Articles for HOA Boards

The following articles were written by Michael Chulak from January 2020 to the current date to supplement our frequently asked questions section of this website and to assist HOA boards govern their associations in accordance with California law:


For All New Board Members

Rights and Powers of HOAs and HOA Board Members

Questions to Ask an HOA Management Company Before Hiring Them

Why Does Michael Chulak Provide Free HOA Seminars?

Notices and Disclosures

Warning and Security Disclaimer

Reasons Why Board Members Must Read Historical Minutes and Financial Reports

Financial Reports Warning Signs

How Are Management Fees Determined?

How to Interview an HOA Management Company

Management Company Traps - Caution

Developer to Homeowner Transition Services

Saving Dollars for Homeowner Associations

Artificial Turf, Artificial Grass

Seven Ways to Avoid Special Assessments

Certified Vendor Programs - Caution

Management Company Owned or Affiliated Maintenance Services

Twelve Reasons Homeowners Refinance Their Homes

Refinance Your Condominium - Get the Best Rate and Terms

Lender's Questionnaire - Purpose

Exclusive Use Common Area Maintenance Responsibilities

Budgets for Homeowner Associations

Budget Required

Timeline for HOA Budgets

Emergency Assessments

No Current HOA Budget - What can Happen?

Reserve Studies Required – Reserve Funds

Minimum Reserve Contributions

Calculating Minimum Reserve Contributions

Reserve Expenses - Unanticipated

Reserve Transfer Resolution

Reserve Fund Expenditures

No Reserve Account - What Happens?

Borrowing from Reserves

Is Your HOA Protected from Fraud and Embezzlement?

Neighborhood Safety Evaluations

Video Surveillance Cameras - Release of Video

Dummy Cameras - Fake Cameras

Safety Considerations for HOAs and Apartment Buildings

Why Homeowner Associations Get into Trouble

Litigation Exposure

Reasonable Accommodations

Breach of Fiduciary Duty by Directors of Homeowner Associations

Appointment of a Provisional Director for an HOA

Unincorporated Associations

Reasons to Incorporate Your HOA

Suspended Associations

Reasons Why Management Companies Terminate Management Agreements

Waiving of Late Fees by Board Members

Late Charges - Homeowner Associations

Homeowner Association Delinquency, Lien, and Collection Policy

Why You Should Run For Election to the Board of Directors of Your HOA

How to Get Elected to the Board of Directors of Your HOA

Candidate Qualifications for Board Members

Why You Must Vote for HOA Directors

Board of Directors is Required

Filling Vacant Board Positions

Secret Ballot Elections

Candidate Forums–Board of Elections

Peaceful Assembly

Free Speech

Town Hall Meetings

Cumulative Voting

Pledge by Nominee for Election to Board of Directors

Increasing Attendance at HOA Annual Meetings

What Happens if Nobody Runs for the Board

Who Can Attend Board Meetings–Open Meeting Act

Brown Act

Board Meeting Definition

Parliamentary Procedure - Robert's Rules

Minimum Number of Board Meetings

Loss of a Quorum

Minutes of Board Meetings

Adjournment of Meetings

Annual Membership Meetings Required

Most Common Reasons Board Members are Recalled

Business Judgment Rule

Agenda Required for Meetings

Executive Session Meetings

Who Can Attend Board Meetings

Recording Board and Homeowner Meetings

Minutes of Board Meetings

Minutes – Checklist

Minutes of Executive Sessions

Distribution of HOA Minutes

Secret Recording of Executive Session Meetings by Board Members

Recusal of Board Members

Emergency Board Meetings

Assessment Limitations – 20%

Payment of Assessments - Methods

Special Assessment Limitations

Delinquent Assessments – Board Members

Board Members and Close Relatives Performing Work for HOA

Independent Insurance Brokers vs. Captive Agents

HOA Board Duties Regarding Insurance

Insurance Company Notices

Insurance Coverage Options

Commercial General Liability Insurance Coverage

Additional Insured Endorsements

Certificates of Liability Insurance - Insurance Declaration Pages

Forms of Homeowner Insurance Policies

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Umbrella Liability Insurance Policies

HOAs-Say Goodbye to Independent Contractors

Directors & Officers (D&O) Insurance

Protection of HOA Directors and Officers Against Personal Liability

Crime and Fidelity Insurance

Delegation of Duties by Board

Workers' Compensation Insurance Required by Homeowner Associations

Loss Assessment Coverage for Condominium Owners

Renters Insurance – Why it is Necessary

Voting for Earthquake Insurance

Checklist for Buying a Condominium

Disclosures to Prospective Purchasers by Owners

Disclosure of Lawsuits

Reasons Lenders Reject Loan Applications from Condominium Owners and Buyers

Why Do Mortgage Lenders Reject Home Loan Applications?

Freddie Mac - Conventional Mortgage Loans

Fannie Mae Insurance Guidelines

FHA Streamline Refinance

VA Streamline Refinance

FHA Certification of Condominium Associations

FHA and VA Certification Disclosures

Owner Claims Against HOA – Water Intrusion

Service and Comfort Animals

Animals - Service, Therapy and Emotional Support

Animal Registration and Emergency Information

Parking for Disabled Residents

Dogs and HOA Insurance

Satellite Dish Antenna Rules

Religious Items on Doors and Door Frames

Holiday Decorations

Homeowner Association Security

Accidents on Site

Privately Owned Security Cameras

Comparison of Management Services Offered

Commercial Condominium Management

Large Associations with On-site Management

Summary of Reserve Study Laws

FAQ About Reserve Studies

Timeline for HOA Budgets and Reserve Studies

Do Sewer Lines, Drain Lines, Gas Lines, and Plumbing Pipes Belong in a Reserve Study Calculation?

Consequences of Failing to Obtain Reserve Studies

Are Reserve Studies Required by FHA?

The 8 Most Common Legal Claims Against HOAs

Barbecues – Fire Safety

Shutting Off the Water in Condominiums

Angle Stop Valves - Replacements

Backflow Testing, Devices, Prevention

Water Leaks - Clean, Gray and Black Water

Balcony Railings

Balcony Tile

Elevated Structure Inspections

Before You Decide on Self-Management - Read This

HOA Self Management - Does it Make Sense?

How Much Does Self-Management Save?

How Coast Management of California Processes Invoices

Why Hire a Construction Manager

Contractor's Bond

Failure to Maintain Roofs-What Could Happen?

Should Distance Be a Factor in Hiring a Management Company?

Homeowner Association Insurance - What you need to know

Selecting An Agent for Service of Process for Your Business or HOA

Election of Officers by Board of Directors

Duties of HOA President or CEO

Duties of Vice President of HOA Board

Duties of an HOA Treasurer - Chief Financial Officer

Duties of an HOA Secretary - Corporate Secretary

Duties of Member at Large - Director at Large

Delegation of Duties by Boards

Limitations on Board Members

Internal Dispute Resolution IDR Process

Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR")

Disciplinary Hearings - Due Process

Attorneys at Hearings - Violation of CC&Rs and/or Rules

Evidence at Disciplinary Hearings

Hearsay Evidence at Disciplinary Hearings

Anonymous Complaint - Violation Hearings

Disciplinary Procedure

Rescheduling Disciplinary Hearings

Failure of Accused to Appear at a Hearing

Proposed Operating Rule - Reimbursement of Recording Secretary Fees


Duty to Investigate - Due Diligence

Duty to Review Association Finances

Earthquake Insurance for Homeowner Associations

Earthquake Insurance for Owners

Seismic Ordinances in California

Power Outage Checklist

Flood Risks and Insurance

Brush Clearance Minimum Guidelines

Post Earthquake Responses to Severe Earthquakes for Homeowner Associations

Conflicts of Interest

Realtors as Board Members of Homeowner Associations

Community Association or Homeowner Association?

HOA Abbreviations and Acronyms

Real Estate Acronyms

Real Estate Signs

Commercial Signs

Political Signs

Rental Restrictions Effective January 1, 2021

Occupancy Restrictions

No Renting of Unpermitted Rooms

Escrow Services Provided by Management Companies

Escrow Holder - Functions

Accessory Dwelling Units – Granny Flats

Adopting and Amending Operating Rules

Repeat and Continuing Violations

Grandfather Clauses

Move-in and Move-out Deposits Move-in and Move-out Fees

Election Rules Required

Reasons to Amend or Restate Your Association's CC&Rs

Community Association or Homeowner Association? What is the Difference?

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Granting Exclusive Use Easements to Members

Audits, Reviews, and Compilations

Neighborhood Watch Programs for Your HOA

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Safety Checklist

Occupancy Restrictions - Condominiums and Apartments

Noise Between Neighbors

Occupancy Restrictions - Condominiums and Apartments

Nuisances and Restraining Orders

Senior Communities (55+)

Family Day Care Centers

Sober Living Facilities in Associations

Why CC&R's Must Be Updated

Mutual Water Companies - California Management Services

Glossary of Groundwater and Water Well Terms

Yard and Estate Sales

Regulation of Homeowner Associations

Regulation of HOAs by the Government

Townhouses, Townhomes, and Condominiums

Community Associations - Names

Tenancy In Common (TIC) Housing

DRE Tenancy In Common (TIC) Guidelines

Master Planned Communities - Master Associations

Loft - Live Work Projects

Condominium Plans, Tract Maps, Parcel Maps

Airspace Condominiums

HOA Homeowner Records Update

Cost Segregation - Cost Segregation Analysis

We add and update articles regularly.



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