Featured Articles

Help Your Clients Avoid Stumbling into Fair Housing Problems, Part 2

In the December 2020 issue of Community Management Association Insider, we shared some ways that community associations can unexpectedly find themselves liable under federal and state fair housing laws. Here are few more missteps our experts have identified as potentially risky. Inadvertent Familial Discrimination JoAnn Burnett, an attorney in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office of…

COVID-19 Impacts: Handling the Jump in Home-Based Businesses

The many domino effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing recession include not only an increase in the number of people performing their current jobs from home, rather than at an office or other workplace, but also a surge in the number of home-based businesses. With so many people looking to replace lost income,…

When Can an Association Require Removal of a ‘Dangerous’ Dog?

Disputes over pet restrictions in community associations often are among the most contentious — perhaps never more so than when the association goes to court to get an animal removed after a biting incident. A recent case in Michigan illustrates how courts might tackle such disputes and how you can help your clients prepare to…

Court Upholds Mandatory Assumption of COVID-19 Risk Form

A Virginia court has issued a ruling that’s welcome news to community associations struggling with how to keep owners happy while reducing the risk of COVID-19. The court found an association’s requirement that users of the common area pool first sign an assumption of risk form reasonable (Norman v. Foxchase Owners Ass’n, Albemarle Cty. Oct.…

Court: Business Judgment Rule Doesn’t Apply to Association’s Assessment Allocation Scheme

You and your clients probably think the business judgment rule protects their good faith interpretations of their governing documents, but a recent ruling from the Washington Court of Appeals raises questions about that. The court held that the rule applies only to individual directors and not to associations themselves (Bangerter v. Hat Island Community Ass’n,…

Read All About It: Should Your Clients Install Automated License Plate Readers?

Community associations increasingly are installing automated license plate readers (ALPRs) as a way to bolster security. “As people get more used to the technology, I think more associations will go down this path,” says Kevin Hirzel, managing member of Hirzel Law, PLC, a Michigan-based firm that works with community associations, “especially if they’re looking to…

Are You or Your Clients at Risk for COVID Employment Discrimination Claims?

The federal government’s initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic included passage of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) — a law that community associations and managers could inadvertently violate if they’re not careful. An association in Florida learned that the hard way when an employee it had terminated sued it under the law. That…

Help Your Clients Avoid Stumbling into Fair Housing Problems, Part 1

Want to help your clients avoid some dangerous territory in terms of both money and reputation? Here’s one easy way — educate them about some of the ostensibly innocent practices they engage in that could land them in court for fair housing violations. Our experts have identified several that might come back to haunt a…

Tread Carefully When Barring COVID-Positive Owners or Their Caregivers

A Los Angeles condo association received bad news when it recently landed in court after prohibiting a disabled octogenarian owner and her two caregivers who had tested positive for COVID-19 from its high-rise building. (Thompson v. The Diplomat Condominium Association, Inc., L.A. Cty., Sept. 29, 2020) Not only did the trial judge grant the owner…

3 Headaches Plaguing Associations Today

Managing community associations means dealing with a nonstop carousel of complaints — those that are novel, those that are evergreen and never seem to go away, and those that pop up in new or unexpected ways. Here are some of the issues currently beleaguering association managers across the country. 1. Smoking This classic has gained…