Many services are available to communities

Communities often need services and education. Here are a few suggestions.

Certified arborists can be used to help maintain the health and continued growth of the trees in a community. They can periodically check for disease and insect infestations. They can recommend which trees should be removed for specific reasons and whether they should be replaced or not. Arborists can recommend the hardiest trees to plant in your specific area. They can determine if a tree is planted too close to concrete, a foundation, a wall, etc., and determine if it could later cause substantial damage. Their services are extensive and invaluable.

Did you know that your bank has trained professionals that can assist with your investments?

Investment bankers can assist in maximizing the interest earned on money market accounts, certificates of deposit and certificate of deposit account registry service programs. Even with today’s low interest rates, there is income to be had utilizing the knowledgeable assistance of your investment banker. Banks catering to community associations are familiar with the laws governing association funds and what means of investing are acceptable. Do not be concerned that earning too much interest will cause an association to pay more taxes. Associations stand to gain more than they will lose by investing wisely and maximizing the return on their investments.

Many boards are amiable to approving assessment payment plans and working with homeowners who are experiencing hardships in order to keep their accounts from going to a collection agency,

Although boards cannot “write-off” assessments, they have the ability to excuse late fees and interest charges, and to allow homeowners time to catch up on their delinquent account. The critical component is written communication, although it is not always easy particularly when homeowners need to disclose personal and financial information. Board members and managers are required by law to maintain the confidentiality of all homeowners’ association related information, correspondence and agreements. Boards may be willing to accept partial payments on a regular basis for a period of time while the homeowner gets back on their feet again.

Your community manager is a valuable resource for providing education and training to board members and homeowners?

Nevada law requires community managers to acquire a minimum of 18 continuing education credits within a two-year period to coincide with their license renewal. Many managers exceed this requirement in order to keep abreast of legislative changes and on-going industry trends and updates. The more education your community manager has, the better equipped he or she is to advise and guide boards and communities.

Did you know that local public officials and legislators are willing to attend association meetings and events? Elected officials, generally in nonelection years, are willing to attend association meetings and events to provide updates to homeowners regarding proposed and approved projects, legislation and to hear the concerns of their constituents. There is no better way to keep your finger on the pulse of the community than to get it from the public official who is involved in setting policy and approving or denying projects that directly affect your association.

Lorrie Olson is the vice president of the Community Associations Institute, a national membership organization for HOA management companies, volunteer board members and other professional service providers and business partners. She can be reached at lolson@amiusa.net.

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