Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Have a Degree in HOA Service?

Even several years of service on a community’s Board does not adequately prepare one in all aspects of homeowner associations.  Directors, facing financial pressures,  can cut corners rather than seeking expert advice. This usually ends up being more expensive for the community  than if they had hired a consultant (attorney, CPA, engineer, community association manager, landscape designer, insurance broker, etc.) to weigh in on the decision.
Few Associations require their Directors to take continuing education courses.  These courses do not create experts, but do build up awareness of “red flag” situations, so that costly mistakes can be avoided.  Community members benefit when Boards self-educate, as less time and effort are required to address issues before they occur. Simply put - Education is preventive maintenance.
Vendors that your Association partners with should offer the Board free or discounted education classes in their areas of expertise.  Many of the law firms specializing in homeowner association law provide training several times a year.  The same should be expected of your property management company, which also benefits by having Boards that understand potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.

As a service to the Atlanta community, Access Management Group hosts free training sessions several times a year, covering many topics such as:
*The difference in responsibilities between ownership, maintenance, and insurance
*Valid reasons for homeowners successfully refusing to pay assessments
*The Association's obligations related to handicap access
*How property violations are handled when a unit is sold
*Circumstances when a homeowner could modify his/her home even though the Board said "No"
*Fair Debt Collections and the Board
*What happens if a court-ordered settlement isn't covered by insurance
*Creating policies and procedures with your Association manager

Georgia court cases are discussed, relating to various community rules: rentals, pets, grills, water damage, satellite dishes, parking, home businesses, security/safety, handicap access, maintenance obligations.

Contact Access Management Group at (770) 777-6890 to attend the next scheduled training course!

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