Here’s where you’ll find recent articles about FirstService Residential, as well as our impact on the areas we serve.

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10 Tips for Managing Your Community Pool

Posted on Wednesday February 15, 2017

Many people want to live in a community that has a swimming pool, and if there’s one in yours, you know how popular an amenity it is. In Florida, we are lucky that most communities are able to offer swimming pools and that most of us can use them year round. Of course, that makes managing your pool properly even more important, simply because of the amount of use it gets. There are maintenance and safety issues and even compliance matters that go into correctly operating a community pool. 

Florida’s Service Animal Laws: A Nail without a Hammer

Posted on Tuesday February 14, 2017

When it comes to service dogs and assistance animals, people often confuse the Federal American with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA). The ADA laws apply only to commercial (non-residential) settings. They apply to specifically trained service dogs (and the very occasional miniature horse). The ADA laws specifically exclude emotional support animals of any kind. On the other hand, the FHA laws apply to residential communities and apply to pretty much all domestic animals, including dogs, cats, pot belly pigs, etc. The FHA laws allow a person living in a residential community access to both specifically trained and untrained animals and, importantly, include the sub-category of the much beloved emotional support animal, especially when they might be otherwise prohibited by the community’s governing documents. While the ADA uses the term “disability” and the FHA uses the term “handicap,” these two terms are, for all intents and purposes, interchangeable.

A Guide to Keeping Your Pool a Comfortable Temperature Year-Round

Posted on Friday February 10, 2017

With so much sunshine and beautiful pools everywhere, spending an afternoon at the pool comes second only to spending it at the beach. Even in the sunny warmth of Florida, water in a swimming pool isn’t usually warm enough naturally for a lot of people to enjoy it. Solution? A pool heater. What kind of heater do you need? There are several options and each has its pros and cons, according to Chris Normandeau, director of FS Energy.

Landscape Basics: Why Mulching Matters

Posted on Tuesday February 07, 2017

As a Board member, you may not think about mulching very much, but you should. Although some people think it’s just a cosmetic enhancement for landscaping, mulching is important for several reasons.

Should You Go National or Local When Choosing a Property Management Company?

Posted on Monday January 09, 2017

For many condominium Boards, deciding to hire a property management firm is a move in the right direction. But there is a lot to consider when choosing a management company for your building, and oftentimes it is the size of the company that becomes the sticking point for many condo associations. Many worry that big companies will overlook their unique needs, while small companies might not be able to serve them adequately. There are pros and cons to both large, national firms and smaller, local companies. Read our article for four factors to consider when making your decision, and learn how the size of the company affects how it handles your condo association’s most critical needs. 

Six Simple Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Committees

Posted on Thursday December 22, 2016

If you ask community members why they join committees, they are likely to tell you that they truly want to make a difference in their community. But while their intentions may be great and their hearts may be in the right place, life often gets in the way. The good news is that there are a number of strategies you can implement to keep your committees engaged and get the most out of these valuable volunteers.

10 Tips to Help You Plan Successful Community Events

Posted on Monday December 19, 2016

If you’ve been tasked with planning an event for your community or condo association, have no fear. We’re here to help! While the task may seem daunting, it can also be fun. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to planning a successful event for your community.

How to Choose the Right Lifestyle Community for Your Needs

Posted on Friday December 16, 2016

Thinking about buying a new home in a lifestyle high-rise or lifestyle community? You’re far from alone! Lifestyle communities are becoming one of the fastest growing sectors in today’s housing market. If you’re interested in considering a lifestyle community but don’t know where to begin, you’re in luck. We’ve put together five of the most common considerations that go into choosing the right lifestyle community for you.

Five Factors to Consider When Hiring a Property Management Company

Posted on Tuesday December 13, 2016

Partnering with a property management company is a big step that will have a decisive impact on your community for years to come. Before making this decision, make sure you and your Board have done the research and are confident that the company you choose is the best one to meet your community’s needs. Read on for five things to consider when deciding which property management company is right for you and your association.

Seven Tips for Getting the Right Insurance for Your High-Rise

Posted on Friday November 25, 2016

High-rises are hotter than ever! The amenities, convenience, security, access to exciting downtown cultural and business centers and even concierge services have made vertical living more appealing than ever. Of course, a complex high-rise has its, well, complexities, too, and one of those is insurance. Multiple residences require their own policies and the shared common spaces also require coverage. If you are a high-rise Board member, resident or property owner looking for the peace of mind that insurance is meant to provide, make sure you have the correct coverage for your needs. Follow our guidelines to ensure that you are properly insured.

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