Month: October 2014

Medical Marijuana: Clear the Air Regarding HOA Members’ Use

Across the country, momentum has been building to legalize marijuana—at least for medical use. Though marijuana is still illegal under federal law, more than 20 states have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws—and more may soon follow.

Make Sure Rooftop Cell Tower Contract Is Airtight

By Andrea Brescia

Cell transmittal towers are popping up all over the country to serve the 91 percent of American adults who now own mobile phones. If your community is in a location where customers have reported a lot of dropped calls, a cell carrier could be interested in leasing the rooftop of your condominium or other community building. Service providers that are eager to place towers in strategically needed, high-traffic areas can be a good source of income for associations with available rooftops.

Set Guidelines for Solar Energy Installation

by Andrea Brescia

Association, Manager May Have Violated FHA by Denying Lease Extension

Facts: Since Feb. 1, 2008, the owners of a townhouse, with the approval of the condominium association, rented their unit to a couple with one child. The association had a rule that “[n]o townhouse shall at any time be permanently occupied by more than four (4) persons.” In August 2013, the couple gave birth to twins. In November 2013, the couple asked the owners for a 12-month lease extension. The association rejected the request.

Proposed S.F. Law Would Require Solar Panels on Rooftops

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering a proposal that would require all new residential and commercial buildings in the city to have solar panels or gardens on their roofs. And owners of existing buildings would be offered increased incentives to install solar panels on their rooftops where feasible.

What Associations Should Know About Medical Marijuana

By Carol Johnson Perkins, Esq.

Across the country, momentum has been building to legalize marijuana—at least for medical use. Though marijuana is still illegal under federal law, more than 20 states have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws—and more may soon follow. This fall, Florida voters will decide whether to amend the state’s constitution to allow for comprehensive medical marijuana legislation.

Dispute Over Sunroom Addition Leads to Discrimination Claim

Facts: A couple and their five children, including two minors who were physically and mentally disabled, lived in a home located in a residential subdivision. The community’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions prohibited homeowners from building above-ground structures or improvements without approval of the HOA’s Architectural Review Committee.

Association Can’t Enforce Breed Restriction Against Emotional Support Animal—Despite County Ordinance

Facts: A Florida homeowner sued his community association for violating the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) by refusing his request to keep an emotional support animal as a reasonable accommodation to the community’s “no-pet” policy.

Manager Accused of Embezzling $500K from R.I. HOA

Rhode Island State Police recently arrested the former manager of a Newport HOA for allegedly embezzling $527,934 from the association.

The State Police Financial Crimes Unit launched the investigation after receiving a complaint from the board of directors at the community, a time-share development in Newport, R.I. As a result of the investigation, an arrest warrant was issued against the association’s former general manager, who was accused of issuing 34 unauthorized checks for his own benefit totaling $527,934 over a five-year period.

Developers Sued for Accessibility Defects at Pennsylvania Community

The builders, owner, and designers of a newly built 92-unit condominium community in Bethlehem Township, Pa., were recently sued for alleged failure to include accessibility features as required by the Fair Housing Act (FHA).