Featured Articles

Budgeting for 2021: The COVID-19 Factor(s)

We're willing to bet that very few of your clients' budgets are on track for 2020, and figuring out how to adjust and plan for 2021 is complicated. “We’re looking at all those odd pieces, the additional costs associations have borne since March,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based…

Court Finds Short-Term Rentals Violate Deed Restriction

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has rejected a community association owner’s arguments in yet another battle over owners’ right to use their homes as short-term rentals. The court’s ruling, based on a recent decision by the state’s Supreme Court, could provide some useful guidance for your clients that would like to implement enforceable restrictions on…

Manager’s Conduct Doesn’t Make It a Debt Collector

A federal Court of Appeals recently ruled that a community association manager wasn’t a “debt collector” for purposes of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which strictly regulates the conduct of general debt collectors. (Bates v. Green Farms Condominium Ass’n, 6th Cir. 2020). But managers shouldn’t take too much comfort in the decision because…

Use It or Lose It: Failure to Enforce Wipes Out Entire Set of Restrictions

A Texas Court of Appeals has found that the failure to enforce a subdivision’s restrictive covenants constituted an abandonment of the restrictions as a whole — despite the fact that the covenants included a severability provision intended to protect the other provisions if one or more were struck down as unenforceable. (Densmore v. McCarley, Tex.…

Don’t Let Your Clients Get Caught: How to Avoid Phishing Risks

It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month — are you, your employees, and your boards of directors aware of community associations’ risks from phishing attacks? If not, or if proper precautions aren’t taken, your clients and their owners could lose control of their confidential information. And the risks are even higher if you have staff working from…

It’s Past Time to Remove Racial Restrictions

The Fair Housing Act may prohibit racial discrimination, but a surprising number of community associations’ deed covenants still contain racial restrictions — and some of your clients could be among them. With civil rights a mainstay in the media since the death of George Floyd in May 2020, associations with such restrictions should take action…

HOA Must Allow Sober Living Home as Reasonable Accommodation

People who buy into pricey gated communities likely assume they won’t have to worry about drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities moving into the neighborhood — but a recent case out of Texas shows that this confidence may be misplaced. A federal district court ruled against an Austin community association, finding that the Fair Housing Act…

How Should Association Assess Buyers’ Financial Health?

Your clients may be worried that the COVID-19 crisis threatens their financial stability, but you need to help them avoid going too far in their efforts to protect their bottom lines. One path to steer them away from, for example, is becoming overly invasive in their financial screening of prospective buyers. An association in Florida…

What Can Your Boards Request of Prospective Owners?

Depending on the governing documents, community associations may have some say on the buyers to whom owners can sell their properties — but, even armed with that authority, they can go too far and create problems for their associations. That’s what happened in a recent case in Florida, where the court characterized the association’s requirement…

Time to Re-Bid? Vendor Contracts Under the Microscope

The economic crisis has shaken the finances of a wide variety of businesses, and the pandemic has changed the service needs of many community associations. Combined, these factors might make this an opportune time for your clients to re-bid some of their vendor contracts. If they do it right, they could save money and help…