eAlerts


What Determines Whether an Accommodation Request is ‘Reasonable’?

The Illinois Court of Appeals recently ruled that a condo association must provide only those accommodations that reduce the effects of a disability so that a requesting resident isn’t disadvantaged because of the disability. This standard proved too high of a hurdle in a recent discrimination lawsuit brought by a particularly litigious owner in a…

Climate Change Is Coming for Your Association

Savvy community association managers have realized for some time that rising sea levels —whether in oceans, lakes, or rivers — pose a threat to their clients. “The problem is that it’s such a slow creep that it’s not visible to the naked eye,” says Brad van Rooyen, president of HomeRiver Group-Florida, the management company for…

When Sharing Across Communities Creates Conflict Rather Than Cohesion

When multiple associations share amenities or common areas through a master association, frictions can arise. Master associations come in different flavors, but Kevin Hirzel, managing member of Hirzel Law, PLC, a Michigan-based firm that works with numerous community associations, says he usually sees them when multiple “sub-associations” in the same geographic vicinity share certain common…

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…