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Keep informed with the Property Management Industry. Read informative Articles by Industry professionals,  a great resource for Property Owners, Board Members and Property Management Professionals.

The opportunity an HOA can capitalize on is negotiating a cell tower lease agreement that ensures consistent rent for years, often decades, to come.

The opportunity an HOA can capitalize on is negotiating a cell tower lease agreement that ensures consistent rent for years, often decades, to come.

  • Posted: Oct 04, 2017
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Companies like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint continue to explore options to meet their wireless customer demands, and part of this search includes the construction of new cell sites across the United States. Cell sites come many sizes, from a traditional tower that is big enough to climb, to an antenna that sits hidden on a rooftop, only seen by those flying over.

Cell phone usage has skyrocketed to the point of near saturation in the US. According to Pew Research Center, 95% of adults have a cell phone & a growing share of Americans now use smartphones as their primary means of online access at home. In 2016, wireless subscribers’ connections hit 377.9 million, with over $1.4 trillion (yep, trillion with a “t”) having been invested globally in the last 18 years. This is BIG business & there are opportunities for landowners to capitalize.

The opportunity an HOA can capitalize on is negotiating a cell tower lease agreement that ensures consistent rent for years, often decades, to come. There are certain pros and cons that an HOA or Condo Association must ponder if a cell tower company or wireless carrier approaches them about putting a tower on their property.
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I made new sales by going to Condo & HOA Board meetings!

I made new sales by going to Condo & HOA Board meetings!

With the numbers of service companies that are competing for work in the Property Management Industry I get these questions asked almost every day. How can my company increase sales?  How can I get in front of the decision makers? 

Both are great questions, So you want to get in front of the decision makers letting them know what your company does and how your services can help them. We feel strongly about joining with others in an Industry Organization or Association, one that is committed to the industry you are trying to get work from.

First Look at how much they charge. There are so many that charge from 400 up to over 700 per year to be listed on their directory. We ask you to understand that many of these organizations and associations charge service companies more than other members, why would that be. Well they know that you want to join and get noticed they charge you more because there are more service companies looking to do this. We think this is unfair taking money out of the pockets of hard working companies. The property managers, property owners, landlords, should be the ones paying more to find the Top Professionals that are listed and ready to help save them on the services they provide.

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Tips on Property Management Rental Income, Deductions and Record keeping.

Tips on Property Management Rental Income, Deductions and Record keeping.

  • Posted: Oct 02, 2016
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If you own rental real estate, you should be aware of your tax responsibilities.

All rental income must be reported on your tax return, and in general the associated expenses can be deducted from your rental income.

If you are a cash basis taxpayer, you report rental income on your return for the year you receive it, regardless of when it was earned. As a cash basis taxpayer you generally deduct your rental expenses in the year you pay them. If you use an accrual method, you generally report income when you earn it, rather than when you receive it and you deduct your expenses when you incur them, rather than when you pay them. Most individuals use the cash method of accounting.

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a “TRIM Notice,” the notice reflects what the property taxes are likely to be on the November property tax bill.

a “TRIM Notice,” the notice reflects what the property taxes are likely to be on the November property tax bill.

  • Posted: Oct 02, 2016
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Every August, the Office of the Property Appraiser mails a Notice of Proposed Property Taxes to all property owners. Also known as a “TRIM Notice,” the notice reflects what the property taxes are likely to be on the November property tax bill.

A number of factors can come into play when it comes to determining if the proposed taxes are a fair estimate. For example, failure to recognize the recent slowdown in the real estate market could mean the tax estimate is higher than it should be. To ward against paying more than their fair share of taxes, property owners have the option to petition for an appeal. And condo owners have a unique opportunity where tax appeals are concerned.

Florida law allows condominium association Boards to file a joint petition for property tax appeal to cover all units in the building. In theory, if one unit in the building receives a TRIM Notice with unfairly high property taxes, then chances are the other units did also. Thus, filing a single petition is an efficient way for associations to ensure their owners are not overpaying property taxes. For those unit owners that do not wish to participate, Florida law provides a simple process for opting out of the joint tax appeal.

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Tips for creating an HOA budget or Condo Budget

Tips for creating an HOA budget or Condo Budget

Tips for creating an HOA budget or Condo Budget. Do a budget – I know this seems like a silly tip, but we have seen many associations fail to create a budget before proceeding to the next year. An HOA is just like any other business or organization. If you don’t have a financial plan, you will find yourself a in a mess about halfway through the year when you realize that you don’t have enough funds to make it through the entire year. Take the time to practice financial responsibility for your association. Review budget and Financial History – You always want to review the previous two years financials to fully understand were you currently are vs. where you want your association to be . Many people review previous year’s budgets to prepare future ones. One problem we see is that many people despite reviewing past numbers, fail to make the proper budget corrections when something is way over or under budget from the previous year. Make the proper adjustments to insure an accurate budget. Prioritize projects – We have worked with any HOA and condo associations that get overwhelmed during budget time because they have so many repairs and projects that they want to handle all at once. Any kind of future projects or repairs, need to be prioritized accordingly. This is where you must separate your associations needs vs. wants. Everyone wants the landscaping or condo exteriors to look immaculate, but no one gets excited repairing an unsafe stairwell repairing a leaking sprinkler system. You must eliminate any safety or potential liabilities before exploring any community beatification projects. Utility Increases – We can’t recall a time in which utility costs actually went down from the previous year in our 25 years plus experience. Water, gas, and electricity costs have been increasing steadily over the last decade, especially water costs over the last 2 years. We always research our local city and municipalities to see if they have a price rate schedule available. For example the City of Austin is scheduled to increase water costs 70% over the next five years. Because we are aware of this price hikes, we obviously budget for them accordingly. If no information is available, we suggest increasing the budget on most utilities between 5% to 7% each year….

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BALANCING MONTHLY HOA FINANCIAL REPORTS

BALANCING MONTHLY HOA FINANCIAL REPORTS

BALANCING MONTHLY HOA FINANCIAL REPORTS 1. RECONCILE YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS It’s important to correspond your community association’s bank statements to your accounting ledgers. This includes incoming receivables and outgoing payables. Once you have confirmed that there is a match in your accounting system for each item on the bank’s statement, check for any oddities. If there are any discrepancies, make sure to attach a printout of your reconciliation report to your bank statement.   2. LIST DELINQUENT OWNERS AND OUTSTANDING PAYABLES When you’ve established your income for the month, you need to focus on what’s missing. This will usually come in the form of a delinquency report that will list homeowners who have not paid their dues for the month. You will also need a list of outstanding payables, or checks that have been written against the account but have not yet cleared.   3. PRODUCE A BALANCE SHEET AND PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT The balance sheet will list the community’s assets and liabilities. All you have to do is compare your owner balances and receipts against the bottom line of the receivable section on your balance sheet. You will also need to produce a Profit and Loss Statement (Income/Expense Statement). It must correspond with your balance sheet. WHAT SHOULD YOU BE CHECKING FOR? Confirm that the Balance Sheet is in balance. Examine any negative balances on the Balance Sheet and Income Statement. Ensure that the Year-to-Date Current Year Net Income/Loss on the Income Statement corresponds with the Balance Sheet’s Current Year Net Income/Loss. Ensure that the Balance Sheet Reserve Accounts listed under Liabilities & Equity Section corresponds with the Reserve Accounts listed under the Asset Section. Assess any big differences between budgeted and actual figures on the Income Statement. If everything corresponds as expected, you are ready to turn in your monthly HOA financial reports to the Board! HOA FINANCIAL REPORTS Monthly HOA financial reports are required by the Board every accounting cycle, whether it be quarterly or biannually. There is a ton of information out there for board members to help them understand how to state questions to ensure that HOA financial reports are correct. However, some members find it difficult to know which questions to ask in order to make sure everything is correct before giving it to the Board. Snap Collections is here to offer you advice and a checklist to ensure pristine HOA financial reports each month. Find: Great companies on our Members Directory.  …

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Its Budget time

Its Budget time

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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Its Budget Time, and that means it is that time of year for boards of community associations everywhere to prepare next year’s association budgets. A good budget is reflective of good financial planning. In practice, it is anything but an exact science. When examining the community association budget process, there are a few subtle nuisances and a couple of glaring distinctions between those budget related laws set out within Chapter 720 that governs homeowner associations (HOAs) as compared to Chapter 718 that governs condominium associations (CAs). Let’s take a look.   Notice Requirements: • HOA board meeting notices must include a statement that assessments will be considered and, as per statute, “the nature” of the assessments. There is no definitive advance HOA board budget meeting notice requirement set out in Chapter 720, so be sure to check your HOA’s bylaws for any specific requirements. (As an aside, please do not confuse this with the special assessment procedures where it is required for any meeting at which special assessments will be considered that written notice mustbe mailed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to the members and parcel owners and such notice must be posted conspicuously on the property or broadcasted on closed-circuit cable television not less than 14 days before the meeting. • At least 14 days before any CA board meeting at which a proposed annual budget of an association will be considered, the board must hand deliver to each unit owner, or mail to each unit owner at the address last furnished to the association by the unit owner, or electronically transmit to the location furnished by the unit owner for that purpose 1) a notice of such meeting and 2) a copy of the proposed annual budget…

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ACCORD AND SATISFACTION CASE STUDY BACKGROUND

ACCORD AND SATISFACTION CASE STUDY BACKGROUND

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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ACCORD AND SATISFACTION CASE STUDY BACKGROUND The underlying dispute followed an association’s foreclosure of its assessment lien against a condominium unit. The St. Croix Lane Trust (the “New Owner”) was the third party purchaser of the unit at the Association foreclosure sale. After a certificate of title was issued to the New Owner, the Association demanded that the New Owner pay years of delinquent assessments and related interest, late fees and costs of collection of over $38,000 not paid by the prior, foreclosed, owner – a consistent practice in association collections in Florida. In response, the New Owner’s counsel tendered a check to the Association’s counsel for a small portion of the amount due, $840.00, together with correspondence that provided that “this check is tendered in full and final satisfaction of all claims made against the [New Owner] and the property for the amounts demanded… negotiation of the enclosed check shall be deemed an acceptance of the offer of settlement made herein, and shall be in full and final satisfaction of all claims against the [New Owner] and the property…” The Appellate Court considered this tender to be an “offer of settlement.” In response, the Association’s counsel advised that he had instructed his staff to apply the payment as a partial payment upon receipt (despite the restrictive endorsement). In advising the New Owner of the Association’s intent, the Association’s counsel relied upon the ruling of the Third District Court of Appeal of Florida in Ocean Two Condominium Association, Inc. v. Kliger. In that case the Third District Court of Appeals cited to Section 716.116(3) of the Florida Condominium Act which provides that payments tendered by unit owners shall be applied as specified in the statute notwithstanding any restrictive endorsement, designation or instruction placed on or accompanying a payment. As advised by the Association’s counsel, the Association deposited the $840.00 check, and threatened to sue the New Owner for the remainder the Association claimed due. The New Owner filed suit first, including claims for declaratory relief and lost rental income asserting that seeking lease approval would be futile. The trial court entered a summary judgment finding that the Association’s acceptance of the partial payment did not create an accord and satisfaction. The New Owner appealed this ruling to the Appellate Court….

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Insurance Changes you should make?

Insurance Changes you should make?

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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Insurance for your kids going back to school Changes you should make? My only child is going to college 800-plus miles from home. He’ll be using the bus system to get around because his college doesn’t allow students to have cars on campus. Since he won’t have access to any of our vehicles for nine months of the year, can we save on auto insurance? Yes, you most certainly should be able to save money on your car insurance while your child is off at college. Drivers under the age of 25 are deemed to be high risk by car insurance companies because there is a strong possibility they’ll be in accidents and claims will be filed. This makes the cost to insure a young adult quite high. If your young driver is hundreds of miles away and won’t be driving your vehicles for a majority of the year, your insurance company’s risk goes down. Thus, it’s a perfect time to contact your insurance company to share your child’s college news and discuss making some adjustments to your policy in order obtain cheaper car insurance rates….

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SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE MEANS MAXIMUM RECOVERY FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION.

SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE MEANS MAXIMUM RECOVERY FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION.

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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Over the past few years, Community Associations have been seriously challenged by the number of delinquencies. Collecting can be expensive, time-consuming – and there’s no guarantee of success. And when worse comes to worst, you sometimes are forced to retain a lawyer who generates a lot of fees, and usually ends up waiting for the bank to foreclose or for a short sale to take place. The bills keep coming in from the lawyer, whether anything is recovered or not. That’s why you need SNAP Collections. SNAP Collections is focused on getting errant homeowners back on track, and recovering maintenance fees in the most cost-effective manner possible. A complete end-to-end solution by experts. Working with us is easy. • No out-of-pocket cost to the Association throughout the collections process. We work to recover all fees from the Owners can pay: homeowner through the collection process. • By check, e-check, ACH, cash, credit card or debit card • From unit submission, through escalation, to case resolution  • Online, by mail, or walk in to over 40,000 locations – we seek to maximize the recovery and limit write-offs. nationwide. • We steadily escalate efforts and costs to the homeowner,  creating an urgency to resolve the debt quickly. Board and Management: • We work with owners to establish reasonable payment plans. • Online reports and service request available online • We liaise with credit reporting agencies. • Highly-responsive call center for management, • When an owner can’t pay, we try to work with them to boards and owners facilitate a short sale of the unit. It takes experienced specialists to do all that – and • We work with the homeowner to resolve the delinquency,    SNAP offers the wherewithal to make it happen. without adding unnecessary financial burden. And best of all, there are no out-of-pocket costs to • We have a lien filed to protect the Association’s interest. the Association. So find out more about SNAP • In many cases, SNAP Collections helps avoid expensive litigation. Collections’ specialized financial recovery skills for • We are collection specialists. In fact, it’s all we do – every day. Community Associations. Call 866-736-3069 now or visit SNAP collections.com National Headquarters Association Financial Services 4400 Biscayne Blvd, Ste. 550 Miami, FL 33137 Tel: 305-677-0022…

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