– J & N Realty, Inc.’s HOA Managers:
1. Contracts & Orders
– Administer, subject to the approval by the Board of Directors, all contracts and assure contract compliance for the management, operation, and maintenance of the HOA, unless otherwise advised by the association’s legal counsel. Payment of contracts will not be made prior to our assurance as to the workmanship and quality of the product or service received.
– Place orders on behalf of the association for equipment, tools, appliances, materials and supplies as are required for properly maintaining the property.
– Place and keep in force, with the approval of the Board of Directors, all insurance policies adequate to protect the homeowner association property in conformance to the governing documents and federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Periodic reports and recommendations will be made to the Board regarding the adequacy of the current insurance program.
3. Operating Rules Enforcement
– Inform all owners with respect to provisions of the Operating Rules and Board Resolutions of the HOA or condominium association property.
– Enforce compliance with the provisions of the Governing Documents in a manner that is reasonable and necessary to assure conformance.
4. Property Inspection
– Inspect the entire HOA property at least monthly or as requested by the Board on special occasions. The results of the inspections will be recorded and made part of the homeowner association’s files.
– Inventory at least once per year of the homeowner association’s physical property, such as furniture, tools, office equipment, and appliances.
– Make recommendations to the Board regarding the serviceability of the items on the inventory and recommend disposition of the unserviceable and replacement thereof where appropriate.
– Make recommendations for capital improvements and make any other recommendations as may be appropriate for the improvement and wellbeing of the Association.
– J & N Realty, Inc. also provides lien preparation and recording services, assessment and judgment collection services, non-judicial foreclosure services, and Small Claims Court filing and representation services for its HOA and Condo clients. A notary public and a registered process serves are also members of our outstanding staff. We are a “one-stop” management company: we do all property and HOA management related services, other than judicial foreclosure, in-house. We have close professional relationships with legal counsels that are specialized in HOA and Condo association law. By offering various activities and services under one centralized management and supervision, we can save HOA and Condo associations a significant amount of money by eliminating overlapping efforts and by being able to maintain better control over the outcome of such activities and services.
– J & N Realty, Inc.’s property managers are honest and forthright in all aspects of their professional dealings and do not misrepresent, either by affirmative statement or material omission, facts that are deemed in any way significant to the operation and management of the Association.
– HOA and Condo managers honor all client confidences and treat the business affairs and records of the client as confidential unless directed or authorized otherwise by the Board of Directors or competent authority. Property managers refuse to make available to business vendors the names and telephone numbers of the members of an association without prior consent of a majority of the Board of Directors of the homeowner or condominium association.
Limiting members’ right to lease their units
Condominium associations generally prefer that members occupy their own units rather than lease them to others. The main concerns HOAs have regarding renters that they will not take good care of the units they are renting and that will not follow the rules of the homeowners association.
If your condo shares these concerns, you can pass a lease restriction bylaw limiting the number of units at your HOA that can be leased at any one time.
Guidelines for business use of units
For years, homeowners associations that wanted to preserve the residential nature of their community have banned all business use of the members’ units. This might have made sense 20 years ago, but with the proliferation of telecommuters, Internet businesses, and home computers and fax machines, it no longer does.
Still, many condominium associations continue to use the same ban as they have in the past. This ban tends to forbid all business use of the units at any time. Setting a total ban on business use can create a variety of problems. Instead, HOAs should create specific rules that account for things like telecommuting and other business uses that do not have a negative effect on condominium life.
Train staff on what not to say about incidents
While one of your employees assists the victim of a crime or accident at your homeowners association, he could unintentionally say something that may back to hunt you if the victim later sues. For example, the employee might speculate on what caused the incident or say something like “It was our fault,” to make the victim feel better. To avoid this danger, tell your employees what not to say to a victim or to the attorneys or investigators who may later seek to interview them.
A model memo with instruction should be issued to employees of the condominium. Distribute the memo to your employee, and periodically remind them of it when you review community procedures with them.
The memo should instruct HOA employees not to volunteer information or opinions about an incident, not to comment without authorization from the manager, and to refer a victim with questions to the manager of the condominium.
Adverse action notice that complies with FCRA
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires you to notify applicants and residents in writing when you take adverse or unfavorable action against them – for example, reject their application – based on information you learn from a consumer report. Many managers and boards are not aware of the FCRA’s adverse notice requirements. Noncompliance with those requirements could lead to lawsuits by applicants and federal and state agencies.
The FCRA requires that you must include the following information in your adverse action notices: (a) the name, address, and telephone number of the consumer reporting agency that supplied the consumer report (including a toll-free number for those agencies that maintain files nationwide); (b) a statement that the consumer reporting agency that supplied the report did not make the decision to take adverse action and is unable to supply specific reasons for it; (c) a statement explaining the prospect’s or resident’s right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information the consumer reporting agency furnished, and a statement explaining the prospect’s or resident’s right to a free report form the consumer reporting agency upon request within 60 days of receiving the adverse action notice.
Warning about July 4th Injuries
Fireworks are commonly used in Fourth of July celebrations but can be extremely dangerous, can cause blindness, burns, and even death to people who use or stand near them. They can also damage the homeowners association community and landscaping, especially in hot, dry July weather. Fireworks are illegal in some states.
Because of the risks association with fireworks, HOA boards and managers should do everything that they can to keep fireworks out of the condo community. One stop is to send condominium members a notice listing the risks of using fireworks.
To elderly member – Inability to care for himself endangers HOA community
What to do when a condominium association member is no longer able to care for himself and, as a result, is putting himself, his neighbors, and condo property in danger?
On one hand, it is risky for the townhome community to overstep its bounds. On the other hand, the safety and the welfare of the townhouse members can be at stake.
Sometimes, communicating with a condo association member directly will be enough to solve the problem. He might have grown forgetful with age but still be aware and rational enough to talk to. However, if you are going to communicate with a condominium association member, do not just make a phone call. Send a letter to that member, explaining how the member’s behavior is endangering him, his neighbors, and the community. For relevant situations, also explain that his behavior is a violation of the community association’s governing documents. Finally, offer to help put the member in touch with caregivers or anyone else who might be of help.
Protect from Liability for Members’ Bodily Injury
By holding a member vote to pass a CC&Rs amendment, giving a homeowners association what attorneys call “tort immunity,” HOAs in some states may be able to prevent member from suing them for personal injury that the condo members claim is a result of the homeowners association’s negligence. A condominium association with tort immunity cannot be sued by HOA members for bodily injury unless the HOA’s actions were more than just negligent; that is, unless its actions were intentional or reckless.
Compel Members to Care for “High-Risk Components”
When a domestic hot water heater breaks in a HOA member’s unit, it can cause thousands of dollars of damage to adjoining units. The same can be said of a washing machine hose or a polybutalene pipe. A faulty smoke detector can lead to consequences that are even more severe. It is the condo member’s responsibility to maintain, repair, and replace these high-risk components.
Even townhouse or planned unit development communities of freestanding homes need to make sure that high-risk components within individual condo units are properly maintained if the HOA has a master insurance policy. In fact, if these components falter and lead to claims, your homeowners association could lose its insurance or have to pay a lot of more to keep it.
To insure that a high-risk component located in your condominium members’ units are properly maintained, give your homeowners association the authority to compel proper care of them. To do this, write an amendment to your CC&Rs that sets a policy enabling the board to compel HOA members to take proper care of “high-risk components” in their units.
Letter to Member to Gather Information about Construction Defects
One of the more complex issues that community associations face is what to do when construction defects are discovered. There are many types of defects that can occur – from improper land grading that result in leaks into building basements to terrace railing that are in danger of falling.
Although dealing with construction defects can be difficult, it is important to notify the HOA members of the property of the defect and the steps you are taking to resolve the problem. At the same time, it is also advisable to ask the condo members about other defects that may exist but of which you are unaware.
The letter should notify condo members of a construction defect in a unit or several units, ask HOA members to tell you about other defects that might exist, and tell homeowners association members what steps the common interest association will taking in response to the problem.
The letter should also notify property owners of a construction defect in a common area and of defects that constitute a dangerous situation. Tell HOA members that the community association has already hired an engineer (if applicable) and give members safety precautions to take to avoid harm.
Checklist for Inspecting Interior Common Areas for Safety Hazards
As part of your homeowners association’s risk management program, it is a good idea to have your maintenance staff check the property’s interior areas regularly for safety hazards, and to immediately correct any they finds. Ten-minute inspections, performed on a regular basis by a variety of people (to get the benefit of different perspectives) could prevent injury to HOA members, residents, and visitors. It could also limit the townhome or townhouse property’s liability in case an injury does occur.
A checklist can help to guide interior inspection and provide a record of repairs that were made. Place common interior hazards on the checklist that are the main sources of liability lawsuits. Have your staff members get in the habit of using the checklist whenever they inspect interior common area property at your condominium. It helps them remember to inspect for those likely causes of injuries, and gives you a record of when the common area property was last inspected. The checklist can also be used to show a court that you took reasonable care by inspecting your common areas regularly for hazards and correcting any you found.
J & N Realty, Inc. — real estate, property, planned unit development (PUD), townhouse, townhome, hoa, condo, condominium, homeowner association, common interest development (CID) management services in Los Angeles.