Don’t Debit Different Amount from Member’s Account Without Advance Notice

If a member pays his regular association assessments using automated electronic payments, don't transfer additional fees from his bank account without giving the member advance notice. Overstepping your bounds on automatic payments violates the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (FCRA).

Managing Hazardous E-Waste Materials

Electronic equipment has become woven into the American way of life. Consumer electronics companies inundate us with commercials for the latest and greatest computers for our laps and desks, TVs for our homes, and MP3 players for our ears. And for each new product release, one or more of these items become outdated or obsolete. As a result, we are storing or discarding obsolete or unwanted electronic products at increasing rates.

Rental Restriction Did Not Violate FHA

Facts: A member had lived in her community until she had to move into a nursing home after her husband's death. To qualify for Medicaid and to finance her care, she rented out her home, in violation of her community's restriction against renting. The member died and the association sued her estate, arguing that the rental ban was needed to protect property values within the community.

Association Not Liable for Fraud

Facts: A cell phone company wanted to build a tower near an association community. When the association found out about this proposal, it filed an objection with the city. The association board then negotiated with the company. After the negotiations, the tower was built 150 feet from the location originally proposed, and the color and type of tower were changed. The company also agreed to pay the association an initial payment of $7,500 and $400 per month for the duration of the 20-year lease.

Community’s Tax Assessment Is Too High

Facts: A community's common areas included parcels of land used as a parking lot and a tennis court. A town's assessor valued the common areas in excess of $100,000 by comparing their square footage to other home values in the community. In effect, the tax assessor, assuming the best use of these lands would be to build homes, assessed them at a far higher value than at their previous assessment.

How New Condo Lending Guidelines Affect Associations

In an already difficult condominium market, Fannie Mae, the largest provider of financing for U.S. home loans, has adopted new underwriting guidelines that have since resulted in an increase in mortgage application rejections. The revised rules are a response to rising loan delinquencies and defaults. But the new policies also reflect long-standing concerns about the need for lenders to assess the financial strength of community associations, as well as the credit profiles of the prospective members borrowing money to purchase homes in condominium buildings.

Denying a Member’s Request

One type of request a member may make to the board is to modify the member's home. From the association's perspective, a board or committee may deny that request for reasons such as obstruction of views and maintaining the uniform aesthetics of the community. Members often see a denial as unfair and against their rights…

Defamation Lawsuits

Defamation is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressively stated or implied to be factual, that may harm the reputation of an individual. In a community association context, defamation lawsuits typically arise when an association distributes information on delinquent members.You can distribute the names of members who are delinquent in their…

Parking Rules & Enforcement

Another source of disputes for many community associations is parking rules. When rules are implemented to distribute limited resources, such as parking spaces, or to preserve the community's appearance by prohibiting commercial vehicles, members may seek an exception to those rules or interpret the rules in their favor. Tensions may rise, and lawsuits may occur…

A Survey of Cases and Tips to Minimize Member-Initiated Lawsuits

Your association's board is often called upon to make judgments about various important community issues. Sometimes board judgments can lead to lawsuits when members feel that their rights were trounced upon or that a board decision negatively affects them. The Insider put together this special issue to survey situations in the past two years when…