Dispute Resolution

Lawsuits, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Preventing Disputes

Should You Use the Nuisance Provision to Regulate Marijuana Smoking?

The 2018 midterm elections saw three more states join the ranks of those allowing recreational or medical marijuana use, pushing the total number of states to more than 30. As legalization has spread, so, too, have owner complaints about their neighbors’ smoking — and the pressure on boards to use the nuisance provision in response.…

In the Air: Can Nuisance Rules Check Marijuana Smoking?

As more states legalize marijuana for recreational or medical use, more owners are voicing complaints about their neighbors’ weed smoking. Some associations are turning to the nuisance provisions in their governing documents in an attempt to prohibit or limit in-unit smoking, but that may not be the best option. The Nuisance Argument Second-hand smoke particularly…

Mishandling a Service Animal Request Can Cost Your Board — and You — Big Time

Owner requests to get around pet restrictions with service animals are nothing new, yet associations continue to struggle with how best to handle them. We’ll tell you about a new case that make clear how costly this can prove, not just for associations but also for management companies. “In this case, the HOA did everything…

Handle Service Animal Requests with Care — or Face Stiff Penalties

From peacocks and pigs to turkeys and skunks, people seem to eat up stories about unusual animal aides. They’re often less amused, though, when their neighbors want community association rules bent for their service animals. A recent case out of Nevada illustrates the potentially steep costs for associations, board members, and management companies of hastily…

How Neighbor Disputes Can Lead to Association Liability

Community associations often prefer, understandably, to take a hands-off approach to disputes between owners. This week we explain why, under a federal regulation issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), that approach could backfire big time. Abuse and harassment among owners is on the rise, says Sandra Gottlieb, a founding partner of…

Are Community Associations Liable for Harassment between Owners?

Community associations often prefer, understandably, to take a hands-off approach to disputes between owners. Under a federal regulation issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), though, that approach could backfire. Association Liability for Owner-on-Owner Harassment Abuse and harassment among owners is on the rise, says Sandra Gottlieb, a founding partner of California…

“Nightmare Neighbor” Lands in Jail

We tell you about the how one condo owner tormented her neighbors, the condo association board, and the association’s management company — and how they finally found relief. Dealing with disruptive residents ranks high on the list of thorny problems community associations — and their management companies — can run into. You’ve probably had your…

Owner Sues Without Association Approval, Then Sues Association To Recoup His Costs

Sometimes owners strike out on their own and file lawsuits they think their associations should be filing—but does that mean the association has to reimburse them for their legal costs? The guiding principle regarding action, or lack thereof, is clear in most community associations: The majority rules. Sometimes, though, fired-up owners who disagree with the…

“Nightmare” Neighbor’s Conviction Gives Condo Owners Relief

Dealing with disruptive residents ranks high on the list of thorny problems community associations—and their management companies—can encounter. You’ve probably heard your fair share of complaints about people violating parking rules or failing to clean up after their pets, but you’ve hopefully never dealt with anything close to the multi-year reign of terror conducted by…

Association Isn’t Liable for Lone Wolf Owner’s Legal Costs

The guiding principle regarding action, or lack thereof, is clear in most community associations: The majority rules. Sometimes, though, fired-up owners who disagree with the majority decide take matters into their own hands. That’s what happened in a Wisconsin case involving a dispute over ownership of a sewage system that was an association’s common element.…