In This Issue

Happy 4th of July!

Are you an educated homeowner?

Save the Date! CAI/IREM Summer Social

Should Your HOA Resort to Self-Help to Address Covenant Violations?

Register for the M-206: Financial Management Course | October 19-20 in Birmingham

Upcoming Events

August 17, 2017

CAI/IREM JOINT Summer Social

Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Location: Vestavia Bowl


August 25, 2017

2nd Annual Commercial
Real Estate Summit

presented by IREM Chapter 43

More Information >>>

September 28, 2017

Chapter Luncheon

"Reserving for the Future"

Time: 11:30am - 1 pm

Location: The Club, Inc.


October 19-20, 2017

M-206 Financial Management

Location: Birmingham


Click here to view more upcoming events in 2017!

New Members
June 2017

Nicole Daigle
Liberty Park Homeowners Association

Community Association Volunteer Leader (CAVL)
Birmingham, AL


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Click here to read about member benefits and join!

Make Your Mark

CAI is governed by dedicated members like you who shape the future of community associations worldwide.

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Thank you to our

Platinum Sponsors:
Allied Universal Security Services 

Law Offices of Lee Mason  

Community Association Management 

Gold Sponsors:
Associa McKay Management


Boothby Realty

Gibson Landscaping

Spaces Management

Silver Sponsors:
Alliance Association Bank
The Green Team

Mutual of Omaha Bank

Bronze Sponsors:

CertaPro Painters of Hoover

Jones Walker


Ray Engineering

SOLitude Lake Managment

Union Bank

We're Green Clean

2017 CAI AL Chapter
Board of Directors


Andy Turner, AMS, PCAM
Spaces Management

President Elect
Fields Greer
The Green Team

Mildred Lanier
Hayesbury Townhomes HOA

Jamie Brasher Phillips, CMCA, AMS
J.H. Berry & Gilbert

At-Large Member

Lee Mason, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
Community Association Management

Executive Director
Julia Boehm-McKay

Newsletter | June 2017 Print

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July

The CAI Alabama Chapter wishes you a Happy 4th of July!

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Are you an educated homeowner?

The CAI Alabama Chapter is proud to have offered two Board Leadership Development Workshops this year!

One of the workshops was held in three sessions (February 9th, April 24th and June 20th) at the Hoover Library. This was the first year that we offered the workshop in this format. Board members enjoyed the option to attend all three sessions or just attend a session that they were mostly interested in. When counting all attendees from all three workshop session, we had a total of over 30 participants.

The second workshop was held at the StillWaters Residential Association on May 20th in Dadeville. 15 board members attended this day-long workshop.

  BLDW #2
BLDW #3  BLDW StillWaters

Thank you to all of our workshop instructors Pat Hillen, CMCA, PCAM (Alliance Association Bank), Jada Hilyer, CMCA, AMS, PCAM (Associa McKay Management), Elbert Boothby, CMCA, AMS, PCAM (Boothby Realty), Jim Corbin, CPA and Lee Mason, CMCA, AMS, PCAM (Community Association Management / Law Offices of Lee Mason) and congratulations to all the board members who attended this year's Bard Leadership Development Workshop / sessions. Your dedication to learning more about association operations, management and governance sets you apart and demonstrates your commitment to serving your communities and neighbors.

SOLitude Lake Management

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Save the Date! CAI/IREM Summer Social

CAI/IREM Joint Summer Social

A big thank you to these 3 CAI Alabama Chapter business partner members
for sponsoring this year's summer social:

Allied Universal The Green Team  Jones Walker

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Should Your HOA Resort to Self-Help to Address Covenant Violations?

By Steven F. Casey, Jones Walker LLP

Steven F. CaseyMany homeowners associations have language in their covenants that are known as “self-help” provisions.  One that says something like, “the Association or its agents may enter upon a lot and take all actions necessary to correct covenant violations or breaches.”  Usually, these are accompanied by language allowing the association to recoup the expense of any such work.

“Self-help” provisions can be a helpful remedy when a recalcitrant owner has failed to abide by certain covenant requirements, usually related to maintenance obligations, such as lawn care.  This enforcement option is an important right held by community associations and can be very useful in some situations.

Is it wise, however, to exercise such a right?  Should a homeowners association send a lawn maintenance representative onto my property to cut my grass when I haven’t?  The answer is almost always, “it depends,” but this time, it is quickly followed with a hearty, “but if you do, BE CAREFUL!”

Before exercising this option, associations should always make every attempt to contact the owner and have him perform the needed tasks himself.  Unless there are specific notice requirements in the covenants or some other governing document, use the “reasonable man test” to determine how much notice is needed.  Imagine yourself in a courtroom with a judge asking you “what effort did you make to see that Mr. Jones knew about his alleged violation?”  Usually it will suffice if you attempt to call Mr. Jones and also write him.  It is a good general rule to try the written approach at least twice.  Some lawyers advise that you try certified mail; that is good, but not necessarily required.  Make sure you have the proper mailing address, however, when you write, no matter what delivery method you select.

After telephoning and writing at least twice, then and only then consider the self-help option.

In deciding whether to exercise the right to self-help, think not only legally, but also practically.  If the homeowner has been out of the country all summer and his grass has grown too high, he may actually appreciate it if the association has his grass cut for him.  If, on the other hand, the owner has actually refused to cooperate and has demonstrated a belligerent attitude, then care must be taken with this approach.  It will do no good to have enforced a lawn maintenance requirement if your enforcement effort gets the lawnmower operator shot.

Moreover, some maintenance tasks do not lend themselves to self-help.  For example, if you are dealing with a window treatment violation, it is much more difficult to have an association contractor perform maintenance via the self-help avenue if the contractor has to enter the owner’s home in order to do the work.  It also may be more dangerous.

And, of course, if the owner is resistant, there will be the difficulty of collecting the cost of the work from that owner.  For that reason, the association must take into account the cost of the maintenance items coupled with the knowledge that it could be a long time before that money is recouped.  If the repair is costly and it will be a while, if ever, that the owner reimburses the association for the work, it may be best to try to gain the owner’s compliance another way.

Even though more perhaps more costly, litigation brought by the Association can often be a more careful way to avail it of its self-help right.  In Amaker v. Hammond’s Mill Homeowners Assoc., Inc., 2015 WL 6954981 (W. Va. 2015), where an owner built a fence on association property, the court ordered the owner to remove the fence, adding that if the owner failed to do so, the association could remove it and assess the cost of removal against the owner.  The court also ordered the owner to pay the association’s legal fees.

Asking the court to allow the exercise of the self-help option is often more sensible and more safe.  The danger of proceeding without such protection was experienced by an HOA in the case of Parton v. Palomino Lakes Property Owners Association, Inc., 928 So. 2d 449 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2006), where a verdict for both compensatory and punitive damages was upheld in a case where several Association Board members attempted to block the delivery of a modular home in their neighborhood.  The Board felt that the modular home being delivered would be a violation of the Association’s restriction against mobile homes and resorted to self-help by actually blocking the roadway so that the delivery of the home was prevented.  The landowner filed suit and obtained not only a damages award, but an order requiring the Association and the individual Board members to pay the sizable legal fees he incurred.

Most owners consider the self-help option to be fairly aggressive.  Will your members be happy with that approach?

For situations that are impractical, perhaps dangerous and too costly, it may be best to use another method of compelling compliance.

So, consider all those factors before exercising that self-help option.

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Register for the M-206: Financial Management Course | October 19-20 in Birmingham

M-206: Financial ManagementDon't miss this great learning opportunity! Click here for more information registration information!

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