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September 2011

A Journal for California Community Association Leaders

echo-ca.org

Condominium Conversions Owner Equity at Risk?

ALSO INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

• Fight Night or Fight Nice • Building Ordinance Coverage • Earthquake Insurance

Change Service Requested ECHO 1602 The Alameda STE 101 San Jose, CA 95126

Save these dates for the 2012 ECHO Annual Seminar June 22, 23

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Community Associations have placed their

trust in ANGIUS & TERRY LLP to solve their legal problems for over 30 years. Through the years ANGIUS & TERRY LLP has had a single mission: To provide our clients with exceptional service and superior legal representation all built on the solid bedrock of long term relationships. For results contact us today. 800.680.4001 www.angius-terry.com Walnut Creek • Sacramento Reno • Las Vegas


Condominium Conversions—Owner Equity at Risk? —page 6

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Condominium Conversions

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Fight Night or Fight Nice

Executive Council of Homeowners, Inc.

Much has been written about the lack of civility between board members and homeowners. Why do these situations arise so often? The author identifies the possible causes and helps you to avoid them.

1602 The Alameda, Suite 101 San Jose, CA 95126 408-297-3246 Fax: 408-297-3517 www.echo-ca.org info@echo-ca.org

Building Ordinance Coverage

Earthquake Insurance

Causes and Cures of “Hot Spots” in Turf “Hot spots” or “brown spots” in turf can occur in warm months and look unsightly. Learn what to look for and how to address this issue in this article.

Departments 32 News from ECHO 33 Legislation at a Glimpse

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34 Directory Updates 36 ECHO Bookstore 38 Events Calendar

Board of Directors and Officers President David Hughes Vice President Karl Lofthouse Treasurer Diane Rossi Secretary Dorothy Kopczynski Directors Paul Atkins John Garvic Robert Rosenberg Richard Tippett Steven Weil

Jerry L. Bowles David Levy Kurtis Shenefiel Wanden Treanor

Executive Director Oliver Burford Communications Coordinator Tyler Coffin Legislative Consultant Government Strategies, Inc. Design and Production George O’Hanlon

41 ECHO Marketplace

ECHO Mission Statement

41 Advertiser Index

The mission of ECHO is to advance the concept, interests and needs of homeowner associations through education and related services to board members, homeowner members, government officials and the professionals in the industry.

On the Cover September 2011 | ECHO Journal

Office Hours: Monday–Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

40 ECHO Volunteers

Condominium Conversions—page 6 4

Copyright 2011 Executive Council of Homeowners, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction, except by written permission of ECHO, is prohibited. The ECHO membership list is never released to any outside individual or organization.

Many community associations have inquired as to whether they should buy earthquake insurance, considering that the costs fluctuate and at times are quite high. This article will help you decide if earthquake coverage is important for your association.

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Acceptance of advertising does not constitute any endorsement or recommendation, expressed or implied, of the advertiser or any goods or services offered. We reserve the right to reject any advertising copy.

Condominium conversions, a really bad idea, are here again. You don’t need statistics to tell you that condominiums converted from old apartment houses have been all the rage for several years. This article helps you to stay alert to potentially bad deals.

Insurance is designed to protect against loss or damage and to return the building to the condition it was in prior to the loss. Yet, building codes can pose a threat even if there is a partial loss. Read about the importance of Building Ordinance Coverage, especially for older developments.

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The ECHO Journal is published monthly by the Executive Council of Homeowners. The views of authors expressed in the articles herein do not necessarily reflect the views of ECHO. We assume no responsibility for the statements and opinions advanced by the contributors to the magazine. It is released with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent person should be sought.


PRESENTING 2011–2012 ECHO Events September 15

September 24

October 14

San Francisco Luncheon

Luncheon

St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco

11:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Central Coast Fall Seminar

Half-Day Seminar

Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley

8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

ECHO Annual Meeting

Member Meeting

ECHO Office 1602 The Alameda, San Jose

October 22

Peninsula Fall Seminar

Half-Day Seminar

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Foster City

8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

February 4, 2012

Marin Seminar

Half-Day Seminar

Embassy Suites, San Rafael

8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

February 25

Central Coast Winter Seminar

Half-Day Seminar

Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley

8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Wine Country Seminar

Half-Day Seminar

Sally Tomatoes, Rohnert Park

8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

South Bay Seminar

Half-Day Seminar

Campbell Community Center, Campbell

8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

ECHO Annual Seminar

Full-Day Seminar

Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara

8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Central Coast Fall Seminar

Half-Day Seminar

Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley

8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Peninsula Fall Seminar

Half-Day Seminar

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Foster City

8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

March 24

April 14

June 22, 23

September 22

October 20


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September 2011 | ECHO Journal


By Tyler P. Berding, Esq.

Condominium Conversions: Owner Equity at Risk? The Incentive to Create Condos from Old Apartments ONDOMINIUM CONVERSIONS, a really bad idea, are here again. You don’t need statistics to tell you that condominiums converted from old apartment houses have been all the rage for several years. Just look around. Numerous apartment buildings are being sold as condominiums. We saw it twenty years ago when home prices in

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California experienced the same kind of super heated run-up that we’ve seen in the first part of this decade. Anything with a door and a roof sold quickly, often with multiple offers. The market has cooled some now, but builders with homes to sell made a lot of money.

ECHO Journal | September 2011

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Having homes to sell, of course, is the key. You can’t profit from sales without inventory, and homes can only be built so fast. With more inventory to sell, there is, of course, more profit; so the question became how to increase inventory quickly to take advantage of a hot market. You could build faster, with more crews, but the limiting factor is always available land and proper zoning. How far out into the Sacramento Valley will a commuter be willing to drive on his or her evening commute from Oakland or San Francisco or San Jose before that house in Tracy or Modesto or Salinas loses its allure? Not much further would be our guess. And since all of the available empty land is now maybe at least an hour’s commute away from available jobs, some would-be real estate developers had to look elsewhere. And when they looked around they saw thousands of apartment units in buildings in good, close-in locations. These were naturals in the hot sales market of the last few years. Further, many apartment complexes that were built in previous boom times like the mid-seventies and late eighties had now been depreciated by their owners to the point where further repair and maintenance did not make good investment sense; thus their owners were willing to sell them, especially when converters were offering much more than the properties could command as rentals. Apartment conversions appeared to solve everyone’s problems. They provided a source of low to moderately priced housing in builtup urban areas where the average price of a single family home is out of reach of many working families. Cities can improve the availability of low cost housing in a single stroke. No change of zoning, no new utilities, streets, or other expensive city-maintained infrastructure is necessary—it’s already there! And most important, the city can increase property tax revenues. Proposition 13 Since 1978, the recipients of the greatest benefit from California’s Proposition 13 have been the owners of residential apartments. That should come as no surprise; the apartment owners were sponsors of that initiative. The initiative capped increases in property taxes to a fixed percentage instead of following market value. Owners of apartments typically hold such properties for many years longer than owners of homes; so the adjustment mechanism in Proposition 13, which ratchets property taxes up to current levels 8

September 2011 | ECHO Journal

only upon sale to a new owner, affects apartment properties much less than individually owned homes. As long as an owner remains on the title to a residential property, the assessed value of a property for property tax purposes can only be increased by something like one percent a year. Put another way, the property taxes on apartment houses increase only this statutory maximum for all of the years they are owned by the same owner, regardless of a market value increase of many times that. The same is true for individually owned homes, but homes statistically turn over more frequently; when they do, the appraised value increases to market value more often. The result is that homeowners pay higher property taxes; therefore the more recently sold homes the city can create, the more property tax it can collect. If you convert a 200 unit apartment house into 200 individually owned homes, the increase in property taxes that results from all of those sales is too tempting for a city to resist. As a consequence, cities have shown a remarkable lack of self-restraint when considering whether to approve such developments.

Buyers of a condo built as new construction have one thing going for them that those who buy the condo conversion do not— time. Some cities have conversion ordinances that require some minimal level of rehabilitation or disclosure. Yet such ordinances frequently fail to protect the buyers. Although we have seen very high-end conversions from newer buildings that actually do not need a great deal of rehabilitation, most conversions are from older apartment buildings with years of deferred maintenance and with tragically under-funded budgets for the management of these properties. The new owners will never be able to afford to maintain the property properly due to the fact that the many converters fail to do any significant rehabilitation at all. This has the affect of


dumping hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars in unfunded liability for deferred maintenance on unsuspecting buyers. It is likely that in most cases a city inspector has given these projects only a cursory review prior to approving the development for conversion. The California Department of Real Estate has also failed the buyers of these maintenance nightmares. The developer submits the budgets, and as long as they appear to comply with DRE guidelines, the projects are approved by the state. The Hidden Cost of Buying a Converted Condominium Budgets are only as good as the estimates of useful life for each component that will require repair. If the siding is already worn out and requires replacement, estimating that it will last 20 more years may look good to the State of California; but it isn’t true and the buyers will be misled. Worse, the owner’s assessments will be calculated on an artificially-inflated useful life and as a consequence the reserve for siding replacement will be grossly underfunded. Similarly, if the siding is accurately estimated to last only two more years, but the reserve budget projected is based on artificially low assessments, the community association will not accumulate anywhere near enough cash to replace the siding in that time, and again the buyers have been misled and stuck with something that they cannot hope to maintain. It is also important to note that in either of the foregoing circumstances, the owner’s assessment will appear as affordable, and more low to moderate buyers will qualify to buy the condominium, broadening the market for sales. The truth, however, is that the misrepresentations of the cost of ownership that result from misstated or inaccurate reserve budgets will eventually result in a much higher cost of ownership than is indicated by the purchase price. And who ends up buying conversions? Some of the high-end conversions are bought by owners who have the financial wherewithal to fund necessary repairs, but not many are so fortunate. It is our experience that the worst buildings end up in the hands of low or very moderate-income people who can least afford to deal with these extensive maintenance problems. Math and Time Work Against Condominium Conversions The buyers of a condominium built as new construction have one thing going for them that their friends who bought the condomini-

um conversion do not—time. Newly constructed condominiums, once the initial construction issues are dealt with, will survive neglect and poor maintenance for a number of years. If a new condominium association pays at least some attention to all of the projected repair needs of a building, they will budget adequately while there is still time— perhaps ten or fifteen years or more—to save the cash to fund those eventual repairs. The buyers of a converted apartment house, however, may find that the same components need repair or major rehabilitation, but right now, not 25 years from now, and hence with no time to accumulate the cash to do it. If you convert a 25-year old apartment house to condominiums and do not do major rehabilitation in the process, all of those years of deferred maintenance are left on the doorstep of the new owners. No reserve budget can hope to adequately head off such a grossly unfunded liability with anything close to affordable assessments. There simply is no time to save the money.

Owners who defer maintenance usually don’t just defer it for one component—they defer it for the entire building. Let’s say that a project has plywood siding. Let’s also assume it costs about $20,000 per unit to re-side the project. If the reserve budget includes a line item for siding replacement, as opposed to just painting, a newly-built 200-unit project would have say, 20 or 25 years to accumulate the roughly $4 million that it will eventually need to replace the siding. This is possible with a well-managed funding plan and if the reserves are fully funded for most of those 25 years. But now let’s assume that the community association is formed to manage a condominium project converted from a 25-year old apartment building that has not been maintained all that well. The siding will likely be at the end of its useful life when the condominium project is sold to its lucky new owners. If the converter has not replaced the siding or seeded the reserve funds with substantial ECHO Journal | September 2011

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capital, the owners will face a daunting, and probably impossible, task—coming up with several million dollars in just a few short years! What community association do you know that could possibly raise that much money, either borrowed or by assessing its members, or both, in that short amount of time? Few that we know. Further, the buildings where the deferred maintenance is the worst are not the high-end projects where the owners might be able to afford a large special assessment, but rather low-to moderate income projects where the residents have little chance of either borrowing or contributing the necessary funds. Elusive Equity In the example above, the $4 million repair bill distributed among 200 owners will mean that each owner has to consider that her assumed equity in her home, when based on the purchase price, is actually $20,000.00 less the moment she closes escrow. Put another way, the true price of the condominium just went up by a lot. And that’s if all that’s wrong with this 25 year-old apartment house is confined to one component. That’s rarely the case, of course. Owners who defer maintenance for a building usually don’t just defer it for one component—they defer it for the entire building. All the wood products, not just siding, but also balconies, walkways, retaining walls, doors, window trim, roofs and plumbing will all deteriorate if not maintained properly or replaced when worn out, and at 25 years of age most of these components will be at the end of their useful lives. The loss of equity or diminution in value due to the cost of all deferred maintenance that must be addressed by the new owners can deal a major blow to property value once discovered. We can create a simple formula for this loss of equity: Present Cost of Rehabilitation (PCR) less Converter Contribution to Reserves = Lost Owner Equity (LOE). Now if the converter were to rehabilitate the project completely—new siding, paint, trim, entry structures, balconies, roof, asphalt —putting the project into an “as new” condition, the PCR would be very low to non-existent, leaving little owner liability or LOE. Conversely, if the PCR is high and is not offset sufficiently by converter contributions to capital, LOE will be high also. Continued on page 12 10

September 2011 | ECHO Journal


How to make your investment safer Condos, townhomes, homeowner associations and other “shared expenses” housing is the wave of the future in the United States and around the world. But to make it a sustainable investment, new buyers, owners and volunteer board members need to understand “best practices basics” of how this form of housing works and have more realistic expectations of this form of “carefree, maintenance free” living. The new book, Condos, Townhomes, Home Owner Associations—How to Make Your Investment Safer, provides essential training and checklists for • Association Board Members • Owners in Associations • Prospective Buyers of Association Property The book answers vital questions that can help to keep your association from financial ruin: • What overview training should board members have before beginning their service? • What critical financial and mechanical information should

board members track each month? • What information should a buyer look for before buying in an association? The author provides lessons that help you to: • Protect property values • Gain peace of mind • Lessen the need for large, unexpected special assessments Patrick Hohman, author of the book and a 22-year association president, compiled these userfriendly, colorful lessons with the help of industry experts throughout the United States. The paperback, Condos, Townhomes, Home Owner Associations—How to Make Your Investment Safer, is now available from ECHO for only $29 for members and $45 for nonmembers. Order today by calling (408) 297-3246 or order online at www.echo-ca.org.


Condominium Conversions Continued from page 10

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Price is usually based on perceived value, based in turn on the reasonable assumptions of a buyer. It is reasonable for a buyer to assume that the advertised price of the condominium plus the monthly assessment listed will, taken together, equal the cost of ownership. But if the hidden cost of accumulated deferred maintenance results in immediate LOE, the price advertised is not the true price, and the buyer’s reasonable expectations are thwarted because she lacks information essential to evaluating the value of the property. The PCR can sometimes be so high that virtually all owner equity is wiped out, at least on paper. Consider a $300 thousand condominium purchased with 10 percent down. Equity would be $30,000. In the case of a converted 25-year-old apartment complex, with $3 to $4 million in deferred repairs, it is easy to see how aggregate owner equity could be reduced to zero.

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The prior owner of the apartment complex may have calculated that the accumulating cost of rehabilitating the buildings was in excess of any profit he obtained from renting the apartments—a losing investment. If the apartment owner doesn’t rehab the buildings, rents will continue to sag. If he substantially rehabilitates the apartment complex, he may invest more than the rents he can obtain will justify; so he decides to sell. If the converter buys the complex for more than its worth as rental property and adds to his acquisition cost the cost of all necessary rehabilitation, his total development cost will not only exceed the rental value of the building but may exceed its value as condominiums. If he did all of the repairs necessary to bring the property to an “as new” (zero PCR) condition, it is difficult to see how a converter could make any money at prices that the market would accept. We suspect that the answer is that he couldn’t; and therefore he doesn’t do much rehabilitation and he passes most of the deferred maintenance on to the buyers as a hidden additional cost of ownership. Rarely is this disclosed or understood by the condominium buyer.

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Only substantial rehabilitation will eliminate all deferred maintenance. But because, as we said, to rehab the buildings as we describe may consume most or all of the expected profit from the development, this 12

September 2011 | ECHO Journal


work is simply not done. If it were to be done, the price might have to be so high that few sales would result. All of this leaves one to wonder about the economics, and ethics, of this entire enterprise. If the “converted” condominiums cannot be sold for a price high enough to allow the converter to reduce the PCR to zero and thereby justify the advertised price and owner assessments, can conversions really provide new housing without having to rely on misrepresentations to hide the true cost of ownership? Simply put, do the economics of this type of development allow an ethical transaction? We don’t know, but we suspect that the ethical envelope is pushed out quite far in the sales of some converted condominiums, a situation that we plan to investigate further.

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A bad maintenance situation will become remarkably worse. And if this is all true, what will happen to the project? An already bad maintenance situation will become remarkably worse. The actual useful life of the entire project may be way less than the length of the mortgage. A 25-year old apartment house that has accumulated a lot of deferred maintenance doesn’t have another 25 years to live if nothing is done about it. Given the potential shortfall that exists in many of the conversions today; it is not likely that anything can be done about this problem except to not convert old apartments into condominiums in the first place unless the converter is prepared to make a substantial capital investment in eliminating deferred maintenance. This is not to say that all condominium conversion projects are suspect. Many converters have invested substantial cash in rehabilitation so as to give the buyers what they expect. But others, looking for a way to turn a profit quickly, may have simply “flipped” the project and passed deferred maintenance on to unsuspecting buyers. The best way to be sure is to ask the right questions and insist on answers before closing the deal.

Tyler Berding is a founding partner of Berding|Weil, LLP, a real estate law firm located in Alamo, California. For more information, please see the firm website at www.berding-weil.com.

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There can be no civil discourse if the association doesn’t provide the basic structure for it.

By Julie Adamen

Fight Night or Fight Nice M

UCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN

about the lack of civility within community associations and, in particular, between board members and homeowners. Why do these situations arise so often? One person said she thought it was because “condo meetings almost always lend themselves to arguments because, just like a marriage, money is involved.” While there is validity to that state-

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ment, I believe the reason there is so much conflict in communities has more to do with a lack of appropriate communication on matters at hand, very poor advocacy and communication skills on the part of individuals, and virtually no consequences for the obstructionists. Add ego, frustration, plain bad manners, and certain psychological disorders, and you have all the ingredients for the

September 2011 | ECHO Journal

average cantankerous association meeting. Let’s look at what can take some of the fight out of fight night. There Can Be No Civil Discourse If the Association Doesn’t Provide the Basic Structure for It It is the responsibility of all boards of directors to provide the platform for civil discourse for their community. Without this platform,

owners and even board members are left to find their own way in how to best communicate within the structure of the association. This hit or miss approach can lead to great frustration, and eventually to outright anger, as members struggle to take part in the process of community governance without a clearly defined path. Continued on page 16


ECHO Journal | September 2011

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Fight Night or Fight Nice

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Though failing to adopt a defined platform for communication is usually benign neglect on the part of the board, it can be very detrimental to civil discourse within the community. It may also give the board the appearance of being secretive and/or elite, giving rise to a lack of credibility in the eyes if the owners.

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Adopt Basic Parliamentary Procedures. All boards should adopt some sort of basic parliamentary procedure so there is structure within which to conduct their meetings, including membership meetings. Boards should also publish and distribute procedural information to all board members and homeowners. Next, have an agenda for each meeting, and follow that agenda. If homeowners are present and wish to address the board, there should be a designated time for them to do so, within or outside the meeting, depending upon the particular laws in your state. Each person should be allowed 3–5 minutes to speak, depending on which rule your board adopts. Adopting, and following, these simple suggestions will go a long way toward promoting civil discourse among your board members and owners. Communicate Regularly with Owners. One of the major reasons associations have so many seemingly silly problems is a lack of communication between the board and the owners. When there is an information vacuum (believe me) it will get filled with gossip, innuendo and downright falsehoods. This situation not only adds to the negative image of your association, but it also makes it very hard for a board to remain credible in the eyes of the owners, despite good intentions. Communicate regularly via newsletter and web site. Many communities neglect their newsletters because they think they need to publish the New York Times, and the volunteers just don’t have the time or skill to write long and informative prose. Both of these assumptions are incorrect. Newsletters are best when they are two to four pages long. And for boards that don’t include members with the time or skill for writing, there are newsletter services out there that specialize in community association publications. For a very reasonable price, these organizations will take your minimal input and produce a professional, topnotch newsletter.

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September 2011 | ECHO Journal


Turn to the Web. Web sites are very, very valuable for getting out information in real time. Web sites, however, do not diminish the need for a snail-mail newsletter; in fact, quite the opposite is true: the newsletter should be driving members to the Web site for that real-time information. Be aware that if you do go this route, your Web site must be kept up-to-date (and there are several companies that provide this service at very affordable rates). If your owners go to the site looking for the minutes of the last board meeting, and the most recent they can find are minutes from 2005, you have created another credibility problem through very poor communication. Developing and Maintaining Credibility: The Crucial Element to Effective Advocacy Recently, I attended two meetings of the owners in my own association, in which I am a board member. The meetings pertained to a proposed amendment to our governing documents. The amendment would change our method of assessing unit owners from staggered assessments based on square footage to a uniform amount for each home. The first meeting, held 60 days before the second meeting, was informational only, with the board taking questions from about 80 attendees. This meeting went relatively well, and the following week ballots were sent to all owners on the issue. The second meeting was a general membership meeting on the budget, as well as the final date for allowing members to cast their votes on the proposed amendment. The vast majority of owners were in favor of the change because it lowered almost everyone’s dues except the affected few, who will be facing slightly higher dues. At the second meeting, there was a small group of folks who just didn’t like the changes proposed, and by gosh, they were going to let everyone know about their feelings! As political process, this is the way it’s supposed to work: everyone has a say, tries to persuade others to see their point of view, and then votes on the matter. From my perspective, watching this particular group of “opposition advocates� was fascinating because they made every classic mistake they possibly could for advocating their position, each one leading to a total lack of credibility. What are those “classic mistakes?� Let’s take a look:

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Strategies for Being an Effective and Civil Advocate Be Proactive: Come Forward Early in the Process. Whatever the issue you are for or against, you must come forward as early as possible in the process. In this particular situation, complete information about the proposed changes was made available early and often to the owners. Despite this fact, the spokesman for the opposition failed to attend the first owner’s meeting on the issue. Regardless of why the owner elected to skip the meeting, by not attending the meeting specifically designed for him and other owners to voice their opinions, the decision forced the spokesman to jump in with both feet at the final meeting. The result? He looked like a petulant spoiler instead of an advocate with a bandwagon everyone should jump on. If you have a position to advocate, get in the mix as early as you can. If, through no fault of your own, you can come in to the process toward the end, you must adjust your message to fit that reality. Acknowledge your “Johnny-come-lately” status (a little self-deprecating humor goes a long way here), and advocate in a clear and concise manner meant to sway—not alienate—as many people as you can in the short time you have to do so. You do not have the luxury of being able to go back and fix what you may have broken with a less-than-stellar presentation. Be Well-Prepared. In our case in point, the opposition group was prepared to do only one thing: let everyone know how unhappy they were in a most negative and confrontational manner. They were not prepared to present their position with information, facts, answers to objections, or a positive spin on why people should side with them. If you have a position to advocate, make sure you go in to the arena with all available arrows in your quiver. Prepare an opening statement on why you are taking the position you are taking. Explain your reasoning and cite facts and events. Provide successful precedents or actions by other associations. Anticipate objections, have answers to those objections in hand, and present them before anyone has to question you. Summarize your position concisely and reasonably, and thank the group for listening. This method develops credibility for you and your cause. Be Willing to Change Your Position in Light of Facts. Once again, consider our opposition group. As it turned out, the group had based their entire opposition position on 18

September 2011 | ECHO Journal


an erroneous assumption. The erroneous assumption was pointed out and explained clearly to the group on several occasions. To make the error clear, the opposition group was also given the background, information, reasoning, and facts for the proposed change, including information from the association’s counsel. Yet, in a stunning example of groupthink, the entire opposition group stuck to their original arguments, regardless of the facts presented to them. Result? No credibility. Clinging to a position that has no merit does not do you, or the group you may represent, any favors. You will not be seen as a tenacious leader crusading for a just cause; you will be seen as a person foolishly wasting his time and the time of others on a nonissue. Re-evaluate the facts and choose those that most strongly make your point. Letting go of what doesn’t work presents you as the reasonable and thoughtful opposition, and it leaves the door open for you to advocate any position with credibility in the future. If you don’t let go, you are fighting the Battle of the Heart, having left your brains somewhere else. If you advocate a certain position publicly and passionately, only to find that the basic tenet of your position was in error, acknowledge it and move on but don’t give up! Be Passionate, Not Emotional. It was clear the moment he stepped through the door into the owners’ meeting that our leading opposition advocate was very angry. His small band of followers followed suit, making snide remarks and stage-whispered comments behind their hands, glaring at the crowd, shaking their heads, and harrumphing whenever someone attempted to answer their concerns. This angry, hostile and negative behavior wasted the group’s credibility with the board and other owners before even one of them had a chance to speak. Unfortunately, these folks made the mistake of letting their emotions get the best of them. When emotions rule, people say things they shouldn’t, make baseless accusations and sarcastic remarks, and generally join the ranks of the polite-impaired. People can become outwardly emotional when they have strong feelings about something, and for some reason homeowners associations and their dealings seem to bring out a lot of strong feelings. When you are trying to advocate a position, it is best to keep your emotions in check, yet let your passion for the subject come through. Nothing loses ECHO Journal | September 2011

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credibility faster than letting emotions run away with you, regardless of whether you are speaking to one person or to a large group. And nothing brings more people to your way of thinking than clear, passionate, logical and positive advocacy. Don’t Make Empty Threats. Going back to our case in point, the opposition group, having failed to turn the tide of community opinion in their favor because of a poorly thought out position, very poor advocacy skills, and downright bad manners, threatened litigation. Even at your most desperate, don’t threaten to sue unless you mean it and have a course of action and the wherewithal to proceed. The minute any savvy board member or manager hears a threat, he or she will refer you to association counsel. Even worse for you, the board member or property manager will then be obligated not to speak with you on the issue at hand from that point on. The situation doesn’t work out all that well if you didn’t really intend to sue and were trying to get something accomplished for yourself or your group, because now you have no one to talk to but yourselves. Threatening litigation stops dialogue and negotiation in its tracks. Let Go. Whether the position you are advocating “wins” or “loses,” you must let go and move on for the betterment of the community. Nothing is worse than a gloating victor, except maybe the spoiled loser. Either way, you lose credibility for the next position you may wish to advocate. All You Need to Know You Learned in Kindergarten Common Decency Takes the Fight Out. As a former manager and now a vendor (consultant) and board member, I still find it fascinating that people will do and say things as board members or homeowners that they would never dream of doing or saying at work, or in their homes. It’s as if they need a little fantasy world where they can vent their frustrations and yet face no little or no consequences, and they have found that satisfying world in their homeowner associations. I always want to ask these people: “Didn’t your parents teach you any manners?” It seems to me that we could all use a course in manners and civility in this country. Whether being an advocate for a position in your homeowner association, dealing with the clerk in the market, driving down the freeway, or talking on the phone to the cable company, there are a few basics of human

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decency to which we should all adhere. As Robert Fulghum said in his book All I Need to Really Know I Learned in Kindergarten: “Everything you need to know is in there [kindergarten] somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.” I emphasize the sane living part of this wisdom-filled treatise on human interaction because this is what really applies to the position I advocate. Civil discourse within the structure of homeowner associations is not only possible, it’s far easier than many would think if we and our associations would only follow some simple, clear, and commonsense tenets. First, our associations must resolve to provide the basic platform for civil discourse, and doing so starts with adopting parliamentary procedures and providing regular communication with owners. Next, we as owners must do our part, by gaining and maintaining credibility so the position for which we advocate will be given the attention it is due. We must be proactive, coming in to the process early. We must be well-prepared and have all the pertinent facts that support our position at hand. If facts change, we must be willing to adjust our position to reflect those facts. This may require us either to abandon our advocated position altogether, or to adjust our talking points for positive advocacy and then continue on. We must not let our emotions run away with us because doing so makes us lose credibility very quickly, but we must allow our passion for the position to show through. If the tide seems to be going against us, we must not make empty threats. Threats make a mockery of the position for which we advocate, and credibility suffers the same fate. And, perhaps most importantly, we need to let go once the issue is over. No matter which position we were “for,” it’s the graceful and classy thing to do. And we maintain our credibility for the next issue. Lastly, let’s remember the things we learned in kindergarten. Thank you, Robert Fulghum. I wish every association would make your book required reading for all owners prior to purchase.

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Are the buildings at your association older or subject to significant code changes if the project were to be rebuilt? This article explains how building ordinance coverage can help protect your property.

By Timothy Cline

Building Ordinance Coverage The Older the Building, the More Important the Coverage

A

LL INSURANCE POLICIES HAVE

been written based on the concept of “indemnity.” Indemnity means “protection or security against damage or loss.” In this vein, fire insurance policies were never designed to put a person in a better

position than he or she was prior to a loss; otherwise the existence of insurance might inadvertently create an incentive to have a loss. To say that insurance companies are a little uncomfortable with the idea of someone profiting from ECHO Journal | September 2011

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having a loss would be a gross understatement. To prevent a policyholder from unfair compensation whenever a covered loss occurs, most insurance contracts are written in such a way that the carrier’s only responsibility is to return the building to the condition it was in prior to the loss. This is true even if an older building is damaged and substantial changes in the building codes have occurred, requiring considerable updating or improvements. Such consequential losses that occur as a result of the enforcement of the building code will not be covered under the standard fire insurance policy.

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September 2011 | ECHO Journal

The building codes can pose a threat even if there is a partial loss. Unfortunately, most municipalities require that, if 50 percent or more of a building is damaged, the entire structure (damaged and undamaged portions) must be brought up to current building codes. If there has been a change in the building codes since original construction, the cost for those additional improvements must be paid solely by the Insured. Changes in building codes can be “slight”—the building code requires the installation of hard wired smoke detectors—


to “moderate”—the building code now requires that the building must be retrofitted for fire sprinklers—to “severe”—when the building code now requires residential fire sprinklers (cost: $15,000 per unit or more). If your building was converted from an apartment project or is more than fifteen years old, the building code changes might be substantial. It’s best to consult with your community’s Department of Building and Safety to determine what changes might be necessary if your building must be brought up to current building codes. An optional insurance coverage called Building Ordinance is available. This coverage protects the association against consequent loss resulting from the enforcement of laws or ordinances that do not permit restoring a building to its condition prior to loss. Such coverage is required by many Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions; yet only a few condominium associations currently maintain this coverage. The coverage is specifically designed to protect the association against losses sustained as a result of the enforcement of building codes or ordinances. Building Ordinance coverage is comprised of three separate parts or coverages: Demolition Coverage: Since the undamaged portion might need to be demolished in order to rebuild a structure to conform to current building code, Demolition Coverage covers the cost of demolition of the undamaged portions of the building in order for the entire building to be replaced with one conforming to present building codes. Loss of Value: Because the undamaged portion was not technically “damaged,” the regular fire policy would not cover the “loss” of the undamaged portion of the structure. This coverage picks up the Loss Of Value of an undamaged portion of the building (this portion of the policy is designed to cover the costs to rebuild the undamaged portion). Increased Cost of Construction: This covers the increased expenses incurred in replacing the building with one conforming to laws or ordinances or to repair the damaged building so that it meets current building laws or ordinances. In our example, it would cover both the cost to bring the damaged and the undamaged portion up to current building code. In order to receive a quote from your insurance agent or broker for this very important coverage, you’ll need to address two items:

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1. How much demolition coverage would be necessary to demolish the undamaged portions of the project (generally demolition costs are approximately $2.00 per square foot). 2. How much Increased Costs Coverage the association will need (i.e., how much will it cost to bring the entire building up to current building codes). One pitfall—some condominium projects are located in areas where down zoning has occurred. An example of down zoning is when a 30-unit condominium project is built on a piece of land that, since construction, has been designated by the local Land Use Planning and Zoning Department to only hold 20 units. If a loss occurs that affects more than 50 percent of the structure, the association may only be able to rebuild twenty units, not the original thirty units. In this case, the “loss” was not resulting from the enforcement of laws or ordinances pertaining to the building, but rather pertaining to the land. It is the land that has sustained the loss (i.e., any real estate developer knows that a piece of land that supports 30 units is substantially more valuable than a piece of land that only supports 20 units); thus, the down zoning is not insurable.

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If your project is on a piece of land that has been down zoned, it’s important that the board not only disclose this to the current owners but also to any prospective owner that may show an interest in the association. However it is worth noting that the municipalities involved “overlooked” a down-zoning situation on one of the condominium associations that were devastated by the San Francisco earthquake of October 17, 1989 and the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994. In each case, the Department of Building and Safety permitted all of the units to be rebuilt—even though the site had been down zoned. This is not to say that every community will overlook their zoning ordinances when a loss of this type occurs, but it is encouraging nonetheless.

Tim Cline, CIRMS, is president of Timothy Cline Insurance Agency, Inc. in Santa Monica. He is a past President of the greater Los Angeles chapter of Community Associations Institute and has served on the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the Insurance Brokers and Agents Association of the West. The company is a member of ECHO.


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By Beth A. Grimm, Esq.

Earthquake Insurance To Buy Or Not To Buy M

ANY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS HAVE

inquired over the years as to whether they should buy earthquake insurance, considering that the costs fluctuate so much and at times are quite high. After networking with attorneys all over the state of California that had to deal with the problems involving reconstruction, collection of special assessments, and disputes with insurance companies in the aftermath of the Loma Prieta and Northridge quakes, I have come to believe that associations should purchase earthquake insurance if they can get it, even if the price is high. The reason: Associations that did not have coverage experienced severely exacerbated problems, and many did not recover. The homeowners who wish to rebuild and keep their homes are the biggest losers when there is no insurance. The ones who purchased with little invested are the “winners”—they tend to walk away and leave the others with the full burden of rebuilding. Why not spread the risk fairly by engaging all of the owners in the development in preparing for “the big one”? I have been asked since to speak to many associations about the considerations behind the decision to buy or not to buy, and I have shared the floor with insurance representatives who are able to find earthquake insurance, some even with a 10 percent deductible or a “per building” deductible (which is more desirable than a “per development” deductible) for a sum of money that is sufficiently affordable. By the way, my rule of thumb as to affordability in 1996–2001 when 28

September 2011 | ECHO Journal

I first started writing about this was that an affordable master policy to be somewhere in the range of $400 to $600 per year per unit for homes priced in the neighborhood of $200,000 to $300,000. In later years, with rising values in the median statewide market value of a home being more like $500,000 and up, I opined that the cost for master protection in the range of $1000 to $1500 per unit per year to be affordable and worthwhile for the master EQ coverage. I recognize that property values are deflated today but does that change my taste for risk? Not really. I base my thoughts on what I am willing to pay to get the coverage, given a condo I own on or near a fault. At this time in 2011 it is worth it is worth about $400,000, having ranged in value from $200,000 to $700,000 over the year; and I (like anyone else owning a condo) can cover my share in our association’s deductible which might (considering various alternative loss scenarios) be $10,000-$50,000 per unit through an earthquake policy purchased from the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). My share of an uninsured earthquake loss of $150,000 to $400,000 (again, considering various loss scenarios), coupled with responsibility in a share for those who would not stay and pay, would probably cause me to lose the property; and I do not want to lose the property. There are certain to be many owners in any mature common interest development that have struggled to buy property and built up some equity, even in the current market. They deserve consideration.

A board has to take into consideration the interests of the community and not make decisions based on individual interests. It does not make sense to let those who have put little down on the property (who are more likely to oppose the coverage because their investment is small) dictate what protections to forego. Even if many are “underwater,” those who have worked hard to earn equity and want to stay and weather the recession and protect their interests deserve the benefit of some sharing of the risks by all other owners. Unfortunately for those owners who want the protection of master coverage, many boards, when they face the increases in the premiums for earthquake insurance, or cuts in coverage, or are bombarded in today’s economy by owners who have lost equity, lose their objectivity. The neighbor’s pleas or personal interests of directors (if they own an “underwater” unit) sway them. However, it is extremely important to consider the risks involved in saying “NO” to EQ coverage. Those risks are: Lawsuits: If there is an earthquake, the board members and association could be sued and the directors and officers liability carrier would deny coverage because “failure to insure adequately” is not a covered item, and guess who would pay to defend the lawsuits! Extra Costs Caused by the “Walk-Aways:” If the association has no coverage and there is an earthquake, owners “little invested” or without equity will likely choose to “walk


ECHO Journal | September 2011

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away” leaving behind a trail of problems and expenses for those that stay. Even those that want to stay will have a very difficult time as losses will likely exceed amounts for which they can insure through available CEA “gap” coverage. “Stand Alone” policies are not what they seem. Private “stand-alone” (non-CEA) unit coverage which is purportedly being offered for individual homeowners whose associations are uninsured is not a solution for rebuilding, considering how difficult it would be to rebuild one single unit in a four, five or six unit building. Besides, from what I am told, the quotes given to owners for “standalone” earthquake coverage are astronomical; and some policies sold purportedly as “stand-alone” products will really only pay if there is underlying master coverage. If your association’s CC&Rs require that the board purchase earthquake insurance coverage, then it should be purchased unless the CC&Rs are amended. If the association cannot bear the cost of the premiums or the board finds that the owners want a change, then an amendment should be put to a vote of the members. If it is not, then there is a fiduciary duty issue for failure to fulfill the 30

September 2011 | ECHO Journal

obligation required by the CC&Rs. Ignoring the governing documents is not the answer. But I caution boards not to jump at the chance to eliminate the coverage or the documentary obligation without considering all possible options and doing some due diligence. In fact, the extent of the “due diligence” could well be a factor in defending a board that is sued. Here is something you might not have considered—educate the owners before taking a vote or saying “no” to master coverage so that you can get valid feedback from any survey or vote. Associations can bear high deductibles in the EQ master policies (which can equate to quite a savings in premiums) if owners are encouraged, possibly even required (by a CC&R amendment if needed) to purchase the CEA gap coverage. (CEA doesn’t call it that—it’s just a way of defining it as coverage that fills the gap opened up by the EQ deductible and other costs that might fall on individual owners in condos.) The CEA offers residential policies to owners (called “Condominium” policies even if the development is townhouses or other common interest development attached housing) that cover personal property, build-

ing coverage for the owner’s unit, loss of rent and/or relocation costs, and perhaps most pertinent, loss assessment coverage that is paid to the owner to cover any associationimposed special assessment to cover the deductible or rebuild. One can purchase such an affordable policy even if the association does not have master coverage, and there are choices in the amount of coverage available, up to $100,000 for loss assessment in a condo valued at over $135,000. The policy would cover up to a $100,000 of one unit’s share in a deductible or, even if there is no master coverage, would be payable to an owner if the condo units are not rebuilt. The information on options and costs can be found on the CEA website at this URL: www.earthquakeauthority.com. Since these are “residential” policies, they are less expensive than the “commercial policies” available to the associations. That is why it makes sense to give some thought to considering a higher deductible on the master policy—because it could be subsidized individually by owners with a less expensive residential “gap coverage” policy. For example, the condo I own carries master coverage. It is a 100 unit condo on or very


near a fault and the master policy costs each of us $450 per unit per year. I have a CEA policy to cover up to a $75,000 loss assessment deductible that costs me about $350 per year. For under $1000.00 per year on the combined policies, I could get up to $100,000 loss assessment coverage. If the majority of owners in any condo development were so “enrolled,” we could withstand a pretty considerable loss. If the development is totaled and not rebuilt, I could walk away with enough to pay the mortgage off and then some. Boards needs to be willing to consider this as an option for the owners and to educate the owners of all the possibilities before saying “no.” Of course I understand that economic times make it hard for people to bear extra expenses and thus have caused property values to be depressed to a point that there are more properties than ever “underwater.” But I also should point out that many owners have already or are in the process of walking away from “underwater” properties; and many of those coming in as new owners are investors. Why should they not share in the cost of protection for everyone else by sharing the costs of master earthquake insurance coverage? All this said, for any association that is having difficulty getting earthquake insurance or that is having difficulty justifying the cost, boards, before you “Just say NO,” the following minimal steps should be taken. If there ever is a lawsuit for failure to push EQ insurance, it will be important to be able to argue that the decision was a “prudent business decision.” The board of directors should investigate as follows: • Obtain risk analysis for type of development and geological location. • Procure multiple bids from insurance companies for earthquake insurance, or from an insurance broker who has access to several different companies. • Educate and survey homeowners to see where they stand on the issue, providing them with meaningful facts and information the board has gathered including how they can protect themselves from high deductible gaps. • Determine whether the costs involved would require an increase in regular assessments or special assessment that would require homeowner approval.

• Make a prudent decision as to whether to put any measure to a vote, or decline coverage, after gathering and considering the information as described above. If the association wants to purchase earthquake insurance and the costs exceed legal limits for increases, then the association must go to the membership for approval under Civil Code Section 1366. The governing documents may require a stated percentage requirement for purchasing EQ insurance. Some boards might want to consider borrowing from the reserves to pay premiums, which requires specific steps and notice to owners and a plan to repay the reserves. It is good to get legal advice as to the requirements because there is some legal protection against individual liability for board members who consult experts when expertise is required to figure out the legal requirements. For those associations waiting for a state program to bail you out, you can stop waiting. The California Earthquake Authority, and any other state program selling residential insurance policies, will not provide master coverage for associations because associations must purchase commercial insurance. Whether or not to purchase EQ insurance is not the only question. Some associations are considering using the money that would otherwise be used to purchase earthquake insurance for retrofitting. If your buildings could benefit greatly from retrofitting, this might be an option. However, the above considerations still apply. Perhaps if an association must pay exorbitant amounts for layers of insurance to get full protection, there might be a feasible way to combine the purchase of minimal coverage with additional monies being spent on retrofitting. At least it would be something. It is best to consult with your legal counsel and seriously discuss the legal ramifications, and consult with a knowledgeable insurance agent to discuss the options available, before turning your back on the question involving the purchase of earthquake insurance.

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Beth Grimm is an attorney with offices in Pleasant Hill. She is a member of ECHO and various other industry organizations in California and nationally. She can be contacted through her website www.californiacondoguru.com. ECHO recently named her as the 2011 Volunteer of the Year. ECHO Journal | September 2011

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News from ECHO

Building Ordinance Insurance If the buildings at your association are older or subject to significant code changes if the project were to be rebuilt, an optional insurance coverage called Building Ordinance is available to help protect your property. Fire insurance policies are not designed to put a person in a better position than he or she was prior to a loss. To prevent a policyholder from unfair compensation whenever a covered loss occurs, most insurance contracts are written in such a way that the carrier’s only responsibility is to return the building to the condition it was in prior to the loss. This is true even if an older building is damaged and substantial changes in the building codes have occurred, requiring considerable updating or improvements. Such consequential losses will not be covered under the standard fire insurance policy. The building codes can pose a threat even if there is only a partial loss. Most municipalities require that, if 50 percent or more of a building is damaged, the entire structure (both dam32

September 2011 | ECHO Journal

aged and undamaged portions) must be brought up to current building codes. If there has been a change in the building codes since original construction, the cost for those additional improvements must be paid solely by the insured party. Building Ordinance insurance coverage protects the association against consequent loss resulting from the enforcement of laws or ordinances that do not permit restoring a building to its condition prior to loss. The coverage is specifically designed to protect the association against losses sustained as a result of the enforcement of building codes or ordinances. Building Ordinance coverage is comprised of three separate parts or coverages: • Demolition Coverage: covers the cost of demolition of undamaged portions of the building in order for the entire building to be replaced with one conforming to present building codes. • Loss of Value: picks up the Loss Of Value of an undamaged portion of the building to cover the costs to rebuild an undamaged portion.

• Increased Cost of Construction: covers the increased expenses incurred in replacing the building with one conforming to laws or ordinances or to repair a damaged building so that it meets current building laws or ordinances. Fight Night or Fight Nice Much has been written about the lack of civility within community associations and, in particular, between board members and homeowners. The reason there is so much conflict in communities may have more to do with a lack of appropriate communication on matters at hand, poor advocacy and communication skills on the part of individuals, and virtually no consequences for the obstructionists. Add ego, frustration, plain bad manners, and certain psychological disorders, and you have all the ingredients for the average cantankerous association meeting. How can we take some of the fight out of fight night? First, our associations must resolve to provide the basic platform for civil discourse, and doing so starts with adopting parliamentary procedures and providing regular communication with owners. Next, we as owners must do our part, by gaining and maintaining credibility so the position for which we advocate will be given the attention it is due. We must be proactive, coming in to the process early. We must be wellprepared and have all the pertinent facts that support our position at hand. If facts change, we must be willing to adjust our position to reflect those facts. We must not let our emotions run away with us because doing

so makes us lose credibility very quickly, but we must allow our passion for the position to show through. If the tide seems to be going against us, we must not make empty threats. Threats make a mockery of the position for which we advocate, and credibility suffers the same fate. And, perhaps most importantly, we need to let go once the issue is over. No matter which position we were “for,” it’s the graceful and classy thing to do. And we maintain our credibility for the next issue.

Important Upcoming Events Saturday, September 24 8:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. Central Coast Fall Seminar Hilton Santa Cruz 6001 La Madrona Dr. Santa Cruz Friday, October 14 ECHO Annual Membership Meeting ECHO Office 1602 The Alameda, Suite 101 San Jose Saturday, October 22 8:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. Peninsula Fall Seminar Crowne Plaza Foster City 1221 Chess Dr., Foster City


Legislation at a Glimpse As of September 1, 2011 Bill No.

Author

Subject

Status

Position

Summary

AB 19

Fong

Submetering

Failed passage in Assembly Housing.

Support if Amended

For new construction of multi-unit structures, requires the installation of water sub-meters.

AB 20

Halderman

Construction Defect Disclosure

Failed passage in Assembly Judiciary.

Oppose

Requires that an attorney make certain written disclosures to a client in a potential construction defects action. Failure to disclose would constitute cause for professional discipline.

AB 579

Monning

Mobilehome Attorneys Fees

Hearing 5/10 canceled at author’s request.

Support

Would permit the award of attorney's fees to local governments in an action brought by the owner of a mobilehome park to challenge the validity of a local ordinance.

AB 771

Butler

Sale Disclosure Signed by Documents Governor.

Neutral

Provides that the time frame and fee limitation for providing specified documents to an owner of a separate interest apply to an agent of the association.

AB 805

Torres

Davis-Stirling Revision Part 1

Passed Assembly 5/2. Two-year Bill.

Support

This is the first of two bills from the California Law Revision Commission that restate and clarify the Davis-Stirling Act.

AB 806

Torres

Davis-Stirling Revision Part 2

Passed Assembly 5/2. Two-year Bill.

Support

This is the second of two bills from the California Law Revision Commission that restate and clarify the Davis-Stirling Act.

AB 818

Blumenfield

Right To Recycle

Passed Legislature. To Governor.

Watch

Would establish “Renter’s Right To Recycle Act.”

SB 150

Correa

Rental and Lease Rights

Signed by Governor.

Support if amended

Would require associations to permit rentals by unit owners.

SB 209

Corbett

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Signed by Governor.

Oppose

Makes void and unenforceable any prohibition by an association that restricts the installation or use of an electric vehicle charging station. Requires homeowner to pay for all charges and damages associated with installation and maintenance.

SB 561

Corbett

Third Party Collections

In Assembly Judiciary. Two-year Bill.

Oppose

Would require any 3rd party acting to collect payments or assessments on behalf of an association to comply with the same requirements imposed on the association. Makes statement of legislative intent.

SB 563

Transportation & Housing Committee

Electronic Meetings

Passed Legislature. To Governor.

Support

Prohibits electronic meetings except for emergencies. Prohibits boards from taking action outside of a meeting. Requires boards to provide agendas of executive sessions. Requires boards to give notice two days before an executive session.

SB 759

Lieu

Artificial Turf

Vetoed.

Oppose

Voids provisions in governing documents that prohibit artificial turf. Allows associations to establish design and quality standards.

ECHO Journal | September 2011

33


Directory UPDATES Updates for listings in the ECHO Directory of Businesses and Professionals, now available online at www.echo-ca.org.

New Members

6 6(59,1*&20081,7,(67+528*+2871257+(51&$/,)251,$672&.721 +4 ‡)5(0217 (59,1*&20081,7,(67+528*+2871257+(51&$/,)251,$672&.721 +4 ‡)5(0217 PLE PLEASANTON‡&233(5232/,6‡02'(672‡6$17$&/$5$ ASANTON‡&233(5232/,6‡02'(672‡6$17$&/$5$

M & C Association Management Services provides community association management and developer services to Fremont, Pleasanton, Santa Clara, Stockton, Modesto, Copperopolis and the surrounding foothills. Since 1990, our sole focus has been to deliver performance that enriches communities and enhances the lives of the people we serve. M & C is proud to be an Accredited Association Management CompanyŽ (AAMCŽ), which is the Community Associations Institute’s highestGHVLJQDWLRQDZDUGHGWRPDQDJHPHQWÀUPV

Master Plumbing & Sewer, Inc. P.O. Box 939 Mountain View, CA 94042 Contact: Bart Adams Tel: 650-691-0400 Fax: 650-691-0401 www.masterplumbing.net Email: bart1919@sbcglobal.net Master plumbing is a full service shop open 7 days a week. We handle backups, water and gas leaks, boilers, pumps, re-pipes, pipe and sewer repair/replacement, radiant hearing, water heaters and more. Spiteri Builders, Inc. 989 Shasta St. Redwood City, CA 94063 Contact: Sandy Davis Tel: 925-577-4198 Fax: 650-367-4919 www.spiteribuilders.com Email: sandyd@spiteribuilders.com Spiteri Builders offers skilled experience and expertise in virtually all areas of construction such as new construction, reconstruction, specialty services, maintenance and 24 hour emergency service.

Become an ECHO Business and Professional Member and receive the many benefits of membership. 3 3OHDVDQWRQ‡)UHPRQW‡6DQWD&ODUD OHDVDQWRQ‡)UHPRQW‡6DQWD&ODUD  S Stockton tockton 209.644.4900 209.644.4900 ‡ ‡0RGHVWR‡&RSSHURSROLV 0RGHVWR‡&RSSHURSROLV For management proposal information, please visit www w.mccommunities.com or email inffo@mccommunities.com 34

September 2011 | ECHO Journal

To learn more, visit our membership page at: www.echo-ca.org/member/


Member Changes Angius & Terry Collections, LLC 1451 River Park Dr., # 125 Sacramento, CA 95815 Contact: Zena Coffman Tel: 866-320-7222 Fax: 866-320-7221 www.atccal.com Email: zcoffman@atccal.com We are an attorney supervised company and have a “No Fees • No Costs • No Risk” delinquent assessment collection program. We offer several methods of collections including non-judicial foreclosure and small claims as well as judicial foreclosure and superior court judgments through our law firm. Clark Pest Control 555 North Guild Avenue Lodi, CA 95240 Contact: Mark Myers Tel: 877-213-9903 Fax: 209-371-0370 www.clarkcommercialservices.scom Email: mmyers@clarkpest.com Complete bed bug and pest services. Customized reporting. Insect & rodent control. Bird abatement solutions. Weed control & lawn fertilization. Full termite services. From: NorthWest Insurance Agency To: George Petersen Insurance Agency 627 College Avenue Santa Rosa, CA 95404 Contact: Rachel Adams Tel: 707-525-4186 Fax: 707-525-4175 www.gpins.com Email: radams@gpins.com At George Petersen Insurance we understand the complexities of common interest developments and offer a unique approach to our clients by reviewing every association’s CC&Rs, identify potential exposures and provide insurance solutions to mitigate risk. We customize a master policy in compliance with CA Civil Code. We work in partnership with your association management firm to obtain multiple quote options that offer competitive premiums and comprehensive coverages.

By Judy O’Shaughnessy

Causes and Cures of “Hot Spots” in Turf NDIAN SUMMER IS HERE! With warm weather

I

comes the delicate balance of maintaining a beautiful landscape, while still conserving water. One negative side effect that can surface from intense heat is “hot spots” in the turf. “Hot spots” or “brown spots” in turf can occur in warm months and can cause an unsightly curb appeal. Learn what to look for and how to address this issue below.

One of the most common problems in turf care is addressing “hot spots” in turf. Often identified as an area where the turf is not an even green, these “spots” can be easier to see than to know how to fix. Too often, the water is dialed up at the controller and the cost impacts the customer’s pocketbook. There are several steps one can take to help Continued on page 41 ECHO Journal | September 2011

35


n ditio E 1 e l 201vailab A

2008 ECHO Business & Professional Directory $20.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00

Condominium Bluebook 2011 Edition $18.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00

Condos, Townhomes and Homeowner Associations $29.00 Non-Member Price: $45.00

This directory lists all business and professional members of ECHO as of December 2007. Current addresses, telephone and fax numbers, email addresses, and a short description are included. This directory is an invaluable tool for locating service providers that work with homeowner associations.

This well-known compact guide for operation of common interest develop ments in California now includes a comprehensive index of the book and a chapter containing more than 200 frequently-asked questions about associations, along with succinct answers.

To make it these a sustainable investment, new buyers, owners and board members need to understand “best practices basics” of how this form of housing works and have more realistic expectations of this form of “carefree, maintenance free” living.

Robert’s Rules of Order $7.50 Non-Member Price: $12.50

The Board’s Dilemma $10.00 Non-Member Price: $15.00

A step-by-step guide to the rules for meetings of your association, the current and official manual adopted by most organizations to govern their meetings. This guide will provide many meeting procedures not covered by the association bylaws or other governing documents.

In this essay, attorney Tyler Berding confronts the growing financial problems for community associations. Mr. Berding addresses board members who are struggling to balance their duty to protect both individual owners and the corporation, and gives answers to associations trying to avoid a funding crisis.

Community Association Statute Book—2011 Edition $15.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 Contains the 2010 version of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, the Civil Code sections that apply to common interest developments and selected provisions from the Civil, Corporations, Govern ment and Vehicle Codes important to associations.

New e Pric

Homeowners Associations— How-to Guide for Leadership New Member Price: $15.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 This well-known guide and reference is written for officers and directors of homeowner associations who want to learn how to manage and operate the affairs of their associations effectively.

FOR Board Members Reserve Fund Specialists Property Managers Unit-Owners, Accountants Lawyers, Builders

NEW

2 CHAP TERS ON OP ERATI BUDGETS NG

California Building Guidelines for Residential Construction $52.50 Non-Member Price: $60.00 This easy-to-read manual is an excellent tool to understand a new home. It contains chapters covering more than 300 conditions that have been sources of disputes between homeowners and builders, offers homeowner maintenance tips, and defines the standards to which a residence should be built.

RESERVE FUND

ESSENTIALS THIRD EDITION FIFTH PRINTING JONATHAN H.

JUFFS Reserve Fund Specialist

Two experts discuss reserve fund planning and control in a refreshingly readable and exceptionally levelheaded style.

GRAHAM D.

OLIVER Board President (ret.), Reserve Fund Aficionado

INCLUDES RESERVE FUNDS FOR CONDOMINIUMS COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS HOAs CO-OPS MEMBER-OWNED PROPERTIES MUNICIPAL FACILITIES

Questions & Answers About Community Associations $18.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 For 12 years, Jan Hickenbottom answered homeowners’ questions in her Los Angeles Times column on community associations. Now collected in one volume, readers can find answers to almost any question about CIDs.

Reserve Fund Essentials $18.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 This book is an easy to read, musthave guide for anyone who wants a clear, thorough explanation of reserve studies and their indispensable role in effective HOA planning. The author gives tips to help board members mold their reserve study into a useful financial tool.

The Condo Owner’s Answer Book $15.00 Non-Member Price: $20.00 An excellent guide to understanding the rights and responsibilities of condo ownership and operation of homeowner associations. The question-and-answer format responds to more than 125 commonly-asked questions in an easy to understand style. A great resource for newcomers and veteran owners.

2011 ECHO Annual Seminar Program Book $25.00 Non-Member Price: $35.00 This 300+ page reference book contains the presentation outlines, text and handouts from the sessions at the 2011 ECHO Annual Seminar held on June 18, 2011. It also contains vital information for association directors, such as assessment collection policies, internal dispute policies, and much more.


Dispute Resolution in Homeowner Associations $20.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 This publication has been completely revised to reflect new requirements resulting from passage of SB 137.

Publications to answer your questions about common interest developments Now Order Online at www.echo-ca.org

Bookstore Order Form Board Member’s Guide for Contractor Interviews $20.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00

Executive Council of Homeowners 1602 The Alameda, Suite 101, San Jose, CA 95126 Phone: 408-297-3246 Fax: 408-297-3517 TITLE

QUANTITY

This report is a guide for directors and managers to use for interviews with prospective service contractors. Questions to find out capabilities and willingness of contractors to provide the services being sought are included for most of the contractor skills that associations use.

SUBTOTAL CALIFORNIA SALES TAX (Add 9.25%) TOTAL AMOUNT

Yes! Place my order for the items above. Board Member’s Guide for Management Interviews $20.00 Non-Member Price: $25.00 This guide for use by boards for conducting complete and effective interviews with prospective managers takes the guesswork out of the interview process. Over 80 questions covering every management duty and includes answer sheets matched to the questions.

q Check q Visa q MasterCard Credit Card Number Exp. Date

Signature

Name (please print) Association (or company) Address City Daytime Telephone

State

Zip

AMOUNT


ECHO Events Calendar

Save these dates Thursday, September 15 San Francisco Luncheon 11:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. St. Francis Yacht Club Northwest Room San Francisco

Friday, October 14 East Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Massimo Restaurant 1604 Locust St., Walnut Creek

Wednesday, September 21 Wine Country Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Eugene Burger Mgmt. Co. 6600 Hunter Dr., Rohnert Park

Friday, October 14 ECHO Annual Membership Meeting 10:00 a.m. ECHO Office 1602 The Alameda, Suite 101 San Jose

Saturday, September 24 Central Coast Fall Seminar 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Hilton Santa Cruz 6001 La Madrona Dr. Santa Cruz

Wednesday, October 19 Wine Country Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Eugene Burger Mgmt. Co. 6600 Hunter Dr., Rohnert Park

Wednesday, October 5 Maintenance Resource Panel 12:00 Noon 1602 The Alameda, Suite 101 San Jose

Saturday, October 22 Peninsula Fall Seminar 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Crowne Plaza Foster City 1221 Chess Dr., Foster City

Wednesday, October 12 South Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Buca Di Beppo 1875 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell

Thursday, November 3 North Bay Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Contempo Marin Clubhouse 400 Yosemite Rd., San Rafael

Save these dates for the 2012 ECHO Annual Seminar June 22, 23

Tuesday, November 8 Central Coast Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Pasatiempo Inn, Santa Cruz Monday, November 14 Accountants Resource Panel 6:00 p.m. Francesco’s Restaurant Oakland Wednesday, November 16 Wine Country Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Eugene Burger Mgmt. Co. 6600 Hunter Dr., Rohnert Park

Wednesday, December 21 Wine Country Resource Panel 11:45 a.m. Eugene Burger Mgmt. Co. 6600 Hunter Dr., Rohnert Park Friday and Saturday June 22, 23, 2012 ECHO Annual Seminar Santa Clara Convention Center Santa Clara

Wednesday, December 7 Maintenance Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Location TBD Friday, December 9 East Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Massimo Restaurant 1604 Locust St., Walnut Creek Wednesday, December 14 South Bay Resource Panel 12:00 Noon Il Fornaio 302 S. Market St., San Jose

Regularly Scheduled ECHO Resource Panel Meetings Resource Panel Maintenance North Bay East Bay Accountants Central Coast South Bay Wine Country Legal 38

September 2011 | ECHO Journal

Meeting First Wednesday, Even Months First Thursday, Odd Months Second Friday, Even Months Second Monday, Odd Months Second Tuesday, Odd Months Second Wednesday, Even Months Third Wednesday, Monthly Quarterly

Location ECHO Office, San Jose Contempo Marin Clubhouse, San Rafael Massimo Restaurant, Walnut Creek Francesco’s Restaurant, Oakland Pasatiempo Inn, Santa Cruz Il Fornaio, San Jose Eugene Burger Management Co., Rohnert Park Varies


ECHO 2011 Peninsula Fall Seminar Year-End Hot Topics Seminar Agenda

Peninsula Seminar Saturday, October 22, 2011

8:00

Registration and Sponsor Tables

8:45

Welcome and Introductions

9:00

Reserves—Planning the Money —Tom O’Neill, Reserve Analysis Consulting

Crowne Plaza Hotel

9:50

Fresh From The Capitol —2011 HOA Legislation —Sandra Bonato, Esq., Berding|Weil

Registration Fee: $49 Non-Members: $59

10:40

Break

11:00

Ten Common Security Mistakes —Kenneth Carlisle, CPP, The Carlisle Group

Yes, reserve ___ spaces for the Peninsula Seminar. Amount enclosed: $__________ (attach additional names)

11:50

Anatomy of a Disputed HOA Election —John Gill, Esq., Hughes Gill Cochrane

12:40

Questions and Answers —All Speakers

1:00 p.m. Drawings for Sponsor Prizes 1:05

Adjourn

8:00 a.m. to 1:05 p.m. 1221 Chess Drive, Foster City

Name: _______________________________________________________ HOA or Firm: _________________________________________________ Address:_____________________________________________________ City: __________________________ State: _____ Zip: ____________ Phone: ______________________________________________________ Visa/Mastercard No._______________________ Exp. Date: ________ Signature: ___________________________________________________ Orders will not be processed without payment in full. Fees for cancelled registrations will not be refunded. Return with payment to: ECHO, 1602 The Alameda, STE 101, San Jose, CA 95126 Telephone: 408-297-3246; Fax: 408-297-3517


ECHO Honor Roll

About

ECHO Honors Volunteers Beth Grimm 2011 Volunteer of the Year ECHO Resource Panels Accountant Panel Richard Schneider, CPA 707-576-7070 Central Coast Panel John Allanson 831-685-0101 East Bay Panel Beth Grimm, Esq., 925-746-7177 Mandi Newton, 415-225-9898 Legal Panel Mark Wleklinski, Esq. 925-280-1191 Maintenance Panel Brian Seifert, 831-708-2916 North Bay Panel Diane Kay, CCAM, 415-846-7579 Stephany Charles, CCAM 415-458-3537 San Francisco Panel Jeff Saarman, 415-749-2700 South Bay Panel Toni Rodriguez, 408-848-8118 George Engurasoff, 408-295-7767 Wine Country Panel Maria Birch, CCAM, 707-584-5123

Legislative Committee Paul Atkins Jeffrey Barnett, Esq. Sandra Bonato, Esq. Jerry Bowles Joelyn Carr-Fingerle, CPA John Garvic, Esq., Chair Geri Kennedy, CCAM Wanden Treanor, Esq.

40

September 2011 | ECHO Journal

SF Luncheon Speakers John Allanson Jeffrey Barnett, Esq. Tyler Berding, Esq. Ronald Block, PhD. Sandra Bonato, Esq. Wendy Buller Doug Christison, PCAM, CCAM Karen Conlon, CCAM Rolf Crocker, CCAM Ross Feinberg, Esq. David Feingold, Esq. Tom Fier, Esq. Kevin Frederick, Esq. John Garvic, Esq. Beverly Gordon, CCAM Sandra Gottlieb, Esq. Beth Grimm, Esq. Brian Hebert, Esq. Roy Helsing Stephen Johnson, CFP Garth Leone Nico March Kerry Mazzoni Thomas Miller, Esq. Larry Pothast Larry Russell, Esq. Steve Saarman Jim Shepherd Nathaniel Sterling, Esq. Debra Warren, PCAM, CCAM Steven Weil, Esq. Mark Wleklinski, Esq. Glenn Youngling, Esq.

Seminar Speakers June 18, 2011 ECHO Annual Seminar Julie Adamen John Allanson Jeffrey Barnett, Esq. Tyler Berding, Esq. Jacquie Berry Sandra Bonato, Esq.

Jeffrey Cereghino, Esq. Timothy Cline Paul P. Cordova, PE Alan Crandall Bradley Epstein, Esq. Lisa Esposito, CCAM John Garvic, Esq. Beverlee Gordon Sandra Gottlieb, Esq. Patrick Holman Linnea Juarez, PCAM, CCAM David Kuivanen, AIA Kerry Mazzoni Evan McKenzie, Esq. Steven Saarman Brian Smith Deon Stein, Esq. Wanden Treanor, Esq. Steven Weil, Esq.

Recent ECHO Journal Contributing Authors June 2011 Beth A. Grimm, Esq. Steven Saarman John R. Schneider Steven S. Weil, Esq. July 2011 Charlotte Allen Beth A. Grimm, Esq. Larry Mesplé Lise K. Ström, Esq. August 2011 Regan Brown Walter Campbell, CMCA, PCAM Mark Greening Robert M. Nordlund, P.E., R.S. Joseph Stein Richard Tippett Paul W. Windust, Esq.

ECHO What is ECHO? ECHO (Executive Council of Homeowners) is a California non-profit corporation dedicated to assisting community associations. ECHO is an owners’ organization. Founded in San Jose in 1972 with a nucleus of five owner associations, ECHO membership is now 1,525 association members representing over 150,000 homes and 325 business and professional members.

Who Should Join ECHO? If your association manages condominiums or a planned development, it can become a member of ECHO and receive all of the benefits designated for homeowner associations. If your company wants to reach decision makers at over 1,450 homeowner associations, you can become an associate member and join 350 other firms serving this important membership.

Benefits of ECHO Membership • Subscription to monthly magazine for every board member • Yearly copy of the Association Statute Book for every board member • Frequent educational seminars • Special prices for CID publications • Legislative advocacy in Sacramento

ECHO Membership Dues HOA Size 2 to 25 units 26 to 50 units 51 to 100 units 101 to 150 units 151 to 200 units 201 or more units Business/Professional

Rate $120 $165 $240 $315 $390 $495 $425

ECHO Journal Subscription Rates Members Non-members/Homeowners Businesses & Professionals

$50 $75 $125

How Do You Join ECHO? Over 1,800 members benefit each year from their membership in ECHO. Find out what they’ve known for years by joining ECHO today. To apply for membership, call ECHO at 408-2973246 or visit the ECHO web site (www.echo-ca.org) to obtain an application form and for more information.


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Hot Spots in Turf Continued from page 35

identify the underlying cause, correct the situation, and even help reduce water waste. One of the most common causes for a hot spot is improper irrigation coverage. Coverage issues can include clogged or misaligned nozzles, tilted or blocked heads (by turf or plants), and poor operating pressure of the irrigation station. A very common solution often overlooked is to watch the station and see if the heads are all functioning normally. Use of a pressure gauge at the heads will help determine if the heads are operating at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Too many heads, a broken head or lateral, and flow restriction at the valve all can affect sprinkler performance. Low pressure on rotors creates a “donut” ring around the head. If heads and nozzles are correct, but heads still lack “head to head” coverage, consider adding a head, where needed (if system capacity is adequate), or upgrade to rotary nozzles. Too much flow may require splitting the station up into more than one valve. Another common cause for a hot spot can be actually due to a grassy weed, known as “Poa Annua.” This weed looks like grass, but

has a very shallow root system; then during the summer, when the real grass deeper roots, these areas are starving for more frequent watering. Since soil evaporates more quickly at the surface, these weeds will show signs of stress. A careful strategic plan in the early spring to “slit seed” the turf area with hardier grasses that will help crowd out the weeds and help save water in the summer heat. One of the last recommendations for addressing a hot spot is to check the soils. This can be done initially with a soil core tool. Look at samples throughout the turf station, both in green areas and in the hot spots. If the soils are healthy, the soil shouldn’t have a rotted smell, and root depth should be at 4–6 inches. The turf station should have consistent moisture content throughout. If these are both okay, then the issue may be with the soil itself. There may be damage due to fertilizer burn, plant disease, or bad soil microbes. Consider sending soil samples from both good and bad to a lab for analysis.

Ace Property Management . . . . . . . .17 Affirmative Management . . . . . . . . .13 American Asphalt . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 American Management Services . . . .8 Angius & Terry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 A.S.A.P. Collection Services . . . . . . .20 Association Reserves . . . . . . . . . . .24 Berding | Weil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Collins Management . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Community Management Services . .12 Compass Management . . . . . . . . . .13 Cool Pool Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Cornerstone Community Mgmnt . . . .18 Draeger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Ekim Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 First Bank Association Bank Srvcs . .10 First Bank Association Bank Srvcs . .21 Flores Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Gachina Landscaping . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Helsing Group, The . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Joseph-Werdowatz & Associates . . .30 M & C Association Services . . . . . . .34 M. L. Nielsen Construction . . . . . . .26 Massingham and Associates . . . . . .24 Master Plumbing & Sewer . . . . . . . .43 Mutual of Omaha Bank . . . . . . . . . .16 Oliver Management Network . . . . . .25 Pelican Management Group . . . . . . .18 PML Management Corp. . . . . . . . . .16 Pollard Unlimited . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 R. E. Broocker Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Rebello’s Towing Service . . . . . . . . .27 REMI Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Saarman Construction . . . . . . . . . .20 Statcomm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Steve’s Painting Services . . . . . . . .19 Steve Tingley Painting . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Trex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Valley Landscape Management . . . .31 Varsity Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Judy O’Shaughnessy is the marketing manager at Cagwin & Dorward Landscape Contractors. She is the secretary of the Maintenance Resource Panel. ECHO Journal | September 2011

41


New election rules: $500 In today’s economic crisis, there may be some items that associations can cut to reduce costs. ECHO membership is not one. Let’s face it, educated board members are better fiduciaries, which helps them to avoid costly law suits and possibly personal liability. ECHO is the premier resource in California for board member education. ECHO offers new articles each month with practical and easy to understand advice about current California requirements, and what may be on the horizon. ECHO staff is available by phone or E-mail to answer members’ questions about association problems or to recommend competent professional services when necessary. And with discounted member rates at more than a dozen educational events throughout the year, ECHO is simply the best educational resource for California homeowners.

Avoid Litigation Each year, as a member benefit, ECHO sends every board member a copy of the updated Community Association Statute book. Every issue of the ECHO Journal and every seminar examine one or more aspects of compliance with association law, because one of the major causes of expensive litigation is ignorance of the law.

Mailing ballots: $200 Make Better Financial Choices Many associations struggle to understand reserve funding requirements and strategies, the benefits and disadvantages of using special assessments, proper collections practices, and even how to determine what components the association is required to maintain. At a time when wise financial planning is essential, ECHO members have access to a wealth of articles about reserve funding, budgeting, insurance, collections, and much more. Fight Costly Regulation Every year, Sacramento legislators introduce more legislation that confuses the job of California board members and increases the costs of compliance. ECHO is committed to fighting unnecessary regulation in California and promoting the interests and welfare of common interest developments. Hire Competent Professionals ECHO offers a variety of articles and publications to help members evaluate their service providers, including questions to ask prospective management firms and contractors. All ECHO Journal articles are available to members at no cost, and publications are sold to members at a discount.

Avoiding a lawsuit: Priceless. Spend a Little, Get a Lot The cost of ECHO membership is minimal. In a worsening economy, associations are looking to cut big expenses from their budgets. Yet, ECHO membership is as little as 25¢ per unit each month. For that small cost, here’s what every board member receives as part of being a member of ECHO: • A subscription to the ECHO Journal • An annual copy of the current Community Association Statute book • Unlimited access to ECHO’s library of past articles • Telephone consultations with ECHO staff about their problems • Reduced fees for ECHO events • Discounted prices on publications • And much more… In These Tough Economic Times, ECHO Membership is a Necessity As the only California organization devoted exclusively to board member and homeowner education, ECHO is a one-of-a-kind resource that your association can’t afford to lose.


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