Dispute Resolution

Lawsuits, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Preventing Disputes

Manager Could Sue Developer on Behalf of Clients

When a manager brings a lawsuit on behalf of a client association, the other party is likely to claim the manager doesn’t have the “standing” to do so. In essence, the other party is claiming the manager isn’t the person harmed and therefore has no legal right to complain. Read on to learn how this…

Owner Owes HOA Attorney Fees After Losing His Lawsuit

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that an association can qualify as a “prevailing party” entitled to recover its attorneys’ fees under the Uniform Condominium Act (UCA) when it successfully defends against an owner’s claims. More than a dozen states have adopted some version of the UCA. The ruling could deter owners from filing frivolous…

Record Requests Can Be a Pain, But Compliance Is Often Required

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.”…

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”…

Repeat Offender Dog Can Be Asked To Leave, Court Concludes

A California HOA’s governing documents supported its board’s decision to order the removal of a dog with a history of injuring both humans and other dogs. “I love this case because it supports an association’s right to enforce its covenants by requiring removal of a dog,” says Sandra Gottlieb, a founding partner of California homeowner…

Court Upholds Board’s Nuisance-Based Removal of Dangerous Dog

A California HOA’s governing documents supported its board’s decision to order the removal of a dog with a history of injuring both humans and other dogs (Sunset Green Homeowners Ass’n v. Spagenski). “I love this case because it supports an association’s right to enforce its covenants by requiring removal of a dog,” says Sandra Gottlieb,…

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…

Avoid the Potential Pitfalls of Sharing Common Areas Among Communities

When multiple associations share amenities or common areas through a master association, frictions can arise. Our experts have some ideas for preempting those through effective negotiation. How It Happens 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…

One Association’s Loss Could Prove To Be a Future Victory for Others

When an owner drops a lawsuit against a community association, the association can recover its attorneys’ fees, right? Not necessarily. A California association recently learned this lesson the hard way. Ironically, though, the court’s ruling could prove helpful for other associations. In 2008, the association obtained majority approval from the members to spend about $5.3…

When Resolving Conflicts, Stick to the Facts

Conflicts, whether between the board and owners or among owners themselves, are inevitable. But successful resolution isn’t. Some of our experts have advice on how managers can help their boards handle these disputes so they don’t spin out of control. “You have to get rid of the emotional baggage,” says Michael Kim, of counsel with…