Month: July 2010

Association Must Pay $1.2 Million for Discrimination

A civil rights trial against an association in Plymouth County, Mass., accused of discriminating against three Jewish members has ended in a settlement. A jury awarded the members $600,000 for the violation of their civil rights and an additional $150,000 for nuisance. Together, with interest, the judgment is in excess of $1.2 million. The families claimed they were subjected to anti-Semitic acts, including hate mail and the painting of Swastikas on their garages.

Fatal Fire Raises Concern About Antifreeze in Condominium Sprinklers

Automatic fire sprinkler systems with antifreeze solutions have had more than 60 years of successful use in residential and commercial buildings. However, a grease fire in a kitchen where a sprinkler system deployed with a reported 71.2 percent concentration of antifreeze raised concerns about the safety risk of antifreeze solutions in residential sprinkler systems.

Final Amendments to EPA’s Lead-Based Paint RRP Rule Go into Effect

On July 6, the final amendments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule went into effect. These amendments added new requirements to the relatively new rules that went into effect in April of this year and were discussed in detail in the May 2010 issue of the Insider.

Member May Have to Provide Access for Balcony Repairs

Facts: A condo association sought a court order requiring a member to give it access to her condominium to perform repair work on her balcony. The association was concerned with the structural integrity of the concrete balconies on each of its units. The member's balcony was inspected and was found to have suffered moderate corrosion requiring repair.

The trial court found that the association did not meet its burden of showing irreparable harm if the member continued to deny balcony access for repairs. The association appealed.

Manager Not Considered Debt Collector Under FDCPA

Facts: According to the records of the association, a member was behind in his assessments. In July 2007, the manager sent the member a “Notice of Intent to File Lien.” The notice included a statement of assessments owed to the association. The following month, the member demanded an explanation of the assessments and alleged that a portion of the assessments already had been paid. The manager then sent a “Notice of Lien,” which included a statement of assessments owed.

Association May Be Liable for Discrimination

Facts: A member entered into a lease agreement for her condominium with an African-American woman. Shortly thereafter, the condominium members adopted amendments to the bylaws that included a restriction on members' ability to lease their property.

Association Must Assess Individual Members for Limited Common Element Replacement

Facts: A condominium community is comprised of a six-story building with 96 units and a 43-story building with 520 units. There is a common garage connecting the two buildings, and they share common heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.