Condo Media - June 2020 - 42

MAKE ME HAPPY

I

n many ways, the trustees function
like the board of a large corporation in that they are making business decisions that will have a financial impact on their members.
However, in a co-owned community, the
association board is charged with making
decisions that will directly affect the unit
owners who may be their neighbors. For
the board of a self-managed community,
the situation is even more challenging, as
the trustees must deal directly with their
homeowners without the buffer of a professional management company through
which to filter unpopular decisions and
communications. This is especially
challenging because our human nature
makes us want to be liked. Unfortunately,
delivering bad news to the neighbors is
probably going to achieve the opposite
effect for the trustees.
The board's challenge is exacerbated
by the high number of new owners
in co-owned communities who do
not understand the intricacies of
their condominium documents or
covenants and have expectations that
are unrealistic with respect to their new
homes. They enter into the community
expecting that the board is there to
make them happy when the board is
actually required to protect the best
interests of the association. Sadly, the
happiness of the unit owners and the
best interests of the community are
sometimes in direct conflict.
DON'T RAISE MY FEE
As hard as it may be to believe, some new
owners do not expect fees to increase.
They believe that their payment to
the association will remain constant
throughout their term of ownership.
Their understanding of how a condominium operates is lacking and their
expectations unrealistic.
But just as difficult to understand are
the long-time owners who put enormous
pressure on the self-managed board
not to raise the annual dues or to keep
any increase at a minimum. Although
the trustees may sympathize with those
owners who are on fixed incomes or are
unable to obtain a credit line or refinance

42

CONDOMEDIA June 2020

In a co-owned community, the association board is
charged with making decisions that will directly affect
the unit owners who may be their neighbors.
their units, the self-managed board has a
fiduciary duty to raise the funds needed
to prudently operate the association
and ensure that common elements are
maintained and replaced as required.
At the end of the day, it is easy to
understand why trustees succumb to the
pressures of their neighbors to preserve
their personal financial equilibrium;
however the market value of units in a
community with short reserve funds
and/or large outstanding loan balances
will be sorely reduced.
NO SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS,
PLEASE
If the association does not have adequate annual reserve contributions,
the self-managed board has no choice
but to levy a special assessment of unit
owners when common elements and
mechanical systems fail. Sometimes,
even when the board makes sustained
efforts to properly fund the reserves,
a common element replacement is
necessary ahead of schedule and money
must be raised to pay for the project.
Unfortunately, when owners are able

to influence the self-managed board
to keep fees unrealistically low, the
likelihood of a special assessment or
supplemental fee greatly increases.
Sadly, collection laws in some states
may make it difficult or impossible to
collect these special assessments from
a mortgage company if the unit owner
defaults on their obligation.
FIX MY ... LEAK, DECK,
PARKING SPACE
In our electronically enabled society,
there is an expectation of immediate
gratification for any desire. So it is not
surprising that unit owners expect their
maintenance requests to be handled right
away. But because the trust documents
and bylaws establish the authority and
responsibility for maintenance and
repair, as well as distinguish between the
unit boundaries and the common areas
and elements, which the association must
address, an immediate resolution is often
not possible. Unless it is an emergency
situation, time must be taken to investigate the matter before action can be
taken. It may even be necessary for the



Condo Media - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - June 2020

Contents
Condo Media - June 2020 - Cover1
Condo Media - June 2020 - Cover2
Condo Media - June 2020 - Contents
Condo Media - June 2020 - 2
Condo Media - June 2020 - 3
Condo Media - June 2020 - 4
Condo Media - June 2020 - 5
Condo Media - June 2020 - 6
Condo Media - June 2020 - 7
Condo Media - June 2020 - 8
Condo Media - June 2020 - 9
Condo Media - June 2020 - 10
Condo Media - June 2020 - 11
Condo Media - June 2020 - 12
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Condo Media - June 2020 - 14
Condo Media - June 2020 - 15
Condo Media - June 2020 - 16
Condo Media - June 2020 - 17
Condo Media - June 2020 - 18
Condo Media - June 2020 - 19
Condo Media - June 2020 - 20
Condo Media - June 2020 - 21
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Condo Media - June 2020 - 23
Condo Media - June 2020 - 24
Condo Media - June 2020 - 25
Condo Media - June 2020 - 26
Condo Media - June 2020 - 27
Condo Media - June 2020 - 28
Condo Media - June 2020 - 29
Condo Media - June 2020 - 30
Condo Media - June 2020 - 31
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Condo Media - June 2020 - 33
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Condo Media - June 2020 - 35
Condo Media - June 2020 - 36
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Condo Media - June 2020 - 38
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Condo Media - June 2020 - 40
Condo Media - June 2020 - 41
Condo Media - June 2020 - 42
Condo Media - June 2020 - 43
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Condo Media - June 2020 - Cover3
Condo Media - June 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202106
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201911_v2
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201409
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