Understanding Different Types of Condo Insurance and Claims

Insurance claims have been growing. One common issue that arises is who is responsible- the association or the owner- when damage occurs. Whether the association’s master policy, or a unit owner’s HO6 policy will be covering the damage can be answered in the Condominium Association’s Governing Documents, Declarations or Bylaws. These are the documents that define what the association or owner is responsible for. Generally speaking, condominium declarations or bylaws usually take the position tha [...]

Planning and Budgeting for HOA Roof Replacements

Roofing is one of the costliest expenditures for any property. Carefully considering the full scope of the job at the beginning stages will help minimize unforeseen expenses. The ideal scenario is hiring an architect, engineer, or consultant, especially for a large roof replacement project, to offer peace of mind and minimize liability. But this particular expense, along with building permitting fees and performance bonds, are almost always overlooked when setting aside roof replacement reserves [...]

Should You Upgrade Your Vacation Rental Condo?

Travelers expect a certain level of updated décor, cleanliness and amenities when they book a vacation rental property. Fair or not, they will compare your rental to the level of living in their own home. Dated, worn out or poorly working household appliances and furnishings send up red flags to travelers and could prevent them from rebooking the rental. According to various vacation rentals’ guest feedback, there are seven common recommendations for improving your vacation rentals. Living room [...]

How Condominium Associations Can Finance Capital Projects

Aging condominium buildings are common across Hawaii, which is a growing concern in the aftermath of the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Florida. This preventable tragedy is being traced back to repair and maintenance issues. Like Florida, Hawaii structures are equally susceptible to high humidity and damaging salt air.  Since Hawaii is a very expensive place to live, there is often a mindset keeping HOA fees to a minimum. Budgeting for major capital improvements of significant [...]

Additional Transient Accommodations Tax Begins Nov. 1

It just got a little more expensive to stay in a hotel or vacation rental in Maui County. Bill 101- creating a 3% transient accommodations tax, unanimously passed the Maui County Council on October 1st.  The MCTAT is levied at a rate of 3 percent on every taxpayer that has taxable gross short-term rental proceeds and/or total fair market rental value attributable to the County of Maui. The MCTAT is imposed in addition to the State TAT, which is currently levied at a rate of 10.25 percent. Maui’s [...]

Are Hawaii’s Tall Buildings at Risk?

Last month’s collapse of a condo building in Florida is bringing up questions about building safety and insurance in Hawaii. Tower collapse risks are extremely low. However, Hawaii buildings are affected by salt air and close proximity to the ocean- some of the same stresses that might have contributed to the Florida collapse. Unlike Florida, large structures in Hawaii are not required to be re-inspected or certified after they are built and approved. This gap has surfaced in the past, including [...]

How D&O Coverage Protects an Association

Volunteers are the lifeblood of every home owners association and other organizations; without these leaders the vital work of the group couldn’t move forward. But as with anything, a misdirection or certain actions could lead to claims of wrongdoing. To protect association directors and officers against such claims and allow them to make the best decisions for the association they represent, a specific type of liability insurance is recommended- Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance. D&amp [...]

Understanding Maui’s Tiered Property Tax Changes

The Maui County Council began considering a tiered tax rate system back in 2018. The tiered scheme for property taxes was initially proposed to increase income from second homes and investment properties, which many have said aggravates Maui County’s housing crisis. There was much media coverage and hearings over the next two years, ultimately passing two resolutions in December of 2019. A subsequent resolution provides a tax exemption for property owners with long-term rentals. However, it was [...]

Vacation Rental Occupancy on the Rise

If Maui streets seem a little more crowded, that is because more tourists are arriving on island. This has resulted in some rebound for the vacation rental market. Overall, hawaii vacation rentals were nearly 50% occupied last month, according to data released Wednesday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. According to HTA’s monthly Hawaii Vacation Rental Performance Report, vacation rentals throughout the state were 49.8% occupied in February. The figure marks a 34 percentage-point year-over-year d [...]

Create a Post-Pandemic HOA Strategy Plan

There are two paths forward for home owners’ associations in 2021. One is to plan for a return to “business as usual” post pandemic. Another is to re-energize and adapt your HOA to be better equipped for the future through strategic planning. Why Create or Revisit a Strategy Plan? In short, strategic planning involves goal setting, including long-term plans for your community and the path to get there. It allows directors to detach from the issues of day-to-day association management, revisit yo [...]

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