Crime & Security

New Case Highlights That Parking Availability Can Be a Safety Issue

The California Court of Appeal recently ruled that a condominium association didn’t have a duty to provide adequate on-site parking for invitees and therefore wasn’t liable for injuries a guest sustained after parking off-site. But the court left the door open to an association’s liability for off-site injury in some circumstances. One evening in June…

Here Come the Drones: What You and Your Clients Need to Know

The number of drones (also known as unmanned aerial vehicles) in the air overhead has been climbing steadily in recent years. If your client associations aren’t already dealing with the implications of both commercial and recreational drone usage, they probably will be soon. “Drone usage will be commonplace in the coming decade,” says community association…

Do Associations Have a Duty to Provide Invitee Parking?

The California Court of Appeal recently ruled that a condominium association didn’t have a duty to provide adequate on-site parking for invitees and therefore wasn’t liable for injuries a guest sustained after parking off-site (Issakhani v. Shadow Glen Homeowners Ass’n, Inc.). But the court left the door open to an association’s liability for off-site injury…

Don’t Get Stuck Paying Attorney’s Fees

When associations sue owners, they typically rely on language in the governing documents that provides the owner must pay the association’s costs if it prevails. But the Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled that an HOA that successfully sued an owner over unapproved construction was on the hook for its own nearly $84,000 in attorney’s fees.…

Nuisance Provisions Can Help Curb Behaviors That Go Beyond Mere Annoyance

It’s one thing when a tenant occasionally doesn’t clean up after his dog. It’s another, says Scott Weiss, of counsel for the Nashville, Tenn., law firm Ortale Kelley, “when you have repetitive violations of the governing documents, drug dealing, loud parties, or damage to common elements or other owners’ property.” The natural step when a…

These Days, Are Safety Measures More About Protection From Lawsuits?

The media have been blasting headlines about rising crime, but the message doesn’t seem to be getting much traction with many community associations. While they may have implemented what ostensibly are security tools, these associations are deploying them more to monitor residents than to combat crimes against people or property. “Security these days is less…

Watch the Words: HOA’s Court Victory Doesn’t Assure Recovery of Attorney’s Fees

When associations sue owners, they typically rely on language in the governing documents that provides the owner must pay the association’s costs if it prevails. But the Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled that an HOA that successfully sued an owner over unapproved construction was on the hook for its own nearly $84,000 in attorney’s fees…

The Last Straw: How the Nuisance Provision Can Help Your Clients Deal with Residents’ Extreme Behaviors

It’s one thing when a tenant occasionally doesn’t clean up after his dog. It’s another, says Scott Weiss, of counsel for the Nashville, Tenn., law firm Ortale Kelley, “when you have repetitive violations of the governing documents, drug dealing, loud parties, or damage to common elements or other owners’ property.” Extreme circumstances call for extreme…

Associations Shift Focus with Their Security Measures

The media have been blasting headlines about rising crime, but the message doesn’t seem to be getting much traction with many community associations. While they may have implemented what ostensibly are security tools, these associations are deploying them more to monitor residents than to combat crimes against people or property. “Security these days is less…

When Is Your Association Liable for Injuries Sustained on the Premises?

A third-party security guard who slipped and fell on a puddle while on duty sued the Georgia condo association where she was working. The association doesn’t have its own employees, so it hires third-party contractors to perform the necessary functions. For example, in May 2012, it retained Sizemore Security Services to provide “safety officers” for…