Rapid and constant change defines our age and organizations like HOAs and condo associations must remain plugged in to what’s ahead to remain effective. 2019 will likely be another turbulent year for the housing market with potential interest rate hikes and stock market volatility expected to continue in the near term, all of which will impact the way HOA and condo communities operate.

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Deciding to engage a community management firm to assist with your HOA or condo association operations is a big step. Strong due diligence on the part of your board members, as well as deep understanding of community management contracts, is critical to choosing the right partner and protecting the best interests of your community and its residents. Staying up-to-date and informed about the law, regulations and contract agreement best practices is critical, regardless if this is your board’s first management contract negotiation or if you’ve decided to find a new partner after a decade or more with the same firm.

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If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll have heard this before: Board member education and training is a key to successfully running your community and keeping the peace. With a slew of regulations, laws, and processes that boards have to keep up with, it’s no wonder that a frequent cause of tension or disputes is really caused by confusion or miscommunication. Rarely is it the case that a dispute’s root cause is malice or bad intent.

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Let’s be honest: a very, very tiny minority of HOA and condo boards--or their members--have nefarious intentions. Very often, disputes between the board and the community arise because of poor communication, inconsistent application of processes or simply failing to stay up-to-date on ever-changing legal regulations. While disputes in your community are nothing to scoff at, oversights in the legal arena could have dire consequences for not only your board but also for the long-term viability of your community.

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As an HOA or condo association board, keeping up with the latest legal regulations can be a tough chore. To help you stay attuned to the most recent developments in Maryland HOA law, Comsource has pulled together this update on the 2018 Maryland legislative session as it pertains to HOA and condo association operations.

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Preventing and managing legal challenges from residents, the government, the larger community or even fellow board members is always challenging. What is sometimes overlooked by HOA boards is the aftermath of legal action against a community. So, the HOA has lost a legal case--now what? Like preventing and managing legal issues, the aftermath of a lost case needs to be planned for and then facilitated carefully.

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Okay, so you’ve made your best effort to resolve conflict. You’ve attempted mediation but your HOA board is now a party in a lawsuit. Now what?

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Every community and every HOA board will encounter conflict at some point. Communities are complicated just like the people that inhabit them. HOA boards that accept and prepare for this reality in their governing documents and through training, while remaining sensitive to resident needs and emotions, are better able to resolve disputes quickly and before they result in a lawsuit.

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CC&Rs. Bylaws. Rules and regulations. These terms get tossed around freely, causing a lot of confusion about them and how they relate to the proper governance of an HOA community.

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Your community rules exist to protect residents, preserve property values, protect financial integrity and generally to make your community a great place to live. As an HOA or condo association board, it is your fiduciary responsibility to enforce your CC&Rs, bylaws and rules and regulations documents.

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