Planned Power Outage – 8/7/2012

There will be a planned power outage today from Edison.   See the PDF.    This wil hopefully be for a very short time,  but can happen at any point today until 4pm.  Planned Power Outage


Community Garage Sale

Hello again.  Mark your calendars for  the next community garage sale!  Here’s  a great excuse to clean out old items from your garage,  and spend a great morning outside.      The date is June 9th, 2012.   Signs will be posted!

We hope to see you at the meeting this coming Tuesday,  May 1.


Thank you, Jim

Hello, neighbors.    I wanted to keep you updated on some changes to our Association meetings.

Second,  I want to ask that we all extend thanks to Jim M.,  who has recently resigned from the Board of Directors after nine years of dedicated service to our community.

In other news,  we’ve had our landscaper skin more palm trees per our original contract.   Thanks to those who called in to report piles of fronds left behind!

We hope to see you at the meetings!


Tree trimming continues

As you’ve noticed,  our tree trimmers are in progress trimming our trees.     It can be noisy, and messy,  but it’s a lot of work.    We thank you for your patience during this time.     Feel free to e-mail us if you have any concerns.    Have a wonderful holiday!


Holidays, 2011!

Hello, again,  it’s an exciting time of the year!     I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving holiday was good.    I want to keep you updated on some new developments.

Tree Trimming

We have awarded a tree trimming contract to trim the trees that fall outside of our allotted 100 trees.    For those who haven’t followed our landscaping,  our contract price includes 100 trees trimmed per year.   As you know,  our community of only 122 homes has many, many trees–726 to be exact!     While these trees give a very appealing character to our community,  they also are a great expense for upkeep.    Urban Landscape has done a very good job,  and will complete the skinning of our palm trees, and begin trimming our trees on Nov. 30.


If you have some time to volunteer,  something on the order of 2 hours every month,  we can sure use a hand.   Our Board of Directors is currently short a member.   The candidacy form was mailed to you last month,  and can also be downloaded here.

Pet Cleanup

We have noticed an increase in pet waste in the common areas.   Most people walking their dogs do a fine job of cleanup,  however there are a few that still leave the droppings behind.    A little plastic grocery bag can go a long way.   The common areas belong to all of us,  and it is very unpleasant for your neighbors and the hard working landscaping crew to step in the mess.


Insuring your Property

Your Property Properly

By: Michael Berg


Ownership of a condominium is a unique endeavor.  At times it can be relieving to know that someone else is responsible to make sure the exterior of your unit and the common area of the complex are kept in good condition.  However, understanding how the Association Master policy works and what you need to do to protect yourself can be tricky.

The Association Master Policy covers common area Liability (the places everyone shares-walkways, picnic areas, pools, etc.) and Property maintained by the Association (buildings, pool house or club house, guard houses, etc.).  The Association also insures the structure in which you live for accidental direct physical loss.  At The Villas at Rancho Via Verde, this coverage carries a $**** deductible for property loss.  The coverage includes the exterior of the building and extends to the interior surface of the drywall. The policy also includes interior built-in items, such as floor coverings, countertops and cabinets, similar in like kind and quality to that of original installation.

It is the responsibility of the unit owner to insure, repair and maintain items attached or built into the unit.  Items of this nature include floor coverings, wall coverings, cabinets, bathroom fixtures, etc.  These items are sometimes called Building Property, Interior Improvements and Betterments, or Additions and Alterations.

The unit owner can purchase a policy to cover their personal exposure.   A short conversation with an insurance agent, using some of the information provided below, can help ensure your personal exposure is protected in a way that works well with what the Association already has insured.

An HO-6, or Condominium Unit Owners Policy, is available for purchase through many major insurance companies.  Of the coverage available in this contract, perhaps the most important are Personal Property, Building Property and Personal Liability.

Personal Property is your clothing, bed, television, kitchen items, etc.  If you picked your condo up and flipped it over, your Personal Property would fall out.  You need to determine roughly how much you would spend if you had to replace those items and include that amount as your limit of Personal Property.

Building Property is the interior improvements and betterments to your unit.  When you turned your condo over just a moment ago, the Building Property is everything that stayed inside (cupboards, bathroom fixtures, floor coverings, etc.).  Your limit of Building Property needs to be written at a level that would replace the interior fixtures and improvements.  We recommend contacting a contractor and having that professional determine the approximate cost per square foot to replace the interior fixtures and improvements, then include that number as the Building Property limit.  In some policies, such as the one offered by Farmers Insurance, this coverage will also pay for your responsibility of the Association Master Policy deductible.

Personal Liability is your liability for personal injury or property damage to a third party.  If someone trips and falls on your property, this coverage could be used to pay medical expenses for their injuries, as well as any defense and judgment made or imposed on you in a lawsuit.

Other coverage limits and policy types to discuss with your agent are Loss Assessment, Loss of Use, and the California Earthquake Authority (CEA).  Usually, you can get a discount for having more than one policy type with the same carrier, so start with your auto insurance agent.

There has been some discussion over the insurance needs of an owner who rents his/her unit to others.  The policy these individuals need to purchase is a Condominium Rented to Others policy.  It is essentially the same policy described above, except that personal property insurance is typically reduced because the property owner does not have personal items in the unit.  Of course, that would change if the unit were rented fully furnished.  In any case, each owner who rents a unit to others should require their renter purchase a Renters Insurance policy.  These policies protect the liability exposure of the unit owner and, in turn the Association.

In the world of condo insurance, things can get tricky and confusing very quickly.  We urge you to contact your insurance professional or the professionals in our office and discuss how these and other policies work together to protect the exposure you have in the environment of a Community Association.

Michael Berg has been a licensed insurance agent and member of the Berg Insurance Agency since 1999. He received his Masters in Business Administration from Chapman University.  Michael is very active in Community Association Institute, currently co-teaching the insurance section of CAI Orange County’s Community Leadership Training Program. 




Minutes available, and paint code reminders

Don’t forget to stay up to date with our minutes,  available for download in the private area.

Also  in the private area is a map of color codes for each of our homes.    Note that our paint is a custom color from the West Covina branch of Dunn Edwards.     You can get the paint codes from our FAQ area.   Your house is either “Villas Tan,”  ”Villas Brown,”  or “Villas Peach.”      Any repairs or touch up to your house that require paint will need these matching colors.

Contact us if you have any questions.


Carbon Monoxide – Update

After learning that these units only have a 5 – 6 year lifespan, I remembered that it was still the ’90s when I installed my last one. I purchased a new one. There are two types:

  • 120 volt, requires plug, and has battery backup
    • Requres mounting near an outlet
  • Battery powered (like many smoke alarms)
    • can be mounted anywhere.

I went for the 120v unit,  replacing what I had.   This manufacturer states that the alarm can be placed in a close-to-floor outlet, as shown.

Wall mounted 120 volt carbon monoxide alarm

Wall mounted 120 volt carbon monoxide alarm

It’s good to have one of these at every level of the home.      All of our houses have a second level in some form or another.      A battery powered unit will go in my second level,  a wall mount closer to the ceiling.


Carbon Monoxide

Do you have a carbon monoxide detector? Not only is it a good idea to have one, soon it will be law:

Installation Deadline. Single-family homes must install them by no later than July 1, 2011. Condominiums and townhomes must install them by no later than January 1, 2013. The requirements are found in Health & Safety Code §§17296, 17926.1, and 17926.2. For more information, see Senate Bill 183.

There are several schools of thought on installation. It is assumed that carbon monoxide is heavier than air, and that detectors should be kept low to the ground. However that is not the case. It is imperative that you follow the instructions given by the manufacturer. Some good reading on the subject can be found here.


Pressure Regulators

Been a while since a post, sorry. This one is important though. It’s a good idea to check the water pressure in your home. Devices to check are available at any home improvement store.   Your pressure should be around 60 – 65 p.s.i.    This is controlled by a device on your home that looks like the attached picture.    It is usually located where the main water supply enters your home.    These devices do have a life span,  and should be checked regularly and replaced every 10 – 15 years or as needed.

Pressure Regulator

Pressure Regulator

In our community,  ”head” pressure–the pressure of the water supply–is well over 120 p.s.i!   Add to that the fact that our community has had many costly in-home plumbing failures,  you can see the importance of this.    Lastly,  should a plumbing failure occur in your home,  and the insurance adjuster sees that the water pressure was too high,  a claim can be denied.      The pressure check can be performed by any homeowner,  or a plumber.  Replacement of the pressure regulator should be done by an experienced plumber.