Protect Your Home, Yourself, and Your Property

You may feel some assurance living near neighbors or in a housing development or condominium complex. Your neighbors look out for each other, keeping an eye on one another so you feel “safe.” But make no mistake- you ultimately are responsible for your own safety. While we can often depend on each other for help, we still must take our own measures to protect what is important to us – our families and our property. If your association has a security force, remember they should keep an eye out fo [...]

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 [...]

5 Most Common HOA Landscaping and Gardening Policies

There is just something rejuvenating about having well-tended foliage around our living spaces. If you’re a Homeowners Association board member or a property manager for an HOA, you probably get questions about plants and other landscaping policies. Residents want to understand what they can and can’t do. Rules vary widely from association to association, and this can confuse homeowners. If they’ve looked into their HOA’s landscaping or garden policies, they may not understand fully how rules ap [...]

The Benefits of a Good HOA Maintenance Plan

The exterior of an association property or neighborhood gives people their first impression. Pleasing, well-maintained grounds and common areas are a sign that a property is probably well taken care of overall. With the increasing popularity of an internet “drive by,” curb appeal has become even more important making people want to “stop” and browse a property’s amenities, and imagine themselves living there. Paying attention to the exterior of a property is one of the most important roles of th [...]

4 Ways to Avoid HOA Conflicts of Interest

As a fiduciary in a community association, each board member is expected to act in the best interests of all residents, and act responsibly in carrying out their duties. This protects both the association and board. However, if they do not fulfill their fiduciary obligations to the association, such as not disclosing a conflict of interest regarding a board action, they will be held accountable for their actions. Fiduciary Protections By adhering to fiduciary duties, HOA board members are protec [...]

Construction in an HOA Unit: Think About a Pre-construction Meeting

Ultimately every unit in an HOA development will be remodeled or have construction work at some point. It is a good idea for both the association and the homeowner to a pre-construction meeting to ensure everyone who will be affected is informed and that the project will move along smoothly. What is a preconstruction meeting? Generally speaking, a pre-construction meeting helps assure a smooth transition from design and proposal to construction. It should be held after an owner has notified thei [...]

2021 HOA Legislation and Policy Review

We often turn to our membership in the Community Association Institute (CAI) in order to stay abreast of legislation and policy trends related to HOAs, both nationally as well as relevant news from the Hawaii Chapter. 2021 was a big year! We are providing this year in review so that our community associations can check in on national activities and trends that can affect HOAs everywhere. Here is CAI's top ten posts from 2021. Happy New Year! CAI Releases Public Policy Recommendations to Improve [...]

Waiver of Subrogation Explained

Often, you will hear the term subrogation when dealing with association vendors and their workers’ compensation policies. If a painting contractor trips while working on your property, who will pay for his injury? Would your general liability policy cover him since he was hurt on your property, the painting company’s workers’ compensation policy because the painter was injured while working, or both policies? When there is an accident on property, a third party, such as an insurance company, cou [...]

Does Your HOA Have Holiday Decor Rules?

The holidays are officially upon us. Does your association have rules on visible décor and lighting? Rulemaking can be a quandary. If you allow displays for some, you have to allow for all. Or the other option, none. Either way can be challenging. Fortunately the Community Associations Institute has developed sample holiday and religious display guidelines that are easy for residents to follow and simple to enforce. Here are a few of CAI’s tips. Board Members Ask residents whether they believe y [...]

Different Types of Community Associations in Hawaii

Think of your community association as a small town that offers services to owners and residents. Owners become members when they purchase their unit and have obligations to the association. Leaders are elected to govern on issues in the best interests of the members, collect assessments, and maintain shared spaces. Association officials are tasked with managing the property and must be fiscally responsible with fees collected from members. All associations have similar documents and requirement [...]

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