Being on the board of your HOA is an experience, to say the least. It takes up a lot of time and it is not always the most fun thing in the world. This past summer, our board had to deal with a lot of security-related issues and just other random issues within the neighborhood. It took up a lot of time and we had to do a lot of trial and error + research to figure out solutions. So, I wanted to write up a post about a few ways to protect your HOA, just in case any of you deal with it, as well. Here are a few ways to do so:
Keep An Attorney On Retainer
If your homeowner’s association has not done so already, find an attorney and keep them on retainer. When searching for an attorney, make sure that you go through an interview process and vet them in the same manner that your board considers other engagements and agreements. Go to the office. Visit the law firm, meet the attorney and the firm’s staff. Learn about their experience representing similar clients, then decide whether they are a good fit for your needs. If you don’t work well with the counsel you are much less likely to receive the best representation possible.
The best association attorneys can give you additional protection as well as providing oversight, attending your annual meeting and other meetings as necessary, providing an approved format for your committee charters, and resolutions, minutes outlines, and many other things. They also get your monthly minutes and financial statements. The only thing you need to pay extra for is if court action, then you pay hourly or a flat rate depending on the action required. You need to know what you get for the money, however. So, is a retainer worth it? From my perspective, a monthly or annual retainer that can be budgeted for rather than the haphazard method of the hourly rate that encourages associations NOT to use legal advice when they really should or to be in compliance with state and local laws.
Have A Reserve Study Done
A reserve study is an amazing thing to do for your association. It can help you budget and prepare for any potential upcoming expenses – small and large. Now, if you do get a reserve study done, do not expect for there to be any unexpected costs and expenses. Things happen and sometimes your reserve study does not catch every little thing, but it can pinpoint a lot of major expenses headed your way, ensuring that any expenses that do come up unexpectedly are taken care of with ease. Prepare financially by preparing for the expected AND unexpected by getting a reserve study done!
Create A Neighborhood Group
Worried about safety and want to connect with your neighborhood? If that is the case, create a neighborhood group! It is so easy to do on Facebook and it not only enhances the security you do have, but it will bring people together, forming a better community. Next time you are worried about a random car driving through? Post in your group to see if others have advice or insight!
Install Security Cameras
Last but not least, I highly recommend installing security cameras and then protecting those security cameras. We had a lot of crime and security issues this past summer, unfortunately. For example, our pools kept getting broken into. We created guidelines and rules for dealing with COVID such as (at first) closed bathrooms and limited use of pool tables and patio furniture. Our neighborhood did not like this, so our bathrooms started getting broken into. We installed cameras, but then those were destroyed, as well, since they were just inexpensive, Amazon purchased cameras.
Then, we decided to get a dome cover to hopefully protect the cameras. We searched online and found a local GA company, Criterion Technology, Inc. They have been the industry leader in optical camera domes for the security industry since 1990. Their optical dome covers are designed for areas such as airports, retail shops, casinos, etc. where clarity is a must. They specialize in injection molding and have a lot of knowledge and experience behind it. They are based out of Thomaston, Georgia, and all of their products are 100% made in the USA. In addition to their injection molding services, they also offer quite a bit more, including LIDAR enclosures, which is so cool because it has to do with driverless technology. “Criterion Technology has proven to be successful through a commitment to continuous research, advanced technology, and automation. Criterion has pioneered the use of durable materials to offer clarity, safety, and strength since 1990. The best sensory device is only as good as the housing that covers it. Criterion is dedicated to the design and development of IR transparent windows, which are carefully designed to block out UV and visible light for all types of LIDAR applications.”
The President and CEO of Criterion Technology, Inc. say that his goal is to continuously meet and exceed expectations when of optical performance through continuing education and training for himself and for his employees. He also says, “My focus and passion for almost three decades has been developing new technologies to give my customers an edge over their competitors.” When you work with Criterion Technology, Inc., you can only expect the best of the best and the most advanced technologies out there.