Month: August 2012
When a member makes a modification either to the interior or exterior of his unit without notifying the board, it could harm your community. For example, low-quality or hasty and ill-advised construction can drive down property values, increase the premiums on your community's liability insurance, or even render important warranties void. And some types of work, such as a new roof deck, if not done right, can lead to injuries and increase your community's exposure to personal injury liability.
With the summer months coming to a close, it's time to start thinking about preparing your community for winter. Although winter weather may seem like it's a long way off, you'll need to take steps in the fall to get ready for harsh weather or other winter challenges, depending on where your community is located. Because there's always a lot to do during the fall, it's a good idea to have an annual checklist of maintenance tasks that you can refer to to “winterize” your community.
Q Several community members, and, occasionally some guests, use wheelchairs. Because of the size and design of some of the common areas, the walls have been dented, paint has been scratched on the walls and doors, and corners and doorways have been nicked. There has also been damage to carpets and wood floors from wheelchairs. It has been expensive to repair wall and floor damage caused by those wheelchairs to the common areas. What can I do to prevent this damage?
If anyone reports a slip-and-fall injury at your community, take pictures of the hazard on which the person claims to have slipped. Do it right away—as soon as you hear about the incident—just in case the person sues you later. Photographs may help you prove in court that there was no hazard or that it was not as bad as claimed. And even if no one exaggerated or lied, you can show the pictures to your attorney, who can advise you on whether to settle the case.
Facts: An association made a series of complaints against a member because he violated multiple provisions of the association's declaration. Specifically, the violations included the member's storage of logs and trees on his property for commercial use, running a dog breeding business on his property, and maintaining a compost pile that emitted a putrid odor. After the member refused to remedy the violations, the association sued him in district court. The district court ruled in favor of the association, and the member appealed.
Include in your employee handbook a ban against violent behavior by employees, to head off problems and put your employees on notice that this behavior won't be tolerated and that there will be serious consequences. Tell employees what's unacceptable, and draw a clear line that they may not cross without being fired. Include horseplay as part of prohibited conduct; it's employees' most common defense for unacceptable behavior.
While Fauntleroy Community Association (FCA) board members say they're fine with the Seattle Police's plan to install a fixed speed-monitoring/ticketing camera in the Gatewood Elementary school zone on nearby Fauntleroy Way (part of the association's property), they've asked for a current southbound warning light to be moved from the area, in exchange. The FCA made its request to the police department in a letter, pointing out that the current light isn't effective for slowing down traffic near the community.