Developer May Be Liable for Community Defects

Facts: An association sued the builder of the condominium building for breaching its implied warranty of habitability—that is, its guarantee that the building is fit to be lived in. The association presented evidence of leaks into the units, inadequately sloped decks, loose railings, improperly installed windows, and other structural problems.

Verifying Member’s Military Service for SCRA


Q In some cases, I have heard that the law limits our association's collection rights against members who are serving in the military. If this is true, can you please explain the limitations and how our association can verify whether a defaulting member is indeed serving in the military?

How Your Older Condominium Can Show Environmental Leadership

More and more first-time condo buyers are seeking environmentally friendly features in units and buildings. Many condominium developers are responding by incorporating various environmentally friendly elements into their buildings' designs.

Association Can Impose Fines

Facts: An association claimed that a member misrepresented his ownership of the condo where he was living. The ownership of the condo had changed hands among a father, his son, and the son's company a few times in five years. The association claimed that as a result of the misrepresentation, the member was improperly elected to the board of directors and appointed president. The association held a hearing to determine whether the member should be assessed fines for violating the association's governing documents.

Association Didn’t Knowingly Make False Statement

Facts: A member sued her association and its management company for their handling of property damage caused by several hurricanes in 2004. To fix the damage, the association had obtained a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Set Smoke Detector Maintenance Policy for Condo Members

Operable smoke detectors can go a long way toward saving lives and protecting property in condominium communities, where a fire in one unit can damage other units or endanger lives. Unfortunately, sometimes members don't maintain their smoke detectors or may intentionally disable them. Members with battery-operated, rather than hard-wired, smoke detectors often remove the battery when the detector begins chirping to signify that the battery is weak, says California manager Rolf Crocker.

Understanding Costs, Hazards of Electronic Document Discovery

While technology has made conducting business more efficient, it has also created the potential for new legal problems. “Unless you're sure that your company will never be in a lawsuit, you should be concerned with the costs and hazards of electronically stored information,” says attorney Robert Machson, an e-discovery strategy expert. Electronically stored information (ESI) includes any data stored electronically, such as email, documents, voice messages, and digital images.

Don’t Debit Different Amount from Member’s Account Without Advance Notice

If a member pays his regular association assessments using automated electronic payments, don't transfer additional fees from his bank account without giving the member advance notice. Overstepping your bounds on automatic payments violates the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (FCRA).

Final Guidelines for SORNA Released

If someone tells your association that a sex offender is living in your community, confirming the accuracy of the information has been made easier through the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). This law established a new, comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification throughout the United States.

Managing Hazardous E-Waste Materials

Electronic equipment has become woven into the American way of life. Consumer electronics companies inundate us with commercials for the latest and greatest computers for our laps and desks, TVs for our homes, and MP3 players for our ears. And for each new product release, one or more of these items become outdated or obsolete. As a result, we are storing or discarding obsolete or unwanted electronic products at increasing rates.