Featured Articles

‘Residential Use’ Restriction Prohibits STRs

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that regular weekly rentals violated an HOA’s residential use restriction, in a case we first covered in 2020 (Cherry Home Ass’n v. Baker). The decision is a potentially promising development in the ongoing battle against short-term rentals. Owners’ Arguments Shot Down — Twice The case involved a community…

Partner vs. Impediment: 4 Tips for Working with Government Officials

From relocating an invasive flock of peacocks to reducing fire fuel and dealing with the effects of coastal erosion, community associations increasingly are working with government officials to resolve problems. “There are a lot of opportunities for managers and boards, before they start going the road on an issue, to step back and ask agencies…

Cornering Kickbacks: How to Help Your Managers Avoid Them

Kickbacks can cost both you and your clients, but your managers might not even know when they’re receiving one. Teaching your employees to recognize and sidestep such wrongful transactions can reduce the risks to your bottom line. Recognizing Kickbacks Just what type of arrangement qualifies as a kickback? “It’s generally receiving something of value in…

Owners Can Sue Managers Over Excessive Disclosure Doc Fees

An Illinois state court has sent a warning signal to association management firms about the fees they charge for disclosure documents. Disagreeing with a federal court ruling to contrary, the court held that owners can sue a manager for charging excessive fees under the state condo law (Channon v. Westward Mgmt., Inc.). The ruling applies…

California Court Exempts Current Owners From New Short-Term Rental Restrictions

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. “This is an expansion of what I think a lot of us expected Section 4740 to mean,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the…

Work Opportunity Tax Credit Can Add to the Bottom Line

Community association management companies (and their clients) have a valuable tool available for growing their staffs and reducing their tax bills at the same time — the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). And they may not even be aware of it. “The credit is very overlooked,” says Jamie Dokovna, a shareholder in the Florida law…

3 Critical Issues to Cover in Today’s Board Training

Community association board members have had a lot to deal with over the past two years or so, from the pandemic to the fallout of the Surfside tragedy. Comprehensive board training is an essential part of effective risk management — for the association, the board members themselves, and the manager — in such an environment.…

City Can’t Require Association Units Remain in STR Market

The Colorado Court of Appeals has blocked a local ordinance that required a condo association’s units to stay in the short-term rental pool, limited the owner’s personal use during “high season,” and imposed fines for violations (Town of Vail v. Village Inn Plaza – Phase V Condominium Association). While the case focused a specific local…

Fannie Mae Tightens Requirements on Condo, Co-op Mortgages

Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, Fannie Mae will implement tougher requirements related to aging infrastructure and deferred maintenance on mortgages for attached condo and co-op communities. The updated requirements are temporary, but no end date has yet been established. “Associations, boards, and managers really need to be cognizant of these new requirements, especially when you think…

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…