Month: December 2017
The past year has created divisiveness in political conversations and discussions about recent exposes regarding sexual harassment. Living in close proximity in a condo building or sharing amenities year after year in more spread out planned communities can throw together members with different points of view about various topics—some of them controversial like those. But some states had reported a rise in hostility and aggressive behavior among community association members even before national events brought up these issues to argue over.
Board elections have the potential to cause a stir within community associations. They can become highly competitive, requiring campaigning or other gestures by candidates. Owners who aren’t happy with the outcome might protest, either acting displeased or escalating things to the point where they call for a new election. But just because owners are unhappy with something in the community doesn’t mean that it’s automatically wrong.
Federal authorities reported they have halted a homeowners association foreclosure fraud scheme, after a nearly three-year investigation. Federal authorities seized gold, cash, and other property from a Raleigh, N.C., man accused of fraudulently scooping up homes in foreclosure. He was charged with multiple counts of bank fraud and engaging in monetary transactions involving criminally derived property, among other crimes.
Living in close proximity in a condo building or sharing amenities year after year in more spread out planned communities can throw together members with different points of view—some of them controversial. The past year has created divisiveness in political conversations and discussions about recent exposes regarding sexual harassment. But some states had reported a rise in hostility and aggressive behavior among community association members even before national events brought up these issues to argue over.
Q: In a casual conversation with a homeowner in the planned community I manage for an association, she mentioned she would like to install a mailbox that resembles a cartoon that her children like. She said that she has checked the association guidelines for rules on mailboxes, but they aren’t specifically mentioned. However, she doesn’t want to install the mailbox only to later be told to take it down, or be fined. What typically happens when association guidelines don’t cover rules for certain items?
It’s smart for associations to have a continuing maintenance and repair contract with an elevator contractor. Elevator issues can turn deadly so experts in that field are invaluable, and can help you avoid liability for you and your staff. But don’t let your staff do any work on your community’s elevators, except for routine cleaning and light bulb replacement.
Although board member positions are voluntary, many members take them seriously—and personally. That could create controversy. That’s because, sometimes, to comply with the law, association boards must be restructured; if you find yourself in the position of having to deliver the news and help with the restructure, you could be faced with accusations by board members that you’re improperly trying to oust them for your own motives.
Homeowners in a planned community asked a trial court for a temporary injunction, prohibiting their neighbors from renting out their home to vacationers for a profit. (A temporary injunction orders a party to do or not do something while a court case is pending.) The homeowners asserted that the rental of the home violated the restrictive covenants of the association, in part because they were using the home for nonresidential purposes—that is, operating a hotel.
Neighborhoods that are governed by a homeowners association have a tendency to be attractive and well manicured. After all, that’s a major reason why members pay dues and want to live in such a community. But a photogenic Houston community is trying to block photo shoots from its streets. The association placed signs around the perimeters of the neighborhood advising photographers they could not shoot in the park and esplanades on the property.