreover, it also reassures the members that their HOA dues are being used for good community management. They will see that the HOA is running well and that the board is not wasting the residents’ funds.


happy member of HOA7. Raises Reputation

A well-organized HOA will be able to raise its reputation much more than disorganized communities. This allows the HOA to fulfill its goal of raising and maintaining property values for the community members. It can also attract potential buyers to the homeowners association, thus raising more funds through assessments.


An Indispensable Feature

HOA meeting management might seem like an insignificant feature at first glance. But, it certainly benefits homeowners associations and can help the HOA operate well.

Are you on the lookout for HOA software with HOA meeting management capabilities? Look no further than Condo Manager, an industry-leading HOA management software for self-managed communities and management companies. Contact us online or call us now at (800) 626-1267 to find out more!



HOA Work Orders: The Best Ways To Handle And Manage Them

HOA work orders are a vital part of managing a community. They help the association ensure that all maintenance work is completed. As a result, the HOA can remain in good condition.


What Are HOA Work Orders?

Homeowners associations need to maintain the community’s common areas to keep property values high. This also ensures that the HOA’s members are satisfied with the association. But, managing maintenance can be a difficult task. There is a lot of work to be done, especially for larger communities.

This is where work orders come in. An HOA work order is a formal request for repair, operations, or maintenance work the association needs. It initiates the repairs or maintenance task and clarifies the details of the job.

A work order includes all the information related to the task requested and outlines the process. Moreover, it includes other details such as the requester’s name, the authorizer’s name, the assignee, and deliverables. It may also include drawings, special instructions, and the expected end results.


HOA Work Orders vs Service Requests

Homeowners association work orders are different from service requests. Some management companies and HOAs may use the terms interchangeably but differ in purpose and format. Service requests are simply forms or requests submitted by residents. They submit the service request to the HOA so the board or management company can fix the problem.

Meanwhile, HOA work orders are generated by the HOA manager or an officer responsible for overseeing maintenance. They create the work order only after approving the service request sent by the homeowner. The work order may also need approval from the HOA board before the work can begin.


Why Is HOA Work Order Management Important?

handling hoa work order requestsHOA work order management is an essential part of running a homeowners association. That’s because dozens or even hundreds of service requests and work orders can come in at a time. Without a proper system, the HOA or management company can easily be overloaded with too many maintenance jobs.

In addition, proper work order management helps the HOA keep track of all the maintenance jobs that have been completed or are currently in progress. This helps uncover problem areas in community property. For example, if there have been too many recent work orders involving the piping system, it may be a sign of a larger issue. The community may need to use its reserve funds to replace its piping system or other infrastructure to minimize long-term costs.

Managing work orders is vital to preserving property value and upholding the association’s reputation. After all, the HOA is in charge of the community’s upkeep. Without proper work order organization, it may be hard to fulfill all the service requests promptly. This can leave the community in disarray and disrepair.


What to Include In a Work Order

A good work order for HOAs must include all the important details involving the maintenance task. Homeowners associations and HOA management companies must include the following information:

  • Order number
  • Who benefits from the job
  • Vendor, contractor, or personnel in charge of completing the task
  • Authorizer
  • Job location
  • Approval date
  • Date of the order’s issuance
  • Expected start and end dates
  • Terms of service
  • Maintenance task description
  • Hourly rates for the task
  • Required materials
  • Cost of materials
  • Total cost

Adding all this information helps reduce misunderstandings between the contractor and HOA. It also ensures that both parties can clearly understand what the job entails and how much it costs. Moreover, they can anticipate the job’s length and schedule each task accordingly. This allows the association to maintain the community without too many jobs conflicting or coinciding.


How to Manage HOA Work Orders

Handling HOA work order requests is no easy feat. It’s important to have an efficient system in place to keep things organized.


1. Easy Request Process

A good HOA work order system begins with an easy request process. Service request forms should be easily accessible to all residents. Moreover, the request forms should be easy to understand and fill out. Ideally, the residents should also be able to track their service requests to know when the HOA will complete the job.

Make sure to assign an officer or board member to oversee service requests. This allows the community to approve or disapprove requests much faster. It minimizes backlogs and ensures the community is always on top of all the necessary maintenance jobs.


2. Create a Complete HOA Work Order Form

After receiving the service request, the HOA must create a complete work order form that includes all relevant information. Make sure the form is as detailed as possible. The work order should also include photos of the problem areas to help the association and its vendors understand what needs to be fixed. Moreover, the residents should be able to access the work order to fully understand what the request entails.

If the association can afford it, they may automate work orders to speed up the process. Reliable software can easily turn service requests into HOA work orders. This allows the community to streamline the entire process. It’s also more manageable and trackable as HOAs can quickly refer to the system to find all the work orders created.


3. Have a List of Vendors Ready

Homeowners associations should have an updated list of vetted contractors and vendors at the ready. Furthermore, they can hire on-site maintenance staff to address smaller maintenance jobs. This allows the HOA to assign each job without delay. It also ensures that the work is always up to standard.


4. Receive Feedback

After each maintenance job is completed, consider allowing residents to submit a feedback form. This allows the HOA to understand what is working and what needs to be improved in their work order management process. It also ensures transparency and helps residents trust the association more.


5. Conduct Regular Inspections

hoa vendor managementHomeowners associations should conduct regular inspections of community property. This limits the number of service requests that come in and keeps maintenance work to a minimum. It can also save money in the long run.

Consider scheduling inspections at least twice a month. The community may also need to conduct frequent inspections for fixtures or properties more prone to degradation or damage. For example, older buildings may need more attention than newly built structures.


Keep Your HOA In Good Condition

Managing HOA work orders is the key to keeping the community well-maintained. Otherwise, the association may easily fall into chaos with too many service requests or unclear job descriptions. Proper work order management can also ensure that the community’s maintenance requests are fulfilled in a timely manner.

However, managing HOA work orders manually can be challenging, especially for larger communities. Condo Manager can help. Our HOA management software can automate and streamline your work orders and the entire maintenance process. Call us today at (800) 626-1267 or contact us online today!



9 Fun Labor Day Activities For Kids

What labor day activities for kids should you conduct as a community? Here are some ways the kids in your homeowners association can take part in labor day festivities.


What Is the Significance of Labor Day for Kids?

How can Labor Day activities benefit a child’s learning and development? Kids will often like labor day because it gives them a break from school. But, it’s important to teach them why we celebrate every first Monday of September. This way, the kids will understand why the holiday is significant. They will learn early on how much American workers have contributed to the country and have a better appreciation for them.

However, teaching them goes beyond simply explaining that it was made for American workers. Kids often learn better through hands-on activities rather than classroom-type sessions or parental explanations. That’s why conducting these activities might be a better approach.

In addition, creating labor day activities for kids is simply a good way to involve the kids in the neighborhood. They can feel a better sense of community as they celebrate the occasion with all the adults in the community. There should even be activities for the elderly so that no one in the neighborhood feels left out.


Fun Labor Day Activities for Kids

What are some good labor day activity ideas? Here are some fun ways to involve the children.


1. Labor Day Scavenger Hunt

Hosting a scavenger hunt is a great idea if you want a more involved labor day for kids activity. The organizers can create one with a labor day theme where kids can make stops at local neighborhood buildings. They can stop at the local police station, fire department, or even school. Kids can find relevant items in red, white, and blue. Everyone is sure to have a fun time no matter the age.


2. Book Reading

labor day activity ideasActivities are great but storytelling can often help kids learn more. This is why simply cuddling with the kids and reading a relevant book can be a good option. It’s a great method to teach younger kids who are not as able to participate in physical games. Of course, choose a book on Labor Day to match the theme.

For this, it’s best to plan ahead. Look at a few relevant books at the local library and check one out before the holiday. You can even bring the kids with you so they can say “thank you” to the librarian and other personnel. Moreover, you can even encourage the little ones to ask about their jobs to get them into the Labor Day spirit.


3. Make Thank-You Letters

Making thank-you letters is one of the best labor day activities for kids at home. They’re simple yet heartfelt and can truly teach them the significance of the holiday. It also intimately involves them in the festivities in a way no game or activity can.

Help your child write a note to a worker they admire. It can be a local policeman, security guard, or even a janitor. Then help them deliver the note personally or by mail.


4. Send Goodies to Workers

There’s no better way to appreciate American workers than by sending them goodies. To involve the kids, you can bake your own goodies or bring them along to the bakery to pick out pastries. Then deliver them to local institutions like the fire station, police department, or post office.


5. Make a Career Mobile

Crafting a career mobile can help kids understand what possible career options they have in the future. It’s also a good way to respect various professions and help them appreciate each type of work.

To do this, you can find photos of American workers online and print them out. You can also involve the kids by cutting out photos of workers from brochures, newspapers, magazines, and other publications. Make a hanging photo mobile or buy one online and help them complete the career mobile.

Afterward, you can ask the kids to think about what they want to be when they grow up. This can help them figure out their dream career early on while celebrating the holiday.


6. Eat Patriotic Snacks

Food can always bring people together — even children. What better way to celebrate the holiday together than to eat patriotic snacks? This can keep your kids full and boost their American pride. Just make some fruit skewers with watermelons, blueberries, banana slices, raspberries, and strawberries. Then dip them in marshmallow cream to add flavor.

If you don’t have enough fruits, you can simply make watermelon popsicles. Just cut up a watermelon into small triangles and stick a popsicle through the skin. Then serve the watermelons on napkins in blue or red.


7. Create Footprint Vehicles

Do you need labor day activities for kindergarten students? If your child is too young, you can simply make arts and crafts at home. You can do this by asking them what vehicles local workers use to do their work. They may choose school buses, firetrucks, police cars, army tanks, or tractors.

Regardless, make it a fun activity and help them use their footprint to create the body of the vehicle. Afterward, help them complete the vehicle with paint, crayons, and stickers. You can even use the final craft as a decoration to commemorate the holiday. But, just remember to follow your neighborhood’s decoration rules to avoid penalties or conflict.


8. Host a Sing-Along With Friends

Labor Day kids sing-alongIf you want to involve your child’s friends, why not host a neighborhood sing-along? You can choose a patriotic or relevant song like The National Anthem, Living in America by James Brown, or 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton. There are many more to choose from.

Prepare a portable speaker and a fake microphone to help the children feel more involved. You can also print out the lyrics or use a projector so everyone can follow along.


9. Spend Time at a Neighborhood Gathering

Hosting a community gathering is one of the best labor day activities for kids that involve the whole community. The whole block can organize a Labor Day party with activities specifically reserved for the kids. Adults can share what their jobs are to inspire the kids.

You can also decorate the neighborhood’s lawns with streamers, balloons, and other ornaments. For food, a classic American BBQ is all it takes to get them into the holiday spirit. You can also bring out roller skates, scooters, and bikes so the kids can play. Finally, you can even have a donation jar ready. The community can donate the proceeds to various American foundations.


A Holiday for All Ages

Labor Day is a holiday for all ages. Parents can always introduce the holiday to their kids through fun and creative ways. They can host activities whether at home or with their neighbors and friends. Homeowners associations can even host official block parties to get everyone involved.

Condo Manager offers software solutions to homeowners associations and HOA management companies. Call us at (800) 626-1267 today or contact us online to get a free demo!



HOA Violation Process: What’s The Right Way To Handle HOA Violations?

The HOA violation process is among the most challenging parts of managing a community. HOA managers and board members have a duty to enforce rules and promptly handle violations. But, they must also be careful to follow due process to keep things fair and avoid liability.


HOA Violation Process

The HOA violation process can be tricky to get right. But, there is a proper procedure for handling offenses made by community members. Here is how to handle HOA violations the right way.


1. Check the Governing Documents

When someone makes a violation report against a resident, it’s best to check the governing documents first. Thoroughly review all the rules in the CC&Rs or bylaws to verify the violation’s legitimacy. The governing documents may also contain enforcement policies that the HOA board must follow.


2. Send a Warning Letter

HOA Violation Warning LetterAfter verifying the violation’s validity, board members might think holding a hearing is the next step in processing HOA violations. But, not all violations require a hearing. That’s because some violations are not as severe. A simple warning letter may be enough depending on the rule being broken and the resident’s violation history.

For example, let’s say the association limits the types of plants homeowners can have in their yards. But, a homeowner is unaware of this rule and decides to plant a prohibited flower. In this case, the HOA may issue a warning letter to ask them to correct their mistake. This allows the HOA to resolve the issue more peacefully without escalating minor violations.


3. Send an HOA Violation Notice

If the homeowner does not listen to the warning letter or the violation is serious, it’s time to take further action. Part of HOA violations processing involves holding a hearing. But, before the HOA can do this, the board must first issue a notice of violation.

The notification process may differ from association to association. Some states regulate the way notices are sent. For example, California’s Civil Code Section 5855 specifically states that homeowners associations must send a written notice to violators 10 days before a hearing. Meanwhile, other states have less formal regulations regarding violation notices. The HOA’s governing documents often dictate the notification method and timeline in these cases.

Regardless, sending a notice to homeowners will help them stay informed of their violations. It also gives them enough time to plan and adjust their schedule to attend the hearing.


4. Hold a Hearing

After sending the notice comes the HOA hearing process. This is simply a meeting between the offending resident and the HOA board. It aims to establish the violation’s validity and give the homeowner a chance to explain their side. Homeowners can then present reasonable arguments against the violation and present evidence that may affect the board’s final decision.


5. Make a Decision

After the hearing, the board must render a written decision within the timeframe outlined in the CC&Rs. Depending on how the hearing went, the board may determine that there was no violation after reviewing the homeowner’s evidence. But, they may issue HOA violation fines for non-compliance or if the homeowner doesn’t rectify the problem if the violation was found to be valid.


6. Appeal and Dispute Resolution

HOA Violation Appeal and Dispute Resolution

Once the decision is made, homeowners still have the right to appeal. This is usually determined by the HOA’s governing documents or state law. A homeowner may contest the decision because it is unreasonable or discriminatory. For example, one other resident may have committed the same offense but did not receive the same punishment.

On the other hand, the association may not have followed the proper procedure for sending notices or conducting hearings. As such, the HOA may need to reissue the notice with the right information within the proper time frame. They may need to undergo the process again.

HOA board members need to make decisions consistently and follow proper procedures. They must not decide arbitrarily or behave unreasonably when issuing notices or enforcing rules. Otherwise, this may waste the association’s time or cause more conflict.

In some states, homeowners associations can resolve disputes through arbitration or mediation. The process will include a mediation panel that can resolve the issue. Members can visit the American Arbitration Association website for resources and more information.


7. Suspend Rights and Privileges

If the homeowner refuses to pay the fees or comply with the decision, the HOA may suspend their rights and privileges. This involves prohibiting them from using amenities like pools, gyms, or clubhouses. It may also involve suspending them from community events or revoking their voting privileges.

Suspending a homeowner’s rights and privileges can pressure them to comply with the HOA. It will push them to correct their violation and pay whatever fines they owe the association. Once they rectify the issue, the suspensions may be lifted, and they can enjoy their rights and privileges again.


8. Take Legal Action

Finally, the homeowners association may take legal action and file a lawsuit to force compliance. In certain cases, they may also place a lien on the homeowner’s property. Taking legal action should be a last resort as litigation is long, expensive, and can lead to negative feelings within the community. It is not something HOAs must decide on lightly.

Moreover, there may be certain caveats to taking legal action. For example, the homeowners association may be in trouble if the violation isn’t found to be completely valid. They may also be liable if they did not follow due process. The board should always consult their HOA attorney and management company before proceeding with litigation.


Creating a Peaceful Community

Following the proper HOA violation process is vital to creating a peaceful community. After all, the rules are there for a reason and can promote order within the neighborhood. Proper and unbiased rule enforcement can help maintain the community’s reputation, property values, and security. It can also foster a sense of trust in the HOA’s leadership.

Are you struggling with enforcing rules? Condo Manager can help. We offer industry-leading HOA management software for management companies and self-managed communities. Call us today at 800-626-1267 or get in touch with us online for a free demo!



HOA Vendors: How To Select Vendors And End Contracts?

Choosing the right HOA vendors is vital to the community’s well-being. But, it can be hard to pick a contractor with the right experience and skills the community needs. Let’s take a look at the selection process to help your HOA choose a fitting vendor.


What Are HOA Vendors For?

Condo and homeowners associations exist to maintain property values and boost the community’s quality of life. To do this, they must hire vendors to maintain the neighborhood’s common areas and keep it aesthetically pleasing. The right vendors can keep facilities and amenities clean and in good condition.


What HOA Vendors Do Communities Need?

It takes a lot to run a planned community. As such, there are several HOA vendors communities need to hire. These include but are not limited to the following:


  • Landscaping Vendors. These vendors cover landscaping needs like caring for the lawn and outdoor facilities. It can also include the maintenance of sports surfaces and artificial grass.
  • Developers, Builders, and Engineers. These vendors can help HOAs with large repairs and projects.
  • Commercial Painting. These vendors paint and repair building interiors and exteriors.
  • hoa vendor request for proposalFencing, Entrances, and Security Services. These vendors help monitor and improve the community’s security.
  • Financial Management and Accounting. These contractors help HOAs with bookkeeping, budgeting, and other financial management tasks.
  • Collections and Legal Services. HOA vendors can assist associations with collecting HOA fees, outstanding dues, and closing fees.
  • Debris Removal and Tree Service. These contractors help clear fallen trees, remove debris, and prune mature trees.
  • Plumbing and Backflow Testing. These maintenance vendors repair and maintain drainage and plumbing systems.
  • Pressure Washing. These maintenance vendors clean and prepare exterior surfaces.
  • Gutter and Roofing Services. These maintenance vendors replace and replace gutter and roof systems.
  • HVAC Services. These maintenance contractors maintain, repair, and install heating, cooling, and insulation systems.
  • Waterproofing and Pool Services. These maintenance vendors repair and maintain pool systems and winterize them.
  • Snow Removal. These services clear walkways and roads of accumulated hail or snow.
  • Towing. These services tow stalled cars and clear accident sites.


These are but a few services a homeowners association might hire. Depending on the community’s needs, there are many more, like masonry and phone answering services.


Which Is Better: Employees or Independent Contractors?

Associations have two options when it comes to hiring help. They can choose between hiring a regular employee or an independent contractor. Full-time workers receive a regular salary and fulfill their tasks daily. For example, a self-managed HOA may want to hire an HOA manager or maintenance person full-time. Meanwhile, independent contractors are better at fulfilling large-scale tasks and projects.

Regular employees are often good for fulfilling smaller roles that require ongoing attention. But, they do have their disadvantages. That’s because employees get sick and need vacation days. In these scenarios, the HOA must temporarily hire part-time workers or contractors to fill the role.

Moreover, employees are slightly more complex to work with as the HOA must verify their legal residency. HOAs must also find good referrals and conduct background checks. As a result of these many caveats, communities often prefer to hire independent contractors over employees.

Independent contractors are what most people think of when talking about HOA vendors. HOAs prefer these over employees because they have niche skills and years of industry experience. They are also licensed, insured and are less likely to become liabilities to the association.

Moreover, they’re not as complicated to hire as less paperwork is needed. HOAs only need to provide form 1099 to the vendor. They also do not need to report their status or activities as much to the IRS. Some examples of independent contractors include landscapers, roofers, and HOA attorneys.


How to Hire HOA Contractors

Communities should not randomly hand out an HOA vendor request for proposal to every contractor they find. That’s because doing so can confuse the HOA board and give them too many proposals to sift through. Instead, HOAs should carefully consider various factors to choose the right vendor.


1. Keep It in Writing

Contracts should never be verbal. Instead, HOAs should carefully draft and review contracts when choosing a vendor. All of the terms, including the work to be performed, its duration, and the price, must be written in an agreement. This will eliminate confusion and discrepancies between the vendor and HOA.


2. Obtain Vendor Bids

Homeowners associations should obtain at least three vendor bids from third-party contractors. This allows the HOA to compare the terms and choose the vendor that offers the right price and services. It gives the association a good idea of the value these services provide.

Moreover, multiple states have laws that require HOAs to receive more than one bid. Hence, it’s generally better to obtain multiple bids. Otherwise, the HOA may risk breaking their local laws.


3. Review Each Bid

HOA vendors may be tempted to add various beneficial services to their unnecessary proposals. Hence, it’s important to review each bid and ensure the offering matches your request. If the bid has extra services that the HOA may need later on, ask the vendor to provide a separate bid for them. Moreover, ask if the bid expires so the HOA board can deliberate further.


4. Ask for References

HOAs should ask the vendor for references from past clients. This can help the association understand what kind of experience the vendor provides. It’s also a good idea to ask for before-and-after photo references of past projects. These may help the homeowners association see what kind of output they can expect. Finally, HOAs can also look at online reviews left by past customers.


5. Verify Credentials, Insurance, and Licenses

hoa contractorsReliable vendors will usually provide licensing and bonding proof to reassure their clients. Otherwise, homeowners associations should ask for these documents to prove that the vendor is qualified. This is crucial as credentials may determine how well the vendor performs. Moreover, it’s especially important for tasks that require technical skills, such as property development or engineering.

Apart from this, HOAs should also prioritize organization and transparency. Remember to keep all the documentation you receive from rejected bids. That’s because these will prove the association’s due diligence in fulfilling its fiduciary duty to maintain the community.


6. Choose the Right Price

HOAs often fall into the trap of simply settling for the lowest bidder, but this would be a mistake as the lowest price doesn’t guarantee the best quality. Instead, homeowners associations should choose bids that offer the best value for the money. The best one may be the cheapest or most expensive. However, the best value bid is usually somewhere in the middle.


7. Schedule a Meeting

Once the HOA has narrowed down its options, it’s time to schedule a meeting. This is especially crucial for new vendors the community has never worked with. Moreover, it’s important for larger tasks and projects.

Pay attention to how the vendor’s staff carries themselves during the meeting. You want vendors that are forthcoming, punctual, and professional. They should also be ready with all the licenses, references, and insurance you requested.


How to End HOA Vendor Contracts

Homeowners associations may want to end vendor relationships that don’t work well, so how should they go about this? Here are some things to keep in mind.


1. Talk to the Contractor

HOAs usually develop long-term relationships with their vendors. But, the relationship may deteriorate when vendors fail to perform their duties. It can also go south when they miss deadlines, unexpectedly issue change orders, or do a poor job.

If the HOA has a long-standing relationship, it’s best to communicate with the vendor first. They might simply be undergoing financial difficulties or management changes. Both parties may be able to work out an agreement. This should be the first course of action to maintain vendor relationships.


2. Withhold Full Payment

Most contracts allow the homeowners association to withhold the final progress payment when the work is incomplete. This should prompt the vendor to complete their unfinished work. Once the work is completed, the board can finally assess the output before releasing the payment.

That said, HOAs should refrain from rehiring vendors that leave unfinished work. These vendors have already shown you how poorly they perform and how little they value the relationship. More often than not, it’s best to move on and find a new contractor.


3. Check the Contract Terms

form 1099When a vendor performs poorly and cannot be negotiated with, HOAs may want to terminate the agreement. But, are homeowners associations allowed to end vendor contracts for poor performance? Can they fire a vendor for a botched job?

It depends on the contract terms. HOAs should review the agreement and its provisions for termination. Some contracts allow termination due to poor performance. However, some do allow for termination without cause as long as there is a 30-day notice.

It’s also important to review the contract with an attorney. Otherwise, the HOA may end contracts illegally and have to face a lawsuit. Once reviewed with an attorney, the HOA can end the agreement according to the contract’s terms.


4. Document the Contractor’s Work

It can be hard to terminate a contract without mutual consent. The vendor may even sue the HOA for breach of contract. Hence, it’s important to document the vendor’s poor performance while the contract is ongoing. Document everything with photos and videos. Moreover, keep track of the dates, times, and staff involved. The HOA can use this as evidence during the lawsuit.


Choose HOA Vendors Wisely

Finding good HOA vendors can be tricky, and it’s certainly worth the effort. A reliable vendor can timely deliver high-quality work to homeowners associations. They’re invaluable to the community’s operations. Moreover, hiring the right vendor from the start can help the HOA avoid problems and potential lawsuits.

Condo Manager offers automated HOA management systems to HOA management companies, condo associations, and homeowners associations. Call us at 800-626-1267 or contact us online today for a free demo!



Know Your HOA Rental Restrictions Before Leasing Out Your Home

HOA rental restrictions are an essential consideration when leasing a home. Homeowners’ associations have varying rules when it comes to rentals. Its residents may not always have free rein. As a homeowner, it’s best to familiarize yourself with a few rules before renting out your home in an HOA.


Can an HOA Restrict Rentals?

Homeowners have to follow several HOA rules to live peacefully in the community. These include regulations regarding lawn maintenance, pets, and parking. But, one lesser-known rule concerns renting. More specifically, rules that impose conditions and limits to renting or the prohibition of renting altogether.

This may seem unfair because it violates a person’s right to free use of property. But courts throughout the nation have continued to uphold HOA rental restrictions. They uphold these prohibitions as long as they were made for a legitimate purpose or to promote the HOA’s interests. As a result, homeowners cannot lease their homes if the HOA prohibits it for a good reason.

On the other hand, some states have more fine-tuned HOA rental restrictions regulations. For example, California disallows common interest developments from prohibiting or unreasonably restricting rentals of separate interests, accessory dwelling units, or junior accessory dwelling units. It also prevents HOAs from imposing rental caps below 25%.

Meanwhile, Arizona’s law states that HOAs cannot prohibit homeowners from leasing their homes unless it is expressly forbidden in the declaration. It also states that rental restrictions cannot be applied to pre-existing homeowners. Other regulations prohibit HOAs from requiring homeowners to submit the tenant’s lease agreement, rental application, credit report, and other private information.


Why Do HOAs Impose Rental Restrictions?

renting out your home in an HOAGenerally speaking, rental restrictions aim to protect property values and promote community standards. An HOA with more renters usually sees higher liability insurance rates and lower property values. Other financial institutions, such as banks, are also more hesitant to offer loans to HOAs with more renters.

Moreover, HOA rental restrictions ensure the community’s residents are invested in the neighborhood’s success. Permanent residents are likelier to comply with community rules and maintain the property. Meanwhile, renters are more likely to violate HOA covenants because they will eventually leave.

Finally, rental restrictions usually promote stability within the HOA. They also foster a better sense of community. Homeowners typically want to live in a place where they know all their neighbors. It offers more security and brings them peace of mind.


HOA Rental Restrictions Homeowners Should Know Of

Homeowners must familiarize themselves with their HOA’s rules on rentals. Here are some sample HOA rental restrictions that are common in HOA communities.


1. Rental Caps

HOA rental caps restrict the percentage of properties that can be rented out at a time. Each HOA board can meet to define a suitable percentage for the community. But, as a standard, most homeowners’ associations impose a 20% rental cap. To enforce the limit, the HOA board has to approve rental requests. It usually comes on a first-come, first-served basis. After meeting the cap, the remaining applicants can be waitlisted.

The HOA may also impose a limit on who is eligible for application. Oftentimes, only homeowners who have lived in the community for a set period are qualified. This prevents investors from simply buying up community homes and renting them out.


2. Lease Restrictions

HOA lease restrictions are limitations that must be included in any lease agreement. Common restrictions include a minimum lease period of 30 days. Some restrictions also compel the tenant to comply with the HOA’s standards, allowing landlords to evict defiant tenants.


3. HOA Short Term Rental Restrictions

Does an HOA allow renters to stay only for a short period? Most communities impose short-term rental constraints. Sample HOA short-term rental restrictions include prohibitions on Airbnb rentals or nightly rentals. Others may impose a minimum rental period of 30 days.


4. Rental Duration Restrictions

Some communities may impose constraints on rental durations. For example, they might allow homeowners to rent out their property for only two years. Meanwhile, others have more specific conditions. For instance, the HOA may require homeowners to live in the home for 3 years at a time in between renter transitions. Regardless, the HOA will usually include these requirements in their CC&Rs.


5. Commercial Rental Restrictions

Homeowners’ associations may impose commercial rental restrictions. These prohibit homeowners from renting out their property for commercial use. With these restrictions in place, tenants cannot lease the property to use it as an office or retail shop.


6. Room Rental Restrictions

A homeowner may think renting out a room does not violate an HOA’s rules. After all, they still live on the property. But, some HOAs do impose rules on room rentals. With these restrictions in place, homeowners cannot rent their spare room — even to friends.


7. Condo Board Approval for Renters

Owners of condo units may need to contend with specific rental restrictions in condominiums. These condo rental restrictions include the requirement of having the condo board approve the rental request. The condo board usually observes the same approval process as HOAs.


Other HOA Rental Rules and Regulations

Some HOAs also impose regulations on the rental process. These aren’t restrictions per se, but they are things homeowners must abide by if they want to lease their property.


Rental Fee

Homeowners associations may charge rental fees to cover associated fees. The HOA member pays this monthly, quarterly, or annually. Typically, associations charge 5-20% of a homeowner’s monthly maintenance fee.


Tenant Screening

Tenant ScreeningMany homeowners’ associations screen prospective tenants. This allows the HOA to avoid renters that might harm the community. Often, the board will implement this by asking for the tenant’s application form. The board will then review the application before the homeowner can finalize the lease agreement.

However, some states do expressly prohibit tenant screening. As such, homeowners must familiarize themselves with state law if their HOA board asks to see a tenant’s application form. In addition, HOAs must follow the Fair Housing Act when screening tenants. They cannot discriminate against people due to race, religion, national origin, disability, family status, or sex.


Credit Check

Besides screening application forms, HOAs may also run a credit check on prospective tenants. They may not allow tenants with poor credit or those who have been evicted before. Alternatively, HOAs may charge higher fees to homeowners when there is a greater risk.


Do HOA Rental Restrictions Need To Be Public?

State laws vary when it comes to disclosing rental restrictions. Therefore, homeowners should check their respective local and state laws before accusing the HOA of noncompliance.

But, as a general rule, homeowners’ associations will include rental restrictions in their public declarations. Most homeowners should have received a copy of these documents before closing on the home. Deed titles also come with the HOA’s covenants and restrictions.


How To Get Around HOA Rental Restrictions

Homeowners often want to get around their HOA’s rental restrictions. They want to be free to use their property and profit from it. But, homeowners should exercise caution as violation may result in legal action. They should take care to make sure they are not directly violating any prohibition.

How should a homeowner get around rental restrictions? The best way is to carefully read the rules, restrictions, and covenants. Homeowners should also consult the HOA board or HOA manager before they begin their rental plans. When in doubt, they can also review the rules with a legal professional to understand what they can and cannot do.


The Consequences of Renting Without HOA Approval

An HOA can enforce rental restrictions when a member does not comply with the rules. But, they can only impose penalties and other disciplinary actions on the homeowner. They cannot penalize or evict the tenant because they are not a association member.

One way an HOA enforces its restrictions is by imposing fines. It can also enact other disciplinary actions stated in the governing documents. If all of these methods fail, homeowners’ associations can also file a lawsuit against the homeowner.


Always Check Your HOA’s Rules and Regulations

HOA rental restrictions are often a source of conflict within communities. But, reasonable restrictions do benefit the community. Moreover, noncompliance can come with some unpleasant consequences. Before a homeowner leases their property, they should always check the HOA’s rules. They should also understand local and state laws to ensure both they and the HOA board comply with legislation.

Condo Manager provides premium solutions for HOA management. Contact us today at (800) 626-1267 or get in touch with us online for a free demo!



7 HOA Insurance Policies Your Association Needs

There are many HOA insurance policies homeowners associations need to protect themselves. But, it can be challenging to know which ones your association needs to function. Not everything is essential. Regardless, there are a few insurance policies every association should get to keep themselves covered.


Important HOA Insurance Policies

There are many types of policies homeowners associations can get. Here are some of the most important ones to keep in mind.


1. HOA Master Insurance Policy

The master insurance policy is the most basic type of homeowners association insurance that covers all the general requirements. Sometimes, the master insurance is also called HOA Insurance. It also includes your General and Regular Liability Insurance. The master insurance policy typically covers two things:

  • Property damage to your HOA’s common areas and structures due to crime, water, fire, or vandalism
  • Liability expenses that others may hold the HOA liable for

Through this HOA hazard insurance policy, you can cover the cost of repairs to the property when something unexpected happens. For instance, flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in the US. When a flood damages your HOA’s shared spaces, the policy can fund the repair costs. It often acts as your HOA fire insurance policy to cover fire damage.

Apart from this, the master policy also provides liability coverage. This is useful for when third parties blame the HOA when they sustain injuries or property damage within the premises. It covers legal fees, attorney fees, medical expenses, and monetary damages the HOA needs to pay.

The amount your HOA needs to cover for liability will vary based on location. For instance, the Civil Code Section 5805 in California requires at least $2 million in protection for HOAs with separate interests less than or equal to 100. That amount can reach up to $3 million if your HOA has over 100 separate interests.


Are the Master Insurance and Special Assessment Insurance the Same?

A master insurance policy is distinct from an HOA special assessment insurance policy. While both of these insurance policies may cover issues with common area property damage, they are not the same.

Special assessment insurance, also called loss assessment coverage, mainly helps the homeowner, not the HOA. It covers the cost of special assessment fees the HOA may collect from homeowners when the master policy can’t cover everything.

For example, the HOA’s master insurance policy may cover only $1 million. But, the cost of repairs from property damage will amount to $2 million. The HOA will have to levy special assessment fees from homeowners to pay for the rest. Homeowners may not need to pay the additional fees if they’re insured with a special assessment policy.


2. D&O Liability Coverage

hoa master insurance policyDirectors and Officers (D&O) liability insurance is among the most important HOA insurance policies. It essentially protects the board of directors from various lawsuits and settlements against them.

The HOA board can cover defense expenses, omissions, errors, and indemnity liability claims through it. These usually happen when the board violates contracts or governing documents. The insurance policy also covers discrimination, libel, and slander.


3. Property Value and Replacement Cost

Your homeowners’ association insurance coverage should also include property value and replacement costs. This covers the partial or full replacement of your building or structure. The insurance policy has three coverages this type of policy includes:

  • Contingent Liability. Some states may require you to demolish all parts of a property, including undamaged ones, to rebuild the structure. This covers the undamaged portions, so your HOA does not need to shoulder the expense.
  • Demolition. This covers the cost of demolition, including those involving heavy machinery.
  • Increased Cost of Construction. Local ordinances may require necessary upgrades to your property. This covers the expenses of those upgrades.


4. Workers’ Compensation and Employee Dishonesty Insurance

Many HOAs employ workers to keep the community in good shape. In such cases, it’s vital to have Workers’ Compensation and Employee Dishonesty Insurance. That’s because this policy protects the HOA from lawsuits if a worker sustains an injury while working. It also covers theft and the damage any workers may cause to the property. The policy covers employees whether they’re contractual, part-time, or full-time workers.


5. Discrimination Claims Coverage

Homeowners’ associations may sometimes foreclose properties because of unpaid dues. They can do this regardless of whether the resident is part of a minority group or has a protected status. However, some homeowners may still try to hold onto their homes by filing a discrimination claim against the HOA.

This is why you may need Discrimination Claims Coverage. Through this policy, you can protect your HOA from claims related to discrimination while foreclosing properties.


6. Commercial Umbrella Policy

HOA Commercial Umbrella PolicyMany HOA insurance policies have limitations. If you want to go beyond these limits, you can also purchase Commercial Umbrella Liability Coverage. This helps you stay protected when your D&O or Workers’ Compensation policy can’t cover the costs. The umbrella may also expand your coverage on other policies.

Of course, you could simply extend the limit on your current policies. But, doing so may be costly for your HOA. A Commercial Umbrella Policy is usually more affordable, so many HOAs prefer it over extending other policies.


7. Condo Insurance

Condominiums may need HOA Condo Insurance instead of the standard HOA master policy. This is because figuring out the boundaries between common areas and individual units is more complicated in condos. Condo Insurance can offer more specific protection. It has two main types:

  • Bare Walls Coverage. Only walls divide condominium units. As such, maintenance insurance can be a little trickier. A Bare Walls insurance policy insures your condo’s walls, insulation, plumbing, and wiring.
  • All-in Coverage. This extends the Bare Walls policy by also covering installed fixtures like appliances and countertops.


Protect Your HOA With Insurance

HOA insurance policies protect both your HOA and its community members from any potential financial burdens. They cover expenses when an unexpected disaster happens and can lower your HOA charges’ special assessments. Hence, they’re essential to keeping your HOA running seamlessly throughout the year.

Tracking your insurance policies manually can be exhausting. It’s also prone to error, especially if you purchased many policies. Condo Manager can help automate and streamline the process. Call us at 800-626-1267 or get in touch with us online today!




4 Easy And Delicious 4th Of July Dessert Recipes

Preparing a delicious 4th of July dessert is one of the best ways to celebrate Independence Day. After all, there’s no better way to spend the holidays than with good food among friends and family. If you need a little inspiration, check out these Fourth of July dessert recipes.


Delicious 4th of July Dessert Recipes

Many Americans choose to hang up a flag of the country for Independence Day. It’s a great way to showcase your patriotism and celebrate the holiday. Moreover, the practice is protected, so HOAs can’t ask homeowners to remove the American flag completely. However, it’s not the only way you can celebrate the occasion.

Food is another great way to celebrate the holiday. It’s a wonderful way to bond and bring people together. Hence, it’s no surprise that over half of Americans planned to spend Independence Day with a cookout in 2022.

However, even the best 4th of July recipes can feel empty and unfulfilling without dessert. That’s why we highly recommend topping off your family meal with a dessert for July 4th. Check out these 4th of July desserts and see what you like.


1. Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie is one of the best recipes for 4th of July desserts that match the season perfectly. It’s creamy, refreshing, and delicious. Plus, it’s easy to make because there’s no baking involved!


4th of july dessert recipesIngredients:

  • For the pie crust:
    • 12 graham crackers
    • ⅓ cup of brown sugar
    • 6 tbsp. of melted butter
  • For the filling:
    • ¾ cup of heavy cream
    • 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
    • 12-ounce cream cheese
    • 2 tsp. freshly grated lime zest
    • ½ cup key lime juice
    • Lime zest and whipped cream, for serving


  1. For the pie crust:
    1. Put the brown sugar and graham crackers in a food processor bowl. Process them finely for one minute. Pour the mixture slowly in melted butter as the processor runs. Process the crumbs until they’re like coarse sand.
    2. Transfer to a deep 9-inch pie plate. Press the crust firmly and evenly to the bottom and sides of the pan with the bottom of a measuring cup. Place the crust in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  2. For the filling:
    1. Use a sand mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Alternatively, you can also use a hand mixer with beater attachments. Then transfer the mixture to another bowl.
    2. Add lime zest, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk in the stand mixer bowl. Use a paddle attachment to beat on medium-high speed until smooth for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed.
    3. Turn the mixer to low speed and add key lime juice slowly. Boost the speed up to medium and mix until it combines. Remove the mixture from the stand mixer and fold the whipped cream gently.
  3. Spoon the filling into the pie crust and make an even layer. Refrigerate the pie for 12 hours.
  4. Serve with whipped cream and lime zest.


2. Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

The Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is one of the healthiest 4th of July cake recipes out there. It’s fruity, fluffy, and screams classic American 4th of July dessert.



  • Baking spray with flour
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 12 maraschino cherries
  • 1 15-ounce can of pineapple slices in juice
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 8-ounce can of pineapple slices in juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 2 cups and 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • ¾ cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Ice cream, for serving
  • 1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray baking spray on a 9×13-inch baking pan—line it with parchment paper.
  2. Drain the pineapples and pat dry. Set the liquid aside. Toss 2 tbsp. of sugar and cornstarch in a bowl with the pineapple. Transfer to a pan and add cherries in the center.
  3. Melt ¾ cup of butter. Mix the sugar and ½ tsp. of salt, simmer for 3 minutes. Pour 3 tbsp. of pineapple juice and whisk until smooth. Then pour the caramel over the pineapples.
  4. Beat 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, and vanilla in a stand mixer for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, beating them after each addition.
  5. Whisk baking soda, baking powder, flour, and ½ tsp. of salt in a bowl. Add it to the butter mixture, alternating with sour cream. Mix and spread the mixture onto the pineapple.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes with foil on top. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes without the foil. Invert on a plate and remove the parchment. Cool for 10 minutes, and then slice.
  7. Serve with whipped or ice cream.


3. Strawberry Cobbler

Are you craving fruity desserts for 4th of July? Why not try this strawberry cobbler to start? It’s simple and quick, so you don’t have to take too long to prepare it for dinner. Just make sure to completely thaw and drain your strawberries if you’re using frozen ones.


Fourth of July Strawberry CobblerIngredients:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 ½ cups strawberries, halved
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring out a 10-inch cast iron skillet and add butter. Then heat it in the oven for 5 minutes until the butter melts. Swirl the pan from time to time. Afterward, remove the pan and set it aside.
  2. Whisk 1 cup of sugar, milk, and flour in a medium bowl. Then add the other ¼ cup of sugar and cornstarch and continue whisking. Mix in and stir the lemon juice and strawberries.
  3. Pour the mixture into the cast iron skillet. Spoon the mixture and its juices evenly without stirring.
  4. Prepare a foil-lined baking sheet and place the skillet on top. Place the skillet and baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown. This takes about 60 to 75 minutes.
  5. Let the strawberry cobbler cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.


4. Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This odd salad is surprisingly one of the most delicious 4th of July jello recipes available. It’s also an almost no-bake dessert so it’s one of the fastest July 4th easy desserts to whip up!


4th of July Strawberry Pretzel SaladIngredients:

  • For the salad crust:
    • 4 cups of pretzel sticks
    • ½ cup of unsalted butter, melted
    • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • For the cream cheese filling:
    • 1 ½ cup heavy cream
    • 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
    • 8 ounces of sour cream
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • For the strawberry jello topping:
    • 6 ounces of strawberry-flavored gelatin powder
    • 2 cups of boiling water
    • 1 lb. fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced


  1. For the salad crust:
    1. Preheat the oven to 350° and crush the pretzels. Stir the pretzel crumbs, brown sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press the mixture on a 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Cool the crust on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
  2. For the cream cheese filling:
    1. Beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes until the stiff peaks form. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
    2. Beat the sugar, cream cheese, sour cream, and vanilla in the bowl you used to beat the cream. Use medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the whipped cream bowl and fold to combine them. Spread the mixture evenly on the pretzel crust. Chill in the fridge for an hour.
  3. For the strawberry jello topping:
    1. Dissolve and mix the gelatin powder and boiling water in a bowl. Stir the strawberries in. Chill the mixture in the fridge with a cover for one hour.
    2. Spoon the strawberry mixture over the cream cheese layer. Chill it until it sets for 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Cut the pretzel salad into squares and serve chilled.


Celebrate the Day With Scrumptious Desserts

Adding a 4th of July dessert to your menu is a great way to enhance your holiday meal. Some of these recipes do take more time to prepare. They’re certainly worth the effort if you want to enjoy scrumptious sweets with your friends and family.




What Is HOA Insurance? How Will Your HOA Benefit From It?

HOA insurance may not seem important at first. However, it’s crucial if you want to save your homeowners’ association from huge losses. What is HOA insurance, and how does it benefit your homeowners’ association? Let’s find out.


What Is HOA Insurance?

HOA insurance, or an HOA master insurance policy, protects your homeowners’ association from liability. It protects your association from potential financial losses in case an accident happens within the premises. Moreover, it covers physical damage sustained by your common areas and structures.


What Does HOA Insurance Cover?

Standard HOA insurance coverage doesn’t include every aspect of your homeowners’ association. In fact, it mainly covers HOA liability insurance and mainly encompasses the following:

  • hoa insurance coverageGeneral Liability. This includes expenses that the HOA may incur when there’s a lawsuit against the association. For example, someone may get injured within HOA property and hold the homeowners’ association liable. In such cases, your HOA insurance policy will cover the costs.
  • Physical Damage. This includes expenses related to damages against HOA infrastructure and common areas. It can help you cover repair costs after an accident or natural disaster like a fire or hailstorm.

These are the most basic things your HOA insurance will cover. However, coverage may vary depending on the insurance company and policy you get. Some companies may offer extensive coverage, while others only provide the essentials.

For example, some insurance policies don’t cover fire or flood-related damage. Hence, checking your HOA insurance policy to see what’s covered is crucial. You may then need to upgrade your policy or purchase extra insurance to cover other areas.


How Is Condo Insurance Different?

If your HOA manages a condominium, there can be a big difference in coverage. That’s because condominiums have blurrier lines that separate HOA property from homeowner property. As a result, condo insurance will further distinguish its policies by separating them into two kinds:

  • Bare Walls Coverage. This policy covers the basic structure of the condominium. It also covers everything within the walls, like plumbing, wiring, and insulation. With it, residents don’t need to insure their walls.
  • All-In Coverage. This policy includes bare walls coverage and extends its scope. On top of what’s covered in Bare Walls Coverage, it also covers installations like countertops and appliances. As a result, residents will only need to insure what’s not covered in the condo insurance policy.


How Does Your HOA Benefit?

Homeowners association insurance can be beneficial in many ways. The most obvious is that it protects your HOA from incurring unexpected and often substantial costs. Otherwise, your HOA must pay for physical damage and liability expenses through internal funds.

These costs can be high, especially if you pay for property damage due to earthquakes and hurricanes. Meanwhile, liability expenses can snowball into larger amounts because of the legal and settlement fees. Even if your HOA wins the lawsuit, the associated costs in legal defense can be tremendous.

Furthermore, some states require insurance for homeowners associations. For example, the state of California requires at least 2 million dollars in HOA coverage through Civil Code Section 5805. Meanwhile, Arizona also has certain HOA insurance requirements for HOAs and condominiums. In addition, some HOA bylaws require at least some insurance coverage.


What Type of Coverage Does Your HOA Need?

Getting basic insurance for HOA is necessary, but it doesn’t stop there. That’s because you should also sufficiently cover your HOA’s other needs. To cover those, your HOA may also need the following:

  • Comprehensive General Liability. This includes general liability coverage for those outside of your regular HOA insurance policy.
  • Comprehensive Equipment Coverage. This covers damaged equipment that your HOA master policy doesn’t protect. They can include general equipment or specific ones, depending on the provider.
  • Catastrophe Insurance. This covers property damage from natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, and typhoons.
  • Workers’ Compensation Coverage. This covers employee injuries and claims against the HOA when a worker gets injured.
  • Discrimination Coverage. This covers the related costs when someone, like an evicted tenant, makes a discrimination claim against the HOA.
  • Crime and Fidelity Insurance or Employee Dishonesty Coverage. This protects the HOA from losses when a board member or employee commits a crime or steals property.
  • Directors & Officers (D&O) Liability Insurance. This covers directors and HOA board members who may be accused of wrongful acts. It shields them from personal liability as long as the acts are unintentional.

Remember that what you include in your HOA insurance policy will depend on your community. For example, your HOA may need Catastrophe Insurance if your community is more vulnerable. Furthermore, smaller communities may not need Workers’ Compensation Coverage because it doesn’t employ as many workers tending to common areas.

Remember to assess your community’s needs before purchasing a policy. Ensure the policy you choose will provide sufficient coverage to protect your HOA. In addition, it’s equally important to ensure no overlapping policies. Otherwise, your homeowners will have to pay bloated assessment fees.


hoa master insurance policyWhat If Your HOA Insurance Doesn’t Have Sufficient Coverage?

If you don’t have enough coverage, don’t worry. Most insurance policies renew every year. Therefore, you can upgrade your policy once the term ends. Just remember to review your current policy and the upgrades you need to purchase.


How Much Is HOA Insurance?

The cost of a policy varies between HOA insurance companies. It also depends on the coverage, number of shared areas, and community size. Typically, HOA insurance may cost anywhere between $500 to $1,500 annually.

However, remember that these amounts may change depending on the claim rates. If the past year had more claims, your insurance provider might bump up the price. Moreover, insurance companies may increase the rates the older your equipment and infrastructure become.


Who Pays for HOA Insurance?

HOA insurance premiums are charged to homeowners. It’s usually included in their monthly dues. Furthermore, each homeowner typically pays the same amount as long as they have equal access to shared spaces. Also, board members are not exempt from paying insurance premiums and monthly dues. They’re expected to pay their share as long as they live within the community.


Protect Your HOA With Insurance

Many people think HOA insurance is only important because state laws and HOA bylaws require it. However, it’s more than just that. It’s a necessary expense to protect your HOA from unforeseen costs.

Keeping tabs on your various insurance policies can be difficult, especially if you have multiple add-ons. Fortunately, Condo Manager can assist you and make the process much easier. Call us at 800-626-1267 or contact us online to ask for a free demo!




No Common Areas In Your HOA? Do You Still Need HOA Liability Insurance?

An HOA liability insurance is essential. It protects your homeowners’ association against liability claims. But what if you don’t have shared spaces in your HOA? Do you still need the insurance?


What Is HOA Liability Insurance?

An HOA liability insurance is a policy that protects associations from liability claims. What does HOA liability insurance cover? There are two types that HOAs can get:

  • Regular Liability Insurance. This covers liability costs related to injuries people may suffer in a common area. For example, your HOA may be held responsible when someone slips on a common area’s wet floor. This covers the costs your HOA may need to pay as a result.
  • HOA General Liability Insurance. This covers common area property damage, building protection, and structure protection. It can protect the property from different perils like wind, water, fire, vandalism, and crime.

For both of these, the policy only covers common areas and properties. Moreover, the HOA must own or be responsible for maintaining said properties. It does not cover property that belongs to homeowners or residents.


Is It Different From HOA Insurance?

An HOA insurance policy, or master policy, helps HOAs reduce financial risk. This insurance policy is usually helpful for shouldering liability claims and property damages.

HOA insurance coverage can also include other things. For instance, it may protect board members from legal claims made against them. Moreover, it may even include HOA liability insurance covering vendors and employees.

Meanwhile, liability insurance is part of an HOA insurance policy’s basic coverage. Homeowners’ associations can keep or remove it, depending on the HOA’s wants and needs.


Do You Still Need Liability Insurance Without Common Areas?

A homeowners’ association still needs liability insurance even without common areas, but why is that?

It’s easy to want to forego HOA liability insurance. This is especially tempting if you don’t have public facilities like clubhouses, pools, or gyms. After all, there’s no property to protect from damage. Moreover, without these facilities, people can’t hold your HOA responsible for injuries.

But common areas aren’t limited to these amenities. That’s because any space that residents share is considered a common area. These include spaces and properties as simple as roads and mail facilities. In a condominium, these can also include public stairwells, elevators, and hallways.

With HOA liability insurance coverage, you can protect your property from natural disasters. These include things like hailstorms, fires, and earthquakes.

You also don’t have to pay as much legal expenses when someone has an accident. The insurance policy will cover the cost of damages as well.

Additionally, some states require HOAs to have insurance against liability and property damage. For example, Arizona and West Virginia have certain liability insurance requirements. They mandate communities to have insurance for common property damage and liability.

Overall, liability insurance is an effective way to lessen your financial burden whenever accidents happen in the community. Otherwise, you may need to tap into your reserve funds to cover the expenses. The cost of repairs, liability, and HOA attorney fees can be more expensive in the long run.


Are They the Same in Condominiums?

Both homeowners’ associations and condominium associations need liability insurance. But, an HOA policy insurance for a condo will differ slightly in how it works.

That’s because the lines that divide resident and HOA-owned property aren’t as clear. Often, they’re only separated by walls.

As such, insurance companies may offer different policy options for condominiums. These include the following:

  • Studs-Out Coverage. This option covers parts of the condominium outside a homeowner’s unit. These include roofs, stairways, hallways, lobbies, and elevators. It does not cover the walls, fixtures, and flooring within units. The homeowners will be responsible for insuring those interior elements.
  • All-In Coverage. This option protects both shared facilities and structural elements within residential units. Hence, homeowners will only need to insure their property inside their homes.


What Are the Limitations?

While liability insurance generally covers common areas against perils, there are limitations. For example, some policies do not cover floods. Thus, an HOA may need to purchase a separate property insurance policy to protect against flooding.

With that said, it’s important to read the insurance policy thoroughly. If a policy doesn’t cover everything you need, you may want to add coverage through other policies.

Moreover, liability insurance does not cover fidelity insurance. The latter is a type of insurance that covers HOA property, but it’s distinct because it doesn’t protect you from perils like natural disasters. Instead, it protects HOA property from immoral or dishonest actions made by board members and employees.


How Much Is It?

Insurance policies like these vary greatly in terms of cost. It usually depends on how large the HOA is and how many facilities it has. Larger communities with more amenities can expect to pay more. Meanwhile, smaller communities have less to pay for. They may only need to insure the basics like roads and walkways.

Also, insurance companies will evaluate other elements of the HOA to determine the price. They will review the number of residents, environment, and facilities within the community.

Typically, HOA policies that cover liability insurance can cost anywhere between $50 to $100 monthly. This is the price for small associations. Thus, an average HOA may pay up to $1,200 yearly.


Who Pays for It?

Each community resident, including board members, pays premium dues to the HOA. This is part of the monthly dues and will cover the cost of the liability insurance.

Furthermore, each resident will pay the same amount to the HOA. This holds true if everyone has equal access to the shared facilities. It applies regardless of how often each homeowner uses those shared spaces.


HOA Liability Insurance: A Necessary Inclusion

Having no shared spaces may make HOA liability insurance seem unnecessary. But it’s essential even if you don’t have pools or clubhouses. That’s because it also covers standard common areas like walkways and roads.

Tracking insurance policies and payments may be difficult for HOAs. You can make this process easier by using Condo Manager. Get in touch with us at 800-626-1267 or contact us online to schedule a free demo!