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Making the most of any  community’s operating budget and improving the lifestyles of its residents.

Making the most of any community’s operating budget and improving the lifestyles of its residents.

  • Posted: May 31, 2017
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Working with vendors is a large part of serving on the board of a managed community.

Every community has outside partners for services like landscaping, sanitation, cable and Internet provision, pool maintenance, plumbing, blacktop, valet services and more. Finding and learning what they do and how they can help. Many people ask if its the Management company to find the best companies for the properties? Well we have found that Boards help in the selecting of the right companies. They give their suggestions to the Management companies. This way favoritism does not take place. Laws are being changed as we speak that will prevent this for Florida’s Property Management Industry.

Open and effective communication among the board, the management company and the vendors employed by the association is an important part of making the most of any community’s operating budget and improving the lifestyles of its residents. Focusing on great communication and why it matters.

Sherwin-Williams

What can happen if communication among those entities isn’t consistent, open and effective? “Ineffective communication with vendors can cost your community money, but more importantly, it can result in loss of trust,” according to Frank Mari, executive director of SFPMA.ORG  “That means trust that the residents have in both the management company and the board, and also the trust the board has in the management company to manage vendors and recommend the right vendors for the community. As they need qualified vendors they find many on SFPMA’s Members Directory to select from.”

Poor communication with vendors can cost your association money too. If you don’t understand the details in a contract and don’t keep an open line for questions and clarifications, you may not realize that your community isn’t getting the services you think you are signing up for…. and then you will need to pay for the missing elements separately, impacting your operating budget.

Mr.Mari says “Talk to your landscaper in the middle of winter, not just spring and summer,” he directed. “If you’re an auditor, check in with the board and management company a few times of year, not just when the audit needs to be done.” Call them ask them to do a walk through of your buildings and communities, Preventive Maintenance is Key.

If you aren’t sure whether or not your current property management maintains open communication with vendors, ask! It’s important to make sure that outside vendors operate in the best interests of your community. We are all well-versed in the importance of vendor relationships and effective communication,” Frank explained. “Boards appreciate that we bring that additional level of support. Because of the trust we create with our vendors, almost any situation between boards and vendors can be resolved fairly.”

Speaking the language A basic part of communication is simply understanding the language each party is speaking. Most board members are not going to be experts in all the areas of running a
managed community, but it’s important that you have a basic knowledge of the terminology being used. Board members are expected and required to execute contracts related to things like
landscaping and other topics they may not be previously familiar with,” Talk to your Property Manager and include your Law Firm with contracts. “That fiduciary responsibility means that they need to understand what they are signing, what the work entails. It’s not enough to just consider price. Board members need to know more about what vendors are doing in order to make sure it’s being done.”

All HOA and Condo boards should be involved early in vendor selection discussions and leave the details of execution to the management company. It is important the board communicate any critical elements of their vision for the community to the vendor and be clear about what they require from each potential vendor they meet with. Board members must know enough to
understand what they should expect, what level of service is being provided for their community and what reasonable expectations are for that vendor. A landscaping company
that cares for a dozen large properties isn’t going to hand-prune every shrub, but that may be what some board members expect because they don’t yet understand the basics of large-scale landscaping,” “Of course, a self-managed community is going require more knowledge from the board members as far as monitoring the work being done and knowing that contracts are being fulfilled properly. Having a professional management company involved takes that responsibility off board members, because we know best practices, thanks to our experience managing multiple communities.” If you are looking for a Management Company

Find Top Florida Companies on our Members Directory.

How can boards and management companies know they are up-to-date on the terminology and jargon being used by their vendors? Many management companies are SFPMA Members themselves, With this membership there are educational seminars or round tables that let board members hear directly from vendors. “In addition to our in-house educational opportunities, I suggest that board members go to home shows, garden shows and other trade events so they can interact directly with vendors and pick up literature on the latest techniques and products,”.

sfpma.com - network, educate with Florida's Property management industryI tell my members to spend time at meetings, seminars and expos at every one of them get to know the vendors, Collect brochures.  Build those relationships. Listen to the keynote speakers as well. Over the years, vendors have shared with me how they have been impacted by SFPMA and how it makes them want to be part of our success. Obviously, you learn a lot that you take back to their boards and educate them on new information.

All of our members, partners and board members are asked to focus on professional development and educational opportunities that are offered by our Association to our Industry. vendors in many different disciplines host events that allow property managers to earn continuing education credits, and that many welcome board member attendance as well.

When you get to know vendors, you’re ready to work with them as partners, to optimize your community association’s budget and improve the lifestyles of the residents in your community.

South Florida Property Management Association can help you work with vendors to make the most of your association’s budgets by learning about the Top Companies working in our Industry.

www.sfpma.org

Become a Member Today!

   

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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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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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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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ASSOCIATION BUDGETING FOR DUMMIES

ASSOCIATION BUDGETING FOR DUMMIES

  • Posted: Dec 12, 2015
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ASSOCIATION BUDGETING FOR DUMMIES Read the article in the December Florida Rising Magazine – http://joom.ag/F5Sp by Steven J. Weil, PhD, EA, LCAM, Royale Management Services, Inc.   A “dummie,” in this case, is a first-time association member and/or someone with little or no association budgeting experience who wants to know more about how and why the budget is created before they vote on it.   Is it really necessary to go through all that work year after year? The first answer is, yes, because it’s the law. Florida law (718.112 (2) (f) 2) requires that annual budgets be prepared and, further, that reserve calculations be made by using a formula that estimates useful life and replacement cost. The real answer is that the budget is a tool used by the association’s board to determine how much owners will be required to pay in maintenance costs for the coming year in order to keep the association financially stable. The budget is a financial plan, a guide; but the process is an art, not a science. That’s why it’s important to leave room for unplanned expenses. A shortfall may result in an assessment, which will not make anyone happy. The only thing owners hate more than a maintenance fee increase is a special assessment that is necessary because the budget does not adequately cover the ongoing operating and maintenance costs. The tricky part of the process is to balance what is required with the often competing interests of those who want the lowest possible increase with those who are willing to pay more for better services, better amenities or other improvements.   There are two parts to every budget: the operating budget and the reserve budget. • The operating budget should include all the necessary regular and recurring expenses that are expected in the coming year, no matter how small, such as repairs, maintenance, payroll, utilities, supplies, insurance and administrative costs.   • The reserves are designed to accumulate funds for major ongoing repair and replacement. Statutes make it mandatory that reserve budgets first include estimated expenditures for roof replacement, building painting and pavement resurfacing at a minimum.   Aside from what the law requires, a good reserve budget also covers other large capital items that will wear out and need to be replaced over the life of the association, such as: elevators, windows, common area air conditioners, docks, generators, et al. Projected estimates take into consideration the cost to replace each item, prorated over the years of its estimated life. A common mistake in estimating this value is the failure to take into account the rise in replacement costs that occurs over time.   Reserve funds cannot be used for purposes other than those intended without a majority owner’s vote of approval in advance.   How do you build a budget that works? The big secret is to start months before your current budget year ends! 1. Step one is the information-gathering process, including a review of long-term contracts, upcoming expected maintenance and repairs, details of possible fee increases and a “wish list.” This time-consuming step includes getting quotes from vendors, examining recurring contracts for things like insurance policies, lawn and landscaping, trash removal, etc. Sometimes closely-scrutinized contracts can be renegotiated to save money. It’s also important to use caution when reducing maintenance and repairs numbers to delay an expense outlay. That could result in increased costs in the long run.   2. Step two is to compare and, using a spreadsheet or special budget software, enter into the appropriate columns the year-to-date income and expenses — projected through year end — with the budget for the current year, to review for increases, and show the percent of difference.   3. Step three: compare projected expenses for the coming year with “other” income (non-assessed) — such as laundry income, application fees, clubhouse rental, dock rental and any other items for which the Association collects fees other than maintenance fees. Using those figures, it is then possible to calculate the maintenance fees needed to fund the budget for the coming year. These required maintenance fees are calculated by subtracting the total projected “other” (non-assessed) income from the total projected expenses. This number is then allocated by the formula shown in the association documents. (The number is often based on the number of units or on square footage.)   According to the Statutes, owners may petition the Board if it adopts a budget where assessments rise more than 15% over those for the prior year. The budget must be in keeping not only with the State Statutes but also with the association’s documents, which may be more stringent. Final approval by the board where the proposed budget is adopted must be done at a properly noticed budget meeting. A notice of this meeting, along with a copy of the proposed budget, must be sent to all owners at least 14 days prior to the meeting. Only association members may vote to waive or reduce the budgeted reserves through full or partial funding. Failing to fund reserves at all puts everyone’s future at risk. If owners can’t afford the monthly cost how are they going to come up with the money when the roof, elevator or other capital component needs replacing? Often this is done by borrowing, making monthly maintenance payments higher because of what is required to pay back a loan, creating a double whammy of current debt repayment for past depreciation and creating an excuse not to meet current obligations. In some buildings this can create a death spiral….

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When are Budgets due?

When are Budgets due?

  • Posted: Dec 10, 2015
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Within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year, or annually on such date provided in the bylaws, the association must have prepared a financial report on the financial activities of the preceding fiscal year. Within 21 days after the financial report is completed, but no later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year, the board must provide each member with a copy of the financial report or, at a minimum, provide written notice that a copy of the financial report is available upon request, at no charge to the members. The financial report must consist of a complete set of financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The level of financial reporting that must be prepared by the board is based on the total annual revenue (including reserves) of the association, as follows:   1. An association with total annual revenues of $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000, shall prepare compiled financial statements. 2. An association with total annual revenues of at least $300,000, but less than $500,000, shall prepare reviewed financial statements. 3. An association with total revenues of $500,000 or more shall prepare audited financial statements. 4. An association with total annual revenues of less than $150,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures.   Interestingly, if the board desires to raise the level of financial reporting, it may be increased without membership approval by board action alone, unless the governing documents provide otherwise. In addition, if the board is not inclined to approve a heightened level of reporting, but the members want to do so, then upon twenty (20%) percent of the parcel owners petitioning the board to increase the level of financial reporting from that required by Statute for that fiscal year, the board must notice and hold a membership meeting within thirty (30) days of receipt of the petition. To raise the level of financial reporting, a majority of members present at such meeting must cast their vote in favor of doing so.   However, lowering the reporting threshold is a different matter entirely because only the members can make that decision. To accomplish this, a majority of members present at a properly noticed membership meeting must cast their vote in favor of lowering the level of financial reporting. The meeting must take place prior to the end of the fiscal year in question.  …

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End of year Taxes for your property

End of year Taxes for your property

End of Year Taxes:   While tax returns aren’t due until April, to minimize your tax burden the strategy of accelerating rental property expenses should be considered now, property owners, should start deducting these expenses this year could be more important than ever, especially if you’re affected by the new Affordable Healthcare Act tax. Under the Act, if your modified adjusted income exceeds $250,000 (filing jointly) then you’ll pay an additional 3.8% tax on any rental income or other passive income above that amount. Rental property expenses are deductible only in the year they are paid, so December is your last chance to pay for any rental property-related expenses that you want to deduct this year. Additionally, you can pay your expenses in advance, so consider paying in December some expenses due next year (such as a mortgage payment, property taxes, or utility bills) to offset this year’s income.   As far as rental income is concerned, don’t be tempted to defer rental income for December rents to next year. The Internal Revenue Service matches 1099s for commercial leases, and they want to see rental income match up with 1099s. While residential rental owners don’t receive 1099s from their tenants, many audits that CAP’s have been involved in where the IRS examined residential lease agreements and had issues with the rental owner declaring less than a full twelve months of income if the unit was occupied for the entire year. But what if you were on vacation for all of December and didn’t check your mailbox until mid-January? That’s still income for December.   It’s important to not make assumptions about rental income losses–several clients get burned because they thought they could deduct these losses. The problem is that rental income losses fall under the “passive income rule” which can be a complicated beast. Rental income is considered passive income, and under the rule, passive income losses can only be offset against passive income, which means you need to have another rental property that makes money or some other passive income source. The rule is different if your adjusted gross income is less than $150,000. The passive income rules are very complex and everyone has a different situation, so it’s critical that you consult with your tax advisor before you act on any assumptions.   Checklist: End of Year Taxes Meet with your accountant to discuss end of year tax strategies. Consider paying now expenses due next year to offset this year’s income. Let your accountant know if you anticipate any rental losses next year, or if you’re planning on refinancing, buying, or selling rental property as these activities may have tax consequences that might be partially mitigated with informed planning. If you formed an LLC or S-Corporation to hold your rental property, order 1099s now to send to your unincorporated vendors (to whom you paid more than $600) by January 31st–it can sneak up quickly. Year-end reviews: Revisiting and evaluating insurance policies and rental regulations and laws is key to protecting your rental property investment. We recommend that rental property owners set an annual calendar reminder to review their insurance policies for proper and adequate coverage and check on new local ordinances affecting landlords. Insurance policies and their respective coverage amounts change frequently. We have seen many owners move out of their property and convert it to a rental but forget to call their insurance provider to make sure their policy is updated from a primary occupant policy to a landlord policy. If an owner does not make this policy change then it is very likely a future claim will be denied for the wrong policy classification. The classification change to a landlord policy will likely result in a premium increase but without the proper classification the property owner is not adequately insured which, in the end, will be a much bigger price to pay. City ordinances can change quickly and are difficult for distant and even local landlords to be aware of. While a local professional property manager should be able to help you with local ordinances, It is ultimately the property owner’s responsibility to make sure rental property is compliant with local city and county ordinances. In addition to local ordinances, make sure you understand federal and state laws that impact rental property, such as fair housing requirements and your state’s landlord-tenants laws. Your property manager, if you have one, will be an important resource here. If you self-manage your rental property, consider joining a state or local landlord association, as these groups often have attorneys provide updates on changing laws as well as provide other benefits. Property Managers in South Florida can join forces with www.sfpma.com   Checklist: Year-end Review Review rental property insurance policies; update amounts if necessary. If you don’t have an umbrella liability insurance policy, consider one. Make sure that if you have converted your primary residence to a rental property, that you made that classification change with your insurance company. Review local city or county ordinances for changes, such as registration requirements. Review federal and state laws, including fair housing rules and your state landlord-tenant statute, for any changes. Planning for Next Year: While it might be a slower time for year for landlords and property management companies, the winter, especially December, can nonetheless get busy because of the holidays. However, it’s important to have a game plan for the coming year. Schedule a planning meeting to meet with key people, including any co-owners of your rental property or your property manager, if you have one, to address these issues:   Checklist: Planning for Next Year Confirm annual or six-month rental property inspections are scheduled. Review lease agreement template. Review policies or “house rules.” Consider adding a policy addressing space heater safety. Adding a Pet Policy, we see many more tenants and owners with pets, along with service animals. Review rents and consider an increase. Discuss whether any significant repairs, such as re-roofing, need to be undertaken in the coming year. Brought…

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10 Tips for creating an HOA budget or Condo Budget

10 Tips for creating an HOA budget or Condo Budget

  • Posted: Jul 12, 2015
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10 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.   HOA budget Vendor Contracts – You always want to insure the correct budgeting for all of your normal monthly service providers. Don’t be afraid to ask your landscaping company, pool contractor, and even management company, if they plan on changing their current rates. This is also a great opportunity to ask for their updated insurance information to make sure that is good standing as well. Also review current contacts to see if there are any CPI index clauses in their agreement. Nine times out of ten, if they are contractually able to increase their fees, most will do so.   Budget for reserves – All associations should budget for a percentage of all income to go to their reserve or savings accounts. The percentage of income will of course vary depending on your association. The more long term liabilities and obligations you have, the more you should be putting away. We have some condo associations that are putting away as much as 20% of their total income towards long term savings. Condos generally have much larger financial obligations including exterior repairs and upkeep and maintaining private streets and roads. Not budgeting for reserves can lead to be big problems and potentially big special assessments down the road.   Cover your Insurance deductibles – All condo associations need to pay special attention to this one. Make sure you are aware of the deductible levels for different elements of your complex. For example, if your roof replacement deductible is $500.00 per building and you have 20 buildings, then you need then or course you always need at least $10,000 in your reserves to cover that amount. If a disaster or violent storm strikes your area, you want to make sure your association is ready and that you are not hitting them up for a special assessment just to cover basic insurance claims.   Evaluate legal and collection costs – Legal and collections costs can escalate very quickly depending on the collection strategy that you use. Evaluate your current system and see if you can determine your return on investment. If you are on average spending $150 dollars to collect every $100, then something obviously isn’t working. We have experienced great success with providing homeowners that are behind with a payment plan with full payment schedule provided to them. When delinquent association members concentrate on affordable monthly payment and not the large amount that they owe, they tend to see the light at the end of tunnel.   Special Assessments are for special projects – We have heard many times suggested “Why can’t we have a special assessment instead of raising our monthly dues?” This philosophy doesn’t work in our book. If your association is having a problem meeting it expenses because of some tight cash flow, you need to raise your assessment amount or your assessment frequency. Special assessments are just that, special. They are not for paying your bills. They are intended for major improvements, or in a case of emergency repairs, not to pay the pool contractor.   Stay the course – It’s real easy to get distracted throughout the year with landscaping improvements, new and improved security systems, and other random projects throughout the year. Your association made a budget for a reason, so try your best to stick to it as best you can. If you do have to make an unexpected expenditure, take your time and make the best decision for your HOA or condo association.   Creating and maintaining an HOA budget is essential part of maintaining a fiscally responsible association. Even associations that are not as healthy financially as they need to be, with some small…

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