Author Archives: hoaleader

Exclusive Special Report on HOA Reserves, Special Assessments, Loans & More: A Homeowners Association Board Member’s Guide to HOA Funding Options

The best-run HOAs have boards that are smart with money. Those boards manage their owners’ money with care, and when they have unplanned projects that require additional funding, they’re equally methodical and thoughtful.

What do those boards do that’s so smart? They explore every funding option, starting with well-known ideas like drawing on reserves, taking out a loan, or passing a special assessment. Then they unearth funding options that few HOA board members know about, like contractor funding and government grants. They know the factors to consider when weighing each option and how to present each choice in a way that allows owners to also make educated decisions if they’re involved in the decision making. If they run into roadblocks in funding HOA projects, they regroup and try again because they understand their fiduciary duty to operate in the best interest of the HOA, even if the members are reluctant to dig into their pockets for necessary funding. Finally, they have a pulse on their reserves so it’s always available for that rainy day, even if the HOA has just emerged from a financial storm.

In this special report, you’ll discover tips and guidance on funding options from’s expert contributors—professionals who’ve devoted their careers to serving and advising homeowners associations. Governing documents and state laws vary, but this information will help you understand how your association can meet all of its financial needs—and thrive.

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HOA Reserves Special Report CoverDownload now »

      Table of Contents
      HOA Finances: 8 Options for Funding Expensive Projects 1      
      HOA Funding Options: Is It Time for a Special Assessment?
4 Factors to Consider
      Helping Owners Fund a Special Assessment 7      
      HOA Communications: Tips for “Selling” a Special Assessment 11      
      HOA Special Assessment Didn’t Pass? 4 Tactics to Consider 15      
      Homeowners Association Funding Options: 7-Point Checklist When Considering Using Your HOA’s Reserves 18      
      HOA Reserve Studies: What You Need to Know 22      
      Four Tips for HOA Reserve Studies: When and How to Do a Reserve Study Right 25      
      HOA Finances: Tips for Handling Your Reserve Account 27      
      HOA Reserve Funds: The Pros and Cons of Underfunding Reserves 30      
      HOA Funding Options: Should Your Homeowners Association Take Out a Loan? 6 Factors to Consider 33      
      HOA Financial Matters: Lean Times May Call for Loans 36      

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Special Report Explains HOA Leader Roles and Duties

We’re hearing from a growing number of association members who want more detail about their responsibilities—or who want an easy way to educate their newly elected fellow board members about what, exactly, board members do. What’s the president supposed to do? How about the vice president, secretary, and treasurer?

In this exclusive special report, we provide you with insight that will guide your board and officers in their day-to-day roles. We explain each officer’s duties and responsibilities, discuss where officers sometimes get confused about their roles, and provide guidance on how officers and directors can make sure they’re fulfilling their duties while not stepping on others’ toes.

As always, when it comes to issues of legal compliance for HOAs, it is important to remember that each state has its own rules, and you should consult with an attorney or other professional as to the appropriate steps for your specific situation.

Our goal for this report, as for all information products, is to help make your association a better run organization and help make you a better leader for your community. I am confident that you will find concrete ideas you can put to work in your condo or homeowners association.

— Matt Humphrey, President/Founder

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  HOA Leadership Roles and Duties

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Kristen Rosenbeck Contributor Page Launched

We’re very pleased to announce that Kristen Rosenbeck’s contributor page is now available, highlighting the articles (31 to date) to which she has generously added her expert insight.

Kristen  is a Partner with Mulcahy Law Firm, P.C. Kristen graduated from Valparaiso University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology where she actively supported her school as the Student Body President. Kristen graduated in the top third of her law class receiving her Juris Doctor degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kristen is licensed to practice law in both the State of Wisconsin and the State of Arizona.

Kristen’s legal practice focuses on the representation of hundreds of residential community associations and office condominium associations throughout the State of Arizona.

You can view her full bio at the firm’s website.

Go to Kristen’s page and view the articles »

HOA Management Companies – Brand-New Special Report for HOA Boards

We’re proud to announce the release of the latest exclusive Special Report from

HOA Management Companies: A Practical Guide for Homeowners Association Boards

This report helps homeowners association boards make smart decisions when working with an HOA management company. Whether you’re hiring, firing or just trying to work well with an HOA manager, you’ll find practical tips and advice on best practices that will help make your job easier and your home owners association or condominium association more successful.

See the table of contents below.

Members (and trial members) of can download it now for free.

Your HOA Board of Directors hasn’t signed up for membership yet? Maybe now’s the time to sign up for a trial membership.

  Table of Contents  
  HOA Governance: Making the Outside-Managed vs.
Self-Managed Decision
  5 Rules to Live By for Self-Managed Homeowners Associations 4  
  Do You Need to Hire an On-site Manager for Your
Homeowners Association?
  7 Tips for Choosing the Right HOA Management Company 10  
  5 Questions to Ask Your Manager about Your Homeowner
Association’s Finances
  5 Must-Have Clauses in Your HOA Management Contract 15  
  HOA Management Contracts: 5 Cause-for-Pause Clauses 19  
  Best Practices for Working with Your HOA Management Company 23  
  4 Tips to Get Top Service from Your HOA Management Company 25  
  9 Responsibilities HOA Boards Shouldn’t Delegate to a Manager 27  
  Why Your HOA Board—Not Your Manager—Must Authorize Liens 30  
  Does Your Management Company Have Conflicts of Interest? 32  
  HOA Management Fees: Beware These Questionable Fees;
How Your Association Can Address Them
  Should You Fire Your HOA Manager? 5 Tips on How to Decide
If It?s Time

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Lisa Magill New Contributor Page

We’re very pleased to announce the new contributor page for Lisa A. Magill.

Lisa has provided her excellent commentary to more than two dozen articles. She is a shareholder Becker & Poliakoff’s Community Association Law Practice Group in the Ft. Lauderdale office.

We’d also like to congratulate Lisa on being recognized as “Legal Elite” in 2005, 2006 and 2011 by Florida Trend. This award is bestowed upon less than 2% of the attorneys licensed to practice in Florida.

You can view Lisa’s full bio on the firm’s website. Website Server Maintenance

Today, (Sunday May 1, 2011),  the site will be down while our host does some work on the server.

Users will experience an interruption for several hours. Everything should return to normal by Monday morning.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

– Matt


Matt Humphrey
Plain-English Media, LLC
Publisher of

Help for your entire HOA board

Right now, you have a special opportunity to improve your board’s understanding of HOA management best practices. That’s because for a limited time, all members of can take advantage of a complimentary upgrade to group membership.

With a group membership, the rest of your HOA or condo board–up to 9 additional members–will get their own member accounts.

Each board member gets his or her own log in, providing access to every aspect of, including:

  • expert advice about smart HOA management practices
  • discussion forum with access to other HOA board members across the country and members of our expert community who understand the challenges you face
  • tips for protecting your association (and yourself) from risk
  • tactics for making your job as an HOA leader easier and more rewarding
  • and much more

Yes, you can add up to 9 additional members of your board for no additional cost. It’s a no-brainer!

Make your job easier. Help the rest of your board get up to speed on HOA management best practices by adding them to your membership today for no cost.

Already a member? Create complimentary accounts for the other members of your HOA board now.

Not a member yet? Sign up now with our low individual rates and then add your fellow board members for no additional cost.

HOA Sample Policies Special Report — Brand-New

We are excited to announce the release of our latest special report, HOA Policies: 17 Sample Policies Every Homeowners Association Board of Directors Should Consider.

HOA Policies is another special report that is free to members of

Below you can read the table of contents. Each section in this 50+ page report includes an explanation of why the policy is important and aspects of the policy HOA boards should consider.

We lay the groundwork for your board to draft policies and procedures governing a broad scope of association life by providing you with 17 sample policies released exclusively to you by’s expert contributors. Governing documents and state laws vary, but these samples can serve as a baseline for you to work with your attorney to craft policies that comply with your governing documents and state laws.

Members can download the report here.

(Not a member yet? Sign up for a trial membership.)

Table of Contents

Financial Oversight Policies
1. Assessment Collection Policies   2
     a. Sample 1: Late Fees and Collection Policy   3
     b. Sample 2: Assessment Collection Policy   4
2. Insurance Deductible Policy   9
3. Rentals: Background Check Certification   10
4. Rentals: Hardship Exception to a Ban on Rentals   13
5. Violation And Fine Policies   15
     a. Sample 1: Violation and Fine Policy   15
     b. Sample 2: Enforcement And Due Process Policy   21
Governance Policies
1. Architectural Control Policy   25
2. Standards and Procedures for Committees   28
3. Document Retention Policy   30
4. Email Policy   33
5. Model Code of Conduct for Board Members   34
6. Model Code of Conduct for Homeowners   37
7. Pet Policy   40
8. Resolution Regarding Executive Session   44
9. Rules for Recording Meetings   47
10. Towing Policy   50