Featured Articles

HOA Isn’t Liable for Security Guard’s Slip and Fall

A third-party security guard who slipped and fell on a puddle while on duty sued the Georgia condo association where she was working (River Place at Port Royal Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Sapp). Read on for a useful refresher about when an association or manager can be held liable for injuries sustained on association premises…

What’s in a Name? Associations Mull Removing ‘Plantation’ from Their Names

Some associations with the word “plantation” in their names are struggling with pushes among their owners to change their communities’ names. The issue primarily is arising in the southern part of the United States, largely in response to the killing of George Floyd in 2020. “We’ve had a rash of associations dealing with this,” says…

Owner’s Pot-Bellied Pig Leads To Unusual Discrimination Lawsuit

An Ohio HOA recently learned the hard way that discrimination lawsuits arising out of pet restrictions aren’t limited to disability-related claims. That’s one lesson from the association’s attempts to remove a pig from its premises; the other is that poorly worded restrictions can backfire.A Pig in a Poke“I’ve seen disputes with atypical pets, but it’s…

Is That Contractor Really an Employee?

The misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor can prove costly for employers — including both community associations and managers. So it was good news when the Trump administration finalized a rule that loosened the test for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. “Under Trump, the idea was to…

Would-Be Buyer Can Sue Condo Board for Withholding Approval

Can a condo board ever end up liable to the prospective buyer of a unit after the deal didn’t go through? It apparently could in New York. A state court there allowed such a lawsuit to proceed against a board that didn’t exercise its right of first refusal but allegedly also didn’t provide a document…

This Could Be the Start of a Beautiful Relationship: 5 Tips for Working with Vendors

A management company’s ability to form positive, productive relationships with competent and reliable vendors can make or break its ability to deliver for its client associations. From landscapers, pool service companies, and maintenance firms to attorneys, accountants, and insurance agents or brokers, here’s how to form and maintain successful relationships with your vendors.1. Perform thorough…

Streamline Your Operations: How Managers Can Go Paperless

Want to reduce your administrative headaches while boosting your client satisfaction and, in turn, retention? Going paperless might be for you. From maintaining minutes and managing violations to collecting dues and processing invoice payments, community association managers increasingly are finding their mundane but mandatory tasks are made easier once they shift to a digital way…

‘Continuous Operation’ Language Declaration Requires Association to Keep Lift Working

An owner sued an association for breach of contract and negligence after its tenant moved out because its unit was flooded with raw human sewage. An Indiana state court found a breach of contract but dismissed the negligence claim (Castleton Corner Owners Ass’n, Inc. v. Conroad Associates, L.P.). Here’s what you need to know about…

Fair Housing Discrimination: 4 Potential Tripwires for You and Your Clients

In January 2021, a federal district court declined to dismiss an HOA and its management company from a lawsuit alleging liability for an owner’s harassment of another resident under the federal Fair Housing Act and the Indiana Fair Housing Act.

The Indiana case involves what the court called an owner’s "race-based campaign of harassing, taunting, and threatening African American and Latino residents, guests, and contractors," leading to the creation of a racially hostile environment at the HOA. It demonstrates one of today’s biggest, and still evolving, fair housing risks — liability for neighbor-to-neighbor harassment.

In this special report, we explore the latest developments in this and three other particularly high-risk areas. In addition to liability for neighbor-to-neighbor harassment, we dig into liability issues that can arise related to the handling of requests for reasonable accommodations, familial discrimination, and the lack of sensitivity to shifting norms. And we provide fresh advice for heading off liability in a time when discrimination of all kinds is at the forefront of discussion.

It’s up to managers to stay abreast of the issues and share their knowledge with their clients. We hope this report helps.

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5 Ways to Boost Your Volunteer Recruitment

The ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to frustration and even burnout for many community association board members and other volunteers. As a result, some associations are struggling to fill more openings than typical. “It’s getting harder and harder, it really is,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the…