eAlerts


The New World of Bidding

In the wake of pandemic delays and a new focus on deferred maintenance since the Surfside tragedy, many associations have significant projects to bid out to contractors. But the process has changed in the past couple of years. Gone are the days of the board considering a project, the manager putting out a request for…

Deconversion: Coming Soon to a Condo Near You?

Various parts of the country are seeing an uptick in condo deconversions, with multi-unit buildings that were converted from apartments years ago reverting back to that status. Owners may have dollar signs in their eyes and dreams of avoiding the costs of long deferred maintenance or modern upgrades, but they need to have the full…

Could You Be Liable for Neighbor-to-Neighbor Harassment?

A federal district court is allowing a former resident to pursue a lawsuit against an HOA and its management company alleging liability for an owner’s racial harassment. “The meat and potatoes of this case is really the hostile environment claim and whether the association and manager did enough to stop it,” says Kevin Hirzel, managing…

Repeat Offender Dog Can Be Asked To Leave, Court Concludes

A California HOA’s governing documents supported its board’s decision to order the removal of a dog with a history of injuring both humans and other dogs. “I love this case because it supports an association’s right to enforce its covenants by requiring removal of a dog,” says Sandra Gottlieb, a founding partner of California homeowner…

Rec Equipment Decisions Can Lead To Bias Allegations

The state of Maryland recently passed a new law after an HOA’s demand for the removal of basketball hoops raised questions of racial discrimination. The Maryland law generally prohibits condo associations and HOAs from imposing “unreasonable limitations” on the location and use of portable basketball hoops on an owner’s property. A state legislator initiated the…

Surfside Recommendations: “Scary and Extraordinarily Difficult”

A Miami-Dade County grand jury has issued its report on the Surfside condo collapse, including several recommendations for making buildings safer. “I expected something scary and extraordinarily difficult to do, and that’s exactly what the grand jury recommended,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif. The…

Government as Partner Rather Than Roadblock? It’s Possible.

From relocating an invasive flock of peacocks to reducing fire fuel and dealing with the effects of coastal erosion, community associations increasingly are working with government officials to resolve problems. “There are a lot of opportunities for managers and boards, before they start going the road on an issue, to step back and ask agencies…

Don’t Let Your Managers Fall Prey To Kickbacks

Kickbacks can cost both you and your clients, but your managers might not even know when they’re receiving one. Teaching your employees to recognize and sidestep such wrongful transactions can reduce the risks to your bottom line. Just what type of arrangement qualifies as a kickback? “It’s generally receiving something of value in exchange for…

A Warning About Disclosure Document Fees, From Illinois

An Illinois state court has sent a warning signal to association management firms about the fees they charge for disclosure documents. Disagreeing with a federal court ruling to contrary, the court held that owners can sue a manager for charging excessive fees under the state condo law. In reaching its decision, the Illinois Court of…

Are You Overlooking a Potentially Valuable Tax Credit?

Community association management companies (and their clients) have a valuable tool available for growing their staffs and reducing their tax bills at the same time — the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). And they may not even be aware of it. “The credit is very overlooked,” says Jamie Dokovna, a shareholder in the Florida law…