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News & Blog

Benefits of Using a Property Management Company

Are you involved with a condominium association or a homeowner’s association (HOA)? If so, then you might be wondering about the possibility of hiring a property management company.

A great property management company can help to improve the quality of a community, and can help with a host of various elements, such as collection of dues. These types of management companies are helpful for individual homeowners as well, and can offer a wealth of different benefits.

Benefits of Using a Property Management Company - PeytonBolin

What Can a Property Management Company Do for the HOA?

Property management companies are able to handle many of the day-to-day responsibilities of running a community. High quality management companies can provide help with the following:


  • Collection of dues from homeowners
  • Assessment of late fees
  • Documentation of payment
  • Communication with homeowners who are delinquent in payments
  • Provision of statements
  • Preparation of annual budget
  • Choose and supervise maintenance and repair of common areas
  • Enforcement of policies and rules


Continue Reading…

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PeytonBolin Receives Readers’ Choice Award for Legal Services

Leading Real Estate Law Firm PeytonBolin Honored with Platinum Level Readers’ Choice Award for Legal Services from the Florida Community Association Journal

For the second consecutive year, the PeytonBolin law firm has received a Readers’ Choice Award for Legal Services from the Florida Community Association Journal (FLCAJ). PeytonBolin was also the only firm to receive the top distinction of a Platinum Level award at the ceremony on January 15.

Readers' Choice Awards

PeytonBolin was the only law firm to receive a top-tier Platinum Level distinction in the Readers’ Choice Award for Legal Services from the Florida Community Association Journal (FLCAJ). While this is the first time the firm has achieved Platinum Level, this is the second consecutive year it has been honored with the Readers’ Choice Award.

Voted on by fellow service partners, community managers, board members, clients, and readers of the Florida Community Association Journal, the prestigious accolade was presented to PeytonBolin at FLCAJ’s and the Florida Community Association Professionals’ Conference & Expo “The Show” (http://www NULL.theshowfl NULL.cfm) held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on January 15.

“It is such an incredible and humbling honor to receive this esteemed award for the second year in a row,” said PeytonBolin managing partner and CMO Jane Bolin, PL. “At PeytonBolin, we make it a priority not only to provide superior service to our clients, but also to help advance the industry itself. We want to express our deep appreciation to everyone who voted for us, and sincerely thank FLCAJ for continuing to sponsor these awards and The Show.”

FLCAJ’s Readers’ Choice Awards (http://www NULL.fcapgroup are one of the primary services of the magazine. Their purpose is to spotlight the best of the best in the industry, highlighting companies that demonstrate an outstanding level of proficiency, reliability and integrity.

A full-service real estate law firm focused on the practice of community association law, PeytonBolin’s continued recognition for this award is a testament to the fact that the firm strongly exemplifies these characteristics. PeytonBolin’s entire staff operates as a team to provide clients with the highest quality service, and the firm is committed to providing resourceful, knowledgeable and consistent representation for associations and individual owners.

About PeytonBolin

PeytonBolin, PL is a Florida-based law firm headquartered in Fort Lauderdale with offices in Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tampa (by appointment only), and West Palm Beach (by appointment only). PeytonBolin is focused on the practice of Community Association Law, providing legal services to associations and individual owners.  Partnering with condominium and homeowner associations throughout Florida, PeytonBolin PL provides collections services, covenant enforcement, and guidance to boards to successfully manage their community affairs. Representation for both associations and individuals encompasses the key areas of insurance, construction, contract disputes and debt collection. At PeytonBolin, we are committed to practicing law in a way that is refreshingly unique – always accessible and never pretentious. Obtaining our clients’ objectives in the most strategic, creative and economically efficient way possible is our highest priority. PeytonBolin, PL was named as the only Readers’ Choice 2014 platinum level law firm for Legal Services in Florida (its highest ranking) by the Florida Community Association Journal.  This is the second Readers’ Choice Award for Legal Services PeytonBolin has received.

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Professional Community Association Organizations in Florida

We’ve put together a resource guide of professional associations that serve community associations in the state of Florida.  Each of these organizations offer ways to stay informed about critical issues in your city and county and also opportunities to interact with others.

Professional Community Association Organizations In Florida - PeytonBolin

The Broward Coalition:

Time of Service: Over 25 years
Members: 200+ Organizations and Individuals
Serving county Broward County
Meeting details 2nd Friday of the Month at 11:00 A.M. At Florida Medical Center
Dues $10 – Organizations / $15 – Individuals (annually)
Contact Charlotte Greenbarg: (dellophobe null@null bellsouth Mary Macfie at 954-336-3335
Website (http://www NULL.browardcoalition

Building Associations Managers

Time of Service: Over 24 years
Members: 96+ members
Serving county Volusia County
Meeting details 2nd Monday of the Month at 6:00 P.M.At Palmetto Club in Daytona Beach
Dues $75 – Organizations / $100 – Individuals (annually)
Contact Mort Sprentall at 386-426-1854 or (bamcam null@null bellsouth
Website (http://www NULL.buildingassociationmanagers

Building Managers International

Time of Service: Over 40 years
Members: 400+ members
Serving location: All Florida Counties
Meeting details Times and locations differ according to local chapters – see website below.
Dues $150 – Multi chapter $50 each chapter, Statewide membership $350 – $25 processing fee applies to all new applications.
Contact Nancy Hill at 941-426-1433 or
Website (http://bmintl

Community Associations Institute-Gold Coast Chapter Continue Reading…

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Bridging the New and Old Brigade of Association Residents

How to keep your condo rules in line with your residents and avoid condo association problems

When the demographics of your condo or homeowner association start to change with an influx of younger residents  problems can and often will arise.  Is it possible to keep your longtime, solid, stable (and barely breathing)) residents content while welcoming the new brigade? Can you strike a happy medium while keeping with the times and collectively and cooperatively building toward the future?

Bridging the New and Old Brigade of Association Residents - PeytonBolin

It’s a common problem, especially in Florida, where many condos started as havens for snowbirds who flocked down in droves during the winter months but then headed back during the summer months leaving many condos empty from May through November.  When residents passed away or wanted to capitalize on the booming real estate market, families and younger people started picking them up.  Rules that made sense for a snowbird community no longer seem as relevant for the newer residents who may have different needs. Issues start to come up as newer, often younger residents start challenging and questioning rules.

Some examples of rules that newer residents want to change:

  • No pets
  • No furniture on balcony
  • Restrictions on decorations – Flying a flag, putting up Christmas lights, etc.
  • Swing sets in the common area

Seems reasonable to question these, right?

Or it could be that all of a sudden more kids are part of the community and the older residents aren’t digging it and are constantly lodging complaints even though it’s perfectly okay for kids to be there.  It’s change and especially for the older set– change can be difficult to embrace.

These rules may have made perfect sense, when the building was primarily a snow bird community but now that you have year round residents, maybe not so much.  Problem is at the last board meeting when one of the newer residents brought up the idea of allowing cats, it almost caused WWIII.  People started yelling before they were even willing to hear out the reasons.  In their mind, cats would lead to a smelly, dirty environment.  Crazy. Imagine what would’ve happened if they broached the subject of dogs?  Probably the bulk of the community would’ve keeled over.

These issues, although seemingly small, can divide a community and make it undesirable to live or buy there.  Word starts getting out that it’s not a great place to live, and all of a sudden property values start dropping.  But the real impact is on the people living there who stop wanting to participate in association meetings, and instead do everything possible to avoid social situations and common areas.

As an association board, how do you handle it?  Here are 5 tips to help your association deal with a changing population in your community:

  1. View your association as a business first: You may have strong personal feelings about pets, decorations and a number of other rules at your association, but you and the board need to separate your personal feelings from what makes good business sense.  Once you start looking at the issues from a business standpoint it makes it much easier to determine how your association should evolve, or not.
  1. Determine if new requests support your Associations Mission, Vision and Values: This goes hand in hand with Tip #1.  If you haven’t been viewing your association as a business then you may not have a mission, vision or values so this should be your first step.  Identify why the association exists, where you want it to go and what values are important to the community.  With those in place it makes it much easier to determine if a change in rules or new requests aligns well with the overall scheme of things?   Hopefully every association has as part of its mission something to the effect of “wanting to create a great environment to live”.  Something as simple as a collective mission statement is enough to open up a dialogue for possible change.
  1. Be open to change: Don’t get stuck in keeping rules in place just because “it’s always been that way”.  Rules are made to be broken sometimes and everyone needs to be open to listening to new ways of thinking to determine if they will add value to the association and further along the mission and vision.
  1. Be willing to ask Why?: This goes hand in hand with being open to change.  It’s a good practice to periodically review your Condo rules and ask Why do we have this?  Does it still make sense?  This practice can help you stay ahead of the game and keep your rules in line with community and lifestyle trends.
  1. Don’t tolerate rudeness and disrespect: Not from your residents, not from your board members or anyone who lives or works in your community.  If you have someone who constantly interrupts, raises their voice for no reason and is divisive in meetings and interactions with residents, put them on probation or remove them from the board meetings.  Don’t let a couple “bad apples”  ruin the whole bunch.

Community Associations, when well run, can have tremendous benefits.  Where they get their bad names is when board members put their personal agenda above what’s best for the the majority of its residents.  You can’t please everyone nor should you have to. But you can run a fair and cooperative association that strives to close the new and old brigade of Association Residents.  Sometimes it helps to bring in an outsider to help transition your board from one that runs on emotion to one that views itself as a business and makes good business decisions.  PeytonBolin can help you Master the Business of your Association.  Contact us today! 

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Why You Need to Match Security with Tenants

3 Ways to Match Security with Tenants

In this day and age, private communities are continuously evolving and rules are changing- and our ultimate goal is to make our tenants feel safe at all times. You may think it doesn’t matter what security guard you have in your community, but it does. Your security guard interacts with your residents and guests each and every day, so they must feel comfortable with them. It’s more than just actually being secure, your tenants and residents must also feel secure.

Why You Need to Match Security with Tenants PEYTONBOLIN

Check out this list of qualities to take into account when taking steps to match security with tenants

  1. Personalities and mindsets: As we know, first impressions go a long way in any scenario. The security guard is the first person that our tenants see when they leave their homes, the first person they see when they enter the community, the first person their guests see, and therefore, the first person potential new tenants will see when they come to learn about our communities. Hence, it’s important to match security guards with the demographic in the community. If you have a more elderly community, you’re probably not going to want a guard covered in tattoos and piercings. If the community has a younger crowd, this won’t make a difference. Also, older crowds probably would require guards with a bit more patience. Think about your residents before placing a guard and you’re less likely to have to replace them.
  2. Tech-savvy: Security systems are becoming more and more reliant on new technology, and you want to have a very savvy guard at communities where technology is implemented in many aspects of the building. If guards don’t handle packages and don’t have many security cameras to watch, they may not need to be super tech savvy. On the other hand, if you’re security system is reliant on the newest technology, then you need a guard who understands how to use it.
  3. Capable of responding properly in emergencies: You need to make sure that your guards are capable of responding quickly to an emergency. Of course this varies depending on the type of community and the residents within it, but in many cases, you’re going to need a guard capable of doing more than just sitting in front of a security camera all day. You need someone with the ability to keep calm in an emergency and with the ability to make the residents feel calm.

Seeing tenants smile is one of the ultimate goals of a community and their safety is your main concern. This is why it’s important to match security with tenant- it’s not enough for them to be safe, they must also feel comfortable with the security guard. Click here to learn more about keeping your community safe.

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How to Throw a Great Community Mixer

5 Steps to Throwing a Great Community Mixer

We’ve spoken about the importance of turning homeowners into neighbors and how one of the best ways to do this is through mixers and community events, but what you may not know is how to throw a great community mixer. Mixers can be tough- so many people are afraid to branch out and speak to their neighbors, they are often boring and generally not as many people are you were hoping for actually turn up. So what do you do to make sure that the time and money that you are putting into your mixer actually pay off?

How to Throw a Great Community MixerHere are 5 Steps to Throw a Great Community Mixer:

  1. Budget and Plan: This is the first step and one of the most important. Take the time to sit down, budget and plan for the mixer. Don’t just assume that if you put drinks out and send out an invite that people will come and have a good time. Figure out how much you have to allocate to the party, how long it’s going to be, where it’s going to be and how you’re going to invite guests. You may just want to email out an invite, but as hard as it is to believe, so many residents don’t read their emails. Put flyers up around the community and in elevators. One of the keys to a great mixer is making sure that people actually show up!
  2. Think About Your Community: Think about your average guests and make sure you tailor the event to them. Is your community a family one with a lot of younger children? Consider having face-painting at the event or a “kids area” complete with a supervisor so all the children can play while the adults get to know each other. Is your community one with a lot of elderly residents? You probably don’t want to have music blasting so loud that they can’t hear themselves speak. Remember this isn’t a mixer for you, it’s for them- so make sure you tailor it appropriately.
  3. Hold it in a Common Area: If you have an area in the community to hold the event make sure you take advantage of that. It’s okay to do one outside of the community if you don’t have any common areas, but be sure to keep it nearby. Having the event in a common area within the community will increase the likelihood that more guests will show up and it will get new residents familiar with the area, as well as remind residents that you have a common space for them to enjoy together.
  4. Do Something Unique and Memorable: Try to think outside of the box. Make it an art show and invite local artists or play games and give away prizes. You want to make it fun and give people a reason to come and actually stay. A mixer is only successful if it brings people together for a good time for all, so do something unique and memorable so they’ll want to come and have a good reason to talk about it after.
  5. Moderate the Event: This is key to a successful mixer. You need to moderate the event and get people talking. You don’t want to turn it into a high-school dance with people hovering along the edges of the room waiting for someone to come up and talk to them. Start conversations, say hello to residents, introduce them to each other and just get the party going!

A tight-knit community can do wonders for the neighborhood as a whole, and it’s up to you to get neighbors talking to each other and create an environment they feel comfortable in. Click here to learn more about how to throw a great community mixer.

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Forming Positive Relationships with Volunteers

4 Tips for Forming Positive Relationships with Volunteers

As a property manager or community association, you’ve probably had to form and manage relationships with volunteers- and this can either work really well or it can be a struggle. On one side, having volunteers brings extra hands to the table, as well as new ideas. On the other side of things, it takes time to get volunteers up to speed and it is often faster to just have someone on the staff get the job done. While many people think volunteers aren’t the worth trouble, we’re here to say they often are- but only when you take the right steps to form positive relationships with volunteers.

Forming Positive Relationships with VolunteersHere are 4 tips for forming positive relationships with volunteers

  1. Support from the staff level: It’s not enough to just say you want volunteers and to bring them in, you need to build support at the staff level. If volunteers come in and permanent staff don’t want them there, it’s not going to be an easy transition. Sit down as a group and really discuss the pros and cons of having volunteers. It may not be for you or it might really take you to the next level.
  2. Make a plan: Do not just hire volunteers and have them start before you have a plan in place. Part of the reason relationships with volunteers don’t always work is because management doesn’t take the time to plan for them to be there. What is the point of having volunteers if you don’t really have anything for them to do? Figure out what you can pass on to them immediately, what needs a bit of training, and what you may want to pass on in the future depending on how the volunteer program goes.
  3. Create a volunteer mentoring role: There should be at least one person on your team in charge of the volunteers. Volunteers need to know who to go to when they have questions and it’s best to have some sort of structure within the program. What will the volunteer mentor be responsible for? How often will they meet with volunteers? Will they have help or will they be the main contact? These are all things you need to think through before you actually bring volunteers in.
  4. Give them something to do: This goes along with everything above, but we really want to stress that you need to actually have something for volunteers to do. If you have them cutting paper all day, you’re not going to get out of the mentality that they aren’t doing anything for you. Volunteers are there to help so take advantage of them and give them real work to do.

Volunteers can do wonders for your community association, but only if you take the right steps to form positive relationships with them. You want to make sure everyone on the team- management, staff and volunteers- benefit from a volunteer program and the only way to do that is to ensure that you have a plan and a need for the volunteers. Click here to learn more about forming positive relationships with volunteers.

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Top Homeowner Association Blogs and News by PeytonBolin in 2014

It’s the perfect time of year for Top 10 Lists and we didn’t want to miss out on the fun so here are our are 10 Top Homeowner Association Blogs in 2014!

Top-Homeowner-Association-Blogs-and-News-by-PeytonBolin-in-2014Are Mortgage Foreclosures Stuck in Limbo

During 2007 to 2008 a large number of mortgage foreclosure cases were filed and dismissed throughout the State of Florida.  Recently, however, a new wave of mortgage foreclosure cases has been filed to restart the foreclosure process on these previously dismissed cases.  Whether these mortgagees are precluded from restarting a foreclosure action that was previously dismissed under the doctrine of statute of limitations remains a mystery.  Read more.

New Condo and HOA Laws Have Been Passed in the State of Florida

The Florida legislature recently passed bills HB 807,HB 7037, and SB 440, that the governor has signed into law. These changes went into effect on July 1, 2014, so we wanted to provide you with a quick update on some of the changes made. This update is not intended as legal advice, and the below information does not include complete update information. For a full recap, read our 2014 Legal Update (http://www NULL.getlegalupdate!

Get Your Newly Elected Board Member up to Speed

As exciting as getting new board members is with all the opportunities it presents, it can be difficult to get them up to speed with everything that is happening. Just as with other jobs, you can’t expect to put someone in a brand new position and for them to just know exactly what to do and what not to do without any prior training. Just as each organization is different, each community association is different and it takes time to get new board members informed of everything they need to know to get the job done properly.  Read more.

Homeowner Association Communication:  Tips to Effective Communication in your HOA

We communicate with people each and every day. Whether you’re speaking in person, over the phone or through an email, it’s important to know how to effectively convey your message and get people the information they need. This is especially true in a community association, but it doesn’t stop there. As a member of a community association board, you need to also ensure that your message will stay in tact while making its way around the association.  Read more.

Appellate Court Rules in Favor of Association:  Fannie Mae Must Pay

The Third District Court of Appeal in the State of Florida ruled in favor of The Alden Hotel Condominium Association against Federal National Mortgage Association on April 2, 2014, following an appeal of a non-jury trial.  Third District Court of Appeals State of Florida. The case began back in 2013 and Alden Hotel came out the winner in a judgment awarded on May 10, 2013 by the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade, Florida.  Read more.

In Florida, Condo Battles Play Out

One of our cases is featured in the Wall Street Journal with a quote by PeytonBolin attorney Michael Mayer. The drama of Florida’s boom-then-bust real-estate market is now playing out in the courts as condominium owners and real-estate developers square off over forced sales under a law initially intended to allow for hurricane-damaged condo complexes to be rebuilt quickly.  Read more.

5 Tips for Managing Bad Tenants

Bad Tenants. Every landlord, property manager or community association has had one. They get constant complaints from neighbors, they lie and argue, they trash the property, they don’t pay rent on time… whatever it is, bad tenants can be really difficult to deal with. One of the best ways of managing a bad tenant is to try to avoid them all together.  Read more.

PeytonBolin Legal Update – Aventura Management LLC v Spiaggia Ocean Condominium Association

An opinion by the 3rd District Court of Appeal was released yesterday and the headlines are screaming “ASSOCIATION CANNOT COLLECT ASSESSMENTS!”  Before you believe everything you read, let’s get the facts straight. The opinion is not final.  The condominium association may file a motion for rehearing, and this case may be appealed to the Supreme Court of Florida.  The 3rd District Court of Appeal has jurisdiction over two counties in Florida, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.  Read more.

Protect Your Association from Fraud and Embezzlement

Anyone can be at risk for fraud, so it’s important that you take steps to safeguard your association funds. While no safeguard is foolproof, using a combination of different techniques could help you protect your association from being victimized.  Read more.

5 Tips for Collecting Association Dues

Ease the Process of Collecting Association Dues:  Associations have financial responsibilities among others, and one of the main financial responsibilities they often encounter involves the collection of association dues. This process can often be grueling- but it doesn’t always have to be. From the association’s point of view, collecting these dues is absolutely necessary because they must meet their obligations to provide the maintenance and services that are a part of managing a community.  Read more.

To stay up to date on our PeytonBolin top homeowner association blogs and news, sign up here.

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Pros and Cons of Homeowners Associations: What to Know About HOAs Before You Buy

Pros and Cons of Homeowners Associations: What to Know About HOAs Before You Buy PeytonBoliWe recently ran across this great post from Allstate Blog (http://blog about the pros and cons of homeowners associations and what you need to know about HOAs before you buy.

Here are 3 Major Pros and Cons of Homeowners Associations:

If you’re shopping for a new house, you’re likely to come across at least a few properties that are part of a homeowners association, or HOA. Some 26 million homes across the country are governed by them, according to the trade group Community Associations Institute (CAI).

Of course, amenities like swimming pools or club houses can make it tempting to gloss over the realities of living under an HOA – but it’s important that you don’t.

For one thing, there’s the money. HOAs assess fees that help maintain common areas and cover community services, so knowing the size of the fee (and what it covers) can help you decide if you want to live in the community, or whether you can afford to.

It’s also important to understand the HOA rules, which you have to abide by if you purchase a home there. Association regulations are designed to protect property values, according to CAI. But they can touch on anything from how you paint your home to where you park your car. CAI suggests looking into rules about pets, flags, outside antennas, clotheslines, satellite dishes, fences, patios and home businesses before you buy.

There are also other aspects of community living to consider. Here are some pros and cons of homeowners associations to help you decide if it’s right for you:

PRO: HOAs provide amenities
Buying into an HOA may give you access to amenities like a tennis court or fitness center that you might not otherwise be able to afford, or be able to enjoy in such close proximity to your home.

PRO: They reduce your responsibilities
The fees you pay to an HOA typically go toward services (like snow removal) and maintenance that you might otherwise have to perform, or contract for, yourself.

PRO: They help keep up appearances
HOAs typically have rules to prevent property neglect and resulting neighborhood decline. They can help to maintain the property values for the homes within the community.

CON: An HOA can foreclose on your home
If you get behind on your fees, the HOA may be able to foreclose on your home, attorney Benjamin Childs tells the Wall-Street Journal. (The process of doing so varies by state). Though, CAI advises HOAs to only use foreclosure as a “last resort.”

CON: They can spring assessments on you
If the HOA doesn’t have cash reserves to cover an expenditure, it can impose an assessment to come up with the money, the CAI says. That’s important, since 70 percent of all HOAs are currently underfunded, according to Reuters.

CON: They may limit you from renting your place
HOAs can put an array of rental restrictions in place. One Denver-area association limits rentals to 15 percent of homes in the community, requires HOA board approval of tenants, and says rentals must be on two-year leases.

So, consider the pros and cons against your own lifestyle and get familiar with the community rules before you buy – you just might find that association living is equally as satisfying for you.

If you have questions about HOA living or about the pros and cons of homeowners associations, contact us today!

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Implement These Strategies for Successful Association Budgeting

3 Tips for Successful Association Budgeting

It’s the end of the year and that means that you need to be thinking about preparing your budget for 2015. Budgeting can be tricky and it takes a lot of organization and time- but don’t skimp on the time. Proper budgeting is key to success in community associations so you need to ensure that you have the right strategies in place. You don’t ever want to be in a situation where you are so low on money that you run into big problems.

Implement These Strategies for Successful Association Budgeting PeytonBolin

Here are 3 tips for successful association budgeting:

  1. Keep a reserve: You need to expect that you’re going to run into emergencies. It happens and you need to be prepared. If you need to deal with a hurricane or fluctuating insurance costs, you want to make sure that you have enough wiggle room.
  2. Try to avoid legal disputes: Legal disputes can be a headache and expensive. While they can’t always be avoided, you really should try to mediate if you’re going to court. Take steps to improve relationships between residents and management in order to avoid disputes, and don’t be afraid to call in the professionals to help you when they occur.
  3. Think towards the future: The future is green and whenever you are buying new equipment or upgrading areas, you need to keep this in mind. You want to spend money on things that are energy efficient and sustainable- it will be worth the initial cost in the long run.

When it comes to successful association budgeting- plan, plan, plan ahead. We can’t stress enough how important it is to do an evaluation of your current plan and find areas where you can improve. Associations often don’t realize that they are spending more than they need to on insurance or that they could find a better landscaper for less money. Put time into your budget and you will see the payoff in the future. Click here for more information on successful association budgeting.

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