eAlerts


Foreclosures Require Strict Attention to All the Details

A Florida HOA didn’t provide an owner it was trying to foreclose on with documents required by the declaration. The result? The case is going to trial. The HOA filed a foreclosure action against an owner, alleging that he hadn’t paid outstanding quarterly assessments and costs. It asked the court to rule in its favor…

New Emergency Powers (and More) in Florida

A far-reaching new piece of legislation targeting community associations, Senate Bill (S.B.) 630, took effect in Florida on July 1, 2021. “It’s a mixed bag,” says Donna DiMaggio Berger, a shareholder in the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office of Becker & Poliakoff. “There’s some good stuff and some not so good stuff.” Good or bad, though,…

Emotional Support Animal vs. Severe Pet Allergies – Who Wins?

A no-pet policy. An owner who requests an emotional support animal (ESA). Another owner with severe pet allergies. What’s your client to do? A recent ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court demonstrates just how dicey this situation can be — even when a board tries its best to accommodate everyone. The case involved tenants in…

Key Provisions to Monitor in Your Elevator Maintenance Contracts

Properly operating elevators rank near the top of the most important  — and most visible —equipment in a community association. Yet some communities sign standard service contracts without giving the terms much thought. “One of the biggest mistakes across the board with associations is not having a lawyer look over the elevator contracts,” says Jennifer…

A Vivid Example of Why You Need Good Records

Poor recordkeeping can undermine the results of even the most amiable and productive board or membership meeting. When a meeting is contentious, insufficient records can prove even more disastrous. A community in Pennsylvania learned that the hard way. A trial court described the community as mired in utter chaos, nonstop disagreement, and a continuing power struggle…

When Is Your Association Liable for Injuries Sustained on the Premises?

A third-party security guard who slipped and fell on a puddle while on duty sued the Georgia condo association where she was working. The association doesn’t have its own employees, so it hires third-party contractors to perform the necessary functions. For example, in May 2012, it retained Sizemore Security Services to provide “safety officers” for…

When Tradition Runs Up Against Sensitivity: Addressing Problematic Community Names

Some associations with the word “plantation” in their names are struggling with pushes among their owners to change their communities’ names. The issue primarily is arising in the southern part of the United States, largely in response to the killing of George Floyd in 2020. “We’ve had a rash of associations dealing with this,” says…

Lawsuit Ponders Whether Pig Is a Pet

An Ohio HOA recently learned the hard way that discrimination lawsuits arising out of pet restrictions aren’t limited to disability-related claims. That’s one lesson from the association’s attempts to remove a pig from its premises; the other is that poorly worded restrictions can backfire. “I’ve seen disputes with atypical pets, but it’s usually when there’s…

Condo Board Found Liable to Prospective Buyer in Broken Deal

Can a condo board ever end up liable to the prospective buyer of a unit after the deal didn’t go through? It apparently could in New York. A state court there allowed such a lawsuit to proceed against a board that didn’t exercise its right of first refusal but allegedly also didn’t provide a document…

Due Diligence With Vendors Is Worth It – Here’s Why

A management company’s ability to form positive, productive relationships with competent and reliable vendors can make or break its ability to deliver for its client associations. From landscapers, pool service companies, and maintenance firms to attorneys, accountants, and insurance agents or brokers, here’s how to form and maintain successful relationships with your vendors. Due diligence…