Month: August 2010

Spread Association Deposits Over $250K Across Several FDIC-Insured Institutions

On July 21, 2010, basic FDIC insurance coverage was permanently increased to $250,000 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures the safety of checking and savings deposits in member banks. The standard maximum insurance amount of $100,000 had been temporarily raised through Dec. 31, 2013. That increase is now permanent.

Don’t Retaliate Against Employees Who Help Alleged Discrimination Victims

The Fair Housing Act's ban on retaliation applies not only to prospective members who claim to be victims of housing discrimination, but also to anyone who helps or encourages alleged discrimination victims to pursue their rights under fair housing law. Those provisions protect employees from adverse employment actions—such as being fired, demoted, or harassed—for opposing discriminatory practices or advising aggrieved residents to contact fair housing agencies.

Pass Leasing Restrictions Bylaw for Legitimate, Nondiscriminatory Reasons

If your association is considering amending or passing a lease restriction bylaw, be sure that there's no possible discriminatory reason for the passage of the bylaw. A valid reason can include concerns about property values, since members tend to take better care of their units and common areas than renters do, or because lenders are sometimes reluctant to offer mortgages to new buyers buying into a community with a high rental rate.

Association Not Required to Arbitrate Construction Defect Claim

Facts: A condo association filed a construction defect lawsuit against its developer. The developer asked the court to move the lawsuit out of court and order the association to arbitrate the claim. Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution, is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, wherein the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons or “arbitrators” by whose decision they agree to be bound.

Community Suing U.S. Government Over Asbestos

An association in Oregon has filed a $3.2 million lawsuit against the federal government and other previous owners of the military camp that preceded the community, citing asbestos contamination. The association says it discovered asbestos material in a six-acre site where demolished military buildings were buried. The government purchased the site in 1942 for use as a U.S. Army combat engineer training camp.

Handling Member Complaints About Marijuana Grow Operations in Community

Recently, a Montana mixed-use condominium association board voted to amend its governing documents to specifically prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries in the community. The association had sent out a survey to its members regarding medical marijuana in February 2010 asking the owners of the association how they would like to address medical marijuana and its place in the community. In that survey, 73 percent responded, with 72 percent in favor of prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries in the community.

Important Points to Include in Your Repointing Contract

In last month's issue (Aug. 2010), the Insider explained how to identify when the brick façade on your building needs repointing work. Repointing work is the chiseling out of old, worn mortar between bricks and having it replaced with fresh mortar.

Association Allowed to Amend Governing Documents

Facts: An association board had determined that it would be in the association's best interest to completely restate the association's covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CCandR) to bring the documents up to date with current law, delete obsolete developer references, and clarify ambiguous provisions that had caused confusion.