Community Association Financials

A Warning About Disclosure Document Fees, From Illinois

An Illinois state court has sent a warning signal to association management firms about the fees they charge for disclosure documents. Disagreeing with a federal court ruling to contrary, the court held that owners can sue a manager for charging excessive fees under the state condo law. In reaching its decision, the Illinois Court of…
Community Association Financials

3 Tax Traps for Associations and Managers to Avoid

Community associations haven’t historically been in the cross-hairs for IRS auditors, but they can face unexpected tax bills. Here are three tax-related areas where associations sometimes slip up and suffer potentially costly consequences as a result. 1. Understanding that even nonprofit associations are taxable. It’s not unusual for boards to believe that, because their association…
Community Association Governance

‘Residential Use’ Restriction Prohibits STRs

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that regular weekly rentals violated an HOA’s residential use restriction, in a case we first covered in 2020 (Cherry Home Ass’n v. Baker). The decision is a potentially promising development in the ongoing battle against short-term rentals. Owners’ Arguments Shot Down — Twice The case involved a community…
Community Association Financials

Are You Overlooking a Potentially Valuable Tax Credit?

Community association management companies (and their clients) have a valuable tool available for growing their staffs and reducing their tax bills at the same time — the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). And they may not even be aware of it. “The credit is very overlooked,” says Jamie Dokovna, a shareholder in the Florida law…
Communications

Partner vs. Impediment: 4 Tips for Working with Government Officials

From relocating an invasive flock of peacocks to reducing fire fuel and dealing with the effects of coastal erosion, community associations increasingly are working with government officials to resolve problems. “There are a lot of opportunities for managers and boards, before they start going the road on an issue, to step back and ask agencies…
Human Resources & Employment Law

Cornering Kickbacks: How to Help Your Managers Avoid Them

Kickbacks can cost both you and your clients, but your managers might not even know when they’re receiving one. Teaching your employees to recognize and sidestep such wrongful transactions can reduce the risks to your bottom line. Recognizing Kickbacks Just what type of arrangement qualifies as a kickback? “It’s generally receiving something of value in…
Community Association Financials

Owners Can Sue Managers Over Excessive Disclosure Doc Fees

An Illinois state court has sent a warning signal to association management firms about the fees they charge for disclosure documents. Disagreeing with a federal court ruling to contrary, the court held that owners can sue a manager for charging excessive fees under the state condo law (Channon v. Westward Mgmt., Inc.). The ruling applies…
Community Association Governance

What Determines Whether an Accommodation Request is ‘Reasonable’?

The Illinois Court of Appeals recently ruled that a condo association must provide only those accommodations that reduce the effects of a disability so that a requesting resident isn’t disadvantaged because of the disability. This standard proved too high of a hurdle in a recent discrimination lawsuit brought by a particularly litigious owner in a…
Community Association Governance

California Court Exempts Current Owners From New Short-Term Rental Restrictions

A California Court of Appeal has left some associations and their lawyers reeling from its broad interpretation of a state law that exempts current owners from new rules blocking short-term rentals. “This is an expansion of what I think a lot of us expected Section 4740 to mean,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the…
Community Association Financials

Climate Change Is Coming for Your Association

Savvy community association managers have realized for some time that rising sea levels —whether in oceans, lakes, or rivers — pose a threat to their clients. “The problem is that it’s such a slow creep that it’s not visible to the naked eye,” says Brad van Rooyen, president of HomeRiver Group-Florida, the management company for…