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Taking Care of Your Coastal Environment

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

With the issue of climate change and the warning it poses to the world in general, it comes as no surprise that environmental activists are trying to ensure that their campaigns reach the right people. The Alabama Coastal Foundation (ACF), for one, has been working to find solutions to the state’s coastal environmental challenges since 1993. If you are living in a coastal area in Alabama, taking care of your coastal environment can help prevent the likely damaging impact of climate change.

Here are a few tips you can do to make a difference:

  1. Be conscious of how you use energy, whether it is by how you use your car or what types of bulbs you use at home, or your preferred temperature setting for your furnace or air-conditioner.
  2. Both public and private entities are one in minimizing the use of plastics because for one, they are a huge source of ocean debris, thus, is a great threat to marine life. Use other alternatives to plastics as much as possible.
  3. Coastal living is something most people in the city dream about. One of the benefits is being able to stroll along the beach and relax anytime you feel the need to. Always clean as you go and remember that there is another life other than you that depends on the ocean to live.
  4. Do a regular maintenance of your home or if you are unable to do so, seek the services of property management firms especially if you are renting out your home. Their expertise will help you determine what areas in your property need further protection.

Research studies have proven the likely correlation between living along the coast and health, noting an increase in one’s mental health among people who live by the water. And while you are busy with your daily activities and responsibilities, don’t forget to get a credible coverage for your home to protect it from likely damages that may arise in a coastal environment.



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Condominium Unit Owners: Knowing Your Rights and Responsibilities

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Image source: VRBO

Thinking of purchasing a condominium unit along the Gulf Coast? Or need guidance in managing your current property? Whichever it is, condominium unit owners should bear in mind that while they can exercise their rights as owners, they also have responsibilities not just to their tenants if they are renting out their property, but to the whole community as well.

Let’s start first with the costs of maintaining a condominium unit. The monthly dues will usually include insurance on the unit, sewer and waste management, regular maintenance, and utilities, which account for most of the monthly costs. The owner should make sure that these are paid on time to avoid the risks of more damages should unforeseen events happen.

If you are renting out your property, you have the right to demand from the renters to treat the unit with care and you can set out limitations in your contract, so everything falls in its proper place. If you want greater protection, you can choose to purchase an optional contents policy to protect yourself from any future damage caused by your renter(s), accidents that may bring harm to your renters, and outages.

As a condominium owner, you own a share of the common elements in the whole building itself, such as parking lot, pools, tennis courts, playground, hallways, and many others. The condominium association should ensure that roofs, elevators, and other building elements are immediately restored if defective or damaged, or are undergoing regular maintenance, for the protection of both the owners and renters.

While living in a condominium would give you instant access to security, building facilities and other privileges given to owners, you should be responsible enough in making sure that you are not disturbing your neighbors. Avoid hosting late night parties, dragging chairs or furniture in the middle of the night, owning a large or barking pet, and well, arguing in a loud manner with household members. Bear in mind that your neighbors are just a few meters away and would probably love (or hate) being involved with your domestic issues.

Finally, as a condominium owner, you should have access to important documents, be spared from discrimination in relation to age, sex, race, etc., and be able to practice your role and right to elect directors to the association’s board. Everything too much to handle? Consider getting the advice of a professional so you’ll know when and how to set things in motion.