In the past, paying bills meant getting out the checkbook, sending a check and wondering if it made it to its final destination. Now, more and more people are turning to online payments because of their great benefits. Check out these three reasons you have to use e-payments for associate dues and other bills. Continue reading
Running an HOA is challenging, especially when community members are difficult. The best way to overcome these challenges is through good communication between the board and residents. When there is good communication, residents understand the rules and reasons, and they are more inclined to come speak when they have a comment or suggestion. Continue reading
Your association is a business, and businesses needs great brands to keep customers coming back. A brand is what helps homeowners understand what living in your neighborhood is like. A brand full of youth and excitement attracts younger homeowners, while a brand focusing on family and kids attracts families. Check out these four tips to help you build the perfect brand for your association. Continue reading
Living in an HOA really is a community effort. Bulk expenses, such as keeping the common areas looking great come out of the dues paid by the residents, making it everyone’s responsibility. However, in many cases, different residents pay different amounts. Can these expenses be divided equally amongst homeowners? Continue reading
HOAs have the right to regulate their communities, but does that mean they have the right to ban sex offenders? Nobody wants a sex offender in their back yard, but there are both pros and cons to banning sex offenders. Continue reading
The holidays are coming! That means it’s time for potlucks, family get-togethers, and lots and lots of cooking. Many HOAs will be having community potlucks, giving residents a chance to show off their cooking skills and share tasty recipes with their neighbors. For anyone who wants to take part in these annual events but is worried that their cooking skills aren’t quite up to standard, there’s a new piece of technology, Drop (getdrop.com), that will help them find great recipes, prepare them to perfection, and then share them with the world. Continue reading
A recent ruling by the Second District Court of Appeal of Florida may have a big impact on how community associations go about settling debts with delinquent homeowners. This ruling found that if an association settles a check for less than the amount owed that is also accompanied by communication indicating that that check is meant to satisfy the debt in full, then the association is agreeing to accept the smaller amount as a full settlement of the debt. Obviously, HOAs (especially those in Florida) should take this ruling into account when dealing with collections of past-due assessments and fees.
While this ruling is new, it may be used as legal precedent in the future. This means that HOAs hands may be further tied in the future, preventing them from accepting partial payment from recalcitrant owners without giving up their right to take further action against them.
It also means that associations need to tread very carefully when accepting payments. Not only should they check all correspondence that accompanies partial payments of past due fees, but they should also consult with legal council to make sure that they are not setting themselves up for a future finding that they have accepted a settlement amount that they did not intend to be payment in full.
What HOAs Can Do
The first thing that HOAs should do is, obviously, not accept any payments with the statement that it is meant to be payment in full unless a settlement agreement has actually been reached. This is good practice to begin with, but in light of this recent ruling, it is even more important to reject these kinds of payments, or at least take extra measures that one party insisting the debt is now settled without further agreement does not tie the association’s hands.
Secondly, community associations should also seriously consider using a debt collection agency to handle the recovery of past due fees. While this does cost money, it will generally cost less than other legal action that might have to be taken. Additionally, contracting out to specialists in handling debts means that the settlement procedures will be handled by parties who understand the rules, saving the agency time in legal consultation and reducing the chance of costly mistakes being made.
To keep up with the lastest industry topics follow our blog!
HOAs have long complained about how difficult it can be to collect delinquent fees that they are owed by homeowners who rent out their homes. In response, some states have taken action to allow HOAs to demand payment from the tenants of properties that have past due rent or fees, even though they are not technically the ones who have an agreement with the association.
While many HOAs are breathing a sigh of relief that they now have more avenues to recoup their losses and put pressure on delinquent accounts, these laws have also created a situation where the people being held responsible are technically innocent parties that have been put in the middle of a conflict they may have no control over. Despite this, some associations are resorting to booting residents’ cars, even those owned by tenants and not delinquent owners. Is this going too far? Continue reading
While Facebook, Google+, and Twitter may be the social media sites that get the most press, LinkedIn has become an incredibly valuable online tool for businesses. The all-business social media site is geared entirely toward professional marketing and networking, and provides many tools for property management companies to grow their businesses. Continue reading
A new year is coming, which means it is time for planning out new budgets. Careful budget planning is incredibly important for a community association, as it determines how much money they will have to collect from residents and what projects and services it will be able to complete. Continue reading