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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Covenants, conditions and restrictions-otherwise known as CC&Rs-are part of a suite governance documents the regulate homeowners association-run communities. As we discussed in prior posts, CC&Rs and bylaws are legal documents filed with appropriate legal authorities, which means changing these important documents is not to be done lightly.

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As part of your board you are an ambassador for the association and the community. How you behave, what you say and what you post will have an impact on how your board is perceived by the residents and the public at large.

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Social media is an outstanding tool for disseminating information, creating community and accurately targeting the right audiences for your messages. However, there are risks involved. HOAs and condo association boards must take a proactive and educated approach to this communication tool to avoid negative consequences.

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The world of social media presents its users with a double-edged sword. On the one hand, users enjoy access to troves of information, can remain connected with friends and family and comment on silly videos or hot political topics. However, social media also has its pitfalls and dangers, like Facebook collecting and sharing personal information without permission or a video or Tweet that goes out and can’t be taken back before the damage is done.

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As an HOA board, keeping up with the latest legal regulations can be a daunting task when coupled with the myriad responsibilities your members face daily.

To help you stay abreast of the most recent developments in Maryland HOA law, Comsource has aggregated the new Maryland HOA laws for 2018 from a variety of reliable legal sources.

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There is no more important factor to building thriving communities than establishing and protecting trust between residents and their respective HOA board and condo association leadership teams.

Without trust, collaboration and transparency, the very fabric of a community breaks down.

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Knowing the appropriate applications for your operational budget and reserve fund savings is critical to the financial health of your HOA or condo community. Confusing the two can result in frequent special assessments, community tension, and, at worst, financial insolvency.

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HOA and condo association fee management is a major responsibility for board members and are often one of the hot button issues that arise between the board and its constituents.

We’ve written extensively over the past few months about the critical nature of strong financial management, thoughtful risk mitigation and clear communication with community members. If these three areas are managed well consistently, calculating, communicating and collecting community fees in a timely manner should not be an issue.

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Healthy HOA or condo association reserves are the lifeblood of any community. To maintain a healthy reserve account as part of your budget, HOA board members-and specifically those tasked with handling financial matters-need to understand what a reserve fund is and what it’s not, which brings the discussion back to your board having a clear comprehension of budgeting and financial processes.

Each and every board member has a fiduciary responsibility to do what’s best for the long-term viability of a community. The long term vibrancy of your community depends to a large degree on how well you manage your budget and reserves.

Let’s jump in, starting with the basics first.

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