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Storm Preparedness

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Management Policies and Procedures

General Terms


Board Of Directors

Association Types

Association Management Questions

Association Legal Documents


We don’t discuss account balances over the phone for security purposes.   We take the security of our clients’ personal information very seriously, along with the goal of clear, concise communication.  Responding to email requests regarding account balances allows us to maintain a confidential record of communication with the property owner(s).


Click here to read more on Loss Assessment Coverage

While your individual condo unit may be in tip-top shape because you take great care of everything inside, certain circumstances could arise that may leave you footing the bill to repair or replace items in common areas.

It’s important to remember you still may need protection for everything outside your individual unit when you purchase a condo. Typically, your condo owners insurance only protects your unit and the contents inside.

Your condo’s homeowners association master policy covers major and minor damage to common areas, which can include everything from a gym, pool, staircase, lobby, elevator to a roof. Even though your HOA maintains its own policy, you could be assessed an unexpected bill at any time.

That’s when loss assessment coverage can come in and save the day — and your bank account. Loss assessment coverage isn’t a required add-on to your HO-6 condo insurance policy. It’s imperative to look through your HOA’s master policy limits to see how much coverage it protects.

The term neighborhood association is sometimes incorrectly used instead of homeowners association (HOA). Some key differences include: 1. HOA membership is mandatory generally through rules tied to the ownership of property like deed restrictions. Neighborhood association membership is voluntary or informal. 2. HOAs often own and maintain common property, such as recreational facilities, parks, and roads, whereas neighborhood associations are focused on general advocacy and community events. The rules for formation of a neighborhood association in the United States are sometimes regulated at the city or state level. Neighborhood associations are more likely to be formed in older, established neighborhoods, whereas HOAs are generally established at the time a residential neighborhood is built and sold. In some cases, neighborhood associations exist simultaneously with HOAs, and each may not encompass identical boundaries.

The Declaration is sometimes referred to as the ‘master deed,’ ‘documents,’ or ‘declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions’ [CC&Rs]. It describes an owner’s responsibilities to the association which can include payment of dues and assessments as well as the association?s various duties to the owners. It is common viewed as somewhat of a ‘constitution’ of the association. The person or group of persons who either signs the original declaration governing the development and association or acquires the original developer’s rights is referred to as the ‘Declarant.’

Founded in 1973, CAI is Community Associations Institute, a national and chapter-based membership organization dedicated to fostering successful common-interest communities. In addition to state and national legislative advocacy on behalf of associations, CAI provides education, tools and resources to those who govern and manage association-governed communities. CAI members include association board members and other homeowner volunteer leaders, community managers, association management firms and other professionals who provide products and services to associations, such as attorneys, accountants and reserve specialists. CAI is committed to being the worldwide center of knowledge and expertise for people seeking excellence in association operations, governance and management. Visit www.caionline.org or call (888) 224-4321 for more information.

Association management is a distinct field of management because of the unique environment of associations. Associations are unique in that the ‘owners’ are dues-paying members. Members also govern their association through an elected board or other governing body, along with association committees, commissions, task forces, councils and other units. Typically, the board selects, retains and evaluates a chief executive officer or an executive director who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the association and paid staff. Managers within the association environment are responsible for many of the same tasks that are found in other organizational contexts. These include human resource management, financial management, meeting management, IT management, and project management. Other aspects of management are unique for association managers. These include: membership recruitment and retention; tax-exempt accounting and financial management; development of non-dues revenue and fundraising. Association managers must also be familiar with laws and regulations that pertain only to associations. To attain the knowledge needed to effectively operate in association management, its practitioners may choose to pursue the Certified Association Executive designation.

An estoppel letter is used in a transfer or conveyance of real property prior to the Closing transaction. The document is sent to a bank (or other lender), to an HOA (or Condo Association), to a city/municipality, or a tenant requesting payoff of a mortgage, assessments or taxes due, or rental amounts due on a lease, to incorporate these amounts into the Settlement Statement for the buyer and seller of the real estate. Assessments and payments due must be incorporated into the amounts due at Closing and paid at the time of the Closing. Some amounts may be pro-rated, but all must be included in the Settlement Statement. The estoppel letter is the document that facilitates this process.

A property management entity contracted by a Board of Directors or community to provide a variety of services including but not limited to collecting assessments, sub-contractor endeavors, financial advisement and statement/reports preparation and analysis, general maintenance and problem resolution, and advisement on legal and other property related matters. Some of these companies manage hundreds of properties simultaneously, while others focus on individual properties.

Homeowner associations can compel homeowners to pay a share of common expenses, usually per-unit or based on square footage. These expenses generally arise from common property, which varies dramatically depending on the type of association. Some associations are, quite literally, towns, complete with private roads, services, utilities, amenities, community buildings, pools, and even schools. Many condominium associations consider the roofs and exteriors of the structures as the responsibility of the association. Other associations have no common property, but may charge for services or other matters.

An interest or a right in real property which grants the ability to a landowner to use the land of another for a special purpose or endeavor. An association may for example have an easement for slope maintenance or other repair purposes. A public utility may also have an easement for maintenance or repair work to be executed at a future date.

A Neighborhood Association (NA) is a group of residents or property owners who advocate for or organize activities within a neighborhood. An association may have elected leaders and voluntary dues. Some neighborhood associations in the United States are incorporated, may be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, and may enjoy freedom from taxation from their home state.

A monetary claim levied against a property for unpaid mortgage, taxes, contractor work, or other charges. A lien is attached to the property, not the owner, but legally must be recorded in the property records of the county of residence. If a Lien is in place, the property owner has very limited ability to do anything involving the property until the Lien is satisfied or removed.

A Homeowners’ Association (HOA) is a legal entity created by a real estate developer for the purpose of developing, managing and selling a community of homes. It is given the authority to enforce the covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&Rs) and to manage the common amenities of the development. It allows a developer to end their responsibility over the community, typically by transferring ownership of the association to the homeowners after selling. Generally accepted as a voluntary association of homeowners gathered together to protect their property values and to improve the neighborhood, a large percentage of U.S neighborhoods where free standing homes exist have an HOA. Most homeowners’ associations are nonprofit organizations and are subject to state statutes that govern non-profit corporations and homeowners’ associations.

A community association is a nongovernmental association of participating members of a community, such as a neighborhood, village, condominium, cooperative, or group of homeowners or property owners in a delineated geographic area. Participation may be voluntary, require a specific residency, or require participation in an intentional community. Community associations may serve as social clubs, community promotional groups, service organizations, or quasi-governmental groups.

In relation to an HOA, Community or other formal organization, a director is an officer charged with the conduct and management of its affairs. The directors collectively are referred to as a board of directors, and are generally elected or appointed. Sometimes the board will appoint one of its members to be the chair, making this person the President of the Board of Directors or Chairman.

the act of initiating a Recuse involves the temporary removal of an association member or board member, or the act of disallowing his or her participation in a particular vote or proceeding.

A Quorum is defined as the minimum number of owners required to hold an official meeting of the association. The number of owners required can vary greatly according to the corresponding association’s governing documents.

An individual appointed to act or vote on behalf of another person by representing them at a meeting of the association. The title can also refer to the written piece of paper granting that power.

Similar in essence to a lien, the Notice of Noncompliance is a document sometimes authorized under the CC&Rs and may be recorded in the county property records. Its’ essential purpose is to notify prospective buyers that the property is in violation of the documents.

A Managing Agent is a person or entity hired specifically to assist the board of directors in enforcing the documents and managing the assets, funds, and interests of the association.

Any area of improved real property intended for shared use by the members of an association.

An Ordinance is an individual or set of laws adopted by local government at the county and city level.

The declaration, bylaws, operating rules, articles of incorporation or any other documents which govern the normal operating procedures of an association.

The term CC&R refers to ‘Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions.’ A real covenant is a legal obligation imposed in a deed by the seller of a home and or property upon the buyer of the real estate to do or not to do something. Such restrictions frequently ‘run with the land’ and are enforceable on future buyers of the property. Examples might be to maintain a property in a reasonable state of repair, to preserve a sight-line for a neighboring property, not to run a business from a residence, or not to build on certain parts of the property. Many covenants are very simple and are meant only to protect a neighborhood from homeowners destroying trees or historic things or otherwise directly harming property values. Some can be more specific and strict, outlining everything a homeowner can do to the exterior of their home, including the number of non-familial tenants one may have, acceptable colors to re-paint the home, exactly when holiday decorations are allowed up, automobile placement or repair on property, satellite placement, etc

A set of rules or guidelines regarding the operation of a non-profit corporation such as a Board. Bylaws generally set forth definitions of offices and committees involved with the Board of Directors. They can include voting rights, meetings, notices, and other areas involved with the successful operation of the Association.

Hurricane Protection Procedures

Plan Ahead!

Supply List: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1390846764394-dc08e309debe561d866b05ac84daf1ee/checklist_2014.pdf


Most shelters do not allow pets. Please consider your pets in advance of any



If a hurricane threatens our area, one of the most important decisions you will make is whether to stay or go.  You are encouraged to evacuate if advised by city authorities, especially those who rely on electricity to power medical equipment or have special needs. Plan now so that when the time comes, you already know where you will go.


Your city’s Public Information Office (see list of cities and numbers below) will not assign shelters until an evacuation has been issued. However, it is generally the closest high school. You can try contacting your city before the storm to see if they have any advance information that may be helpful.

Virginia Beach: 385-3111

Chesapeake: 382-6241

Norfolk: 664-6510

Newport News: 933-2311

If you plan to evacuate the area, leave early and in daylight! Prepare your unit for the storm before you leave.  Learn your evacuation route and plan your destination before the storm hits.  The following link is a good resource: https://www.vaemergency.gov/hurricane-evacuation-zone-lookup/

There are some things you need to do in advance:

Balconies (if applicable):

Please close and secure your storm shutters if you have them and close your balcony doors securely. If you do not have storm shutters, bring in all items from your balcony and close your balcony doors and lock them securely. Close your blinds and drapes to help protect from flying glass. Place towels in tracks of the balcony doors. If you are able and willing, please offer to help your neighbors with this chore. Remember to close your storm window if you have them.


Vehicles will need to be moved to available spaces that are most protected (highest elevation is recommended to avoid flooding), or to another location if possible.


Run some extra water in your bathtub and any buckets you have for washing and flushing. Some water pressure may remain for the lower floors. Stock some ice in a cooler. Have your emergency supplies ready, particularly any medications! See attached lists for suggestions.


Be sure to have functioning flashlights and fresh batteries in case of loss of power.


When power goes off, there is limited water pressure. Water may not be available to you during prolonged outages.

During the storm:

Stay indoors and seek shelter in an inside room away from doors and windows at the highest elevation.

After the storm:

You may experience polluted water, limited communications, and no electricity. Use extreme caution when using candles, never leave one unattended. Food in refrigerator will spoil in just a few hours; the freezer will keep longer, but be on guard. If perishable food is no longer cold, don’t eat it! When in doubt, throw it out! Beware of outdoor hazards such as downed power lines and debris if venturing out. Be a good neighbor and help others and have patience, patience, patience!

Please note, if an evacuation is advised, CFM Staff will evacuate in order to ensure our safety and that of our families.  We will return as soon as it is safe and physically possible to do so.  Upon our return, we will do our best to assist, but our abilities may be limited do to utilities being down and other factors outside of our control.  For additional information, please email Info@CommunityFirstManagement.com.


Unfortunately, during Hurricane Matthew in 2016, the CFM Office complex and a good part of Virginia Beach completely lost power, phones and internet for several days.  People should reach out to the Emergency Services Division of their City in the event of a true emergency. Services will eventually be restored, and our staff will assist all community residents on a first come, first serve basis. Multiple calls on the same issue may delay our response, and we appreciate your patience.

In order to make a payment through the Enumerate Portal, you will need to request an invitation link by emailing info@communityfirstmanagement.com during regular business hours. If you already have registered to the portal, go to www.comwebportal.com/login and enter your credentials.

CAI is a national organization with almost 60 local and state chapters. CAI members enjoy automatic membership in the chapter of their choice. Find a CAI chapter in your area.

Please submit any questions, requests, concerns, etc. in writing, either via email through your Community Manager, or with a note or letter mailed to or dropped off at our office address.  Board Members are volunteers, and as such, we don’t provide their personal contact information.  Submitting your thoughts in writing allows the Board to understand the situation from your perspective.  We will forward any and all written communication requiring Board action to the Board for their review and consideration.

If your community is not self managed, the Association Management’s contact information can be located on the website, and most Asociation Management companies have contact information listed on their company websites or in the phone book. Generally, a management company can be contacted online or by telephone by community or Board members, or individuals whose communities are seeking a management company for representation.

A predetermined set of fees usually referred to as ‘Dues’ are collected by HOAs, Community Associations, or divisions of property management for the upkeep of said organizations or neighborhoods in general. These fees are billed at intervals, sometimes by month, quarter, or annually.