Expert Customized Service for Associations
Emerald Management & Consulting offers a diverse range of property management, accounting, and consulting services.We are a full-service property management company dedicated to consistently providing high-quality comprehensive management, accounting, and consulting services to diverse types of communities.
We offer full-service and select-service community management
operating and project-specific accounting services
- Construction and insurance project
- consulting for budget preparation and ratification
- new association operations start-up
- transition meeting assistance
- Board of Directors guidance and consulting
- preparation and processing of documents related to real estate transactions
As a community matures, its management needs may fluctuate. By customizing our services to the needs of our clients, Emerald Management & Consulting has the flexibility to evolve with our clients based on specific needs as they evolve. Emerald Management & Consulting provides a responsive service agreement that allows our clients the capability of selecting services on an as-needed basis. By providing this multi-faceted approach to community management, we are able to tailor services to a wide range of communities, from small or self-managed associations to large-scale and mixed-use properties.
Emergency Preparedness & Preemptive Actions – A Guest Article by Jeremy Stilwell
Emergency preparedness is often viewed as a topic that relates to large-scale storm or earthquake-related concerns. And yes, it is indeed wise to be prepared for such major events. In fact, the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) has repeatedly encouraged every US resident to be prepared to take care of their own essential personal needs for a minimum of three days – and has provided extensive guidance on how to become prepared (see http://www.ready.gov/ for specific information).
When it comes to homeowner associations and the communities where we live, it is not unusual for these associations to have disaster response plans and, for many associations, their professional managers play a key role in those plans. Even so, whether or not you live in a formalized homeowner association, our government leaders have encouraged everyone to be prepared.
As attorneys, we often help homeowners and community associations deal with:
- insurance coverage
- alternative funding
- liability issues that arise following such events
Our goal to first of all focus on prevention – in order to minimize the impact of such an event on an association and individual residents.
What preemptive steps can be taken to reduce the amount of damage with which a homeowner must contend?
For one example of how to answer this question, we can examine a less dramatic event and see how we can be prepared for it. In doing so, this preparation can also apply to a more significant event if it were to occur. Let’s assume that a water line bursts in your home or association. With an active water leak, the time required to turn off the water can have a dramatic impact on the amount of damage done.
Board Members Beware… Your Emails Probably Constitute an Association Record – Guest Blog by Dean Martin
Email is an incredibly useful tool for board members given everyone’s busy schedule and the number of issues that arise between board meetings. But, like many tools, email can be a dangerous thing if used improperly. Just remember, it is not unusual for owners to request certain association records, including any emails to or from board members about association business.
To avoid the disclosure of embarrassing or even damaging board emails, there are two basic steps each board member can take to protect themselves:
1. Create a separate email for association business.
This is a good idea so that you can be certain you have not mixed personal and association emails. It also helps prevent a unit owner from requesting all of your personal emails in order to make sure they see every email you sent that involved association business. Lastly, an association email account (e.g., VillaPointeTreasurer@gmail.com) allows for historical and institutional information to be passed down easily.
2. Do not mix personal and business information in the same email.
Assume that every board email will ultimately be made public and draft them accordingly. Emails by and between board members or the manager are not the place for venting. They are business communications and should always be professional. Draft your board emails as a board member and keep in mind that all of the owners in your association may have the right to read what you are writing. A little vigilance goes a long way.
Executive Session: Lifting the Veil of Secrecy – Guest Blog by Dan Zimberoff
The use of executive session is often a confusing and misunderstood function of a community association board’s powers. We commonly see both over and underuse of this privilege by well-intentioned, but misinformed boards. The law differs between Washington and Oregon.
In Oregon, both the Condominium Act and Planned Community Act mirror one another and expressly address executive session in the following manner:
All meetings of the board of directors of the association shall be open to owners, except that at the discretion of the board, the board may close the meeting to owners other than board members and meet in executive session to: (A) Consult with legal counsel. (B) Consider the following: (i) Personnel matters, including salary negotiations and employee discipline; (ii) Negotiation of contracts with third parties; or (iii) Collection of unpaid assessments. ORS 100.420(1)( a) (Condo Act); ORS 94.640(8)(a) (Planned Community Act). Note that subsections (A) and (B) are distinct, meaning that executive sessions can occur when a board consults with legal counsel or considers the three enumerated issues (with or without legal counsel present).
In Washington, there is no requirement under the Washington Condominium Act or Horizontal Property Regimes Act for condominium boards to meet in open; though, we highly recommend they do so.