Stay up to date with announcements and information from FCS.

 

 

Risk Management: Proactive Steps Help Minimize Risk

Another helpful article for board members from FCS Community Management – Utah’s community and property management leader. We hear the term Risk Management a lot. What does it really mean? Risk Management is the process of making and carrying out decisions that will minimize the adverse effects of accidental losses upon the community association. Or in other words, being proactive, instead of being reactive. The best way to be proactive is to implement the following five steps: 1. Analyze your community association’s exposure to possible losses 2. Examine alternative risk management techniques 3. Select appropriate risk management techniques for your community association 4. Implement the techniques 5. Monitor the results of your risk management program. Some of the best ways to analyze and identify your association’s exposure to loss are conducting surveys, examining financial statements, making personal inspections and hiring experts like reserve specialists and accredited community managers. There are two examining techniques to treat primary exposures to loss: risk control and risk financing. Risk control includes exposure avoidance, loss prevention, segregation of exposure and contractual transfer. Exposure avoidance means avoiding circumstances that would expose the community to certain types of loss, like not allowing alcohol in the clubhouse. Loss prevention is taking steps to reduce the frequency of a potential loss. For example, conducting quarterly inspections to make sure there are no tripping hazards. Segregation of exposure is establishing some type of backup to prevent loss, like offsite data storage. Contractual transfer involves entering into a contract that will transfer the association’s legal responsibility for any loss. For example, having the landscaper’s insurance covering landscaping liabilities. Risk financing includes retention and transferring. Retention is covering a potential loss with your own savings. For example, if your clubhouse is worth $3 million dollars, keeping $3 million dollars in your savings to cover the potential loss. Transferring is taking the financial obligation and having another party be responsible for it, like buying insurance for your association. It is important to select techniques that work best for your association and immediately implement them. You will need to monitor your risk management techniques to ensure they are the best alternatives for your association. By being proactive rather than being reactive, you can minimize the risks in your...

read more

Service animals and the FHA

A condo association in Park City and their management company have garnered a lot of unwanted attention due to a recent lawsuit brought upon them by the U.S. Justice Department. The association will be forced to pay $20,000 to a disabled veteran for not accommodating his need for a service dog. To say the least, Fair Housing laws can be a tricky and troubling subject. This story is a prime example of why it is so important for Homeowner Associations to contract with a management company that is well versed in FHA matters. Click here to read more of this story from the Salt Lake Tribune. Fair Housing is the topic at the next UCCAI HOA Leadership Luncheon. The luncheon will be held on Friday, March 9th from 11:30 – 1:00. Visit www.uccai.com for more information.  FCS Community Management – Utah’s community and property management leader – reimburses client board members $10 towards the cost of any industry education events they may attend.  Additionally, FCS has guest passes available for non-client board members.  Contact us at manager@hoaliving.com for more...

read more

Rules to Live By: Governing Documents

  Each governing document of a community association is an essential piece that holds the association together. The governing documents create a legally binding relationship between the owner and the association, allow for a well-defined operation of the community and promote harmonious living. One of the most important things to understand when dealing with a community association’s governing documents is the hierarchy of authority for these documents. Understanding this hierarchy is essential when enforcing rules, drafting resolutions or dealing with already existing conflicts between documents. The hierarchy of documents is best summarized by the Governing Documents Pyramid. Documents that fall lower on the hierarchy cannot conflict with or change any of the documents that are above them. It is critical that boards check the documents that fall higher on the hierarchy before amending documents or writing resolutions. For example, if a board decides to increase the association’s late fee, they should first check the declaration. If the declaration explicitly states that a $10 late fee be imposed, then the board cannot raise the late fee without first amending the declaration, which will require a vote by the owners. By doing their due diligence, the board will minimize the headache that inevitably comes along when dealing with conflicts between documents. Case law, federal law and state law should also be taken into consideration, as they trump all of the governing documents of a community association. Often conflicts between documents will already exist. In this case, the higher document will take precedence. It is important that boards seek legal counsel, or the counsel of their Community Manager, if they discover a discrepancy between their documents, or if their documents conflict with case, federal or state law. For further reading on this topic please refer to: M100 Participant Guide: The Essentials of Community Association Management by Community Associations...

read more

FCS Community Management Sponsors UCCAI Post Legislative Event!

Please join us for the 2013 Post Legislative Update this Saturday, April 13th at 9:00 am in the Amber Room* at Thanksgiving Point. Members of the Utah Legislative Action Committee, including FCS CEO Michael Johnson, will be presenting a recap of the 2013 legislative sessions and changes that will affect all Homeowner Associations in Utah. Topics will include: Attached Unit Insurance – Changes to existing law Reserve Study – New requirements Combining Units – Altering partition between adjoining units Reasonable Notice – Right to enter units This event is FREE to all attendees and a light breakfast will be provided. To register, please go to: http://uccai.com/calendar_detail.asp?id=76 Stop by the FCS booth and enter to win prizes! *The Amber Room is located upstairs in the Museum of Ancient Life (Dinosaur...

read more

Help Us Defeat SB64

As many of you may know, the 2013 General Session of the Utah Legislature is in full swing on Capitol Hill.  A few bills enacting or amending HOA laws are in the works and we will keep you updated on those as they come to the forefront. One such bill THAT REQUIRES YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION IS SB 64, CAI’s Utah Legislative Action Committee (www.utahlac.com) issued a position statement today aggressively OPPOSING it.  SB 64 amends the reserve funding requirements of Utah Code Sections 57-8-7.5 and 57-8a-211 and, if passed, will require an association to begin funding the reserve fund in the manner and amount determined by the vote of the owners within 90 days after the vote, and to file a certificate of compliance with the Department of Commerce within 30 days of starting to fund a reserve fund.  It also requires that if an association does not file a certificate of compliance within the required 30 days, the association may not levy a special assessment until it files a certificate of compliance.  View SB 64 here.  View the position statement here. FCS Community Management CEO & President Michael Johnson has worked with industry representatives (homeowners, board members, community managers, association attorneys, and other industry partners) for almost a decade to pass legislation that benefits the homeowners living in Utah’s over 3,000 associations. This group works for months at a time, with other interested statekholders (realtors, HBA, insurance, etc.), on each piece of legislation to ensure the legislation is vetted properly. While FCS has long lead the way in promoting reserve studies and reserve savings, SB 64 is the product of a single person who moonlights as a reserve study provider, and this bill will harm efforts at building reserves, not help. Additionally, it unintentionally harms other methods of association governance. It was intentionally not vetted through the established industry legislative group. ULAC worked for the past two weeks attempting to agree to common objectives and to improve SB 64 so we wouldn’t have to oppose the bill. Unfortunately all efforts have failed and thus our opposition is made public today. Please contact your state senator and your state representative today to voice your opposition.  Follow this link to identify who they are and contact them:...

read more

FCS Presents at Southern Utah Education Event

Please join FCS Community Management President/CEO Michael Johnson and Southern Utah Senior Manager Greg Gardner at the Southern Utah Community Associations Institute educational event on Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 pm. The event will be held at the Lexington Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn) located at 850 South Bluff Street in St. George. Homeowner Association owners, Board and Committee members both seasoned and new are welcome to attend. Topics presented will include: • Collections and Foreclosures • Annual Meetings • HOA Laws Pending at Utah Legislature • Open Meetings – “Sunshine” Law • Q&A Session Greg and Michael will be presenting the Collections and Foreclosures topic and will also be participating in the Q&A session at the end of the program. We hope to see you...

read more

FCS Gives 2012

FCS Gives is the charitable foundation arm of Future Community Services, Inc.  FCS Gives receives donations from FCS employees, business partners and others for the purposes of redistribution of those funds to eligible non-profit organizations of our choosing (including, but not limited to, Sub-for-Santa, Christmas Box House, The Road Home, Angel Tree, cancer organizations, other similar programs).  FCS offers corporate matching to some, but not all, fundraising donations made by FCS employees, vendors and others and these funds are similarly distributed. FCS Gives raised $3836.68 in 2012, which allowed us to support 48 kids and 17 families this Holiday season.  FCS employees spent most of their day on Tuesday, December 18th shopping in teams for their assigned group of kids.  The afternoon of Thursday, December 20th was spent delivering the gifts and groceries to each family. We would like to thank the following individuals who gave monetary donations over the past few weeks to help our cause: ● E&L Landscape                                        ● Sherm Crump ● Unforgettable Coatings                          ● Nice Lady @ Target ● Nice Lady @ Toys R Us                          ● ProGreen ● JoAnn Gilchrist Hobbs Memorial        ● Clean Built LLC Thank you to all of the FCS employees for the time and money spent on this project. We have set a goal to raise $6000 in 2013, this will allow us to support 60 kids at $100 each.  If you would like to contribute to this goal, please contact us at 801-256-0465 or via e-mail at manager@hoaliving.com for further...

read more

Preventing Frozen Pipes

This year we have had a considerably colder winter then those in the past. For some, these chilly nights can be the cause of ruined homes and families having their lives disrupted by frozen water pipes. This can be a great inconvenience and an extremely expensive ordeal. There are three main causes of frozen pipes: Fast drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats set too low. Here are some tips to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Before the cold • Insulate pipes • Seal leaks that let in cold air When the temperature drops • Let warm water drip overnight from a faucet • Keep your thermostat set at a fixed temperature during the day and night • Open cabinet doors to allow heat under sinks Before you travel • Set the temperature no lower than 55°F • Have a friend check your house • Shut off and drain the water...

read more

Ivory Crossing (South Jordan) Community Yard Sale Saturday, Sept. 22

Come check out a HUGE community yard sale this Saturday, September 22 from 7:30 am – 2:00 pm! The yard sale will be at the Ivory Crossing HOA in South Jordan (at the Clubhouse and individual homes) and is sure to have plenty of awesome goods. Ivory Crossing is generally located north of 11400 South between 3000 – 3400 West, and south of 11000 South (both east and west of 3200 West which splits the community) in South Jordan. Contact us at manager@hoaliving.com or 801-256-0465 if you have any questions about this...

read more

Time to Start Foreclosing on Bank Owned Units?

Homeowner Associations have always used the foreclosure tool to collect past due assessments from delinquent homeowners. Now they are even going after banks, claiming that several of the largest lenders are not paying monthly HOA/condo fees on homes they’ve repossessed and now hold as bank-owned properties (Real Estate Owned, or commonly called REO’s). See this CNBC article to read more about it. FCS Community Management, Utah’s community and property management leader, is the only Accredited Association Management Company in Utah and has up to now not had to foreclose on a bank on behalf of any of their HOA clients.  However, what starts happening on America’s coasts eventually reaches Utah.  Please contact FCS Community Management today for assistance on your association’s delinquent...

read more