Monthly Archives: March 2011

Three Keys to Handling Architectrual Reviews in Your HOA

Streamline Architectural Reviews and Eliminate Headaches

Atlanta, GeorgiaArchitectural Review is a vital part of maintaining the aesthetics and property values in Atlanta Homeowners Associations. Most Atlanta Community Associations have architectural restrictions designed to maintain a pleasing and uniform aesthetic by limiting the types of  fences, outdoor sheds and garden structures that owners can erect and controlling neighborhood paint schemes. From a practical perspective, this process is typically administered by an Architectural Review Committee or Architectural Control Committee that is appointed by the Homeowners Association Board of Directors.

Where do they get the authority to tell me what I can build?

The authority of an HOA Board or Architectural Review Committee to review plans prior to construction can typically be found in your HOA’s Covenants and Bylaws.   In addition to your Covenants and Bylaws, many HOAs adopt Architectural rules or restrictions designed to help streamline the process. These rules may provide specific guidelines about what sorts of structures will be approved. For example, there may be limitations on height, color or setback requirements. Other rules are procedural, outlining a process for submitting plans, obtaining a hearing in front of the committee, or appealing an adverse decision to the Association Board of Directors.

Why is it important to observe your Governing Documents and Rules carefully?

With the recent downturn in the economy and plummeting real estate market, Architectural Review has become an increasingly contentious issue. Many aggrieved owners turn to the court system to resolve architectural review disputes. Lawsuits often arise in two contexts: either (1) an owner receives an adverse decision preventing him or her from building their dream home; or (2) A neighbor of the builder is unhappy with the structure going in next door and seeks to have construction halted. Occasionally, neighbors have sought to have an existing structure torn down for being in violation of the Association CCRs.

Architectural review litigation is highly unpleasant, costly and time consuming for HOAs.

What can my HOA do to prevent the disputes and resolve them quickly if they do come up?

1. Draft Written Rules to Supplement your Covenants. Many Covenants and Bylaw provisions relating to architectural review are ambiguous. For example: “No home built in the subdivision shall erect a nonconforming fence.  That statement, without more, can be problematic and can lead to lawsuits.  Many Atlanta Homeowners Associations adopt rules or guidelines that clarify or interpret vague Architectural Standards. Carefully drafted rules often prevent disputes.

2. Enforce Your Rules Uniformly. Once your Homeowners Association has a clear set of rules in place, it is critical that the Board enforce them with every homeowner int he neighborhood, including the Board members themselves. Members are often more angry about “selective enforcement” than they are about having their plans denied. These owners may argue that the HOA denied their plans based on a set of rules that other neighbors violated without penalty. This is unfair to the members of the Association, and can undermine the Board’s ability to resolve the dispute. Worse still, it can affect your HOA’s ability to enforce other important rules and undermine the Board’s credibility.

3. Treat Everyone Fairly. Give a full and fair review of any an all plans and proposals for architectural changes.  For example, if your neighborhood has established a rule requiring garage doors to be painted the darkest color on the house and an owner wants to vary that color scheme to keep up with the current trend in nearby neighborhoods, it may be time to reevaluate and update the approved neighborhood paint colors and scheme.  Rather than arbitrarily deny a request, try to find a way to give homeowners something to be happy about.  If you can’t approve their request “as is,” approve what you can and let them know what needs modification.  Look for ways to make peace with your neighbors and to find an outcome that is satisfactory to them to avoid alienating neighbors, which often leads to other compliance issues down the road.  Remember that each person’s home is an essential part of their self-expression and the situation can quickly get out of control when  homeowners believe they are not being treated fairly.

Riverside Property Management is a Homeowners and Condominium Association management company management company proudly serving Roswell, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Marietta and all of North Georgia. Riverside is also an expert Georgia association management company and high rise Atlanta association management company. To find out more about Riverside Property Management and why it is one of Georgia’s fastest growing property management companies, go to You’ll be glad you did. 9YVMRAG7SBC5

Partners in Kennesaw Association Management

Riverside would like to announce our newest partnership.  We have partnered with the AOL Owned Company of in Kennesaw, Smyrna, Vinings and Acworth.  This is a wonderful place to see the news that matter to your community.

Neighborhood Meeting in Neighborhood

Let us worry about the rest! Have Fun.

News Nearby

It’s your community!  Let Riverside Property Management help with your biggest investment.

Riverside Property Management is a Homeowners and Condominium Association management company management company proudly serving Roswell, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Marietta and all of North Georgia. Riverside is also an expert Georgia association management company and high rise Atlanta association management company. To find out more about Riverside Property Management and why it is one of Georgia’s fastest growing property management companies, go to You’ll be glad you did.

How to Get the Most Out Of Your Property Manager and Avoid Running Off The Good Ones

How to Successfully Work With Your Property Management Company

Atlanta, GeorgiaProperty Management companies generally come in two varieties.  The really bad property management companies end up giving you little or no useful information, are not truthful about the work they perform for you (such as property inspections),  “rubber stamp” any invoice that is submitted to them and fail to look out for your community’s best interests.  The really good property management companies bend over backwards to help your community but are easily taken advantage of by overbearing Board members and are more likely to be run off.  The bad companies create Board apathy by their failure to provide any customer service and, strangely enough, oftentimes end up staying with a community for years and years because no one knows better.   So how can you make sure you are getting the service you contracted for without running off a good property management company?  Here are a five insider’s tips to avoid running off a good property management company.

1.  Don’t Make Demands Outside the Contract Terms. If your property management contract provides for monthly financials, don’t call the property manager twice a week asking for updated account receivable reports, gate access reports and updates on payments to vendors. This takes time and time is money.  The more demands you make on your property manager that are outside the terms of the contract, the more likely your contract rate is likely to be increased when it comes time to renew.  If the Board’s demands are truly excessive and overboard, the property management company will likely discourage you from re-upping for another year by raising your rates 50% or more.  Huge price increases are a sure sign that you were getting a whole lot more in services than you were paying for and that your property management  company no longer wants to represent you.

2.   Don’t Micromanage Your Property Manager. Okay this one is a no-brainer.  The quickest way to run off a good property manager is to micromanage them.  If you have a really good property management company that provides timely useful information, is completely honest about the services it performs and is always looking out for your best interests, it’s not uncommon for Board members to become overly enthusiastic about their community and all of the wonderful possibilities for its future.  But wait a minute.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and your community isn’t going to be magically transformed in an instant no matter how good your property manager is.  So step back and  remember that you are working with a property management professional who doesn’t need to be micro managed and will resent it if you do micromanage them just as you would resent it if you were being micro managed.

3.  Avoid Making Unreasonable Demands on Your Property Manager. It is not uncommon to want to rebid your landscape, pool, gate company, termite, insurance and law firm contracts.  It is unusual and unreasonable to ask your property manager to solicit new contract bids for 5 or 6 different contract services a single month.  Work out a schedule to space out your demands on your property manager to something more appropriate.  Unless you are paying for a full-time on site property manager, it is not realistic to expect to be treated like you are the only client.  If you want to be the only client, be prepared to pay a whole lot more than you are currently paying.

4.  Respond to Your Property Manager’s Emails. If you insist on being intimately involved in everything your property manager does for your community and want to review and approve every invoice,  violation letter and legal action against an owner, respond to the emails that are sent to you for input and approval.  Don’t expect your property manager to send you repeated reminders of email requests they previously sent you.   Make sure you fulfill your responsibilities to communicate on a timely basis with your property manager.  You are only going to frustrate your property manager and lose their support if you force them to send you twenty emails before you make a decision on a course of action.  Be decisive, provide clear directions and be timely in your communications with your property manager.

5.  Always Treat Your Property Manager With Respect. Everyone is entitled to be treated with respect.  Property managers are not a lower life form.  You expect to be treated with respect and your property manager deserves to be treated with respect.  Don’t get caught up in a  power trip and start treating your property manager like you own them.  They are your agent; not your servant or your secretary.  If you want to get the most out of your property manager and not be moved to the bottom of their “To Do” List, treat your property manager with the same respect and dignity that you expect.  Make sure that you don’t confuse an honest,  and oftentimes innocuous, mistake with a mortal sin.  And resist the temptation to call your property manager everyday just to talk.  You may be on a friendly basis with them but this is their job, not a form of amusement for them.   They are busy professionals and don’t need you calling them just to fill in a gap in your day.  Make sure you have a purpose for calling them and try to consolidate your requests in a single phone call or email to be more productive.

Keep in mind these few rules and you will build a productive and long lasting relationship with your property management company.

Riverside Property Management is a Homeowners and Condominium Association management company management company proudly serving Roswell, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Marietta and all of North Georgia. Riverside is also an expert Georgia association management company and high rise Atlanta association management company. To find out more about Riverside Property Management and why it is one of Georgia’s fastest growing property management companies, go to You’ll be glad you did.

Top 10 Reasons to Choose Riverside Property Management, Inc.

Selecting the right association management company for your master-planned, condo, single family or townhome community is an important decision. When you hire the professionals at Riverside Property Management, you benefit from an unequaled commitment to client care.





Here are 10 reasons why clients choose Riverside Property Management to manage their communities:

Reason #1:

You benefit from a company that is dedicated exclusively to community management in Georgia.

Reason #2:

You gain access to proven resources that allow you to preserve affordable assessments for your members, boost compliance and maintain quality curb appeal.

Reason #3:

You work with professionals who are certified in Georgia and receive continuing education on industry trends.

Reason #4:

You reap the rewards of our TOPS software that can create custom reports, track financials and track many community management-related items.

Reason #5:

You receive continuous education on current Georgia laws and trends through board training and homeowner association training.

Reason #6:

You have an on-call, certified manager available for emergencies 24 hours a day.

Reason #7:

You get access to a pre-screened database of contractors and vendors to ensure competitive costs and excellent service.

Reason #8:

You have the option of getting your own community website that belongs specifically to your association, allowing home owners to stay current on the latest issues and pay assessments.

Reason #9:

You experience a seamless transition that includes the transfer of all records and documents, as well as a review of CC&R’s and draft of updated Architectural Design & Community Guidelines.

Reason #10:

You work with an experienced staff committed to quality, long-term relationships and making a difference in communities they serve.

Annual meetings; It’s this simple.

Typical elements of a hole on a golf course: t...

Image via Wikipedia

Today I absolutely copy a meeting.  I believe that an annual meeting for an Association, Neighborhood, Community or Condominium should follow these rules: while keeping with the Covenants and ByLaws.

How To Plan a Business Meeting at a Golf Course


In addition, more and more companies are choosing to hold their annual meeting or corporate events at golf resorts and facilities every year. Similarly, organizers of big conferences, conventions, and association annual meetings are planning events centered on golf resorts. This is the reason why golf courses in country clubs upgrade their facilities to include meeting rooms and conference venues.

So if you are planning your company’s out-of-town general business assembly or meeting, consider doing it at a country club with golf facilities or in a golf resort. But before you make a reservation, here are some things you should consider first

Number of attendees.  Determine the maximum number of participants so you can plan the logistics of the event. Send an office memo asking the staff to confirm their availability and attendance at the event. You will need this figure to select the conference room that you will use and to reserve the rooms you will need for the duration of the event. You will also need to submit this number to whoever is providing the food and beverage for your attendees.

Location or venue. While it might be preferred to choose a venue as far away from work as possible, the transportation logistics must also be considered. Are you going to provide a shuttle service for all attendees? Is the golf resort or country club willing to shuttle attendees from a designated pick-up point to the resort itself? Your foremost consideration here is the convenience of the attendees.

Schedule of activities. It is important to know what activities will be held so the necessary logistics can be prepared beforehand. Will there be presentations or is it only a formal meeting? Will there be multiple sessions or meetings held simultaneously? Will entertainment be provided in between sessions? What time will the attendees be able to tee off? These are just some questions that a planner has to deal with.

Budget. It is easy to get carried away planning an out-of-the-office meeting, or an out-of-town corporate event. As such, it is a good idea to have an idea of how much the company is willing to spend on such an event. This will serve as your guide in selecting the venue and making the necessary preparations. Keep in mind, however, that no matter how small or large your budget is, you should be prepared to do some haggling.

These are just some things that you need to consider when planning your company’s business meeting at a golf course or golf resort. You can add your own considerations as you plan your own event.


HOA Management, Riverside, Atlanta.

Free Month of Association Management – Kennesaw, GA Patch

Free Month of Association Management – Kennesaw, GA Patch.

Full Management Service

When you depend on your management company for more.
Full  management service is simply our  most complete product offering, and  covers every aspect of  association     management. We  might  manage your community but we never run it; we    depend, listen and act based on working together with your Board of Directors.

Find out what it’s like to deal with  an association management company that works hand in hand with you.

Discover the Riverside difference, it is  your advantage…