Month: July 2009

Members Didn’t Violate Community’s Lease Restrictions

Facts: An association asked the court to declare that some of the leases executed by its members were void. The complaint asserted that the leases violated leasing restrictions of the association's bylaws. The members then countersued, asking the court to declare that the restrictions were invalid.

The trial court denied the association's request to dismiss the member's counterclaim and declared that the leases were not void. The association appealed.

Ruling: A New York appeals court agreed with the trial court's ruling.

Association Entitled to Attorney Fees

Facts: A condominium member asked the court to remove a lien for unpaid assessments filed by the association. At issue was whether the owner was liable for condominium assessments from the date of the unit's purchase at a tax sale through the date the owner's right to redeem the property expired. The trial court ruled for the condo association for the amount of unpaid assessments as well as reasonable attorney fees actually incurred. When the member appealed, the association asked the trial court for attorney fees incurred in defending a judgment on appeal.

Association’s Contract with Member Deemed Unenforceable

Facts: A Colorado condominium association proposed a renovation project that included creating and selling two new condominium units. The association members voted unanimously to build and sell the two new units, and the members agreed that the new units would be offered for sale through a private auction to the members first.

Curfews for Children

Q There have been problems with children spray painting and otherwise vandalizing buildings at night in the community that I manage. To stop the graffiti and vandalism, I'd like to propose a curfew and prohibit children under the age of 16 from being outside after 10 p.m., unless accompanied by an adult. Is this legal?

Association Can’t Compel Member to Arbitrate Her Fraud Claim

Facts: A member sued her homeowners association and the association's management company for fraud, unfair business practices, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The member alleged that the association manager had secretly diverted her assessment payments, recorded a false assessment lien claiming the member failed to pay approximately $4,300 in assessments, and made false entries in the association's books that no assessment payments from the member had been received.

Association May Be Liable for Guest’s Slip-and-Fall

Facts: A guest sued a condo association for injuries sustained in the association's parking lot. The accident occurred while she was attempting to help a physically disabled friend stand up from the ground after he allegedly slipped due to the presence of ice. As the guest was assisting her friend to his feet, he allegedly slipped on the ice again and fell on top of her, causing injuries.

Board Members Serving as Committee Chairs

Q Is it true that the vice president of the executive board often chairs the architectural review committee? Could you provide any pros and cons of having a board member serve as a committee chair?

Condo Association and Member Sued Over No-Kid Rental Ad

Members at a Florida condominium community violated federal housing law by refusing to rent units to tenants with children, according to a lawsuit filed by Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches.

The nonprofit group sued the association, the former president of the association, and a member. The member had placed an ad on craigslist offering her two-bedroom unit for rent. “Sorry no kids,” the ad read.

Post Required Federal Signs for Association Employees

Federal laws require employers including community associations and management companies to post signs explaining legal information to their employees. Failure to post the signs can cost as much as $10,000 per violation. Fortunately, compliance is easy. The signs are available free of charge from the government agencies that oversee the sign-posting laws.