All You Need to Know About Turf

Prepare Turf for healthy growth

If you haven’t done so already with your HOA, it’s important that you prepare turf now for vigorous growth from the Bermuda grass.

Turf absorbs heat and reflects sun rays. Properly maintained turf in the Arizona climate is essential. 

Here’s a few tips. A publication from the University of Arizona gives more detail, check it out!

  • Start reducing height of grass 1/2″ every week to help kill ryegrass (from winter season) and encourage fresh Bermuda grass growth. When the turf appears yellow-ish, that’s the ryegrass dying as the Bermuda makes its way through. This may happen through June/July.
  • Aerate turf, add soil amendments, and spray the weeds.
  • Pre-emergent weed control applications should be scheduled with your landscaper. These chemicals act greatly to reduce weed infestation and prevent them from emerging through soil.
More on landscaping and water conservation coming soon to the PDS Gateway. Also, we have a training coming up regarding Smart Water devices in June. Stay tuned here, or our Facebook page, for details as they are announced!
Good Attendance at HOA Board Meetings

7 Tips for Successful HOA Board Meetings

7 tips for successful HOA board meetings

1. Select a neutral location, such as your association clubhouse or management company office. A restaurant, church, or school will work great also!
2. PREPARE! Create and share the agenda ahead of time so members come prepared to make decisions.
3. Bring association documents such as Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations. If there is any question, have the answers there with you.
4. Allow association members to attend. Set clear expectations that comments and questions from association members will be covered at the end of the meeting, to avoid interruption.
5. Wrap-up should include minutes and action items, so everyone is prepared for the next meeting. Share those wrap-up items with your association within 30 days after the meeting.
6. If you serve refreshments do so at the beginning or after, but not during, the meeting.
7. Never allow alcohol, small children, or pets at the meeting. We are here to make decisions efficiently and effectively!

The Community Association Institute has a booklet available for association board members that offers even more helpful tips on meetings. Check it out!Thanks also to Mulcahy Law Firm for contributing to this post.

Congratulations to our Certified Association Managers!

Lisa Reisland

AACM certifies four PDS Community Managers!

The Arizona Association of Community Managers (founded in 2003) is made up of 55 community management companies and over 200 affiliate partners that strive to promote positive understanding of community associations and the contribution of professional management companies to the to development and maintenance of high-quality neighborhoods in Arizona. The AACM has established itself as the leading information resource for legislators and community managers in Arizona.
Rhonda Alegria
On-going education and pro-active support of professionalism amongst Arizona community associations and management companies is the mission of the AACM. This mission naturally evolved into the Certified Arizona Association Manager education program. This professional certification provides Arizona-specific community association training to members and their employees.
We are very proud to announce four PDS community managers have achieved this esteemed credential this past month! Thank you for all of your hard work – Lisa Reisland,  Rhonda Alegria, Nikki Ramahlo, and Cara Cornell. We are proud to have you on our team and our community assocations appreciate your dedication to consistently improving our neighborhoods!
Nikki Ramahlo
Cara Cornell

Here’s What HOA Residents Have to Say

Here’s what HOA Residents Have to Say

Americans who reside in HOA’s are overwhelmingly pleased with their communities, expressing strong satisfaction with the board members who govern their homeowners associations, as well as the community managers who provide professional support.
More than seven in 10 HOA residents expressed satisfaction with their community experience, according to a survey conducted by Zogby International, a leading public opinion research firm. Almost 40% of HOA residents say they are “very pleased,” with only 10% expressing some level of dissatisfaction…

And the results are in…….

  • 88% believe their governing boards strive to serve the best interest of the community.
  • 90% say the are on friendly terms with their association board members, with just 4% indicating a negative relationship.
  • 86% say they get along well with their immediate neighbors, with 5% reporting a negative relationship. Of those reporting neighbor issues, most common problems were pets, general lifestyle, noise, and parking.
  • 78% believe HOA rules “protect and enhance” property values, while one in 100 say it harms (20% see no difference).
  • 88% of residents who interact with professional community managers say the experience has been positive.
This research was sponsored by the Foundation for Community Research, a non-profit organization created by the Community Associations Institute. Survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

How To Report A Barking Dog and Still Remain Civil With Neighbors

I’ve tried everything ?!!  The dog still barks excessively in my HOA!

If you’ve tried all of the proactive approaches to curb dog barking (read our blog post 10 Tips to Stop Barking Dogs), and feel the need to take action, we suggest following the steps below:

 

Suggested Steps to Reporting Dog Barking Nuisance in your HOA:

1) Contact the Dog Owner: You may have done this already if you took the advice of our last “barking dog” blog post, but if you haven’t done so yet, the courteous thing to do is talk to the owner first. Share with them tips to curb dog barking. Discussing calmly with your neighbor can be the fastest and most effective way to handle the situation. Many owners tell animal control that they wished someone had talked to them first before calling in a complaint. If you are hesitant about speaking with the neighbor, animal control suggests leaving them a note on their door with your phone number to discuss the problem.

2) Contact the Homeowners Association: Well, speaking to the neighbor didn’t work. Time to contact the HOA to intervene. The association may have a nuisance provision in its documents or a rule prohibiting dog barking. If it does, the HOA can send a warning letter, notifying the owner of the problem. If the dog owner fails to comply with the letter, and the HOA CC&R’s have a nuisance provision, the owner now can be fined for the violation of it’s CC&R’s after the notice has been sent and an opportunity to be heard is given to the owner.

3) Lastly, contact your City/Town Animal Control: Some homeowners and/or associations have contacted the town animal control or code enforcement to have dog-barking conflicts resolved through mediation programs. For very extreme cases, or repeated problems with several attempts to mediate, owners and associations have called the police.

Who fixes that? CC&R's for HOA's

Who’s Fixing That? A Common HOA Question, Answered!

Who is responsible for what in my HOA? 

What is an “exclusive” area?

It’s an important question often asked by homeowners, and the answer is more complicated than you may think.

Generally, the association is responsible for repairing common, or shared, elements. The homeowners are responsible for maintaining their own homes.

But, there are two problems. Here is where it gets confusing:

1) Some areas are neither common nor part of your home. These are called exclusive or limited-use common areas and they are available only to one or few residents.

2) Ownership and responsibility for repair and/or replacement are not always the same thing.

So, how do we determine who is responsible in these scenarios?

Always refer to your Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (commonly referred to as CC&R’s). These should include a list of the HOA owned assets. Typically HOA owned assets are the responsibility of the association.

If your CC&R is silent on the issue, speak up! Request the information from your community manager. He/she has dealt with this question in the past and will be able to provide you with a clear answer?

Our best advice:

Don’t assume anything. If there is an issue with what appears to be a common element, then ask!

10 Tips to Decrease Dog Barking

Got a Barking Dog in your HOA?

It is a common problem amongst HOA’s – barking dogs. Wether it be your dog, or your neighbors, please share these tips about how to quiet your furry best friend.
According to experts, there are reasons why a dog barks: boredom, changes to the dog’s lifestyle, hostile neighbors, lack of shade, possible health issues, or children teasing the dog, can all affect the dog’s mental health and cause it to bark in excess.
Owners and Homeowner Associations have used some of the following techniques:

10 Suggestions for Limiting Dog Barking

  • Insert a dog door and a “dog-proofed” section of the house that provides dog toys and enticements. Give the dog an option to come inside rather than bark at irritants outside.
  • Ask a dog professional to speak at your HOA Board meeting.
  • The complaining party could offer to walk the dog, while the dog owner is away at work.
  • Owners can limit the dog’s stimulation by restricting line of sight; cover the area at the bottom of fence or gate.
  • Doggy Day Care 2 – 3 times a week helps prevent doggy boredom!
  • Owners can work with a professional dog trainer.
  • Anti-Bark shock collars have proven helpful for many dog owners.
  • “Bark Free” systems responds to a barking dog up to 50 feet away by emitting high pitched tones that humans can’t hear, but the dog can!
  • The ultimate extreme: Debarking Surgery. This procedure is still considered very controversial, results are sometimes unsatisfactory, and veterinarians seldom suggest this as a solution.
Dog Waste Blog | HOA Blog | PDS

5 Facts About Uncollected Dog Waste In Your HOA

What’s the Scoop Poop?

Besides being a nuisance, uncollected dog waste is a serious problem for your association. Next time you’re tempted to leave your dog droppings on the lawn, please remember these facts:

5 FACTS about uncollected dog waste in your HOA

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is becoming aggressive about enforcing the Clean Water Act. Your association can be fined if dog waste isn’t picked up! (More fines, less reserve money, potentially higher dues….you see where this goes…..).
  • Uncollected dog waste may lead to a special assessment. If fined by the EPA, the association could face a potential special assessment that would be levied against all homeowners – not just dog owners.
  • The appearance and quality of common areas are known to affect home sales – not just wether and how much they sell, but how quickly too!
  • The more residents complain about dog waste, the more time a community manager spends on enforcement, rather than serving the association on higher priority issues.
  • Uncollected dog waste spreads disease and attracts rodents who feed on pet waste (EWWW!). Especially with summer coming around, more animals are going to be out and about…..do you want to attract them to your HOA community?

 

Homeowner Responsibilities in an HOA by Planned Development Services

Your Responsibilities as a Homeowner in an HOA

Homeowners have responsibilities too…….

We hope you enjoyed our most recent blog post regarding homeowner rights in an HOA. With any right, we must also uphold our responsibilities in order to live in a successful and harmonious community.

7 Responsibilities of Homeowners living in an HOA Community:

  • Maintain your property according to established standards
  • Treat association leaders with honesty and respect
  • Read and comply with your communities rules and regulations and ensure your tenants do too. You should have received these upon purchase of the home. Contact your community manager if you have not received this information, asap!
  • VOTE in community elections!
  • Pay association assessments and charges on time (delinquent dues affect everyone)
  • Request reconsideration of material decisions that personally affect you
  • And lastly, make sure your association has your updated contact information at all times, so that you can receive all information from the community!
Making connections in the HOA community

4 Ways to Make Connections in an HOA Community

Get to know your neighbors

We hope you enjoyed our post on neighborhood block watches this month. They are beneficial towards neighborhood safety, but even better for establishing a feeling of community in your HOA.
We thought that to some, creating a neighborhood watch may seem daunting. The title alone may infer night watches and long hours, when in fact they don’e require that all (check out our 6 simple steps).
Nonetheless, we continue our effort to share with our HOA communities alternative ideas to establishing connections with your neighbors…..

4 Easy and Effective Strategies to Establish Connections in your HOA

  • Plan a neighborhood BBQ. BYOB, bring a dish to pass, or request each family bring the meat they want to grill. Don’t take on the expense yourself. Offer to host the event in your backyard or a common area. Set the date and time, go door to door, post event details on the community Facebook page, and ask your HOA board to announce the event at the next meeting and insert into upcoming communications.
  • Plan a children’s event. If there are a lot of children in your HOA, parents are more likely to attend an event their kids can enjoy. What parent doesn’t love when kids have neighborhood friends to keep them busy outside? Plan a kid-friendly event and make those connections! Try renting a “bouncy-house,” ask a local sports figure to attend (they love to promote their own community happenings), create obstacle courses and backyard games.
  • Plan a poolside cocktail hour. Picture this: signature cocktails, tranquil pool, an evening breeze. Sets up a nice environment for calming, relaxing, get-to-know-social time. We all have busy weekends, so pick a day during the week as people are more likely to find that extra hour to unwind from a busy workday. During the event, make sure to spread the word that the event will happen at the same time/place each week/month. You can plan this same event over coffee in the morning as well!
  • Introduce yourself. Ok, seems like the obvious answer, but it planning an event isn’t for you, go knock on a door (the old fashioned way). Approach the conversation with an offering. Maybe offer to watch their house when out of town, water the plants outside, or pick up their mail? Courtesy and kindness still goes a long way!