eAlerts


Know the Rules Relating to Owner Document Requests

State laws lay out very specific requirements for how associations must respond to document inspection requests from their members. The requirements don’t only vary by state; they also can vary by type of association (for example, condo or homeowner). Managers and boards need to be well versed in the applicable mandates. Among other things, the…

Watch Out for Legal Pitfalls with 55-and-Older Communities

The federal Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) exempts 55-and-older communities from the prohibition against familial status discrimination in housing. But some of these associations fail to comply with the law’s strict, and ongoing, legal requirements, leaving them vulnerable to discrimination claims. As an example, to qualify for the exemption from familial discrimination liability, a…

Looking to Hire Managers? You’re Not Alone

Employers of all stripes are having trouble recruiting new workers, and community association management firms aren’t immune. “The industry over the last three or four years has found itself in an increasingly difficult hiring situation, which has only been exacerbated by COVID,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based management…

Are Your Managers Burned Out? Probably.

The stress experienced by community association managers can pose serious problems for their employers, including reduced productivity and staff levels. “We’ve had managers quit because they were burned out,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based management company CWD Group, Inc. Are you taking the steps you should to understand…

One Association’s Loss Could Prove To Be a Future Victory for Others

When an owner drops a lawsuit against a community association, the association can recover its attorneys’ fees, right? Not necessarily. A California association recently learned this lesson the hard way. Ironically, though, the court’s ruling could prove helpful for other associations. In 2008, the association obtained majority approval from the members to spend about $5.3…

Drones Will Soon Be Flying Over Your Properties on a Regular Basis: What Are the Implications?

The number of drones (also known as unmanned aerial vehicles) in the air overhead has been climbing steadily in recent years. If your client associations aren’t already dealing with the implications of both commercial and recreational drone usage, they probably will be soon. “Drone usage will be commonplace in the coming decade,” says community association…

Are You Stuck With Docks Forever?

In 2020, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an alarming ruling for associations in a case involving oral approval for the installation of docks. But now, the state’s highest court has weighed in on the case with a much more favorable ruling. The lawsuit was filed by some owners in a lakefront association. Under the…

New Case Highlights That Parking Availability Can Be a Safety Issue

The California Court of Appeal recently ruled that a condominium association didn’t have a duty to provide adequate on-site parking for invitees and therefore wasn’t liable for injuries a guest sustained after parking off-site. But the court left the door open to an association’s liability for off-site injury in some circumstances. One evening in June…

When Resolving Conflicts, Stick to the Facts

Conflicts, whether between the board and owners or among owners themselves, are inevitable. But successful resolution isn’t. Some of our experts have advice on how managers can help their boards handle these disputes so they don’t spin out of control. “You have to get rid of the emotional baggage,” says Michael Kim, of counsel with…

When Is a Closed Session Appropriate?

Closed sessions are among the most frequently abused governance tools in community associations, according to Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif. “I frequently see boards conducting discussions in closed session where the topic really should be reserved for open session,” he says. Richardson says closed sessions…