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THE LEGAL TEAM

COMMITTED TO ASSOCIATION LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT

News & Blog

5 Storm Preparation Tips for Community Associations

How to manage the impact of bad weather on your business.

You may have already heard that Hurricane Erika is on her way. The weather reports change by the minute but we currently expect winds up to 75 mph and potential flooding.

Managing the impact of bad weather on 5 Storm Preparation Tips for Community Associations business is never easy, especially for community associations. We have compiled 5 action items that will help guide the board in managing the business of your association through a storm.

1. Get clear about the lines of communication. Unit owners need to know who to report to in the event of property damage. The Board needs to know who to communicate with from the Property Management Company. The board needs to appoint one person (or committee) to collect information about property damage from the storm. This process is important to preserve the association’s rights and that damage, if any, is handled in the most efficient manner.

a. Ask your management agent what the emergency flash storm procedures are for the community.
b. What can the board expect the manager to do after the storm?
c. Request that the management company provide a copy of the Insurance Declaration page and insurance agents’ contact information to the board.
d. Who is communicating with the unit owners?

2. Appoint a Board Member or Management Agent to take pictures of the common physical areas before the storm. The purpose of this is to create before and after photos in the event of physical damage. After the storm, photos should be taken if the area is secure and safe. Safety First!

3. Ask your management agent or compile a list of companies to assist in removal of debris or water extraction after the storm. The best practice is to have vendors that have been vetted by the association for quality of work (references or referrals) and insurance (workers comp, bonds, etc…).

4. Confirm with the board, as a whole, how actions will be taken after the storm. We suggest setting a meeting now based on the expected length of the storm; for example, if the storm hits on Monday, plan to meet on Tuesday at 5pm. However, the board needs to do what works for them and makes sense for their sec. The point is to come up with a plan.

5. If physical damage occurs to the common elements, contact the Firm to discuss the potential claim prior to submitting to the insurance company.

Keep in mind that if the governor declares a state of emergency for Florida, then the association will not need to post notice for meetings, or otherwise hold meetings to take action. This only applies during the state of emergency, which is declared by and ended by the State of Florida. If you have any questions about these action items, please give us a call.

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PeytonBolin Honored Among Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in the United States

Inc 5000 names PeytonBolin #3,228 in list of fastest growing private companies

PeytonBolin, a leading real estate law firm, has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of
the nation’s fastest growing private companies. The prestigious rankings
were announced earlier today and PeytonBolin was honored at number
3,228 by growing more than 100 percent over the past three years.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (PRWEB) AUGUST 12, 2015PeytonBolin Honored Among Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in the United States on peytonbolin.com

PeytonBolin, a top real estate law firm based in Florida, today was honored by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the country, earning a spot on the distinguished Inc. 5000 list. The company grew by over 100 percent over the past three years, earning the 3,228 spot on the elite Inc. Magazine rankings.

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale with additional satellite offices in Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach, PeytonBolin increased its revenues by more than 100 percent and added several new positions to its team over the past three years. Further growth and job creation are expected to continue from the successful firm, honored earlier this year with a Platinum Level Readers’ Choice Award for Legal Services from the Florida Community Association Journal (FLCAJ).

“We are thrilled to be named to Inc.’s renowned list of the fastest growing companies in the country,” said PeytonBolin managing partner and CMO Jane Bolin, PL. “After years of hard work delivering superior services to our clients, we are extremely honored to have our efforts recognized on a national scale.”

Bolin added: “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the incredible team at PeytonBolin, as well as our dedicated clients for contributing to our success and helping make this growth possible. We thank Inc. Magazine for this honor, and look forward to continuing to grow PeytonBolin and deliver outstanding results for our clients.”

Introduced in 1982, the Inc. 5000 is an annual list that ranks the country’s 5000 fastest-growing privately owned companies. The rankings are calculated according to relative revenue growth over a three-year period.

PeytonBolin will be formally honored by Inc. Magazine at an award ceremony in October in Orlando, Florida.

To learn more about PeytonBolin and its placement in the Inc. 5000, please visit: http://www.inc.com/profile/peytonbolin (http://www NULL.inc NULL.com/profile/peytonbolin)

About PeytonBolin

PeytonBolin, PL is a Florida-based law firm headquartered in Fort Lauderdale with satellite offices in Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach. 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.

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What to Do When Your Community Association Puts You in Collection

What to Do When Your Community Association Puts You in Collection by peytonbolin.comHow to respond to an HOA’s demand letter or delinquent assessment notice

Your homeowners association exists to govern community rules and administer common areas and activities that benefit the entire community. When you signed the closing agreement, you agreed to pay your mortgage, insurance, taxes and any membership dues or assessments your association requires. When an assessment becomes delinquent, the association has the right to pursue the payment.

However, there are certain rules and regulations that dictate how an association can collect delinquent assessments. Many times the association will choose to hire a third party collector than pursue the matter internally as a way of keeping the peace between board members and homeowners.

So why did I receive this notice?

If you are a homeowner of a property in a community association or homeowners association who received a notice from your association’s legal counsel, you may be asking yourself why.

The law firm representing your community issued a notice, based on the association’s records, to inform you that an unpaid bill is now late and your account has been turned over to collection.

This notice is intended to report the delinquency and aid both you (the homeowner) and the association with a remedy.

5 steps you should take when receiving a Demand letter or a Delinquent Assessment notice / Claim of lien.

Whatever you do, do not ignore the notice. Whether this is a mistake on their part or yours, avoiding the issue will only make it worse – and can lead to higher penalties and fees if you’re in the wrong.

  1. Review the legal document thoroughly. Determine exactly what payment has been missed, when it was due and how much it was for.
  2. Check your records and gather any supporting documents/proof of payments you may have. Make sure that this outstanding balance isn’t for something you’ve already paid.
  3. Contact the law firm and provide those supporting documents/proof of payments. They will be able to determine what went wrong and remedy the situation.
  4. Explore your options if a balance remains outstanding. See if a payment plan proposal or settlement offer, two common options, are right for you.
  5. Request a closed letter once account has been resolved. Once the debt has been paid or the issue has been resolved, make sure you obtain proof that the debt has been cleared. Save the document in your records.

If you’ve received a demand notice or delinquent assessment notice and would like legal advice regarding your situation, contact PeytonBolin today. We’re a Florida-based, full service real estate law firm in that specializes in community association law.

How Community Associations Can Build Community Spirit

How Community Associations Can Build Community Spirit by peytonbolin.com6 activities that can foster a vibrant, responsive and healthy community association

A community with spirit is a community that takes pride in itself. Like safe neighborhoods, spirited communities attract like-minded residents and generally have higher resale values. The emotional investment residents make in the community will also set it apart from others and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
So what can you do to build a vibrant, responsive and healthy community association? How can you create harmony between all members of the community? What can you do to actively encourage residents to participate in programs that create and enhance the feeling of community?

Remember Most Residents Want to Be Involved

While you may feel like residents don’t want to be involved in the association, the truth may just be that they’re not sure how to get involved or if they’re input is desired. That’s why it’s important for you to actively seek the opinions and input of residents.

Activities You Can Try

When you combine feedback with enjoyable programs that allow residents to get to know you and each other, you make residents feel like they matter, establish trust and open a direct line of communication that will improve the overall value and performance of your association.

Here are just a few activities you can try in your community:

1. Develop an Neighborhood Assistance Program

We all fall on hard times or occasionally need a helping hand. Who better to reach out to during times like these than to neighbors? A strong community takes care of its members.
Ask for volunteers who would be willing to drive their neighbors to medical appointments or the airport. Organize meals for families dealing with an illness or death. Establish a loaner program where people can borrow medical equipment like crutches and canes, or even just high chairs and cribs or toys for grandparents with small grandchildren visiting.

2. Participate in Charity and School Programs

People’s level of dedication to their community really shines when they’re able to give back. When you offer ways to support local charities and schools, you give people an opportunity to do something that really makes a difference. Nothing creates a sense of harmony and gratitude like giving to others.
For example, you can hold a clothing drive and ask residents to donate their extra items to the less fortunate. Volunteers can collect and distribute the items to charities throughout the community.
It’s no secret that many schools across the country struggle to keep classrooms fully stocked with the supplies they need. You can also ask residents to donate notebooks, pens and pencils, craft supplies and more to local schools in need.
The key to success is discovering what your community actually needs and asking residents to share their time, talent or financial resources as individuals or groups to change it for the better.
Planning, organizing and executing a drive will give residents the opportunity to learn about one another while doing something that benefits the entire community.

3. Start a Community Beautification Project

Are there gardeners, craftsmen, artists or other residents with special talents? Enlist their help in making your community a more beautiful place to live.
If you have walking trails or ponds in a community park, have residents build and install benches along the path for everyone to enjoy. You can even hold a dedication ceremony to remember especially important and active members of the association and install plaques on the benches as a token of the community’s remembrance.
Whether you choose to paint wall murals or hang pictures in community centers, you can ask local artists to donate their talent to create images that reflect the unique flavor of your community.
If there are members of the community who would like to enjoy flowers but don’t have the ability to plant a garden, ask the green thumbs in your community to help out.

4. Promote Resident-Led Events and Recognize Achievements

Create a monthly newsletter or print a monthly magazine that highlights all of the goings-on in the community that residents can join. While you should certainly include major activities planned by the association, also leave room for residents to start and find their own niches.
If a local group of canasta players is looking for another member to join their Thursday night game, let them advertise the open slot. If someone’s willing to give sewing, painting or other lessons, post their contact and availability information. If residents want to lead an exercise group, encourage residents to join their neighbors.
If your community is home to many children, you can even use your newsletter or magazine to highlight their achievements as individuals or a group.

5. Sponsor a Seminar

There are a variety of educational, health and wellness incentives you can support within your community. Host a blood drive or a blood pressure and cholesterol screening. Offer free juice and snacks or even a free movie ticket for participation. Educate parents and grandparents on important issues like bicycle and pool safety or CPR and medical responses.

6. Other Ideas

Ultimately, the activities you choose to coordinate or support within your community should be unique to residents’ interests and the goals of your association. Other ideas include:

  • Assisting with monthly block parties or potlucks that let new residents meet their neighbors; designate “block heads” who will coordinate the theme and schedule
  • Conducting resident surveys for community service and other ideas; this is a great way to get input from your residents in all kinds of decisions. Use your website, snail mail, email or go door to door.
  • Celebrating national holidays like Arbor Day or Independence Day; source food, games and any special items from local businesses and residents.
  • Printing and selling community t-shirts; this will let members show off their community spirit and, if sold for $5 or $10, can be an excellent source of revenue to support any of these initiatives. Be sure to come up with a fun logo and motto!
  • Publish photos of events; show residents who aren’t involved exactly what kind of fun they’re missing! Showcase them on your website and in your newsletter or magazine.
    How does your association build community spirit? What activities would you add to this list? What other issues does your association face when trying to get residents involved?
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Safety Tips for Families Using Communal Areas

Safety Tips for Families Using Communal Areas

Staying Safe in your Community

As residents in a community association, part of your responsibility is to help maintain the different communal areas also known as common areas. While your association dues/assessments will take care of most of the tasks associated with community upkeep, you still have to give a lot of attention to how you tend to such common areas as the pool, BBQ spot, and other shared spaces.

Summertime Is Serious

Your community is going to have very specific rules and regulations about the use of the different common areas. For example, the pool will have established hours, as well as very clear times when you are not allowed to use it because of safety issues. There may be no lifeguard available, or it may be undergoing maintenance or repair, and so on.

Obeying such restrictions is an obvious “must,” and yet there are other guidelines that you, your family, or guest might easily overlook. For instance, if you speak with anyone who is in charge of safety around the pool areas you will hear that children constantly run about on slick surfaces, everyone leaves bags and objects in walkways, and that many fail to close gates or monitor the youngest swimmers at all times.

As part of a community, take on the responsibility for ensuring safety whenever you are enjoying your communal spaces. Try to encourage others to practice more awareness of pool safety in general, and don’t worry if you get a reputation as a worrier because statistics prove that far too many avoidable tragedies and injuries occur in common areas like pools each year.

Grilling is Delicious and Dangerous

Of course, the pool is but one of the common areas in which summertime injuries can occur. Another spot where danger is present is the barbecue area. Many communities feature charcoal as well as gas grills for residents to use, and according to National Fire Protection Association statistics, there are more than eight thousand fires caused by summertime grilling every year.

Unfortunately, around half of the injuries caused by these fires are thermal burns – meaning that people are seriously injured to varying degrees because they are exposed to the open flames or the heat of the grills themselves.

To avoid risk of the worst injuries, the NFPA recommends that grills be located safe distances from buildings. Your community has probably already taken care of this issue, but if you believe that grills are too close to the communal area structures, present this to the board for review.

However, one thing that you can do is to make sure that children and pets are far from the grill. Their running about and attempts to snatch treats from the area can lead to serious injury. Additionally, you may want to determine if the communal grills are cleaned and maintained properly too. After all, fat buildup and clogged fuel lines are major contributors to gas or charcoal grill fires every year as well.

Finally, though it seems obvious, a grill must never be left unattended. Whether you have finished cooking and are allowing coals to die out or you have only just started it to allow it to heat up, you should never walk away and leave it without supervision.

Common Areas

In addition to pools and grilling areas, many common areas in HOAs and other communities feature lawns, playing fields, gardens, and playgrounds. During the summer months these can be home to stinging insects and creatures that might pose a threat to the safety of those nearby. Keeping a vigilant eye for such visitors is part of your responsibility as a resident. Though shared spaces are taken care of by dues and maintenance teams, they are common areas that benefit the most from safe and careful use by residents year round.

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Partner Jane Bolin is Selected to 2015 Florida Rising Stars List

florida rising stars listJane Bolin, Founding Member of leading Florida-based law firm PeytonBolin, has been named to the Florida Rising Stars List for 2015. Compiled by the Super Lawyers rating service, only two and one-half percent of the lawyers in each state are selected for this honorable distinction.

Jane F. Bolin, Managing Partner and CMO of top community association law firm PeytonBolin, has been selected for the Florida Rising Stars List of 2015. Each year, no more than two and one-half percent of attorneys in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.Jane Bolin Selected to 2015 Florida Rising Stars List

A Thomson Reuters business, Super Lawyers is a third-party rating service, which annually recognizes outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained an exceptional degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The resulting list provides a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

At PeytonBolin, PL, Real Estate & Association Attorneys, Jane Bolin’s practice is focused on association law and real property litigation. She received her B.A. in political science from Radford University, a master’s in sports management from the United States Sports Academy, and her juris doctorate from St. Thomas University School of Law. Jane is also extremely involved in the local community, active with the Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center, NSU’s H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business Entrepreneurship Council, and numerous other entrepreneurial and charitable organizations.

“I am so thrilled and humbled to be included among Florida’s Rising Stars List for 2015,” said Bolin. “I truly appreciate the honor and opportunity to represent PeytonBolin on this distinguished list of the most respected up-and-coming attorneys in the state.”

A full service real estate law firm focused on the practice of community association law, PeytonBolin is based in Fort Lauderdale with additional offices in Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tampa and West Palm Beach. The firm recently received the top distinction of a Platinum Level Readers’ Choice Award for legal services from the Florida Community Association Journal.

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.

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The Updated Florida Statutes for Homeowner Associations

New Laws for Associations Effective July 1, 2015

What should HOA members should know?

The Florida statutes for Homeowner Associations were updated on July 1, 2015 and are New Laws for Associationsnow officially in effect. These updates may change the way you and your association do things, so it’s important to understand what changes have been made and how your community will be affected. Here are some important parts of the new laws for Homeowner Associations:

Condominiums and Insurance

Per Florida Statute 718.111, previously the association or unit owners would have been responsible for the reconstruction, repair or replacement of an insured loss as determined by the declaration or bylaws but now it is limited to only the maintenance provisions. It also eliminates uninsured losses in excess of property insurance coverage as a common expense of the condominium.

Bylaws

According to Florida Statute 718.112, the electronic transmission of notices of certain meetings of a condominium association irrespective of whether authorized by the association’s bylaws.

Termination of Condominium

Florida Statute 718.117 specifies that in the case of termination of the condominium, if 10% or more of the total voting interests reject the plan of termination, the plan may not proceed. If this happens, the time required to wait before a new plan of termination is proposed to 18 months.

To read more about changes in condiminium insurance policies, bylaws and termination policies, click here (https://s3 NULL.amazonaws NULL.com/s3 NULL.systematicrevenue NULL.com/MediaFiles/5a7f8f124f0f6408ab63c728e478af1e6a56954a380ec360814f0bc8dc37789e NULL.pdf) and here (https://s3 NULL.amazonaws NULL.com/s3 NULL.systematicrevenue NULL.com/MediaFiles/b737f4b0c516f8855d4dfb1adcc728243db687e132c57c10aaba8afa26809e1f NULL.pdf).

Electronic Voting

The new Florida Statute 718.128 allows for the association to conduct elections through an internet-based online voting system as long as the unit owner consents in writing and certain requirements are met. The association has to prove each unit owner with a method to authenticate the unit owner’s identity and a method to confirm, at least 14 days before the voting deadline, that the unit owner’s electronic device can successfully communicate with the online voting system. For the elections of the board, a method to transmit the electronic ballot that ensures the secrecy and integrity of each ballot.

For more information on changes in policies regarding electronic voting, click here (https://s3 NULL.amazonaws NULL.com/s3 NULL.systematicrevenue NULL.com/MediaFiles/f91e586b8c2e74515f62107a96dc7e7c53b6980780f0da59881596883b7b804c NULL.pdf).

Appointment of an Ad Litem

Florida Statute 49.31 defines the term “ad litem” to mean an attorney, administrator, or guardian ad litem and authorizes a court to appoint an ad litem for any party upon whom service of process by publication has been properly made and who has failed to file or serve any paper in the action within the time required by law. The statute also provides actions an ad litem must take upon discovery the party it represents is already being represented or is deceased. It prohibits a court from requiring an ad litem to post a bond or designate a resident agent and requires the court to discharge an ad litem once final judgment is entered or otherwise ordered by the court.

Remedy for Unlawful Detention by a Transient Occupant of Residential Property

In Florida Statute 82.045, the term “transient occupant” is defined as a person whose residency in a dwelling intended for residential use has occurred for a brief length of time, is not pursuant to a lease and whose occupancy was intended as transient in nature. There are factors to consider whether a person is a transient occupant. The statute also provides for removal by a law enforcement officer and provides a cause of action and limiting actions for wrongful removal, as well as a civil action.

Termination of rental agreement upon foreclosure

Florida Statutes 83.561 says that a purchaser taking title to a tenant-occupied residential property following a foreclosure sale takes title to the property, subject to the rights of the tenant. It also specifies the rights of the tenant and allows the tenant to remain in possession of the property for 30 days following receipt of written notice formatted in the matter provided and delivered under the established requirements. The purchaser is authorized to apply for a writ of possession if a tenant refuses to vacate the property. Additionally, the statute provides exceptions and states a purchaser does not assume the obligations of a landlord unless the purchaser assumes the rental agreement or enters into a new one.

To know more about changes in policies regarding the appointment of an ad litem, remedies for unlawful detention by a transient occupant of residential property, and the termination of rental agreement upon foreclosure, click here (https://s3 NULL.amazonaws NULL.com/s3 NULL.systematicrevenue NULL.com/MediaFiles/49f89ffcfeb2e0e6b375b46df0830a70709c1012a2bee117730f1a9a58884cdd NULL.pdf).

For more information on the updated Florida Statutes for Homeowner Associations, contact PeytonBolin today.

 

 

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PeytonBolin Partner Joseph Giannell Named to Florida Super Lawyers List for 2015

Florida Super Lawyers List for 2015Joseph S. Giannell, Esq., Board Certified Real Estate Attorney and Partner at leading Florida-based firm PeytonBolin, has been named to the prestigious 2015 Florida Super Lawyers list.

The patented third-party rating system combines peer evaluations with independent research and evaluates candidates on 12 indicators of professional achievement and recognition. This list serves as a credible and objective resource for fellow attorneys, as well as consumers searching for outstanding lawyers. Only five percent of the attorneys in each state are selected for the exclusive list.

Florida Super Lawyers ListAt PeytonBolin, PL, Real Estate & Association Attorneys, the focus of Joseph’s practice is association law, real property litigation, and residential and commercial real estate transactions. He also teaches in the Legal Studies and Criminal Justice programs at Florida National College, where he was recently inducted into the Alpha Phi Sigma Honors Society. Joseph is active in local bar organizations, a member of the National Italian American Bar Association, and his article “The Second Amendment Through the Eyes of the Impoverished” recently published in the SRBLSA Law Journal.

“To be named among the top attorneys in the entire state of Florida through the 2015 Super Lawyers list is such an amazing honor,” said Giannell. “I am proud to represent PeytonBolin with this distinction and hope that my inclusion on this prestigious list will help us reach even more clients in need of our creative, strategic and specialized services.”

Peyton Bolin is a Florida-based, full-service real estate law firm concentrated on the practice of community association law. The firm handles residential and commercial closings, and is uniquely positioned to assist buyers and sellers with properties governed by community associations.

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.

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Why You Have Homeowner Association Dues

Community Association Dues

How to Help your Residents Accept Their HOA Dues

One of the elements that cause many people to dislike the idea of having a homeowner’s association is the fact that there are dues. However, the dues are necessary to ensure the community continues to thrive and that there is money to pay for all of the community’s needs. Without the dues, the complex could turn into chaos rather quickly. After all, the HOA dues pay for many of the cleaning and maintenance needs.

Each association is different, and so has different costs. However, there are some costs that tend to be common between all HOAs. Let’s look at some of the different costs that the HOA must cover.

City services
Insurance
Lawn care
Cleaning and maintenance
Pest control

City services include things such as sewage, trash removal, and water. Keep in mind that these elements are not always paid for with HOA dues. In some cases, they are separate bills and the homeowner will pay for them on their own.

Insurance for damage that occurs to the outside of the building, or for accidents that occur on the property is essential as well. The insurance protects the property. It is important to note that this insurance only covers the outside of the property. Owners will still need to have their own insurance for individual units and pieces of properties.

Lawn care must happen regularly to keep your community looking good. There needs to be a person, or a team in many cases that visit the property weekly to make sure the grass is cut, the bushes are trimmed, and everything looks great.

Maintenance and repairs to the exterior of the building help to keep it in shape and looking good. This can include:

Exterior painting
Painting of lines in parking lot
Pavement repairs
Maintenance of fitness center and pool

Pest control is another important issue. Many areas of the country have problems with different types of pests from rats to termites to ants. Having a company come out to provide inspection and service on a monthly basis helps to ensure that there are no unwanted pests making themselves at home on your property.

These are just some of the different items that the HOA may be responsible for paying. Without the dues, costs would have to come directly from the owners’ pockets. The HOA can often get better deals than an individual homeowner might be able to receive.

Be Transparent With the Residents

The reason that some tenants worry about paying the HOA fees is because they aren’t really sure where the money is going and what is happening with it. Therefore, it is important to be very clear about everything that happens with the money and to have a budget in place that accounts for the money. Let people know about any emergencies that occur that could require some of the money from the HOA dues.

Sometimes, you might need to raise the HOA rates, and this can cause more ire in the community. Again, transparency and making them understand the reason for the increase can go a long way in making the homeowners more accepting. Let them know the reason for the increase. For example, the price of the insurance may have increased. Perhaps the pest control company increased their rates. While it is always possible to look for other vendors, the prices might still be higher. This could necessitate a raise in the HOA dues to cover costs.

Once the residents realize all of the different things that the HOA needs to pay for, they will realize that the only way to pay for it is through their dues. If they understand why you have homeowner association dues and the services those dues allow the HOA to provide, association residents will be much more apt to support them.

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PeytonBolin Hurricane Preparation Guide

Download our Hurricane Preparation and Insurance Claims Process Guide.

PB Hurricane Prep & Insurance Claims Process June 2015

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