Featured Articles

Prepare Now for the Next Recession

The so-called Great Recession wreaked havoc on community associations across the country, and many economic experts are predicting that the next recession looms on the horizon. Whether it’s sooner or later, there’s no doubt that another will come eventually. Are your clients taking the necessary steps now to protect themselves? Cash shortfalls In the previous…

Business Judgment Rule isn’t an Absolute Shield for the Board

When owners sue a community association board of directors, the board often turns to the business judgment rule as a defense to the allegations. The defense may lead to the dismissal of the case before trial — but not always. A recent case out of New York is a stark reminder that board members don’t…

The Rise of ADUs: What Does it Mean for Associations?

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) — also known as granny flats, in-law units, and carriage houses, among other names — are popping up across the country, particularly in dense urban areas. And many community associations are unprepared. “It’s the wave of the future,” says Gordon Goetz, president of The Management Trust – Central Coast/Central Valley, which…

Lack of Annual Meetings Doesn’t Deprive Board of Authority

Community associations often struggle to achieve the quorum required to elect new board members at their annual meetings. But does that mean the board members who carry over lose the authority to act? A Michigan Court of Appeals recently said it means no such thing. Channel View East Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Ferguson (Mich. App.…

Homeowners Can’t Withhold Fees in Protest

Owner dissatisfaction with the way a community association is performing or the conditions or quality of the community and its amenities can create significant problems for an association — but it doesn’t justify the withholding of assessments. The Indiana Court of Appeals recently made clear that owners don’t have the option to simply stop paying…

Election 2020: Can Associations Restrict Political Signs?

In these heated times, anything involving politics has the potential to stir up trouble. With another big election year poised to consume the country, community associations might find themselves descending into dramatic, disruptive, and costly divisions. Even ostensibly non-political restrictions — such as those on signs — might trigger lengthy litigation if your clients don’t…

California Adopts Fair Housing Regulations

From fashion and slang to legal rights, California is known for starting trends. Now the state is poised to launch a sweeping set of fair housing regulations that go beyond the federal rules in some areas and could become the model for other states. “As far as we can tell, these are the first detailed…

Bickering and Brawls: How to Deal with Rising Tempers and Incivility

From profane name-calling to fistfights, we’re hearing from experts that the behavior at community association meetings has been on the decline. Owners’ anger and anxiety are spilling over, and they’re directing their vitriol at board members, fellow owners, and managers. “The ability to contain oneself and act appropriately in a public forum seems to be…

Court Puts Owner on the Hook for Previous Owner’s Bylaw Violation

A bylaw violation is a bylaw violation — and it doesn’t matter who created it. That’s the essential point made by the Michigan Court of Appeals in a recent case involving unauthorized alterations to a unit’s entrance door. The court ruled that an owner is responsible for violations even if they were committed by a…

Missouri Court Strikes Down Long-Standing Unanimous Consent Requirement to Amend Restrictions

The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected its long-standing rule requiring unanimous consent among owners to amend restrictions. The decision, which the attorney who represented the subdivision in the case described as a “sea change,” could have a ripple effect across other states when it comes to restrictions affecting a variety of hot topics in associations.…