Month: January 2012

Insider’s Pop Quiz!

Question: Your community allows members to park anywhere, but a new member says she wants an assigned parking space because she can’t walk too far. You can’t be accused of a fair housing violation if you: a. Ignore her comment because she didn’t ask for a “reasonable accommodation” for a disability. b. Ignore her comment…

Can Developer Convert Senior Community to Mixed-Age Housing?

That’s the question many Barnegat Bay, N.J., residents are asking as a developer seeks approval to divide a new 305-unit development west of the state’s Garden State Parkway into separate sections targeted to seniors and families, plus a mandated 20 percent affordable housing component. The Barnegat Township planning board has postponed its decision on the…

No Liability for ‘Black Ice’ in Closed Recreation Area

Facts: A condo association for residents age 55 and over hired a manager to perform the snow and ice removal services for the property, except for a recreation area that's closed during the winter. Although the area's pool and tennis courts aren't in use, there are no barriers to cordon off the recreation area to pedestrians or signs posted to indicate that the sidewalk is closed, and the members aren't otherwise advised to stay out of the area.

Holidays Aren’t Over for Decoration Dispute

It looks like a dispute over holiday decorations in a Lake County, Fla., planned retirement community will continue to drag on into 2012. The homeowner at the center of a previously resolved religious discrimination controversy allegedly violated a confidentiality agreement barring him from discussing the issue.

How to Make Special Assessment Collection Easier

Although your community association's governing documents almost certainly provide for the possibility of special assessments—an extra one-time payment owners must make for a specific purpose, such as roof repairs—owners tend to forget about this and often are surprised, and upset, when their monthly payment isn't the same. Owners who haven't put aside funds to pay for their share of an improvement to the community could get into financial trouble if they have to pay more than they've budgeted for their monthly payments.

Revoking Parking Privileges Without Violating Fair Housing Law

Q Must an association grant a parking request as a reasonable accommodation when the member hasn't paid his condo fees?

A No, according to a New Jersey court, which ruled in a recent case that the member's parking accommodation request was not reasonable.

Avoid Liability When Using Self-Help Remedy for Maintenance Violation

In last month's feature, “Take Action When Member Shirks Maintenance Obligations,” we gave you two model letters to use at the first sign of a member's violation of maintenance rules. But sometimes polite and firm follow-up letters and even fines or other penalties authorized by your governing documents don't spur a member to resolve the problem.