Featured Articles

Accommodations Must Mitigate the Effects of the Disability to be ‘Reasonable’

The Illinois Court of Appeals recently ruled that a condo association must provide only those accommodations that reduce the effects of a disability so that a requesting resident isn’t disadvantaged because of the disability. This standard proved too high of a hurdle in a recent discrimination lawsuit brought by a particularly litigious owner in a…

Building Sound Foundations: Lessons from Surfside

Building Sound Foundations: Lessons from Surfside

The June 2021 collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium complex in Surfside, Fla., made headlines around the world — and thrust many issues that plague condo and other community associations into the spotlight. The catastrophe, its causes, and its effects already are the subject of intense study, evaluation, and discussion.

“I think the collapse going to have an impact for a long time,” says Ken Bertolucci, president of NS Management in Skokie, Ill.

If a “bright side” can be found, it’s that many associations and boards across the country have had a wake-up call and now are more open than ever to some of the basic — but sometimes costly — practices they should have been implementing all along.

“This tragedy has now become the trigger for all the things we’ve been harping on for years but that have fallen on deaf ears,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based management company CWD Group, Inc. “It took this to make associations stop, re-think, and adjust.”

In this special report, we explore five issues that your clients may have a new, or renewed, interest in and identify some of the particular areas where they may need to take immediate action to protect themselves and others. We also provide best practices to help them get on track.

Fearful boards are looking to their managers for their expertise and insights in the wake of Surfside. We hope this report helps you beat their expectations.

Download now »

Minimum Rental Period Rule Unenforceable Against Existing Owners Under California Law

A California Court of Appeal has left some associations and their lawyers reeling from its broad interpretation of a state law that exempts current owners from new rules blocking short-term rentals (Brown v. Montage at Mission Hills). “This is an expansion of what I think a lot of us expected Section 4740 to mean,” says…

Rising Sea Levels Bring a Wave of Risk — Even in Unexpected Locales

Savvy community association managers have realized for some time that rising sea levels —whether in oceans, lakes, or rivers — pose a threat to their clients. “The problem is that it’s such a slow creep that it’s not visible to the naked eye,” says Brad van Rooyen, president of HomeRiver Group-Florida, the management company for…

Avoid the Potential Pitfalls of Sharing Common Areas Among Communities

When multiple associations share amenities or common areas through a master association, frictions can arise. Our experts have some ideas for preempting those through effective negotiation. How It Happens Master associations come in different flavors, but Kevin Hirzel, managing member of Hirzel Law, PLC, a Michigan-based firm that works with numerous community associations, says he…

Dos and Don’ts for Handling Owner Document Requests

Handling document inspection requests from owners can be a hassle for community association managers, but it can go much more smoothly if you follow some simple rules. Read on to learn how to improve the process for all involved. Do Know the Statutory Dos and Don’ts State laws lay out very specific requirements for how…

55-and-Older Communities: 3 Legal Landmines to Avoid

The federal Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) exempts 55-and-older communities from the prohibition against familial status discrimination in housing. But some of these associations fail to comply with the law’s strict, and ongoing, legal requirements, leaving them vulnerable to discrimination claims. Here are the three main areas where they can slip up. 1. The…

Help Wanted: How to Hire Managers in a Tight Labor Market

Employers of all stripes are having trouble recruiting new workers, and community association management firms aren’t immune. “The industry over the last three or four years has found itself in an increasingly difficult hiring situation, which has only been exacerbated by COVID,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based management…

New Demographics Mean New Ways of Doing Things

Community associations across the country are seeing a change in their demographics, and with shifting generations come shifting demands. Is your management company prepared to appeal to younger generations who have different priorities and ways of conducting business than their elders? If you can’t answer in the affirmative, here’s what you need to consider. “Even…

Supporting Your Staff’s Mental Health in Trying Times

The stress experienced by community association managers can pose serious problems for their employers, including reduced productivity and staff levels. “We’ve had managers quit because they were burned out,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based management company CWD Group, Inc. Are you taking the steps you should to understand…