Contact Cardinal |(800) 400-6686

Request a Proposal

Posts Tagged ‘Property Management’

Rocky Point Community Association, Seaview Townhomes Association, and The Terraces at Corona del Mar Join the Cardinal Family

We are proud to welcome our three newest clients: Rocky Point Community Association-Nohl Ranch, an association of single family homes in Anaheim Hills; Seaview Townhomes Association, a condominium community overlooking the Pacific Ocean in San Clemente; and The Terraces at Corona del Mar, a condominium community in Corona del Mar also overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We look forward to growing our new partnerships with Rocky Point, Seaview and The Terraces as Cardinal takes root in these communities and enables them to thrive as effective and efficient associations.


La Mirada Landmark Joins Cardinal Family

La Mirada Landmark-Monument

La Mirada Landmark-Monument

Anaheim, California– Cardinal Property Management, AAMC/ACMF, is pleased and honored to welcome the newest member to the Cardinal family, La Mirada Landmark Adult Community Association.

La Mirada Landmark is a 38-year old community thathas full-time gate attendants, a pool, tennis court, spa, two recreational buildings, and a woodworking shop. The residents enjoy such recreational activities as weekly exercise, needlepoint, card games, and ceramics and monthly events including themed dinners and dances. Residents also enjoy outings to local casinos, movie theaters, and shopping.

“We are extremely honored to partner with the Board of Directors and residents of the La Mirada Landmark community,” said Cardinal President, Farrah Esquer. “Having the opportunity to showcase our management of the specialized niche of active adult communities is a great way to start the new year.”

Cardinal has been enhancing the quality of community association living throughout Southern California for more than 30 years. Partnering with board members and homeowners, Cardinal takes care of all the details of community association living so you don’t have to. We assist board members to smoothly navigate the mileposts of community association management.


Orange County Chapter of CAI Announces the May Springtime Showcase Forum

The Orange County Chapter of CAI just released information regarding its upcoming Springtime Showcase Forum to be held May 15.  The Forum will take the place of the Chapter’s usual monthly luncheon program and will include educational sessions for homeowner association board members and community managers.  Attendees will have the opportunity to attend two of the six offered educational sessions.  The Forum will be at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92612 with registration beginning at 2:00 p.m.  The sessions will begin at 2:30 p.m. followed by an exhibitor tradeshow, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres at 5:00 p.m.

Cardinal President Farrah Esquer will be a member of the education panel for the homeowner association board member session entitled “5 Ways to Improve Your Board.”  Ms. Esquer has been a speaker at past CAI-OC luncheon programs and received the 2011 Speaker of the Year award from CAI-OC.

Session topics include:

Educational Sessions for HOA Board Members & Community Association Volunteers include:

5 Ways To Improve Your Board
Spring Projects For Maintaining Your Community

Educational Sessions for Community Managers include:

Delinquencies for Beginners & Advanced Collections
Manager Life Skills

Educational Sessions open to any attendee:

Social Media
Conservation Corps: Basic Training For Being Environmentally Prepared


To learn more, visit the CAI-OC website at or download a registration form here.





Replanting Slopes

Many businesses and associations throughout Orange County have slopes around or in their property. These areas can be problematic for both Landscapers and Property Managers. These slopes are usually very boring to look at and require quite a bit of water to keep all the plant material alive. Slopes are hard to water effectively simply because the water wants to run down to the bottom of the hill without percolating into the soil. This can leave the plants at the top without enough water and the plants at the bottom with too much. Adjustments in the irrigation system will help correct this issue, but there are also plant alternatives that require very little to no water, have long life spans, and will help reduce erosion.

Here is a small selection of plant material that you can consider adding on your slopes…

Rosemary-This plant can be very fragrant and blooms with small blue flowers. There are a few different varieties that will provide you with different growth habits for your site’s needs.

Manzanita-These plants come in a wide variety of sizes from trees to low growing ground cover. Manzanita is known for its dark red branches and green leaves. This is a California native plant and will grow very well with little to no additional water once established.

Ceanothus-This hardy plant has dark glossy green leaves with dark blue blossoms. This plant is ideally suited for slopes and requires only minimal water once established.

Island Snapdragon-This shrub has small light green leaves with bright red flowers from spring till fall. They can be grown in the shade, although they prefer to have some sunlight. Again, this plant will only need occasional watering once established.

All of these plants will provide you with color during their blooming period and are drought tolerant which will allow you to reduce the amount of water required on your slopes.
Reprinted with permission from Vista Del Verde Landscape, Inc. For more information about water management and drought tolerant plant material selection you may visit their website at or call (949) 713-5800.



Cardinal’s March 29th Board Education Course is a Huge Success

On March 29th the Board Meeting Tactics course was held in Cardinal’s corporate office and was taught by Kelly Richardson of Richardson Harman Ober, PC.  Mr. Richardson explained the role of a volunteer Director, discussed the importance of maintaining a balanced community and explained the Business Judgment Rule and protection from personal liability.  Finally, Mr. Richardson focused on tactics to run effective and less stressful Board Meetings to combat meeting “traps” like excessive discussion on specific topics, overly ambitious agendas, avoiding “town hall” meetings and handling conflict and disagreement.

This was the first time this course has been offered to Cardinal’s clients and was a success with over 20 attendees present.  The evening ended with two raffle drawings for those in attendance.  Adriana R. from Sunny Hills Homeowners Association won a complimentary one-year membership to the Orange County Chapter of CAI and Rex V. of Orange Park Community Association won a $50 gift card for dinner and a movie.  The attendees enjoyed gourmet sandwiches and salad from California Pizza Kitchen and Starbucks coffee and dessert.


“Really enjoyed the Thursday night meeting.  That subject matter should be addressed once a year, in my opinion.  Excellent speaker.” – David M., Criterion Towne Homes I Homeowners Association  

Don’t miss our next education course on Assessment Collection to be held in our corporate office on Wednesday, May 30th.  Visit our website to view the full 2012 Course Schedule as well as the course descriptions and register early, as space is limited.

About Our Speaker:

Kelly G. Richardson, Esq.

Mr. Richardson is Managing Partner of Richardson Harman Ober PC, a firm of twelve attorneys with offices in Pasadena, Riverside and Costa Mesa. He has advised common interest developments for 23 of his 29 years in law practice.

He is a National Trustee of the Community Associations Institute and a member of its College of Community Association Lawyers, a member of the Housing Committee of the California Association of Realtors, an Associate in the American Board Of Trial Advocates and has received an AV® Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review rating.

Kelly is co-author and co-originator of CAI’s eight hour California Law Course for Managers and its three hour Basic Board Education course. He was 2009/2010 Chair of CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee.  For CAR, he is the author of its “Buyers Guide to Common Interest Developments”.   Kelly is also the author of “HOA Homefront,” a weekly column on community association issues appearing in newspapers including the Orange County Register, Long Beach Press-Telegram, and LA Daily News.

He currently serves on the Board of the Orange County of CAI, and is a Past President of the Greater LA Chapter.

Kelly is a licensed real estate broker, and a member of the faculty of the Professional Realty Institute.  He graduated from UC Riverside in 1980 and USC School of Law in 1983.

Visit the website of Richardson Harman Ober, PC at










Cardinal’s Own Tina Zurrica is Honored as One of the Newest PCAM Designees

Tina Zurrica, a 15-year Cardinal employee, recently received the prestigious Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) designation. She was honored at the CAI-OC Annual PCAM Reception held to celebrate both the newest and past recipients of the PCAM designation. The reception was held at McCormick & Schmick’s in Irvine.  Ms. Zurrica was supported by a full contingent of Cardinal staff at the reception held to honor and congratulate recipients on their outstanding accomplishment.

Ms. Zurrica has been a member of the Cardinal staff since 1997. As the on-site manager for a historical high-rise building in downtown Long Beach, she is responsible for the daily operations of the building, from general janitorial to complex, extended projects. The building also contains commercial properties owned by the association.  To be awarded the PCAM designation, Ms. Zurrica successfully attended and passed the required courses in CAI’s Professional Management Development Program (PMDP) and with at least five years’ management experience, was able to attend the Case Study as the final step in her achievement.

The Case Study requires the applicant to spend two days at a host community and learn the details of the community through interviews with its management staff and business partners, including legal counsel and insurance agent, as well as perform an extensive visual inspection of the property.  At the conclusion of the Case Study, applicants are given ten essay questions that require extensive research and documentation to answer.  Applicants are given 30 days to complete this comprehensive document.

Her PCAM designation illustrates Ms. Zurrica’s commitment to the industry and continuing education as well as dedication to Cardinal’s client Directors.  We are extremely proud of her. As of this writing, Ms. Zurrica is one of only 2,100 PCAMs in the United States and one of only 361 PCAMs in California.  We are honored to welcome Ms. Zurrica to this elite group of professionals.










When Is a D&O (Directors and Officers) Claim a Claim?

By Jon Crain of Armstrong/Robitaille/Riegle

Many of you are already aware of the unique nature of the D&O (Directors and Officers) liability policy for being “claims made” instead of the traditional “occurrence” based policies.  Occurrence based policies state the carrier who is or was on the risk at the time the incident “occurred” is the carrier that will be responsible for handling the claim.  A “claims made” policy says that the carrier who is on the risk when the claim is made, or when the Association becomes aware of the claim, is the carrier that will be responsible for handling the loss.

The problem is determining what the definition of a “claim” is.   According to most D&O policies, a “claim” is “a written demand for monetary or non-monetary relief, commencement of a formal criminal, administrative or regulatory proceeding….”  Some may ask, “What constitutes a written demand”?  According to the dictionary, a “demand” is “to ask for urgently, to ask to be informed, to claim as just due.”

The problem we run into is when a Board receives a letter inquiring about an issue that could constitute a “demand” and the current D&O carrier does not get notified.  A month or two later, the D&O policy is renewed but placed with another carrier.  Several weeks later the party who sent the earlier letter now sues.  The current carrier upon doing their due diligence determines that they will not provide coverage because the claim (the letter) was not “made” during their current term.  The previous carrier also denies coverage as their policy is no longer in force.  The Association is uncovered and it could have been avoided.

Accordingly, it is absolutely critical that all Boards of Directors, Managers and Attorneys remit any and all letters that could be construed as a claim immediately to the D&O carrier via the insurance agent upon receipt.  This will put the existing D&O carrier on notice even if they no longer write the risk.  Should a suit eventually arise, they will have to step up and defend if the allegation is a covered event.

To summarize, with respects to the association’s D&O Policy, any written request, demand, inquiry, etc., that could lead to an allegation of a wrongful act down the road should be submitted immediately.

This article was printed with permission from Armstrong/Robitaille/Riegle.  To learn more, please visit their website at 


Cardinal Staff Receives Distinctions at 2011 CAI-OC Annual Awards Dinner


Recently the Orange County Chapter of CAI held its annual Orange County Excellence in Community (OCEC) Awards & Wine Dinner at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.  Cardinal staff attended to support the firm’s nominees and to celebrate the success of the Chapter.   Each year the Chapter honors the members who volunteer countless hours to help the Chapter reach its goals and for bettering of the industry.

Cardinal is proud to announce nominees and winners from our distinguished workforce. In our book, all our nominees are winners.

Account Manager Christine Santisteban was nominated for the Rising Star Award.  Ms. Santisteban joined the Cardinal team in 2009 and was promoted to Account Manager in 2011.  She has earned the Certified Community Association Manager (CMCA) certification from CAI.

Maryanne Hurley, a member of the Cardinal team since 2008, was nominated for the Manager of the Year Award in the Portfolio Category and the Committee Member of the Year Award.  Ms. Hurley has earned the Certified Community Association Manager (CMCA) certification and the Association Management Specialist (AMS) designation from CAI and the Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM) designation from CACM.  She is an active member of CAI-OC’s Programs Committee and the Community Outreach Committee and an avid supporter of Chapter Membership.

Theresa Hirschman began her Cardinal community association management career in 2000. Ms. Hirschman was nominated for the Outstanding Service Award for CAI.  She is an active member of CAI’s Orange County Chapter Community Outreach Committee, Community Manager Support Committee and Education Committee.  Ms. Hirschman has earned the Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM) designation from (CACM), and the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), Association Management Specialist (AMS) and Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) designations from the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

Cardinal’s President, Farrah Esquer, was nominated for both the Author of the Year Award and Speaker of the Year Award.  Ms. Esquer served on CAI-OC’s Community Manager Support Committee, Education Committee and Publications Committee.  She is the past Chair of CAI’s Manager Support Committee, was elected to the Board of Directors of CAI’s Orange County Chapter in 2010, and was appointed to the Secretary position in 2012.  CAI bestowed upon Ms. Esquer the prestigious John C. Kubas Manager of the Year award for 2009.

Cardinal is proud of each of our nominees for their dedication and support of both the Chapter and our industry.

And the Award Goes To…

Cardinal is pleased to announce that Maryanne Hurley was awarded the 2011 Recruiter of the Year Award for her efforts in recruiting eight new members to the Chapter.

Farrah Esquer was awarded the 2011 Author of the Year Award for her article titled Money Matters, which was printed in OC View. The article can be found on our blog page at  Ms. Esquer was also awarded the 2011 Speaker of the Year Award for her participation on a panel regarding ethics and personal behavior.  She shared this prestigious award with Debra Warren of Cinnabar Consulting and Sandra Gottlieb of Swedelson & Gottlieb as co-members of the panel.





















Is Your Community Prepared for Fall?

Written by Farrah Esquer, CCAM, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, President

Fall is quickly approaching and it is time to start thinking about those Fall landscape projects.  Fall brings a relief to the hot months of summer and the never-ending weeds.  Plants and weeds begin to show slower growth which cuts down the amount of time spent on pruning and pulling and allows time for more detailed, detailing and other projects.

General Maintenance

Hedge trimming that is oftentimes the most efficient way to keep up with the plant growth in the summer months can be replaced with lacing and hand-pruning of shrubs to give a more natural look.  Time can also be spent completing an irrigation audit and making the necessary adjustments to prevent overwatering and watering of hardscape.  This is also an opportune time to evaluate the irrigation system to determine if an irrigation retrofit is needed to separate plant areas from lawn areas to reduce water usage.  Laying mulch in planters and around tree bases helps to retain moisture in the ground during the Fall which allows irrigation to potentially be shut off for extended periods of time, due to the cooler weather.  Annual color at monument signs and other select areas can be replaced with Fall color in shades of orange, gold, and yellow.

Lawn Care

Fall is also the time when the summer lawns start dying out and need to be replaced with winter lawn.  This typically requires dethatching and overseeding the lawn with perennial rye.  In lieu of dethatching, aerating the lawn prior to overseeding may be an option in some circumstances.  Speak with your landscape company on whether the common area lawn can benefit from either dethatching or aerating.

Tree Trimming

Most species of trees can benefit from trimming during the cooler Fall months, especially the sap-producing trees like pine trees.  Be sure to request proposals for tree trimming in advance, if your community is not on an annual tree trimming contract and cycle.  As with shrubbery, the growth of trees slows during the Fall months which makes it an opportune time to complete lacing and trimming.  Trimming and lacing should be completed prior to the Spring when growth begins to increase rapidly and when the birds begin to build nests and lay their eggs.  Remember, many birds and nests are protected and cannot be disturbed.

Setting up an Annual Tree Trimming schedule can benefit the health of the tree and prevent hazardous situations for people and objects by preventing falling limbs.  Carrotwood trees, Ficus trees, and Coral trees should be trimmed annually.  Tristania trees and Sycamore trees can be trimmed every other year and pine trees should be laced every three years.

Happy Fall!

Thank you to Leslie Hogbin at Harvest Landscape for providing the information presented in this article.  To learn more about Harvest Landscape, visit their website at



Spring (Get Ready for Summer) Cleaning Tips for Your Community

Written by Farrah Esquer, CCAM, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, President

With summer quickly approaching, communities should be getting their Association facilities in tip-top shape in preparation for resident enjoyment.  Patrick O’Brien of Personal Touch Cleaning Services recommends the following services be completed to keep the facilities in sparking condition:

Pool Furniture:  Clean and degrease straps and frames on traditional strap furniture two times  per year. The cleaning and degreasing will protect the furniture from cracking, rotting, and hardening.

Pool/Recreation Area Showers:  Tile shower floors and walls should be cleaned and scrubbed with a phosphoric acid solution and tile and grout should be sealed at least once a year.  Sealing of the tile and grout prevents soil and chemicals from soaking in and causing discoloration.

Restroom Floors:  Tile restroom floors should be cleaned using a floor machine and the tile and grout should also be sealed at least once a year. It is also recommended that floors be refinished every twelve to eighteen months.

Gas Barbecues:  Barbecues should be cleaned two to four times per year by disassembling and removing the racks and scrubbing the inside and the outside with a degreaser. Lava racks or Char-Diam rocks should also be replaced along with barbecue brushes, cables and clamps.

Tile Counters:  Tile counters/barbecue islands should be cleaned and scrubbed with a phosphoric acid solution at least once a year.  A tile sealer should be applied, along with a concrete sealer to any concrete portions, to prevent soil and grease from soaking in and discoloring or damaging the tile and concrete.

Concrete Barbecue Area:  The concrete barbecue area should be power-washed and steam cleaned to remove dirt, grime, oil and weathering stains as much as possible.  A penetrating sealer should also be applied to the concrete area.

Pool Deck:  The pool and spa deck, including the exterior of the restrooms, pump rooms and adjacent walkways, should be power washed and steam cleaned at least once a year to remove built up dirt, grime and weathering stains.

Refuse Containment Area:  The interior and exterior of the refuse containment areas should be power washed and steam cleaned at least twice a year to remove built up food stains, dirt, grime and weathering stains.

All power washing and steam cleaning must comply with EPA and local regulations.  The water used needs to be collected and disposed of in accordance with state and local codes via a reclamation system and adhere to the Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for the new State Water Quality Regulations & Urban Run-Off Pollution Prevention Requirements for Homeowner Associations.

It is recommended that Directors establish an annual maintenance calendar, which includes the scheduled maintenance outlined above at specified time periods throughout the year, in an effort to maintain the property keeping the Association’s budget in mind, and to have the facilities in tip-top shape for the summer months.