HOME Page Archives ... Links to Articles
- Weak Safeguards Make Nevada Companies Easy Targets for Fraud.
- Advisory Article on Playground Safety in Nevada.
- What is the Difference Between a Service Dog, Emotional Support Animal and a Therapy Dog?
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Pet Waste, Water Quality, Bacteria and Parasites
Pet waste and water quality ...
When your pet goes potty on public grounds, do you leave the waste to decompose on the sidewalk or in the grass along a trail or near the street expecting someone else to remove it?
Do you dump the waste on the roadside or in the storm sewer? Well, if you do, you are contributing to water pollution. Or, better yet, do you pick it up with a plastic bag and leave it on the trail or along the walkway in your community. Of course, you expect someone else to pick it up!
Did you know you could be risking your health, and the health of your family? When pet waste is disposed of improperly, not only does water quality suffer – but your health may be at risk, too. Pets, children who play outside, and adults who garden are most at risk for infection from the bacteria and parasites found in pet waste. ... link to flier.
Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Hailstorms
and other Catastrophic Damage …
Parametric Insurance to the Rescue
A product has arisen in the marketplace to fill the coverage gaps excluded by traditional insurance and help to pay for losses beneath the deductible. This is parametric Insurance.
This site is dedicated to those volunteers who serve on the boards and committees of a Common Interest Community and others who provide services to this industry. It is the dedicated and committed members of these two groups who make the community association concept work regardless of all of the forces striving to make it fail. These people need all of the help they can get. It is the intention of those developing this site and others associated with it to provide that help. We hope to accomplish this by providing useful information, tools and support.
You can prevent or at least minimize the chance of suffering a Home invasion. This new article in the "Library" is worth reading and sending out to all homeowners. ... Link
Quote That Will Always Hold True
"NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT; THOSE WATCHING MAY NOT BE ABLE TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE!"
Managing The Community Association
For those new to the industry, Community Association Management has often been a thankless job for both layman and professional. Whether an association is managed by volunteer board members or by a Professional Community Association Manager, the job is the same, long hours and less than adequate, if any, remuneration. Over time, this fact has become ever so more evident as law making bodies, a litigious society and more difficult people make the job even more challenging. As passing time unveils its surprises, we are likely to realize even greater changes within the industry .. some good, some not so good. As a result, we will see constantly evolving challenges for volunteers and the professionals who work with them. With this ever changing and challenging environment also comes ever increasing liability for volunteer and professional alike and while most management professionals are prepared for these challenges and the resulting liability exposures, most volunteer board members are not. It behooves the professional and the volunteer alike to seek out the knowledge and skills necessary to protect themselves and the people they serve. This site is dedicated to that purpose.
... Not DUES!!
Many individuals in the Common Interest Industry still refer to the fees paid by an owner as DUES. These fees are not dues, but ASSESSMENTS. Owners pay assessments on their home and property and realize that if they do not pay these assessments their home can be taken away. This is no different between this and association assessments. Community Managers and members of the board do their owners a disservice when they refer to Assessments as Dues. Terminology is important in any industry and proper use of the term "Assessment" is critical in the CIC industry. One pays dues to a golf club and can quit any time. One cannot quit a homeowners association, short of selling their home and moving.
and IT'S DANGERS
Beware of the Dangers and Risks associated with so called "Social Networking Sites" on the Internet. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and other such sites offer much to those who wish constant contact with others in their personal or work circles. These sites, however, are key targets for Identity Theft. Most people are unaware of the exposure. Simple things said, photos posted, comments made, etc can also find their way to people and (employers) who may monitor these sites. THIS IS HAPPENING ALL THE TIME! More and more companies are monitoring this information on in-house systems and on the social sites themselves. Remember ... Once it's posted out there in the Cyber world of the Internet, it's accessible to anyone who wants to see it and the tools to do this are quite readily available. Facebook is only one site that has been the target of a number of charges having having to do with exposing, if not selling, personal information on members. Besides this type of threat, just having an open account, without tight privacy controls, on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites can allow anyone to search for information on you.
Just as any wired or wireless communication is open to hackers, information on social sites and throughout the internet is highly vulnerable to theft. Beware of this danger and know the site you plan to use. Thoroughly investigate the options and settings page so that you can severely limit the site's ability to share your data. The Internet is a dangerous place for personal data. Know the dangers and beware when using Social Networking on the Internet.
Urgent Management Company Notice ...
Cyber Crime Targeting Association Accounts
If you have access to your clients banks accounts (the association's accounts) and have to enter a user name and password to get into those accounts, please be aware of the latest scam. Individuals have realized the amount of money in HOA operating and reserve accounts and that management companies transfer money into and out of those accounts. These cyber criminals are able to attach some type of spy ware that captures the user name and password when it is entered. They then transfer the money out of the accounts to an account out of the United States and the money is gone with no recovery. Since a valid User Name and Password had to be entered the bank may not be responsible.
Please schedule meetings with your bankers and insurance agents and this is a serious issues that has just surfaced and you need to look at solutions. The Bankers are working on it as well, but are your systems vulnerable. This is very sophisticated crime and you need to make sure that your systems have sophisticated protections.
CODE OF ETHICS
How many of your companies and/or associations have adopted a Code of Ethics? If you have officially adopted a Code of Ethics, try sending it out with the RFPs to get the bidding parties to understand that if they want your business they must play by the rules and be ethical as well. I do understand that everyone was raised differently. That means that everyone came in to the job with a different "internal" code of ethics, but our industry needs to do everything that we can to clean up the perceptions and the actualities of the perceived ethics (or lack of ethics) within the industry. If any of you have adopted Codes of Ethics for your members of the board or for your community managers and want to share, I will post samples on the web-site to help up make a concerted effort in this area. Thanks for any help you are willing to give.
The "CLOUD" ...
What is the Cloud?
All we ever hear about is "the Cloud". Put your data in the Cloud. The Cloud is the place to be. It is your safety net. Everything you do should and will soon be in the Cloud.
Be very careful. This is nothing more than a new term applied to the maze that's out there called the Internet. There is nothing new. Since security of personal data on the Internet has become a front page issue, it's easier to put a new face on the culprit. For those who don't know, the Internet is nothing more than a world-wide interconnected maze of computers mostly connected via satellite and other forms of wireless communications. In this world of interconnected computers, a file, an email or text message sent by you to someone in the US will most likely get routed in anything but a straight line to get to it's destination. You might be surprised and shocked to find out where your communications pass through.
Companies involved in the internet and communications industry are less than concerned about the safety of your data. This is a highly competitive industry and companies are always trying to be on the leading edge with software and hardware technology to keep ahead of the other guy. Most of this technology, when introduced to the marketplace, is relatively untested particularly when it comes to the safety of your personal data. There is only one person who must take the steps to TRY and protect their personal data as it wanders out in to the Cyber World of the Internet maze of interconnected computers. ... that one person is YOU. If you don't feel you have the expertise to do this, talk to the IT person in your company. There are also numerous articles on the Web that speak to this issue. Search for "Internet Security", "Protecting my data on the Internet", "Personal data and Social Web Sites", etc. Check the source of the information and go for it! .. "Cloud Computing" is another topic for discussion at a later date.
"Rights and Responsibilities for Better Communities" Principles for Homeowners and Community Leaders
More than a destination at the end of the day, a community is a place people want to call home and where they feel at home. This goal is best achieved when homeowners, non-owner residents and association leaders recognize and accept their rights and responsibilities. This entails striking a reasonable balance between the preferences of individual homeowners and the best interests of the community as a whole. It is with this challenge in mind that Community Associations Institute (CAI) developed Rights and Responsibilities for Better Communities ... link to article
These articles are part of "Board Member Basics" which can be found on the CAI website (see below) and provide a basic understanding regarding the governance and management of hoas and condos. Those new to the industry and those who might want a refresher will find it very helpful. Link to Board Member Basics
Please visit CAI Online. These helpful articles and many more can be found on www.caionline.org and are available to anyone. However, as a member, you will have additional access to numerous other sources of information and guidance as a Community Association Industry leader.
Nevada HOA Hit With $20M Verdict Over Faulty Swing Set..$$$
This verdict should scare any HOA that has children's play areas with or without equipment since any children's play areas should be inspected for safety issues regularly.
Please see the following .... HOA Play Area Lawsuit
The Nevada State Contractors Board has stated that it has no control or authority over inspection companies. This means that HOA boards should ensure that whatever contractor(s) they use for this function are a properly licensed contractor capable and qualified to perform these safety inspections as prescribed by the supplier of the play structures or equipment. This contractor should have the kind of insurance that will protect the association in the event of a claim.
The New Learning NORM? ... Distance Learning with ZOOM ...
With the onset of this global China virus fiasco, we have been forced to deal with new ways of doing everyday things, such as learning through remote education. The ZOOM tele meeting platform has become a staple for many institutions (once all the company's problems were addressed.) It offers a smooth process for holding remote meetings and training sessions.
The Nevada HOA industry has used ZOOM for the past year+ carrying out numerous training sessions. For credit classes the challenge has been to be able to verify a person's presence and attention during a class if they profess to having no video capability. Without video, it is nearly impossible to CERTIFY (to the Division) a person's attendance throughout the class. CAM students are required to have stable video and sound.
CAS (Community Association Solutions) has determined that "no video" will no longer be an excepted excuse. Management companies must now make accommodations for managers in the office or for them to have access to a proper laptop or tablet for use in another location. Distance learning, to some extent, is here to stay. PC's without video cams are not an excuse. USB video cams are readily available and simple to hook up. Once plugged in to the USB port, the computer will recognize it as a built in CAM. All phones and tablets today have CAMS built in. The ZOOM app on the phone will take advantage of the phone's CAM when connected to ZOOM and logged in to the class. There are also a number of apps available for phones that will turn the phone CAM into a USB cam when plugged in via USB to the PC. Works great! Some are free. So there are really no excuses for not being seen on video for class attendance verification.
The use of only a phone to attend a ZOOM class is really unacceptable by itself as is being in a moving vehicle. You must be able to view the class on a tablet or PC with a decent size screen and use the phone for video CAM purposes only.
CAS is happy to provide assistance to anyone needing technical help in getting set up for this type of learning to where you have the proper environment. Any type of distractions should be removed or mitigated (noise, interruptions from others, etc.)
JUST HOW OLD ARE YOUR SMOKE DETECTORS??
Just replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors may not be enough. If the detectors are over 10 years old, they may not function when needed. Smoke detectors are only rated for up to 10 years. Newer detectors can come with sealed batteries that have a 10 year life, as long as the life of the detector.
Did you know that some fire departments will not replace batteries in smoke detectors older than 10 years (if you have a department that will come and replace the batteries for you.
We are looking in to obtaining more information from our local department for a possible class on this and other fire safety issues.
WHAT A WICKED (WORLD WIDE) WEB: HELPING COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS DEAL WITH NEW INTERNET ISSUES
By Amy Heffernan Bray, Esq.
Journal of Community Association Law
Vol 7 No 1 Spring 2004
This is an article found on the CAI website that everyone should read. Few people understand the World Wide Web / Internet and the risks and dangers involved with using it. This is of particular interest to Community Associations that use the Internet for communicating with its homeowners for business as well as social purposes.
"Telecommunity—like so many other new words relating to the Internet—has fast become the buzzword for openness to community association governance. The promise of telecommunity is that the Internet can foster a new level of communication within common interest communities—like web casting meetings, providing documents online, or conducting an online discussion about whether to resurface the tennis court.
Internet use, both business and personal, is evolving at an astounding rate, and uncharted territory is still being mapped. Issues never before faced by associations, or their counsel, are emerging, and age-old issues are being reincarnated in the cyber world." .... Article
(Click on above image for ideas)
Water intake pipes that were once underwater sit above the water line along Lake Mead's shore. It isn't likely to get any better in the near future. We can help by not wasting the water we have.
KEY REALTY SCHOOL
Community Manager Pre-Licensing
& Continuing Education
Southern Nevada Community Manager Pre-Licensing Classes are held at Key Realty School's new location at the corner of Flamingo and Pecos Rd. The new location features various sizes of classrooms, distance learning capabilities and much improved parking.
Spring and Fall Classes are held at Key Realty Schools new campus in Las Vegas. Summer Classes are held in Reno at a location determined prior to classes starting.
For Quality, Ethics Based non-controversial CAM Pre-Licensing courses taught by HOA Industry Experienced Instructors, contact Key Realty Schools.
Current Schedules at right or on the Key website. www.keyrealtyschool.com.
New Location: 3320 E. Flamingo Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89121
Toll Free 800.472.3893
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH ...
The Neighborhood Watch program is one of the oldest, and still one of the most effective, crime prevention programs. The program brings a group of citizens together with Henderson Police to form a cooperative effort to battle crime, one neighborhood at a time.
A Neighborhood Watch is a group of neighbors looking out for each other. It is getting to know each other and becoming familiar with your neighbor's habits and vehicles so that you will know when something is suspicious or out of the ordinary. In addition to recognizing potential suspicious activities, Neighborhood Watch participants report such activity by calling 911.
Neighborhood Watch does not mean being a vigilante. Participants do not confront suspects or take any personal risks. You learn how to become a good witness to help police catch the criminals. It is very important for residents to take an active role in preventing crime. As crime is not just a police problem, it is a community problem.
There are many communities in Henderson that already have a Neighborhood Watch and it works. When neighbors look out for each other, it can decrease the number of property crimes such as burglaries and vandalism in a neighborhood. There are many examples of criminals captured and prosecuted that all started with a phone call from a concerned citizen in a Neighborhood Watch program that knew their neighbor was not home but saw someone inside the house.
Benefits of having a Neighborhood Watch
Improved home security
Knowing your neighbors and looking out for each other
Making your neighborhood a better place to live
See the example of a Neighborhood Watch sign which would be
mounted at all entrances. Get started today ... Contact your local
City or County police department and ask how to start a
Neighborhood Watch program in your community.
WHY SCOOP THE POOP?
Besides being a nuisance, uncollected dog waste is a serious problem for associations. Next time you are tempted to leave your dog’s droppings on the lawn either where the dog deposited it or in a plastic bag, please remember these facts:
Uncollected dog waste spreads disease and attracts rodents who feed on pet waste.
The Environmental Protection Agency is becoming aggressive about enforcing the Clean Water Act. Our association could be fined if dog waste goes uncollected.
Uncollected dog waste may lead to a special assessment from the EPA. If fined by the EPA, the association could face a potential special assessment that would be levied against all members – not just the dog owners.
The appearance and quality of the common areas are known to affect home sales – not just whether and for how much the homes sell, but how quickly.
The more residents complain about dog waste, the more time the manager must spend on enforcement rather than serving the association in more positive directions.
On another note, why do you use the little bags to pick up the poop and then throw the bag on the ground? The poop would have dried up and eventually disintegrated, but the little bag will be around for many years just lying there. Don’t litter, please, as there is no one coming around to pick these up for you. Carry them to the nearest trash can, please.
SOUTHERN NEVADA HEALTH DISTRICT
AQUATIC FACILITY REGULATIONS
These newly updated and revised Regulations contain significant changes to the requirements for managing and maintaining Public Pools. By definition, HOA and Condo pools are considered Public. There has been confusion in this area, but the SNHD considers them Public. Therefore, these regulations apply. All Managers and Board Members should be aware of these new and existing requirements as the penalties for non-compliance can be severe.
These new regulations were adopted by the Southern Nevada District Board of Health on April 26, 2018, approved by the Nevada State Board of Health on June 9, 2018 and became effective on July 1, 2018. Enforcement of these new requirements will begin on July 1, 2019.
Between now and July 1, 2019 education and understanding of these new requirements will take place. PLEASE read through these regulations and make certain that your pool operator (pool service) is fully up on these new regulations. It's always been suggested that a board member and manager be aware of the requirements for pool ownership, management and maintenance so as to be able to ascertain whether the pool operator is performing necessary tasks as per the Regulation.
POOL RULES AND THE FEDERAL FAIR HOUSING ACT
And How to take the Right Steps to Avoid an Expensive Mistake.
Here are some guidelines for avoiding confrontation with the FHA which often results in an expensive altercation which the association is likely to lose.
... A large condominium in California had extensive amenities for its 700+ residents, including three separate pools ...
... Another condominium association, when presented with health concerns over the use of the pool by non-potty trained children and babies, passed a rule prohibiting all babies and small children who were not fully potty trained from using the pool ...
On the face of it, both of these rules may seem to be reasonable.
Read the Library Article on this subject to see how to avoid trouble in this area.
Trees can be a Significant Asset Within a Community.
The trees found in common interest communities are often a neglected common element. As long as they grow, stay green and create shade, no one thinks about them. Unfortunately, here in Nevada, many people have discovered that their trees or significant limbs from their trees are no longer intact. Recent storms with strong winds have taken many a tree or limb down. In many cases, the reason for this is lack of tree maintenance. Like it or not, and yes, it costs money, trees require regular inspection and maintenance.
Depending on the size, type and number of trees, the inspection and maintenance frequency can vary. Typically, a good measure is once a year. For example, with Mesquites, they grow so fast that annual pruning and thinning is necessary. Without this type of maintenance, many trees as they grow older and taller create enormous wind sails which heavy winds can pick up, whip around and often bring down. This can be disastrous if the trees fall onto buildings.
Contact a reputable tree maintenance company and request that an arborist come out to inspect your trees and provide an explanation of the type of maintenance recommended as well as an estimate for performing this maintenance.
Proper maintenance will also have a direct effect on the overall health of your trees as well.
Weak Safeguards make Nevada Companies Easy Targets for Fraud.
If you think that your company information is safe with the Secretary of State, think again. Read this story of what happened to a company in this state. Story
Advisory Article on PLAYGROUND SAFETY IN NEVADA ...
A Recent court decision in a playground injury accident lawsuit now makes it imperative that associations and managers are on top of this safety issue.
This is an introductory article on measures to take to establish a process within your company or association to aid in protecting those on or around common area play structures .... by Sara Barry ... link to article
What is the difference between a Service Dog, Emotional Support Animal, and a Therapy Dog?
Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, and even alerting a diabetic individual when there insulin is low. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. This level of training is the legal requirement to label your animal as a Service Animal. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
An Emotional Support Animal is just that. It’s an animal that belongs to somebody who has emotional needs. Sometimes people will refer to them as “therapy dogs” or “comfort dogs” but this is not recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Remember that Emotional Support Animals and Therapy Animals are different and have different legal requirements. In order to have a legal Emotional Support Animal, the handler must have a letter from a licensed mental health professional stating the handlers need for the animal. This letter protects the handler under the Fair Housing Authority Act and the Air Carriers Act. Emotional Support Animals are not protected under ADA laws due to not going through as much training as service dogs must go through. An ESA may fly in the cabin of a commercial or private airline with their handler, as long as the letter is from a licensed mental health professional. ( Not just a primary care physician). A very specific prescription letter from a licensed mental health profession is ALWAYS required by airlines, as well as advance notice in most cases that the passenger will be flying with an ESA. Landlords and property managers must make reasonable accommodations for tenants or prospective tenants with ESAs, even if the apartment, house, college dorm, or other residence does not allow pets. Reasonable fees may be asked of the client, similar to a pet fee. Besides requiring a letter of prescription. Property managers/landlords may require that the (prospective) tenant’s mental health professional complete and sign a Third Party Verification form. If you choose to be evaluated by one of our licensed mental health professionals we have here on staff, than you can also pay an additional fee to have an accommodation form filled out. Remember, that letter is what will protect your ESA under the Fair Housing and Air Carriers Act. So if you don't have anyone you are currently working with, please feel free to browse through our shop page where you will see our evaluation available for purchase.
Therapy dogs have no access rights like Service Dogs or Emotional Support Animals have. They are strictly dogs that go to hospitals, nursing homes, etc...and cheer people up. We do not register therapy dogs and you should be very careful if you come across a website that says they will register your therapy dog. Therapy Dogs are certified for the support of others while Emotional Support Animals are prescribed for one handler. This is done at each individual hospital or care center you wish to volunteer at so please contact the center if you wish to make your dog a therapy dog. Remember, Therapy dogs are not protected under any ADA law and are not protected under the Air Carriers Act or Fair Housing Act.
Nevada State Contractors Board ...
At the link below, you are able to see if a contractor is properly licensed and if there are any violations levied against them. Check out all contractors before you allow them to bid. Go to NAC 624 to see what each license is allowed to do. Classifications start at NAC 624.140.
SB 117 - Discriminatory Restrictions in the documents
Recently a legislative update was held at the Reno Sparks Assn of Realtors and they discussed SB 117. At the time, there was no form out to use for this purpose in cleaning up those discriminatory documents. Now there is and the link is shown below by the NRED. Here is the link:
http://red.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/rednvgov/Content/Forms/655.pdf. Most of the more recent documents shouldn't have discriminatory language in them, but older ones “might”. The Ombudsman’s office recently let everyone know that there is a form now to record that will remove such language, Form 655, declaring those provisions as void. You should probably talk with legal counsel in doing so since I think the intent was to get it out of the documents completely if it forbids or restricts the use, conveyance, encumbrance leasing or mortgaging of such property to any persons based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, familial status, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. I don’t think it would take a vote of the owners to comply with state law.
IMPORTANCE OF A FUNCTIONAL MAINTENANCE SYSTEM
Whether you need a sophisticated on-line system or a hand-held manual, this article is important if you don't already have a maintenance system or manual. Maintenance
"One of the many things that devalues property values in an HOA is lack of maintenance. Some directors get on the board with their whole purpose being to “keeping the assessments down”
2021 ... Stay Involved & Tuned in for Sara's Blasts & Updates!
This is a Legislative Year!
Site Updated March 5, 2021
Updates are ongoing.
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In Nevada, there is a lot of legislation that affects Common Interest Communities (CICs) and as you know, much of it isn't friendly to CIC Owners. Please continue to monitor Sara's blasts for
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