Featured Articles

Proceed with Caution: Three Risky Mistakes to Avoid on Association Facebook Pages

Social media are inescapable these days, so it’s no surprise that more and more community associations are establishing Facebook groups for their owners. Far easier to update than websites, these groups can prove invaluable when it comes to communicating with owners. They’re not without risks, though. Here are some potential stumbling blocks — and how…

Ponds Can Mean Lingering Liability

Do your clients have ponds on their grounds? If so, they could be subject to liability related to overflow for much longer than they might expect. In fact, according to a recent court ruling in Pennsylvania, every overflow incident could re-open the door to litigation, regardless of when the pond was built or the owner…

Associations Don’t Need to Grant Every Service Animal Request

It sometimes seems like community associations and their managers always come up on the losing end of cases related to owners’ service animal requests. But this week we’ll review a ruling from the Michigan court of appeals that makes clear that associations aren’t required to grant every request. Janis Creswell owns a unit in a…

Association Can Refuse Fence for Service Dogs

Owner requests for accommodations of their service or emotional support animals can lead to ugly, costly disputes, but associations shouldn’t assume they can’t win the legal battle. A state court of appeals in Michigan recently came down on the side of the association after an owner erected a fence for her dogs without first seeking…

Voter Apathy Not Necessary to Have Court Amend Voting Rules

In California, associations that can’t get a popular CC&R amendment passed because of supermajority voting requirements have another option — they can ask a court to amend the voting requirement to make it less onerous. A common question in such situations is whether an association must show voter apathy before a court can act. In…

Court Petition to Amend CC&Rs without Required Votes Needn’t Show Voter Apathy

California law lets an association turn to the courts to change the percentage of votes required to amend its CC&Rs, a helpful provision when communities have trouble reaching a super-majority. Opponents may claim that an association has to prove “voter apathy” to go this route, but a state court of appeals has made clear that…

Should You Use the Nuisance Provision to Regulate Marijuana Smoking?

The 2018 midterm elections saw three more states join the ranks of those allowing recreational or medical marijuana use, pushing the total number of states to more than 30. As legalization has spread, so, too, have owner complaints about their neighbors’ smoking — and the pressure on boards to use the nuisance provision in response.…

In the Air: Can Nuisance Rules Check Marijuana Smoking?

As more states legalize marijuana for recreational or medical use, more owners are voicing complaints about their neighbors’ weed smoking. Some associations are turning to the nuisance provisions in their governing documents in an attempt to prohibit or limit in-unit smoking, but that may not be the best option. The Nuisance Argument Second-hand smoke particularly…

4 Tips for Recruiting New Board Members

Board recruitment is a challenge many community associations face, and, for some, the problem is only getting worse. Long-standing board members are aging out or simply want to step back, but no one seems willing to fill their shoes. “It’s an especially huge issue in smaller associations, where a group of dedicated people serve for…

Handle Service Animal Requests with Care — or Face Stiff Penalties

From peacocks and pigs to turkeys and skunks, people seem to eat up stories about unusual animal aides. They’re often less amused, though, when their neighbors want community association rules bent for their service animals. A recent case out of Nevada illustrates the potentially steep costs for associations, board members, and management companies of hastily…