Social Media in Your Community

Post responsibly: How to avoid legal risks and negative effects on social media in your community by Kiara Candelaria | CAI, May 14, 2019   Social media tools are a great way for community associations to increase engagement with their residents, but they can leave communities vulnerable to potential legal risks if managed inappropriately. Adopting a social media policy can allow communities to assign responsibility over its use and minimize abusive practices, says attorney Katrina Solomatina of Berding & Weil in Walnut Creek, Calif. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor, as well as websites, online newsletters, and email blasts, allow community associations to facilitate communication between homeowners, provide real-time updates, and give members the ability to offer instant feedback to the board. At the same time, social media can be abused by users through practices such as cyberbullying, defamation, and invasion of privacy, Solomatina notes. Comments made through social media can have a negative effect on a community. That’s why it’s important for communities to determine who will manage and update social media platforms, who will monitor and respond to comments, who can control or remove content, who can post, and what type of content is prohibited. Community associations should adopt a policy that…Read more

HANG UP YOUR SUPER SUIT

Ken Bertolucci, CMCA   Sometimes it seems that homeowners think community association managers have superpowers. They are all-knowing, have x-ray vision, and are able to resolve all matters with a simple decree. But when you’re actually in the trenches of your job, you know superpowers aren’t exactly part of the package. Misunderstandings about the responsibilities of the manager, misconceptions about the roles of the board vs. management, and lack of knowledge about the proper functions of community associations often leave homeowners confused. Let’s face it, few buyers read — much less understand — the pile of association-related legal documents they receive at closing. You can’t really blame homeowners, especially newbies, for being a little fuzzy on the details. Sometimes even management could use a little refresher on what their roles really are. Let’s clarify some common misconceptions about the role of association management. New Rules and Policies — Who Decides? A medical doctor whose daughter was a resident in one of our communities wanted the association to be declared a non-smoking complex. When he contacted me (CMCA with the management company), I explained that this not a decision made by management. Rather, it would require an amendment to the declaration. He was not dissuaded, and…Read more

Understanding the Role of a Community Association Manager

There are a lot of moving parts in a community. There are the obvious ones, such as homeowners, their families and the association board, and then there are the roles that might be a little misunderstood. One of those roles is the association (or community) manager. At NS Management, we thought our residents would like to know a little bit more about what we do – and don’t do. An association manager has two main objectives. First, they ensure that the policies that are put in place by the board are carried out. Second, they manage the day-to-day operations in the community, including oversight of contractors, assessment collection, bill payment, and other association services. Sometimes homeowners request involvement by association managers in matters they do not handle because they don’t know the proper responsibilities. Here is a quick summary:   -Association managers are specially trained to address issues involving violation of association rules. We do not handle personal problems you are having with your neighbors unless they are violating a rule. Criminal activity should always be reported to the local police. -Association managers are not members of the board, only advisors. They do not have the capacity to directly represent your concerns or override board…Read more