Month: February 2016
For many members, the upside of community association living is the ability to have some control over their lifestyle by agreeing to comply with rules aimed at creating a pleasant environment. Governing documents and bylaws that set rules and expectations for peaceful living and provide mechanisms to enforce compliance—like fines—go a long way toward keeping things in check.
Too often, speeding in the community endangers homeowners and guests, especially children. Reducing traffic speed on community roads is key to ensuring a safe environment. So, before tragedy strikes, explore whether “traffic calmers”—also known as pavement modifications—are an option for your community. Traffic calmers are physical changes made to a road, which prevent cars from speeding. These changes include speed bumps, speed humps, and speed ridges (also known as rumble strips).
If there are disabled members who use wheelchairs in your community, you may notice damage in common area spots. Fortunately, by installing a few inexpensive devices, you can prevent most of this damage. Have your maintenance staff install these devices to protect the three parts of common areas that most frequently take abuse from wheelchairs:
For many members, the upside of community association living is the ability to have some control over their lifestyle by agreeing to comply with rules aimed at creating a pleasant environment. Governing documents and bylaws that set rules and expectations for peaceful living and provide mechanisms to enforce compliance—like fines—go a long way toward keeping things in check. But unlike cut-and-dried infractions, such as painting a home in a color that isn’t in the association’s color palette, “noise” is highly subjective.
Fining members is one of the most unpleasant aspects of managing a homeowners association, but it’s unfortunately sometimes necessary to uphold the rules of your community. The administrative aspects of fining can be difficult. When members refute the fact that they owe fines or refuse to pay fines, the dispute can end in hard feelings or, worse, litigation.
A large cooperative apartment complex in Brooklyn, N.Y., is in hot water following allegations that it refused to allow residents with disabilities to keep emotional support animals—an issue that has come to the forefront recently in national news. The Justice Department took action by filing a fair housing complaint against the 1,144-unit building.
A Florida couple whose home was foreclosed on and sold at auction after they failed to pay late assessments has gotten a second chance. The couple, whose past-due assessments totaled $1,900, enlisted the help of a local news channel to garner support for their argument that it was unfair for the association to resort to such drastic measures.
The association asserted that it was within its legal rights to foreclose on and sell the home, since the governing documents for the association permitted it.
Controversy and hard feelings have emerged from a change in management at an Arizona homeowners association. Fearful that things would turn ugly at an annual association meeting, the board of directors brought with them two attorneys and a security guard.
Facts: A condominium building contained several residential units and one unit for commercial use. When the condominium was initially built, the board of directors was run by the sponsor. It permitted the commercial tenant to install an HVAC unit on the rooftop common area. Several unit owners became board members later. On behalf of all owners, a board member sued the commercial tenant—a business owned by the sponsor.
Facts: Two association homeowners tried to sell their home to an organization that planned to use it as housing for three disabled adults. The association tried to block the sale of the house, citing a restrictive covenant in the governing documents, which specified that homes in the community must be used as “single family” residences.