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Resources

Behind the Scenes of Disrupting the Invasion of Institutional Investors

The housing market in Georgia has been invaded by institutional investors. What can community associations do to disrupt the invasion?

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Superhero or Supervillain?

Is your community’s declaration ready to save your financial reserves or is it fighting against your collection attempts?

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Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act

The Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act (POA) is a Georgia law adopted in 1994, specifically for homeowner associations. Lazega & Johanson attorneys lead the drafting and adoption of the POA. For more details, read our L&J Quick Facts article.

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Winning Collections

Winning collections requires clear communication, staying alert, and commitment to a shared goal.

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Association Membership Meetings

Procedures for calling and conducting association membership meetings are governed by an association’s bylaws. For more information on the types of meetings, sending out a meeting notice, calling a quorum and more, read our L&J Quick Facts article.

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Top Tips for Entering, Enforcing & Exiting Vendor Contracts

L&J Morning Break:

Our expert attorneys give you the top tips for entering, enforcing and exiting vendor contracts.
Topics include:
• Get What You Pay For – Pay when they have finished!
• Indemnification and Insurance – Protection for when things go wrong.
• Time to go separate ways? – Make sure there is a clear exit path.

Key Terms and Provisions for Vendor Contracts:

Scope of Work – One of the main areas that often ends up in the center of a contract dispute is the scope of work or services covered under the contract. When it comes to defining the scope of work in a contract, less is definitely not more. It is vital to detail the exact expectations of the parties with respect to the work or the services to be provided. Avoid language that is vague or allows room for interpretation. The scope of work should be fully identified to specify expectations as to the level of service, quality of materials and quality of work. Specifications often can be obtained from product manufacturers, and, in some instances, hiring a professional to develop the scope of work is invaluable.

Payment and Payment Terms – Pay attention to payment terms. Look for hidden or additional fees. Many contracts will include provisions addressing additional fees for items that may be expected as part of the scope of work, but not
included in initial pricing.

When possible, the contract should state the total price for all the labor, materials and services expected under the agreement. When fixed pricing is not possible, try to negotiate for and specify price caps and requirements of written approval before vendors incur these unknown expenses.

If the contract calls for scheduled payments, then, other than reasonable down payments for project start-up costs, the remainder of the work performed under the contract should always be ahead of the payments. This will give the association leverage over the vendor to ensure quality and completion of the work. If a down payment is required in order to acquire materials, the contract should list, where possible, the materials that will be acquired with the down payment.

Term and Termination – When it comes to service contracts, such as pool vendors, landscape companies or cable providers, the term and termination provision can be the most important provision of the contract. In most cases, the term and termination provision is not favorable to the customer and makes it very difficult for the customer to terminate the contract and end the relationship. Contracts for the provisions of services should always be subject to termination without cause with a short notice period, such as 30 or 60 days. This allows an association to get out of a
contract for any reason, and will allow for better ease in terminating a bad relationship. Project contracts should have a detailed procedure affording a fair right to terminate if a vendor is not performing.

Insurance – Require the vendor to carry liability insurance to cover any claims against personal injury and property damage from the work or services being performed. Obtain a certificate of insurance directly from the vendor’s insurance agent showing the proper insurance coverage prior to the commencement of the work. Specify that the vendor must maintain the insurance for the term of the contract. If the vendor is not properly insured or not insured at all, the association could be held responsible for any claims of damages or injuries caused by the vendor.

Indemnification – The indemnification provisions go hand-in-hand with insurance provisions. Require the vendor to indemnify and hold harmless the association and all related parties from damages and claims that are caused by the vendor or the vendor’s employees or agents. An indemnification provision basically requires the vendor to cover the association if the association is sued because of the actions of the vendor. Often, the indemnification is covered by the vendor’s insurance carrier, so it is important to ensure that there is insurance to cover the indemnification obligation. Otherwise, the indemnification obligation is only as good as the worth or assets of the vendor.

More Information:

Check out our article on contracts. Also, take a look at our YouTube channel for the full L&J Morning Break archives and other educational videos.

Leasing

This L&J Quick Facts article answers questions about common leasing problems and how community associations should address them.

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Right to Repair Act

The Right to Repair Act restricts the rights of associations to sue for a construction or design defect related to residential dwellings.

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Enforcement of Covenants

Who can enforce covenants and how can they be enforced? We answer these questions and provide a comparison chart in this article.

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Covenant Enforcement: The Lawsuit

This L&J Quick Facts article breaks down the covenant enforcement lawsuit process, including what to do before filing suit.

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Covenant Enforcement: Common Defenses

This L&J Quick Facts article spells out the common defenses used against covenant enforcement and what to do to protect your association.

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Officers and Their Roles

Learn more about officer positions and their roles on community association boards in this L&J Quick Facts article.

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Association Foreclosures

Our L&J Quick Facts article on association foreclosures includes a flowchart explaining the process and provides the need-to-know basics.

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Bankruptcy

Our L&J Quick Fact article breaks down the information community associations need to know about bankruptcy.

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Condominium Property Insurance

This L&J Quick Fact article explains the basics of condominium property insurance including what is required by owners and the association.

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A Succession Plan for Transitioning Boards

Did new members get elected to your association board? Having a comprehensive succession plan can make the transition in leadership smoother.

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Contracts

This L&J Quick Facts article breaks down the basics about contracts and the terms community associations should include.

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Mind Your Manners

Whether you are a professional management company or a self-managed community, here’s a quick refresher on annual meetings and collections.

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The COVID-19 Merry-Go-Round

Join L&J as our attorneys break down current topics surrounding COVID-19 as it relates to community managers and associations. The discussion includes: revisiting CDC mask guidelines, associations requiring vaccines, owner notifications of positive COVID-19 residents and more.

See a full list of documents and articles related to COVID-19 here. Also, head to our YouTube channel to watch all of the L&J Morning Break archives and our other educational videos.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Approval for Condominiums

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is routinely implementing new approval processes and requirements for FHA loans in condominiums.

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Lessons from Surfside

Our experienced attorneys talk about the lessons to take away from the Surfside tragedy. They share hands-on, practical solutions to use when managers are faced with a community association disaster. Jamie, Jay and Rob address general maintenance obligations, paying for repairs and maintenance in the building, disaster planning and practice, adequate property insurance coverage, directors and officers liability insurance, general liability insurance and how to handle an insurance claim after it’s submitted to the insurance carrier.

For more information, take a look at our Resources tab to see related documents and articles. To see our full L&J Morning Break archives and other educational videos, check out our YouTube channel.

Independent Contractor

What are the benefits of hiring an independent contractor vs. an employee? This L&J Quick Facts article helps associations make the choice.

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The Real Answers about COVID-19 & Amenity Openings

We answer your questions about COVID-19 and amenity openings. Our expert attorneys address how to safely open and operate community amenities under current COVID-19 guidelines.
Topics include:
• Georgia Governor Kemp’s Empowering a Healthy Georgia Executive Order
• Updates to CDC COVID-19 Guidelines
• Local & Private Mask Requirements
• Vaccination Requirements

See a full list of documents and articles related to COVID-19 here. Also, head to our YouTube channel to watch all of the L&J Morning Break archives and our other educational videos.