Do you know whether you are fully insured? Do you even know how to figure this out? Every homeowners and condominium association needs to protect itself from various losses, claims, and liability exposure through a comprehensive insurance program. Here are some tips to ensure you have appropriate and adequate insurance:
The ability to file a mechanic’s lien gives contractors a powerful weapon in their battles to collect money owed them for construction work they have done. But the Massachusetts Condominium Statute, Chapter 183A, prohibits the application of these liens to common areas.
Section 13 of the statute, governing claims against community associations, specifies that any claims involving the common areas “shall be made only against common funds or property held by the organization of unit owner and not against the common areas and facilities themselves….”
Although that language is about as clear as any you are likely to find in statutes or regulations, contractors still periodically file mechanic’s liens related to work on common areas – possibly because they aren’t aware that they can’t use this collection tool with condominiums; but more likely because they know that filing the lien – appropriate or not – will give them leverage in negotiations with an association’s governing board.
This week’s tip offers advice for HOA boards that are disappointed with contractors. If you’re considering severing ties, follow these rules:
- Beware urban legends. Know the law.
If you think you can always cancel a contract within a certain number of days, you’re wrong.
At most HOAs, bidding out work is an on-the-fly type process. It’s not uniform, and sometimes the process works better than at other times. Why does that matter? Because when your bidding process doesn’t work well, your HOA is probably losing money.
Instead of an unplanned process, your board should have guidelines covering when it will request bids for work and how the bids will be solicited and reviewed. Here, we show you how.