Featured Articles

Association Pays $125,000 to Settle Case Over $500 Fine for Owner’s Allegedly Abusive Behavior

After numerous allegations of abusive behavior, a Chicago condo association imposed a $500 fine on an owner. It led to years of costly litigation, a $125,000 payment to the owner, and a court ruling that could haunt associations for years to come (Boucher v. 111 East Chestnut Street Condominium Ass’n, Inc., Ill. App. June 14,…

Owners’ Individual Security Lighting: Yay or Nay?

The desire for security lighting by owners with security concerns can put associations and boards in a difficult position, especially when their CC&Rs prohibit exterior or high-intensity lighting. What should your clients do when owners request permission to install lights that can be both protective and disruptive? The Balancing Act “Lighting is said to be…

Board Recalls: What Everyone Needs to Remember

When owners start talking about board recalls, managers need to pay attention — and also take care that they don’t cross any lines. “Managers have to be absolutely neutral on recalls, but it’s a somewhat widely breached ethical requirement,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif.…

Short-Term Rentals Don’t Violate Single-Family Residence Restriction

The California Court of Appeals recently shot down the argument that a single-family residence restriction prohibited short-term rentals (Lastavich v. Nob Hill Homowners Ass’n, Cal App. Dec 2, 2020). Many community associations trying to limit short-term rentals have found their battle complicated by the fact that their CC&Rs were drafted long before the days of…

A Welcome Change: Managers Slim Down Their New-Owner Packets

Welcome packets for new owners in community associations are going through a makeover in more and more communities. The trend can be summed up succinctly: Less is more. A Necessary Nuisance The welcome packet should be more than a cursory administrative task. Done right, it can generate positive feelings toward the community, the association, and…

4 Lessons from Remote Property Management

The COVID-19 pandemic has worn everyone down — but the people who’ve been leading during a year of remote community association management say there are lessons all managers can take from this experience: 1. Work-from-Home Is Here to Stay “Being into this now just under a year, remote working has actually worked out well for…

How Successful Managers Are Marketing Themselves Today

It’s the year 2021, when your kids’ babysitters are on LinkedIn, and the teenager who cuts your lawn has a branding plan. But many community association management firms are still in denial about the need to market their businesses. “We have a bad habit in this industry of thinking we don’t have to market ourselves…

Notice Matters: Court Invalidates Board’s Approval of $1.2 Million Fire Alarm Contract

A Maryland condo association recently was reminded of the importance of strictly adhering to the applicable notice requirements for meetings. A court ruled that, because insufficient notice of a board meeting was provided to owners, the board's action at the meeting was invalid — even though neither the state condo act nor the association bylaws…

Self-Help Enforcement: When and How?

From fines and suspended use of amenities to liens and lawsuits, community associations have a variety of remedies available when owners violate governing documents. The most controversial, though, may be self-help enforcement. A board's decision to take matters into its own hands can result in in lengthy litigation, liability, bruised feelings, threats, and even violence.…

Time to Convert to Sustainable Landscaping?

Depending on where you operate, you may have heard annual meeting debates about sustainable landscaping dating back at least a decade. “I’ve worked with clients who have made the change, and I’ve also worked with those who have said they’d never do it,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based…