New Senate Bills and How They Might Affect You and Your Community

AB 2912: Association Finances

AB 2912 was created to protect the financial assets of common interest developments. This bill is meant to help protect against fraud and embezzlement. The three main aspects of this bill are:  1. To require that the association maintain fidelity bond coverage with limits that mirror the most common current lending guidelines. This is to protect the association’s reserves and operating funds from employee theft, including management employees. Every management company should have their own fidelity coverage as well.  HMC’s service agreements require both to be in place for the best protection.   2. Prohibit any electronic transfers of funds without approval by the board.  Current law requires that two Board members authorize payments made from reserve funds. This goes further to require that the Board approve any electronic transfers of funds, which is essential in today’s banking environment.   3. Require monthly reviews of financial statements. Current law requires the Board to review reconciled bank statements and financial statements at least quarterly:  “Review”, not “approve”. This doesn’t mean the Board has to have more meetings. The review doesn’t have to be at a meeting. Looking at the bank statements and financials monthly makes good sense to us. We want the Board to be informed and up to date.

 

SB 1128: Board Member Elections

SB 1128 will change existing law which allows an association that is required to deliver a document by “individual delivery” or “individual notice” to deliver the email by electronic means if the recipient has consented in writing. This bill now authorizes the recipient to consent to that delivery and revoke that consent by email. In addition, this bill now requires a 28 day general notice by the association before making a new rule.

SB 1265: Director Elections and Procedures

The Senate Bill 1265 is a bill seeking to prohibit California community associations from establishing ANY qualifications for candidates running for Board of Directors.  Potential qualifications could be as straight forward as stating that the candidate must be a resident owner, or that the candidate must be in good standing with the community in regard to payment of their assessments and fees.  This bill would allow ANYONE to run for the Board of Directors. This is just dumb and should be opposed.

SB 1480: Manager Certification Sunset Elimination

This bill is established by the Department of Consumer Affairs, and seeks to change the rule that the boards have to meet 2 times a year with the department, instead of 3 times. Through this Senate bill, it will allow people to meet efficiently both the department and board, resolve issues and make the right solution.

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What is Senate Bill 1265?

California Senate Bill 1265 is a bill seeking to prohibit California community associations from establishing qualifications for candidates running for the Board of Directors. In addition, Senate Bill 1265 is attempting to add Civil Code Section 4801 which seeks to codify common interest developments the same as quasi-governmental entities, paralleling the two.

How it will affect your community association

Senate Bill 1265 would prohibit your community association from enforcing any qualifications for candidates running for the Board. These qualifications could be as straight forward as stating that the candidate must be a resident owner, or that the candidate must be in good standing with the community in regard to payment of their assessments and fees. This bill would allow anyone to run for the Board of Directors. In addition, common interest developments will be held to the same standard as quasi-governmental entities in terms of power, duties, and responsibilities, further discouraging residents to volunteer to serve on their HOA Board of Directors.

We urge you to contact your local representative and encourage them to vote against Senate Bill 1265 – link here.

Posted in HMC Blog

HMC joins the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in the fight against cancer on 6/23/18

Homeowners Management Company will be participating in this year’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life taking place on June 23rd, 2018 in Dublin, CA. This event is particularly meaningful to the team at HMC especially after losing their team member Tina Buxa to her long battle with cancer four years ago. This disease has impacted the lives of many on the HMC team by effecting and taking away their loved ones. HMC is proud to take action against this disease that takes away from so many.

Over the next few weeks, HMC will be fundraising for the American Cancer Society and on the day of the event they will honor the lives lost to cancer, celebrate survivors, and support the caregivers who selflessly help others. Together, with our friends and customer support, HMC will be a part of making a difference towards this important cause.

The money raised through Relay For Life events helps realize the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives, celebrate life, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. Donations are used to fund life-saving cancer research, patient support services, prevention and education information, and detection and treatment programs.

Relay For Life provides communities with the information and tools they need to reduce their risk of getting cancer or have early detection and treatment of the disease. Individuals benefit from the progress being made toward finding cancer’s causes and cures and get access to lifesaving screenings and treatment.

HMC recognizes that every dollar raised brings us one step closer to a cancer free world where not another life is lost to the disease. You can join the HMC team in fighting cancer and support their fundraising efforts by making a donation or joining our team at http://main.acsevents.org/goto/teamHMC.

Relay For Life information:
June 23rd, 2018
Dublin, CA
http://main.acsevents.org/goto/teamHMC.

Homeowners Management Company (HMC) is a full service community association management firm delivering tailored financial, administrative, and operational management solutions to common interest developments and homeowners associations in Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, Solano, and Napa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Posted in HMC Blog, Relay for Life, Uncategorized

What is Corporate Social Responsibility? Why is it important for a company to adhere to it?

A corporation’s responsibility and commitment to its stakeholders is called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and it means emphasizing the good and diminishing the bad contributions companies have on the varied interests of its stakeholders. Consumers want corporations to be accountable for implementing social change among their beliefs, practices and profits. According to Business News Daily, 75 percent of consumers will refuse to buy from a company if they learn it supports an issue contrary to their own beliefs. Ultimately, employees and consumers only want to work with a company that they respect and share the same values with.

Dr. Archie B. Carroll, a business management author and professor, discusses a four-part definition to describe how companies can implement CSR in his article “The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility”. The pyramid explains the essential duties a business has to its stakeholders and ways they can be implemented. The four areas that make up the pyramid are Economic, Legal, Ethical, and Philanthropic.

Economic Responsibility:  Companies have the responsibility of providing investors with maximized returns. The key take-away here is companies need to be profitable by maximizing sales and minimizing costs through strategic decision making.

Legal Responsibility:  Companies are responsible for obeying the law and complying to all regulations which include environmental and consumer laws, laws protecting employees, fulfilling all contractual obligations and honoring warranties and guarantees.

Ethical Responsibility:  This is a company’s commitment to do what is right, just, and fair to avoid or minimize harm to their stakeholders. The responsibility is to avoid questionable practices and to assert ethical leadership.

Philanthropic Responsibilities:   Companies are expected to be good corporate citizens by fulfilling their philanthropic responsibility of contributing to financial and human resources within their community to improve the quality of life. Companies have the responsibility of providing programs that support the community and to promote and engage in volunteerism.

Implementing the four areas of the pyramid into your company’s practice will ensure transparency with stakeholders while having a positive impact on society and the environment.

 

Homeowners Management Company (HMC) takes corporate social responsibilities very seriously and prides itself on being transparent and available to its clients. If you are interested in learning more about corporate social responsibilities, we invite you to listen to our CEO, Jason Brown and Laura Ravazza, HMC Sr. Community Association Manager discuss how to develop a corporate social responsibility program and how rewarding it can be for the company.

 

 

 

Posted in HMC Blog, Uncategorized

Educational Luncheon January 20, 2017

On Friday, January 20, 2017, The Community Associations Institute (CAI) will be hosting an Educational Luncheon, “Is Your Wish My Command? Responding to Requests.” HMC’s Laura Ravazza, who was voted CAI BayCen Chapter’s Manager of the Year, will be teaming up with Melissa B Ward, Esq. of Hughes Gill Cochrain, PC to present.

The program will discuss some of the difficult requests managers handle on a daily basis, including requests for records, lender questionnaires, and other demands by association members and directors. The speakers will provide some useful tools in managing these challenging requests, including when it’s okay to say, “No.”

We are extending this invitation to our Board Members. For those of you who are interested and have not yet registered for a CAI event, your registration fee will be waived.

The details of the event are as follows:

When: Friday, January 20, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. PST

Where: Crowne Plaza, Foster City: 1221 Chess Drive, Foster City, CA 94404

The Speakers: Laura Ravazza & Melissa Ward

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Register: please e-mail Amanda Wayne: amanda@hmcpm.com

We hope to see you there!

Posted in HMC Blog

Happy Holidays from Team HMC!

Posted in HMC Blog

#TeamHMC Partners with CAI Cares! to help families in need

On December 15, 2016, #TeamHMC partnered up with the CAI Cares! Committee to make a difference in the lives of families in need this holiday season. Members of our team made the trek down to the Sunnyvale, CA to the 2016 Family Giving Tree warehouse. There, we organized and bagged gifts to be picked up by social service agencies.

 

The Family Giving Tree was founded 25 years ago, and is the largest gift and backpack/school supplies donations program in California. As an organization, they “envision a world where every child is made to feel like a valuable part of their community through a shared belief in the power of giving,” (Family Giving Tree).

One in four children in the Bay Area lives in poverty. HMC is proud to give back to the community and participate in the Family Giving Tree’s endeavors to bring hope to those most in need this holiday season.

Posted in HMC Blog

Board of Directors Educational Series: “HOA Budgeting and Reserve Studies Best Practices”

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On September 14, 2016, we were lucky to partner up with Association Reserves and Levy, Erlanger & Company, CPAs to present, “HOA Budgeting and Reserve Studies Best Practices.”

This evening seminar covered:

  • Reserve study basics
  • Technology components and how to incorporate them into your reserve study
  • How to understand your reserve study quickly
  • Annual budgets & requirements

The discussion covered the importance of maintaining reserves and not relying on special assessments, annual provisions and accumulated liability, and using reserves for technology replacements and upgrades, such as solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations.

We discussed what a Reserve Study is: a long-term financial plan for ongoing deterioration of properties, and a budgeting tool that will help anticipate big projects and expense, as well as the purpose: guidance for a financial foundation, to sustain and improve the health of your property, insight into the condition of your property, and to avoid unexpected expenses that will dry up the reserve account. The reserve study helps the association to be proactive in planning for its future to maintain the financial health of the community.

Next, the discussion moved to the Pro Forma Operating Budget:

  • Major components
  • Remaining life
  • Useful life
  • Current replacement cost
  • Component study prepared at least once every 3 years
  • Cash reserves
  • Percent reserves are funded
  • (Under) – over-funded reserves per ownership interest
  • Methods of funding
  • Known or anticipated special assessments (next 30 years)
  • Statement of procedures
  • Accrual-basis revenues and expenses
  • Summary of the pro forma budget (optional with legal/CPA guidance)
  • Distribution within 30 to 90 days before the start of the next fiscal year (i.e. October 3 to December 1 for calendar yearend association)
  • Penalty for noncompliance

There were a lot of takeaways from this seminar, and we are so grateful to be able to continue to provide these educational forums for our Boards. Thank you, Derek Eckert and David Levy for making this event possible!

Posted in Uncategorized

Meet Debbie Douglas, Portfolio Community Manager

Celebrating 10 years as part of our dynamic team, Debbie Douglas is a true asset to HMC. She is a compassionate problem solver who is dedicated to the success and happiness of her communities. Please see below for our interview with Debbie.

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What are 3 words you would use to describe HMC?

Professional, Consistent, Longevity.

What aspect of your job do you most enjoy and why?

I enjoy interacting with people and learning about their lives. In this job, you meet many different kinds of people from all backgrounds and walks of life, and I find that extremely interesting. As a manager, I have met many people who have positively affected my life. For example, I have become friends with a member who introduced me to Indian food, and another who shared some of her best friend’s jewelry with me when her friend passed. I was honored by this gesture of friendship, and will always cherish her kindness.

What is your favorite part of working for HMC?

The care and devotion the employees have to this profession.

What is your proudest moment at HMC?

Helping one of my communities through a devastating fire. A 4 unit project was gutted by a fire; fortunately no human or animal lives were lost. I worked diligent to complete the restoration of the units and get all residents back into their homes. It was gratifying knowing that I was able to help the community recover from this upsetting event.

What piece of advice would you give to a new portfolio manager?

Learn to listen and be patient. These skills will help you through many situations.

How has HMC helped you in your career development?

Tons and tons of learning experiences dealing with homeowners and business partners. HMC also provides the opportunity to pursue industry education.

What are your hopes for our industry?

To learn and improve.

What is something that makes you unique that only a few people know about you?

My ancestors came to this country in the mid 1600s, and my family is linked with several of the founding fathers of this country.

What is your favorite way to relax and unwind?

Hiking, reading, and a good martini!

Do you have a favorite movie quote?

“Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

 

 

Posted in HMC Blog

Holiday Safety Tips for your Home

Among the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season, remember these 10 simple tips to help keep your family safe:

  1. Keep your tree well watered – a watered, happy tree not only keeps your decor lively and festive, but also helps prevent a potential fire hazard. Heated rooms can dry out a tree quickly, so make sure to check your stand water regularly. Before putting the tree in its stand, cut off a few inches off the trunk; this will help the tree absorb more water an keep from drying out quickly.
  2. If you prefer artificial trees – make sure to  choose one with the label “Fire Resistant.”
  3. Tree lights – make sure to check all tree lights for frayed wires, broken sockets, missing bulbs, or loose connections before putting them on the tree. Make sure you are unplugging all indoor lighted decorations before going to bed or leaving the house. Like candles, holiday lights should only be in use when occupants are present in case of electrical shorts. Also, some tree lights contain lead in the bulbs and/or strands so make sure they are out of reach of children.
  4. Outdoor Lights – check the packaging for outdoor lights to make sure they are certified for outdoor use. To prevent damage to the cord, string light strands through hooks instead of using tacks or nails to secure the lights.
  5. Extension cords – use no more than 3 standard-size sets of lights per extension cord to avoid overloading the circuit.
  6. Ornaments – if you have pets or small children, avoid ornaments that look like candy or food. Sharp or breakable ornaments should be avoided to prevent injury.
  7. Wrapping Paper – do not burn gift wrap paper in the fireplace. Wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely, which could result in a flash fire.
  8. Holiday plants – such as mistletoe berries and holly berries are toxic and should be kept out of reach of children.
  9. Space heaters – cause approximately 79% of fatal home heating fires. If space heaters are in use, make sure there is a 3 foot clearance away from curtains, blankets, or other potentially flammable materials.
  10. Smoke detectors – test smoke detectors to make sure they are working, and keep a fire extinguisher on hand.

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From everyone at HMC, we wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season!

Posted in HMC Blog