Filtered by author: Cariese Hinckley Clear Filter

Social Media Platforms for Associations

There are many different social media platforms that may be utilized by community associations; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to name a few. Before jumping in, take some time to consult legal counsel, and develop a strategy. Know the good, the bad and yes, even the ugly!

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Are You Providing the Proper Insurance for Your Directors & Officers?

Some insurance carriers refer to Directors and Officers (D&O) Liability as miscellaneous liability.  Take my word, it is not a coverage that should be considered miscellaneous.  There is a world of difference between D&O coverage offered to you as an endorsement on your master policy and proper D&O coverage specifically written as a stand-alone policy.  

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Resale Disclosure Act and Virginia Community Associations

Effective July 1, 2023,  the various resale provisions in the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act, Condominium Act, and Cooperative Act have been removed and consolidated into a new single act known as the Resale Disclosure Act, which is located in Chapter 23.1 of Title 55.1 of the Virginia Code.  The new Resale Disclosure Act groups resale provisions together for Virginia property owners’ associations, condominium associations, and cooperatives, and collectively refers to them as “resale certificates.”

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Tips to Take Charge of Your HOA's Budget Planning Process

Your association’s budget impacts the financial and physical health of the community and residents’ property values. The budget is the first, crucial step to restoring aged, once-beautiful communities to their former glory, and it determines the enjoyment residents will derive from their community.

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Member Spotlight: Jessica Simpkiss

How long have you been affiliated with the SEVA Chapter?
Just over 1 year

In what capacity are you involved with community associations?
I am a community manager working with myStreet Community Management.

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Rights and Responsibilities for Better Communities

Perhaps the greatest achievement for any association is creating and sustaining a sense of community among residents and leaders. This goal is best achieved when homeowners, non-owner residents and association leaders recognize and embrace their rights and responsibilities. It was with this goal in mind that CAI developed Rights and Responsibilities for Better Communities. These principles can serve as an important guidepost for board and committee members, community managers, homeowners and non-owner residents.

Homeowners have the right to:

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Managing Mental Health

These past several years have been indescribably stressful for everyone. Economic concerns after a year’s long pandemic, lack of socialization, mask-wearing, and general fear and anxiety have only increased the slow erosion of kindness and empathy we have seen devolve over the past few years. 

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Plugging In: Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Virginia Community Associations

The past decade has seen an explosion in the popularity of electric vehicles.  All expectations are that this popularity will continue to grow.  There are many makes and models of electric vehicles, and they can be classified as either battery electric vehicles (“BEVs”) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (“PHEVs”)—both of which need to be charged by plugging into an outlet or charging station.  

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What's That Snake in the Water?

Back in the days when I worked for a pond construction company, one of my crew members told me that he needed some help identifying a snake that they had found on the job site. He said it was a water snake, and thought it was a cottonmouth. I asked if he had taken pictures of it, but instead, he presented me a burlap bag with the snake inside. Its head was smashed, and its body had been neatly cut into several pieces with the blade of a shovel. As an ecologist and lover of wildlife, the site of the demolished snake left me heartbroken and speechless. It was a large, beautiful, and HARMLESS northern water snake. All I could think of to say was, “That is NOT the way to identify a snake!”

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Earning Your PCAM Through CAI


​The pinnacle of community association management. The PCAM designation is the highest professional recognition available nationwide to managers who specialize in community association management. Earn your PCAM and join the elite—the select—the best.

Recommended for experienced managers who want to demonstrate advanced skills and knowledge and who wish to be recognized as one of the best and most experienced managers in the nation.

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SEVA Chapter Recognized by CAI Headquarters

CAI announced the recipients of its annual awards at a ceremony on May 19th in Dallas, TX in conjunction with the 2023 CAI Annual Conference and Exposition: Community NOW. The honors salute individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made outstanding contributions to advance community association living, as well as individual Chapters who have contributed to the overall growth and betterment of the organization.

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Repairing Concrete to Make a Lasting Impact

Communities encounter many problems when trying to maintain safe and beautiful common area concrete.

Spalling or pitted concrete

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2023 Virginia Legislative Changes Affecting Community Associations

The General Assembly had a busy session that involved consideration of proposals for new laws that would affect community associations.  The Virginia Legislative Action Committee monitored dozens of bills.  In addition to supporting some legislation, many of the LAC’s efforts are expended in opposing bills that ultimately do not become law or suggesting modifications to proposed legislation.  The LAC’s lobbying team provides subject-matter expertise to legislators in community association policy and insight into how proposed legislation would affect associations and other stakeholders. 

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History of Community Associations

Community Associations are wonderful organizations benefiting millions of US residents every day. There are countless benefits to living in community associations. One of the beautiful things about people is that we have figured out that banding together in communities is generally beneficial offering clean, cohesive neighborhoods oftentimes with amenities such as parks and pools, further encouraging the idea of community. These inherent benefits have association living on the rise, providing homes for nearly 1 in 5 Americans. But where did it all start?

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Legal SPF: Summer Protection for Community Associations

We are on the cusp of Spring, which means Summer is just around the corner. And pool season is the hallmark of Summer. In addition to securing a pool service contractor and/or lifeguards, community associations should consider the broad spectrum of responsibilities and measures related to the pool. Below is our suggested checklist of items for community associations to review well before the start of pool season for maximum protection.

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Good Fencing

Property owners who are subject to covenants may want to install a fence for several reasons, such as keeping children in the yard, keeping a dog, keeping deer out of the yard or for aesthetic value.  However, your first stop should be the bylaws of your community which commonly contain restrictions on fences, whether it prohibits fences altogether or the type or design.

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Inheriting Old Violations

"Our Board Just Inherited a Host of Old Violations - What Should We Do?" 

We often get calls from new board members after transitioning from developer control. They have questions like this one: Some of the homeowners have added fences, above-ground pools, and sheds without getting approval from the Association. Many of these changes do not appear to meet the standards that are part of our documents. No action has been taken to correct these violations. How do we go about enforcing the covenants and rules?

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Can Your Community Pond Be Managed 100% Chemical Free?

When it comes to the lakes and stormwater ponds in a homeowners association, residents expect them to be healthy, beautiful, and functional. At the same time, they may be averse to the use of herbicides and algaecides for the management of these water resources. Though the pesticides used to eliminate aquatic weeds, algae, and toxic cyanobacteria are very low-risk, well-studied, and registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), residents sometimes prefer a 100% natural approach. With this in mind, property managers may find themselves in an uncertain situation. How do they meet the expectations of residents while keeping management costs as low as possible? 


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How to Crush the M-100 (Or Any Other Course)

If you’re intimidated about taking a Community Associations Institute test because the other students in your class look like they are fresh out of college, fear not! You can boost your confidence by developing your study skills!

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CAI Turns 50!

CAI turns 50!

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