Enjoying The Holidays In Your Community Association

 

Enjoying the Holidays in Your Community Association

The holidays are just around the corner, and for many that means lots of festivities with family and friends. It is important that residents who are hosting celebrations within their Community Association be considerate not only of their neighbors, but also to take note of their Community Association’s Rules. A complete listing of your Community Association Rules and Regulations can be found in your Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs), but here are a few key items to remember during the holiday season:

Outdoor Decorations:

Many people like to decorate the outside of their homes and front yards, but before you start to hang the decorative lights along the side of your home, take a look at your Community Association’s  CC&Rs to find out the guidelines for outdoor decorations, as well as the guidelines for flags and signs if you plan on decorating with those items as well. This will help make sure your outdoor winter wonderland isn’t in violation with the Community Association.

Parties:

If you plan on hosting a large get-together or party, you should remember to keep the noise to a minimum, and wind the party down at a reasonable time. Remember to check your CC&Rs to find out what the Community Association deems acceptable noise levels, when are the quiet hours, as well as guidelines for hosting parties.

Parking:

The holidays bring many people together, which means that means extra cars will need to be parked in your Community Association. To make sure your home is not in violation of the Rules and Regulations, look at the CC&Rs to find out the Rules on visitor parking in your Community Association, including where they can park and what kind of parking passes they may need.

Following your  Community Association’s Rules and Regulations will help ensure that everyone can enjoy this special time of year. Stay safe and have a wonderful holiday season!

 

Association Board of Directors

Conducting a Positive Association Board of Directors Meeting

 

Conducting a Positive Association Board of Directors Meeting

Preparing for and conducting a monthly Meeting of the Board of Directors for a Homeowners or Condominium Association can be a challenging task. Board Members bring a variety of personalities, educational backgrounds, and business styles to their monthly Association Board of Directors meeting. The main goal for the Association Board of Directors meeting is to discuss and vote on the list of topics on the agenda. Decisions and discussions should be conducted in a timely manner with the Association’s best interest being the end result. Six tips to help facilitate a productive Association Board of Directors meeting with positive outcomes:

  1. Agenda Items: Two weeks before a meeting send out an email asking the Association’s Board of Directors for items they would like put on the agenda. Set a deadline for submission.
  2. Get Prepared: Once you have your topics for the meeting, gather information on those issues so that you are prepared to answer any questions related to the topics. Share information with the Association Board of Directors ahead of time so they can become familiar with the issue and get questions out of the way prior to the meeting. Sometimes topics can be discussed and resolved prior to the meeting via email.
  3. Time stamp your agenda. Meetings should run an Hour and a half to two hours at the most. Any more than that and  decisions are made too quickly.
  4. Board Packet: Send the entire board packet (Agenda, Minutes, Proposals, Contracts, Financial Reports, etc.) out at least 3 days ahead of time so the Board has a chance to review the information. Make sure you remind the Board of the date and time of the meeting.
  5. Follow the agenda. Stay on topic, and watch your time. If members go off topic, gently redirect back. If a topic is taking up a lot of time and going nowhere, that issue can be tabled to the end of the meeting or continued to the next meeting. Take good notes! Use an Action item list and write down what you need to do. Transfer those items onto your task list on the computer the following day and review daily.
  6. If members are talking over each other, arguing, or getting agitated, raise your hand. Once you get their attention, take a break. Have light refreshments available so members get a drink and cool down. This gives you the manager time to process and work on a resolution. When you reconvene, start by reviewing and confirming each member’s position. Offer additional information or suggestions even if that is to table the discussion until more information is obtained. Express your respect for each position. When all else fails, find a way to make them laugh. Humor is a great way to defuse a situation and bring things back into perspective.

A happy Board is a productive Board!

Submitted By:

K.C. Bernardine Property Manager    

 

Pool Safety in Your Association

Pool Safety in Your Association

Summer is just around the corner and swimming is one of the many activities people love to enjoy in their Condominium or Homeowners Association. If you live in an Association with a swimming pool you probably enjoy using it, especially if you have children. While your Homeowners Association wants to make sure all of their residents and guests have fun in and around the water, their top priority is safety. It is important that you review your Association’s pool rules and become familiar with them. In order to help keep everyone safe you need to follow the pool rules for your Homeowners Association.

Pool rules promote safety, but safety is largely up to you: it is important to take precautions, follow the rules and be prepared for emergencies.

  • Make sure you, your family and your guests know how to swim properly. If you do not, there are plenty of swimming classes for people of all ages.
  • Always supervise children while they are around the pool, no matter how well they can swim. It only takes one misstep for someone to get hurt.
  • Take note where the reach pole, emergency phone and life preservers are located in the pool area.
  • Most importantly, consider learning CPR if you haven’t already. This simple life-saving technique could save a life should an accident occur.

There’s plenty of fun to be had at the pool, and knowing how to stay safe in the water will help make this a great summer. For more safety tips, go to www.poolsafely.gov.

PENCO Management has the expertise to deal with various issues that your Homeowners or Condominium Association may encounter on a daily basis. Our company provides Property Management services to New Castle, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Bucks, and Lancaster Counties.

 

Save Your Condominium Association Money

Save Your Condominium Association Money

Your  Homeowner or Condominium Association depends upon the timely receipt of your monthly assessments from the homeowners in order to meet its financial obligations. When the Board approves your community’s budget, it assumes two things: the amount of income must equal the amount of expenses, and, that each homeowner will pay his or her maintenance assessment in a timely manner. If one or the other fails to happen, it then leads to a cash flow problem, which usually results in costing everyone more money in the long run.

Your Homeowners or Condominium Association depends entirely upon the monthly assessments to pay its bills (insurance, landscapers, water, electricity, gas, management, etc.). Every time homeowners are delinquent in paying their assessments it creates a “cash flow shortage” that may prevent the  Homeowners or Condominium Association from paying its bills on time. There is no other source of income available to make up for the shortage. If the Homeowners or Condominium Association “borrows” money from the capital reserves to pay for operating expenses, it is still required to pay it back, which in turn creates even more expenses.

Even when a few homeowners fail to pay their assessments on time it ends up costing all of the residents more money. That is because since most of your community’s expenses are predetermined, the only way to make up for a cash flow problem is to increase the amount of money coming in, or raise your monthly assessment amount. Everyone can take part in keeping their Community’s expenses down, and one of the best ways is to make sure that your monthly assessment check is sent on time!

PENCO Management has the expertise to deal with various issues that your Homeowners or Condominium Association may encounter on a daily basis. Our company provides Property Management services to New Castle, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Bucks, and Lancaster Counties.

The Importance of Cleaning Up After Your Pet

Dealing with dog waste is a subject that every pet owner must deal with, but no one likes to discuss. In addition to being a nuisance, uncollected dog waste is a serious problem for any Association. Canine waste is the greatest source of potential health risk for your pet and your family. Next time you are tempted to leave your dog’s droppings on the sidewalk, playgrounds, common areas, or walking path remember these important facts:

1. The Environmental Protection Agency is becoming aggressive about enforcing the Clean Water Act. Your Association could be fined if dog waste remains uncollected.

2. Uncollected dog waste may lead to a special assessment. If fined by the EPA, the Association could face a potential special assessment that would be levied against all residents—not just dog owners.

3. The appearance and quality of the common areas are known to affect home sales—not just whether and for how much they sell, but how quickly.

4. Uncollected dog waste spreads disease and attracts rodents who feed on pet waste. In addition, your dog can spread or contract serious viruses through infected feces. It is your responsibility to clean up after your pet every time they go to the bathroom. Don’t make your responsibility somebody else’s problem.

PENCO Management has the skills and experience to deal with various issues that your Association may encounter on a daily basis. Our company provides Property Management services to New Castle, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Bucks, and Lancaster Counties.

Reserve Fund

Reserve Fund – Why Does Your Community Need One?

Reserve Fund – Why Does Your Community Need One?

Many homeowners continue to ask the question why does their Community need a reserve fund?

Major components such as a pool, playground equipment, roofs, or siding must be replaced from time to time, regardless of whether or not the Community Association plans for the expense. It is in the Community Association’s best interest to set aside the reserve fund account now. Money contributed to the reserve fund is not an additional expense—it simply spreads out the expenses more evenly. There are other important reasons that Association monies should be put into a reserve fund every month:

Having a reserve fund will meet legal, fiduciary, and professional requirements. A replacement reserve fund may be required by:

• Any secondary mortgage market in which the Association participates
• State statutes, regulations, or court decisions
• The Community’s governing documents

An adequate reserve fund will provide for major repairs and replacements that  will be necessary at some point in time. Although a roof may be replaced when it is 25 years old, every owner who lives under or around it should share in its replacement costs.

Incorporating a reserve fund into your Community will minimize the need for a special assessment or loan for capital improvement projects. For most Association members, this is the most important reason.

It should also be noted that the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) requires the Community Association to disclose its reserve fund balance in its financial statements.

Enhanced resale values are just one of the added bonuses for Communities which have a healthy reserve fund balance. Lenders and real estate agents are aware of the ramifications for new buyers if the reserves are inadequate. Many states require Associations to disclose the amounts in their reserve fund to prospective purchasers.

PENCO Management can assist your Association with managing your current replacement reserves to help ensure that these funds are accessible as needed. Our company services New Castle, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Bucks, and Lancaster Counties and has the property management experience needed to successfully maintain your Community for years to come.