NRA Helps Shoot Down Association Gun Ban Plan

A community in El Dorado County, Calif., has historically allowed some sport shooting. But when one board member wanted to change that, he started the process to change the governing documents to completely ban the discharge of firearms and air guns and eliminate all target and other shooting throughout the gated equestrian community.

Signed Agreement Released Association and Contractor from Liability

Facts: A member's condominium was substantially damaged by a fire. The governing documents required the member to appoint the association as attorney-in-fact to interact with the insurer regarding the coverage of the fire damage. A contractor was subsequently engaged to perform the necessary repairs. And the association was to oversee the contractor to ensure that the work was completed.

Developer and Housing Authority Can Sue Association to Invalidate Leasing Restriction

Facts: The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and a community's developer filed a lawsuit against the master association and its board of directors for leasing restrictions the association adopted. The community consists of single-family homes, townhomes, and two-flat condominium buildings.

How to Minimize Liability Risks Associated with Social Media

Social networking is growing at an exponential rate. According to a report by technology and market research firm Forrester Research, 55.6 million U.S. adults visited social networking sites in 2009, double the number of users reported in 2007. As more adults become engaged with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, property management companies and associations are increasing their presence in an effort to be where their members are. These communities are discovering that Facebook, in particular, is especially adept at conveying information and building community.

Member Liable for Unpaid Dues and Late Fees

Facts: An association filed a small claims action against a member, seeking unpaid dues and late fees. The member filed a counterclaim alleging slander and defamation against two board members. At the hearing, the member admitted that he had not paid dues since 2007, but claimed that the association could not collect, because it was not a legal entity capable of initiating a lawsuit. The member argued that the association is in violation of several provisions of Indiana state law relating to associations.

Use Well-Drafted Architectural Review Form to Minimize Disputes

There are times when members may want to make modifications to their homes. In these instances, the concern for associations is that these changes may affect the harmonious design of a community, decrease property values, and increase liability. For example, low-quality construction can drive down property values, increase the premiums on your community's liability insurance, or even render important warranties void. Some types of work, such as a new roof deck, if not done right, can lead to injuries and increase your community's exposure to personal injury liability.

City Not Responsible for Condo Roads

The city of Brookfield, Wis., does not have to plow, maintain, or repair the private roads in condominium developments, the 2nd District Court of Appeals found in a recent decision.

Underinsured Association Liable for Limited Flood-Related Damage

Facts: A member sued his condominium association for negligence for failing to pursue a claim on his behalf under the association's flood insurance policy. The member owned a basement condominium unit. The association held a flood insurance policy on the building, and the member held a separate, secondary flood insurance policy on the condominium. The member's policy contained a clause stating that it provided building coverage for flood-related damage in excess of the policy issued to the association.

Association Can Foreclose on Condo Without Bank Intervention

Facts: A condominium association brought a foreclosure action against a member for unpaid maintenance fees and assessments. The member had purchased two condominium units in the building and had added an internal stairway to connect the two units. The units retained their separate addresses, and the upper unit had no loan recorded for it.

Association Lien Superior to Tax Lien Before Recorded Date

Facts: A member became delinquent on his assessment payments to the condo association starting in November 2008. The member had also failed to pay federal income tax, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assessed his tax obligation on March 17, 2008. The IRS didn't record a notice of federal tax lien until January 2009. And during this time, the member remained delinquent on his association assessments.