Community Association Financials

Budgets, Dues, Association Fees, Assessments, Financial Controls, Insurance, Reserves

Washington Court Says Board Has Wide Latitude to Set Assessments

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that an HOA’s governing documents grant the board broad discretion in setting assessments. The court also ruled that the board’s decision on assessments was entitled to substantial deference — but not because of the business judgment rule. “This is a major win for associations in Washington state and may…

Record Inspection Request Requires Rapid Response — Even if Request Rambles

Owner record requests can prove a hassle for managers and their clients, but courts clearly favor greater access to less — let alone the denial of access. An association in Michigan learned this lesson the hard way when confronted with requests that even the state Supreme Court described as “longwinded” and “often difficult to follow”…

Board Has Broad Discretion to Set Amendments

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that an HOA’s governing documents grant the board broad discretion in setting assessments. The court also ruled that the board’s decision on assessments was entitled to substantial deference — but not because of the business judgment rule (Surowiecki v. Hat Island Community Ass’n). “This is a major win for…

Insurance Coverage Can Turn on Full Disclosure

Many associations are taking a second look at their insurance coverage these days. That makes this a prime time to remind them that omitting potential legal claims or other so-called “material” information can come back to bite them. A California HOA learned this lesson the hard way association when a court found it concealed important…

What Do the Surfside Report Recommendations Mean for Managers?

A grand jury recently released a report on the Surfside condo collapse. What do the report's recommendations mean for managers? The report doesn’t specifically refer to managers, but they would certainly feel the effects of any enacted recommendations. “I’d expect that if some of these recommendations are adopted, the burden will end up falling on…

Why Your Clients Need to Take Insurance Applications Seriously

Many associations are taking a second look at their insurance coverage these days. That makes this a prime time to remind them that omitting potential legal claims or other so-called “material” information can come back to bite them. A California HOA learned this lesson the hard way association when a court found it concealed important…

Can Owners Challenge Deconversions?

In a previous article, we dove into the upswing in condo deconversions in some parts of the country, with multi-unit buildings that were converted from apartments years ago reverting back to rental units. The Illinois Court of Appeals recently issued an important ruling addressing owners’ ability to challenge such moves. “The ruling is good for…

Insurance is Key to Protecting Your Board Members

Board member burnout isn’t new, but recent events also have members concerned about their potential liability, only compounding the effect on board retention. “It’s just been a really tough time for boards, and it already wasn’t a glorified position,” says Jennifer Horan, a shareholder in the Naples, Fla., office of Becker & Poliakoff. “I have…

The New World of Bidding

In the wake of pandemic delays and a new focus on deferred maintenance since the Surfside tragedy, many associations have significant projects to bid out to contractors. But the process has changed in the past couple of years. Gone are the days of the board considering a project, the manager putting out a request for…

Surfside Update: The Call for Condo Safety Reforms, Part 2

In the first part of our two-part article on the Miami-Dade County grand jury report on the Surfside condo collapse, we examined some of the report’s most noteworthy recommendations and the implications for condo association boards. Now we take a look at what those recommendations might mean for managers and how the recommendations are likely…