Featured Articles

Work Opportunity Tax Credit Can Add to the Bottom Line

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…

3 Critical Issues to Cover in Today’s Board Training

Community association board members have had a lot to deal with over the past two years or so, from the pandemic to the fallout of the Surfside tragedy. Comprehensive board training is an essential part of effective risk management — for the association, the board members themselves, and the manager — in such an environment.…

City Can’t Require Association Units Remain in STR Market

The Colorado Court of Appeals has blocked a local ordinance that required a condo association’s units to stay in the short-term rental pool, limited the owner’s personal use during “high season,” and imposed fines for violations (Town of Vail v. Village Inn Plaza – Phase V Condominium Association). While the case focused a specific local…

Fannie Mae Tightens Requirements on Condo, Co-op Mortgages

Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, Fannie Mae will implement tougher requirements related to aging infrastructure and deferred maintenance on mortgages for attached condo and co-op communities. The updated requirements are temporary, but no end date has yet been established. “Associations, boards, and managers really need to be cognizant of these new requirements, especially when you think…

Accommodations Must Mitigate the Effects of the Disability to be ‘Reasonable’

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires 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 Chicago condo association (Spiegel v. The Illinois…

Building Sound Foundations: Lessons from Surfside

Building Sound Foundations: Lessons from Surfside

The June 2021 collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium complex in Surfside, Fla., made headlines around the world — and thrust many issues that plague condo and other community associations into the spotlight. The catastrophe, its causes, and its effects already are the subject of intense study, evaluation, and discussion.

“I think the collapse going to have an impact for a long time,” says Ken Bertolucci, president of NS Management in Skokie, Ill.

If a “bright side” can be found, it’s that many associations and boards across the country have had a wake-up call and now are more open than ever to some of the basic — but sometimes costly — practices they should have been implementing all along.

“This tragedy has now become the trigger for all the things we’ve been harping on for years but that have fallen on deaf ears,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based management company CWD Group, Inc. “It took this to make associations stop, re-think, and adjust.”

In this special report, we explore five issues that your clients may have a new, or renewed, interest in and identify some of the particular areas where they may need to take immediate action to protect themselves and others. We also provide best practices to help them get on track.

Fearful boards are looking to their managers for their expertise and insights in the wake of Surfside. We hope this report helps you beat their expectations.

Download now »

Minimum Rental Period Rule Unenforceable Against Existing Owners Under California Law

A California Court of Appeal has left some associations and their lawyers reeling from its broad interpretation of a state law that exempts current owners from new rules blocking short-term rentals (Brown v. Montage at Mission Hills). “This is an expansion of what I think a lot of us expected Section 4740 to mean,” says…

Rising Sea Levels Bring a Wave of Risk — Even in Unexpected Locales

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…

Avoid the Potential Pitfalls of Sharing Common Areas Among Communities

When multiple associations share amenities or common areas through a master association, frictions can arise. Our experts have some ideas for preempting those through effective negotiation. How It Happens 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…

Dos and Don’ts for Handling Owner Document Requests

Handling document inspection requests from owners can be a hassle for community association managers, but it can go much more smoothly if you follow some simple rules. Read on to learn how to improve the process for all involved. Do Know the Statutory Dos and Don’ts State laws lay out very specific requirements for how…