Community Association Financials

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

Surfside Recommendations: “Scary and Extraordinarily Difficult”

A Miami-Dade County grand jury has issued its report on the Surfside condo collapse, including several recommendations for making buildings safer. “I expected something scary and extraordinarily difficult to do, and that’s exactly what the grand jury recommended,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif. The…

Surfside Update: The Call for Condo Safety Reforms, Part 1

A Miami-Dade County grand jury has issued its report on the Surfside condo collapse, including several recommendations for making buildings safer. “I expected something scary and extraordinarily difficult to do, and that’s exactly what the grand jury recommended,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif. In…

A Warning About Disclosure Document Fees, From Illinois

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. In reaching its decision, the Illinois Court of…

3 Tax Traps for Associations and Managers to Avoid

Community associations haven’t historically been in the cross-hairs for IRS auditors, but they can face unexpected tax bills. Here are three tax-related areas where associations sometimes slip up and suffer potentially costly consequences as a result. 1. Understanding that even nonprofit associations are taxable. It’s not unusual for boards to believe that, because their association…

Are You Overlooking a Potentially Valuable Tax Credit?

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…

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…

Climate Change Is Coming for Your Association

Savvy community association managers have realized for some time that rising sea levels —whether in oceans, lakes, or rivers — pose a threat to their clients. “The problem is that it’s such a slow creep that it’s not visible to the naked eye,” says Brad van Rooyen, president of HomeRiver Group-Florida, the management company for…

When Sharing Across Communities Creates Conflict Rather Than Cohesion

When multiple associations share amenities or common areas through a master association, frictions can arise. Master associations come in different flavors, but Kevin Hirzel, managing member of Hirzel Law, PLC, a Michigan-based firm that works with numerous community associations, says he usually sees them when multiple “sub-associations” in the same geographic vicinity share certain common…

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…

Watch Out for Legal Pitfalls with 55-and-Older Communities

The federal Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) exempts 55-and-older communities from the prohibition against familial status discrimination in housing. But some of these associations fail to comply with the law’s strict, and ongoing, legal requirements, leaving them vulnerable to discrimination claims. As an example, to qualify for the exemption from familial discrimination liability, a…