Q & A

Paying Workers’ Comp for Fair Share of Physical Injuries at Community

Q: An on-site employee in the community I manage was injured. The employee had issues from an injury he suffered before working for the association. The association is required to pay workers’ compensation benefits for his current injury, but it seems unfair that we are potentially footing the bill for more damage than this accident in our community actually caused.

Fighting Challenge to Maintenance Fee Changes

Q: The association for the community I manage is a nonprofit corporation where all lot owners are members of the corporation. The association recently decided to assess higher maintenance fees for those lots that have better and nearly sole access to some of the community’s amenities. The vote was taken at our annual meeting and the board followed all requirements under the governing documents to adjust the fees.

Disclosing Denial of Leasing and Sales Transactions

Q: The board of directors of the community association I manage has the authority to approve or deny proposed leasing and sales transactions. If there is a denial, should we disclose the reasons behind it? If so, what is the best way to do so?

Preserving Right to Enforce Restrictions

Q: A homeowner in the planned community I manage has installed a shed in his backyard. Under the association’s declaration of restrictions, the homeowner is required to get written permission to install this type of structure, but didn’t. He refuses to remove it, saying that multiple other similar sheds are visible in his neighbors’ yards. If the association sues him, what’s the likelihood that other owners’ unapproved structures will affect the outcome?

Determining Whether Items Not Mentioned in Guidelines Are Permissible

Q: In a casual conversation with a homeowner in the planned community I manage for an association, she mentioned she would like to install a mailbox that resembles a cartoon that her children like. She said that she has checked the association guidelines for rules on mailboxes, but they aren’t specifically mentioned. However, she doesn’t want to install the mailbox only to later be told to take it down, or be fined. What typically happens when association guidelines don’t cover rules for certain items?

Getting Condo Building LEED Certified

Q: I manage a condominium building that is out of date environmentally. We recently implemented a recycling program that has been successful and members have asked about other green initiatives that we can take. I’d like to push for the building to become LEED certified. Is it possible to bring older condominiums up to date environmentally? And what should I say to the board to explain LEED and convince them that it’s a good idea?

Electing to Vote Electronically

Q: My association has really embraced technology for day-to-day management. We have a large membership and we’ve found that everything from organizational software to a drone for investigating maintenance concerns has streamlined community management. We’d like to extend this technology initiative by implementing electronic voting. What practical aspects should we take into consideration and what are the pros, cons, and ways to avoid any pitfalls?

Determining ‘Special Employee’ Status for Association Employee’s Recovery

Q: I manage a community association through a property management company. The association itself has some employees—namely, a superintendent for repairs—but I am the person who controls his workload. The employee had an accident on the property and filed a workers’ compensation claim. He’s also trying to sue the association and the management company for a second recovery. I was under the impression that there couldn’t be a double recovery for an injury in this type of case.