Month: December 2011

Don’t Let Community Rules—or How You Enforce Them—Lead to Discrimination Claims

Fair housing claims often stem from adverse actions taken against members for violating community policies or rules. In some cases, it's a claim of “disparate treatment—that is, that the rules are being selectively enforced because of a member's race or other characteristic protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Less commonly, it's a claim of “disparate impact,” where seemingly neutral rules have a disproportionate effect on racial minorities or other protected groups. In some cases, both claims are raised.

Association Not Legally Bound to Enforce Terms of Declaration

Facts: An owner in a private residential community complained to the homeowners association that it was failing to enforce the terms of the declaration of covenants as to certain homeowners. The owner alleged that several other owners made changes, modifications, or improvements to their homes without first seeking the association's approval. Under the declaration, changes must be approved first by the association. The owner asked the association to enforce the terms of the declaration, but it refused.

Don’t Control Contractors’ Employees on Day-to-Day Basis

When you hire independent contractors to perform work at your community, you risk being sued if any of the contractors' workers are injured on the job. Any good community association manager will want to ensure that work is being done correctly, on time, and without risks to the community or its members. So, it's good to keep a keen eye on contractors' employees as they work on projects for which you've hired them.

Is ‘Up’ House Bringing Utah Community Down?

The most unique house in Salt Lake Valley, Utah, is creating controversy among neighbors in a quiet Herriman planned community. Many of the community's owners said they were attracted to the area by the “muted” paint tones of the homes there. The yellow, orange, green, and lavender color palette of the controversial house—inspired by the Disney-Pixar cartoon movie “Up—has drawn national attention for its retro design and bright siding.