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December 2018 CAI@Home


Welcome to the December 2018 issue of CAI’s e-newsletter! Read the full articles below. 


Renovating old rules
A practical guide to giving your association's rules an annual checkup.

01CAIAtHome_RevisitRules.jpgAs you look at your association's current rules, ask yourself: 
Does the rule still make sense? 

Is it reasonable? If a rule is reasonable, community members are more likely to comply with it. And, if there's a legal challenge, a judge is more likely to allow it. Better yet, a reasonable rule protects and preserves relationships among homeowners.

Is the rule enforceable? If your association has no real way to attain compliance, you may need to eliminate or restate a rule.

Is the rule legal? Make sure the rule is consistent with current law. An annual legal audit is good if your state legislature is active in adopting rules that affect community associations.            

Inevitably, someone will break a community rule. When this happens, the association should inform the resident about the problem and follow a due-process procedure. This means that it is the association's responsibility to always notify a resident of alleged violations before taking any action. Common practice is to send a written notice describing the possible rule violation and ask the resident to correct the problem voluntarily by a specific date. These notices also explain any action the association may take if the violation isn't corrected.

Any time a notice is sent to a resident, the board should hear the resident's point of view. These meetings give the resident and the board an opportunity to discuss rule violations informally and arrive at a solution.

>>Do your rules need a checkup? Find out by downloading your free copy of CAI's Renovating Old Rules Checklist here


protecting your association's money

it begins with a savvy board.

Managing the association's finances is one of the board's most important duties, but it doesn't have to be complicated. The board has the fiduciary duty to protect assets, budget and save responsibly, plan for the future, invest wisely, and observe laws and regulations (like this one) that affect association resources.
Board members fulfill their fiduciary duty by:

  • Establishing and adhering to a budget. A good budget is developed through an objective, step-by-step process based on historical data and careful research. Every community should have a long-term plan.
  • Reviewing financial statements regularly. The statements include a balance sheet, budget comparison report, income report, check registry, and more.
  • Creating policies that reduce the risk of fraudulent activity. These include requiring two signatures on checks, not signing blank checks, and sending payment only when an invoice is received.
  • Hiring an accounting firm to perform an annual audit. An auditor will look for missing check numbers, missing bank statements, duplicate payments, payments to unfamiliar vendors, and suspicious journal entries.
  • Adopting an investment policy. A good investment policy protects principal, liquidity, and yield.
  • Conducting a reserve study and updating it regularly. A reserve study identifies the expected remaining life of each major component while estimating the cost to replace it and the amount that should be saved on a monthly or annual basis.

>>To learn even more strategies and guidelines for preparing an association budget, watch CAI's webinar: Tight Budgets, Tough Choices: Making Responsible Decisions


what we're watching and what you need to know.

Community associations and the issues impacting them are in the news every day. Stay up to date with the latest:


community association managers versus property managers
two important roles with two very different responsibilities.

04CAIAtHome_MgrVsMgr.jpgCommunity Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) Executive Director John Ganoe, CAE, points out the substantial differences between community association managers and property managers in the organization's blog, CMCA Corner. Ganoe notes that while these two roles are usually lumped together, what they manage and who they manage can be very different.

>>Read “Understanding the Important Distinction Between Community Association Managers and Property Managers."  


the eighth amendment and your association
what the constitution has to say about your community's fines.

CAI's Advocacy Blog examines the Eighth Amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Our Founding Fathers weren't thinking about community associations when writing the Constitution, but there are some similarities to association fines and due process. You might consider this guidance when renovating your old rules.

>>Read the blog post here



06bCAIAtHome_Retired.jpgRetired community association management professionals can still list the credentials they worked hard to obtain even when they are no longer practicing within the field. CAI's retired status does not require designees to meet continuing education requirements for their respective designations, and they pay a reduced annual maintenance fee. Once granted this status, designees should include “-Retired" after their designations in print. For more information, please email

CAI's sister organization, Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB), also offers a retirement status for the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) program. Go to for more information.  




jingle all the way home
with the best deals of 2018.

Get up to 40% off the books you need on community association governance, management, and operations.

Be sure to always keep an eye out for what's on sale within the CAI Press site here


show your cai affiliation
your email signature would look a whole lot better with a splash of cai.

CAI has three versions of an email signature that you can add today. Learn what the options are and how to incorporate them into your future messages—graphics included!

>>Access them here!


JANUARY webinar

Keeping Meetings on Track: 7 Simple Strategies for Community Managers
Wed., Jan. 23
, 2-3 p.m. ET

Your meetings can be more successful by taking simple steps to eliminate chaos and confusion. In this webinar, you'll learn seven easy strategies for running productive and orderly meetings.
>>Register Here.

february webinar

Residential Security in Today's World: Protecting Residents & Associations

Wed., Feb. 20, 2-3 p.m. ET

In this webinar, you’ll learn the necessary tools and strategies to limit and mitigate risk, including how to ue technology, training, and policies to improve overall resident satisfaction.
>>Register here.

upcoming events

Community Association Law Seminar

Jan. 23-26, Roosevelt New Orleans, New Orleans, La. 

This unique opportunity to discuss emerging trends and legislative issues important to the practice of community association law is presented annually by CAI's College of Community Association Lawyers.
>>Register today at

Florida Leadership Forum

Feb. 8, Sheraton Orlando North, Orlando, Fla.

Florida community managers, homeowners and association board members, and business partners will join together for an event that focuses on engaging in advocacy efforts and discussing legislative trends and hot topics that affect all aspects of community association living. 
>>Register here.


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