Month: June 2010

Association Can’t Impose New Pet Rule

Facts: A group of condominium members sued the board to prevent it from enforcing a rule it had passed regarding pets. The condominium's bylaws had indicated that members were permitted to walk with their pets over the condominium's common areas. However, in July 2008, the board passed a rule requiring members to curb their pets and prohibiting members from walking their pets on the common areas. Violators of the rule were subject to a $50 fine.

The trial court refused the association's request to dismiss the members' lawsuit. The association appealed.

Oil Spill Likely to Trigger Foreclosures of Gulf Real Estate

Homes along the immediate path of the Gulf Coast oil leak are forecast to decline at least 30 percent in value as a result of the environmental catastrophe produced by BP's uncapped well off the coast of Louisiana, according to a new forecast by Housing Predictor.

The forecast is being issued after more than a month of research and monitoring the impact of the oil leak, which has poisoned the ecosystem along the marshes of the Louisiana coastline and as far east as Alabama.

How to Prevent Unacceptable Behavior Toward Board Members

The decisions that a board makes very rarely please everyone. A board may have just approved a large special assessment to finance the replacement of the roof, and some owners may not be pleased with how the association's finances are being handled. Most displeased owners may focus their energies on building consensus and replacing current board members. But there are some members who will handle their displeasure with the board in completely inappropriate ways.

Association Must Grant Member Access to Records

Facts: While serving on the board, a member allegedly became aware of various improprieties and departures from association bylaws. The member alleged that board members discussed and voted on condominium business without giving proper notice to or opportunity for input from members and that management awarded contracts to relatives or entities owned by relatives without proper notification to the board.

Members May Not Be Required to Pay Quarterly Assessments

Facts: An amendment passed by an association in 2007 modified a declaration and bylaws to grant the board the power to charge common expenses on a monthly and/or quarterly basis. The board had sent all members notice of the annual meeting and informed the members that voting would begin on that date on the amendment for quarterly assessments. The notice specified that voting would begin at the meeting and continue for 14 days afterward until a sufficient number of votes were collected to pass or defeat the proposed amendment.

Association’s Arbitration Clause Ruled Valid

Facts: Shortly before a member purchased his condominium, the association filed an amendment to the declaration with the county recorder's office. The amendment prohibited members from leasing their condominiums unless certain exceptions apply. The member applied for a hardship exception to the no-leasing rule, but the association denied his application.

Tennessee Association Sues Blogger-Member

A condominium association in Gatlinburg, Tenn., has filed a $1 million lawsuit against one of its members who it alleges has been using a blog to criticize the association's general manager and board for violating state law. The member says that he has made numerous requests to get copies of or view the association's books, but claims the association has refused to show him the paperwork.

Conduct Legal Checkup of Swimming Pools to Avoid Liability

With summer here, it's time to make sure that your community swimming pools are ready for action by checking their safety, insurance coverage, and legal compliance. Many associations do not conduct legal checkups, which is risky considering the number of lawsuits and regulations that exist.

The following is a list of things your association should check to ensure that the community avoids unnecessary risks and weathers any legal storm should an unfortunate accident occur at the pool this summer.

Further Trial Needed Against Developer

Facts: A community suffered property damage to various common areas and homes after a ditch overflowed as a result of heavy rains. The association filed a complaint against the city, the company that developed the community, and the individual partners of the company.

Except for the company, everybody else named in the lawsuit answered the association's complaint and are actively defending the lawsuit. The association asked the court for a default judgment against the developer company in its favor for failing to defend the claims against it.

Construction Defect Claims: Understanding Main Players’ Roles

One of the more difficult issues that an association and its manager deals with is what to do when construction defects are discovered in the community. Construction defect claims can be complex, time consuming, and expensive.