Dispute Resolution

Lawsuits, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Preventing Disputes

What Happens When an Owner Refuses To Rehome a Dog That Bites?

In the summer of 2019, an owner in the Parkview at Orion Commons Condominium Association chatted with his neighbor about the owner’s concerns regarding the long grass in the common area behind their properties. The owner and his wife worried that it was hospitable to snakes, rodents, and ticks that might enter their yard where…

When Can an Association Require Removal of a ‘Dangerous’ Dog?

Disputes over pet restrictions in community associations often are among the most contentious — perhaps never more so than when the association goes to court to get an animal removed after a biting incident. A recent case in Michigan illustrates how courts might tackle such disputes and how you can help your clients prepare to…

Boards’ Defamation Lawsuits Meet Mixed Results

When community association boards of directors get frustrated with “bad owners,” some turn to defamation lawsuits to rein them in. But is that an effective strategy? Our experts and two recent court cases — one out of Texas and the other New York — shed some light. Trouble in Texas The Texas case stemmed from…

Florida Court Expands Debt Collection Law to Assessments

A Florida Court of Appeals has rejected its own holding from more than 20 years ago, and the change isn’t good news for community associations and their managers. The court concluded that association assessments are consumer debts under the state law that imposes restrictions on debt collection practices — and therefore allowed a class action…

“Deadbeat” List Lands Association in Class Action Lawsuit

A condominium complex in Florida — and its manager — are facing a class action lawsuit after publishing a so-called “deadbeat” list of owners who were behind on their assessments (Williams v. Salt Springs Resort Ass’n (Fla. App. 2020). The state Court of Appeals that allowed the class action to proceed reversed both a lower…

Court Finds HOA Liable for Familial Discrimination — Before Trial

A federal district court recently found that an HOA’s age-based rules regarding its recreational facilities were so obviously discriminatory that no trial on liability was even necessary. Do your associations know how to avoid getting themselves into a similar position? Brian and Anne Hill bought a single-family home in the 333-unit River Run HOA. They…

Age-Based Rules Spell Trouble for HOAs

A recent case out of Idaho serves as a strong reminder that your clients must tread carefully when devising age-based rules and regulations. (Hill v. River Run Homeowners Ass'n (D. Idaho 2020)). Recreation Rules Brian and Anne Hill bought a single-family home in the 333-unit River Run HOA. They and their children — ages 1,…

How to Deal with Hoarders, Part Two: 5 Steps to Take to Tackle Hoarding

In the June 2020 issue of Community Management Association Insider, we explained why owners’ hoarding should matter to their associations and highlighted several red flags for such behavior. Now we dig into just what an association can do in such circumstances. “You need to be very careful with how you approach the situation because of…

Mediation Can Help Preempt Liability for Neighbor-to-Neighbor Harassment

Few community association board members ever want to get involved in neighbor-to-neighbor disputes — but, under a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule, sticking their heads in the sand could result in association liability for harassment under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). “The HUD regulations were adopted in October 2016,” says Brendan…

How Associations Can Avoid Liability for Neighborhood Harassment

Several years ago, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a final rule that makes community associations potentially liable under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) for harassment committed by third parties based on a protected characteristic — including neighbor-to-neighbor harassment. “The HUD regulations were adopted in October 2016,” says Brendan Bunn, a…