CHOPAS Community Portal and HOA website Frequently Asked Questions

 

I’m not very technical. What do you offer with setup and support?

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When you sign up for CHOPAS, you will receive FREE assistance with setup and FREE US-based telephone support.

Security is very important to us. What kind of security does CHOPAS have?

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Our servers are located in Dallas, Texas, in a hardened facility and are secured by the latest Secure Socket Layer technology (SSL). The files you add to your site are protected, so only the correct members of your association can access them.

I’ve heard of websites that crashed. If that were to happen, how does CHOPAS help get us back up and running?

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All content is backed up to a fail-over location, incrementally. What that means is whatever new information is added each day, it’s backed up and added to your existing backup so that it’s always up to date. Therefore, even if your laptop is lost, your content is safe and recoverable.

I don’t want to pay for things I don’t need. What does CHOPAS cost?

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CHOPAS costs $199 USD per year for the Board of Directors edition, which includes 12 user accounts. This will enable your board members to effectively collaborate.  The Community Edition costs $349 for 25 members and the Community Pro Edition is $499 for 99 members. The charge for additional community members is discounted by the quantity of members requested.

  • Next 100 Users:  $50 Per Year
  • Next 500 Users:  $200 Per Year

Next 1,000 Users:  $300 Per Year

How does CHOPAS integrate with our existing website or domain?

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CHOPAS includes a free landing page for your association, to which you can point your community's domain. The landing page can be outfitted with the login form, a photo gallery, and text. You can even register your community domain name through our service for a nominal fee. If you already have a domain name and a website, you can embed our login form on your current website.

If I have a domain, how can we brand CHOPAS so our members aren’t confused?

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CHOPAS can be customized with your logo and color scheme to match your existing site.

We already have a property management company. Wouldn’t this be the same?

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CHOPAS is designed to work for YOUR community. If your association has a company that manages your property, they will still use their software for their regular workload. CHOPAS helps a Property Management office interface with the board of directors and the community.

Does CHOPAS help us collect dues, rent and/or charges?

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Our product is not used to collect payments for association dues, rent or violations charges.

Our state has explicit confidentiality laws for Condo and Homeowner Associations. Does CHOPAS comply with all state laws?

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Many states have specific regulations regarding the sharing of confidential information, including the sharing of email addresses and other personal information. CHOPAS includes advanced functions that give administrators the ability to limit the visibility of each registered user. This includes the ability to see or not see email addresses, phone numbers, street address and other private personal information. In most instances, these items can be restricted by user or group of users.

However, it is the legal responsibility of the subscriber to determine if the service abides by your state laws regarding Condo and Homeowner Associations. CHOPAS, and its parent site Same-Page.com LLP, cannot be responsible for any disruption because of misconfiguration of the service.

How do you handle billing?

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Subscription charges will be billed under the name Same-Page.com LLP. Questions regarding your bill or to inquire about direct invoicing should be made by calling 877-765-2655 or by email to billing@chopas.net.

Florida Condo and Homeowner Associations Must Have a Website with Certain Criteria by January 1, 2019

When it comes to condo associations and homeowner associations, Florida has the most of any state; hence it often provides the blueprint other states adopt. With technology making it easy for people to be informed and connected, it only makes sense for associations to use these tools to make it simpler for residents to access information pertaining to their property.

Florida Governor, Rick Scott, mandated that community associations with 150+ units must have a website by January 1, 2019. If you’re a smaller association or live in another state, you may wish to be ahead of the curve, as this may eventually require you to have one as well. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you gauge what you need to do.

I'm not in Florida, does this matter?

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While you may not be required to have a website by January 1, 2019, you should be aware of this law. Only a few states have as many regulated community associations as Florida. Florida, having more associations than nearly all the other states combined, it often provides the law blueprint other states follow. Therefore, if your state doesn’t require it now, it may soon do so.

We're a small community. Do we still need a website?

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The law only specifies that condo associations with 150+ units need to comply. If you're small, you can still use old-fashioned notices on a bulletin board.

If it's only Condos, do I need one for my HOA?

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While 718.111 only applies to condos, there’s another law (SB398) passed in the same legislative session (applying to condos, HOAs and Co-ops) that may apply. While the law does not specifically say HOAs and Co-Ops must have a website, it does say "…each association shall designate on its website..." which assumes each association must HAVE a website.

Furthermore, while the state of Florida has a different set of laws for Condos and HOAs, there are a number of circumstances that can cause your community to fall in a grey area, such as townhomes, mixed use, PUDs and master associations.

It is recommended that HOAs and Co-ops comply with the law. At the very minimum, you'll need a page with the required estoppel information.

If we have a Facebook group, is that enough?

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Your Facebook group, in the eyes of the law, doesn't count. Neither does your owner-run independent website.

According to the law, the website must be, "An independent website or web portal wholly owned and operated by the association; or A website or web portal operated by a third-party provider with whom the association owns, leases, rents or otherwise obtains the right to operate a web page, subpage, web portal, or collection of subpages or web portals dedicated to the association’s activities and on which required notices, records and documents may be posted by the association."

The association and the board must officially run and operate the site.

We use a free website service. Is that okay?

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The main issue is you need to have a private, password-controlled section on your website that only homeowners can see.

"The association’s website must be accessible through the Internet and must contain a subpage, web portal, or other protected electronic location that is inaccessible to the general public and accessible only to unit owners and employees of the association."

So, if your free website has a private area you control, then it’s compliant.

What must be included in a condo association or homeowners association website?

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Privately Accessible to Owners

  • Governing documents in digital form. This includes:
    • Your declaration
    • Articles of incorporation
    • Bylaws
    • CC&Rs
    • Every amendment that has been made to any of the above.
  • A list of all executory contracts or documents (a contract that has not yet been fully performed or fully executed) as well as a summary of any open bids.
  • Current and pending budgets.
  • Annual financial reports. Additionally, you will need to include the financial statement for the most recent calendar period.
  • Info on your board of directors, including each member's certification document, any contracts between them and the association, and any declarations of a conflict of interest.
  • Supporting documents for consideration at unit-owner and annual general meetings, at least 7 days prior to the meeting.
  • Board meeting Notice, Agenda and supporting items pending votes, at least 48 hours prior to the date of the meeting. The Board is expected to redact or withhold any information not intended to be accessible to owners.

Publicly Available

  • Meeting notices for unit-owner and annual general meeting, 14 days prior to the meeting. This info must be linked from the homepage or listed on the homepage under a section titled "Notices."
  • Association's estoppel designee. "Each association shall designate on its website a person or entity with a street or e-mail address for receipt of a request for an estoppel certificate issued pursuant to this section. The estoppel certificate must be provided by hand delivery, regular mail or e-mail to the requestor on the date of issuance of the estoppel certificate." This change was passed under SB 398: Estoppel Certificates, and applies to Statutes 718 (condos), 719 (co-ops) and 720 (homeowners associations).


 
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