Beware Before You Use this Tactic to Trim Your HOA’s Budget – Tip of the Week – October 21, 2011




Beware Before You Use this Tactic to Trim Your HOA’s Budget




Looking to cut cost from your already-too-small HOA budget?

Isn’t everybody, these days?


In this week’s tip, we discuss the dangers of amending your HOA governing documents to make owners responsible for maintenance that your HOA’s been responsible for until now.


“Sure, I see this,” says Ben Solomon, an attorney and founder of the Association Law Group in Miami Beach, Fla., who advises more than 500 associations and represents developers through his second law firm, Solomon & Furshman LLP. “There’s painting, landscaping–all kinds of things HOAs are shifting to owners. It’s very unusual for those changes to be authorized post-turnover because the owners have to approve them. I see it much more where developers make those options. But I have some associations where the HOA maintains everything, and I have some where owners do everything.”

Forcing owners to cover costs that your HOA has covered until now has its appeal. You reduce the HOA’s budget and, therefore, owners’ assessments.


But homeowners may not be as good at maintenance as a good HOA would be. And spotty maintenance to limited common elements may cause problems for adjacent homeowners and the HOA in the long run.

The biggest risk, however, may be that your HOA will look less pristine. “You’re not only talking about damages that could result, but you’re talking about your community’s aesthetic beauty,” says Steven Daniels, coordinating partner of Arnstein & Lehr’s West Palm Beach, Fla., office, who has advised hundreds of HOAs. “Take our tile roofs here in Florida. Once you start steam-cleaning them, you have to clean them more often. If a typical roof here looks pretty good for six years and then you pressure-clean it, it won’t look good for another six years. It’ll look good for only three years. So now you have to clean them more often.

If owners weren’t keen on taking on that responsibility in the first place, they might not do it as often as they should. So the tiles will look dirty and hurt community values.”

Solomon agrees. “Although it’s attractive to minimize the monthly maintenance fees by passing fees to owners, it can be problematic because it will affect the community’s aesthetic uniformity,” he says. “People will be painting or patching their driveways at different times. So it definitely can have an effect on aesthetics.

And just like some owners won’t follow your rules or pay assessments, you’ll have owners not doing maintenance.

So you’ll have higher fees and fines against owners.”


And what happens if your owners don’t do the repairs?

Can your HOA do them and bill the owners?

Find out in our new article: The Pros and Cons of Transferring Maintenance Costs to HOA Owners:


Best regards,

Matt Humphrey





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Talking about Facebook |’s Notes

over there and here as well….grin


but glen beck is a total piece of work….I try to listen to fox once in a while just get the full story on some of the more notable disasters he creates as reported by Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow….it makes me loose sleep at night thinking about you sitting in front of your tv watching and listening to him…yikes!