Are Your Clients Amending Their Docs? 4 Potential Issues To Tackle

The COVID-19 crisis left many boards of directors scrambling to handle a variety of novel issues, sometimes based on uncertain or questionable authority.

This has led some associations to consider amending their governing documents to better equip them to deal with similar (or lingering) issues in the future. And, if they’ve already started the amendment ball rolling, why not add some non-pandemic-prompted rules and restrictions to the slate?

The amendment process, after all, often is expensive and challenging — in no small part because of the difficulty of achieving the necessary quorum at meetings. But the increase in virtual meetings due to the pandemic has resulted in higher attendance in many associations, easing the burden.

Associations are considering amendments that touch on a range of topics and may, of course, vary by geographic region. Here’s a sampling of areas that our sources report working on with their association clients:

Surveillance cameras. The use of inexpensive Internet-connected surveillance cameras has surged in recent years. The jump in the volume of home deliveries — and, in turn, so-called “porch bandits” — this year has only enhanced the popularity of the devices.

In some areas, boards have paid little attention. “Our clients that have policies say the cameras can’t observe more than their own property, but most don’t have policies,” says Marc Markel, a shareholder in the Texas-based law firm Roberts Markel, Weinberg Butler Hailey PC.

In Florida, though, Jennifer Biletnikoff, a shareholder in the Naples, Fla., office of Becker & Poliakoff, has seen a different story play out. “The Ring doorbell has been a huge issue because the span [of the captured images] is so far that they can really see everything. Especially in connected homes, where you may share a driveway, people are asking how this isn’t an invasion of privacy.”

To learn how her clients are approaching the matter, as well as other potential amendments your clients should weigh, read our new article, What’s New in Rules and Restrictions?

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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