Dispute Resolution

Lawsuits, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Preventing Disputes

Foreclosure Sales Prices Matter

Your clients may have the legal right to foreclose on a delinquent owner’s property, but that doesn’t mean they should — especially if the sale price is disproportionately low. That approach could backfire, with the sale overturned by the courts. A recent ruling from the South Carolina Supreme Court (Winrose Homeowners’ Ass’n v. Hale) drives…

When is a Foreclosure Sale Price Too Low?

Governing documents typically give community associations the right to foreclose on delinquent owners at some point. That right, however, doesn’t necessarily entitle an association to sell foreclosed property at whatever price it wants. A recent court case (Winrose Homeowners’ Ass’n v. Hale) drives this point home. A state Supreme Court found that the sale price…

The Dog Dropping Dilemma: Why DNA Testing Might Not Be the Answer

The idea of DNA testing to get to the bottom, so to speak, of dog droppings left around a community struck many as absurd when it first came on the scene. The practice remains far from widespread, but more associations’ boards are giving it a second look as they and their managers struggle to cope…

Accommodating One Group Can Discriminate Against Another

Your clients no doubt know that they may need to reasonably accommodate various protected classes, but it may not occur to them that their efforts to empower one group could result in discrimination claims from another. A New Jersey condo association learned this lesson the hard way. The association has a large Orthodox Jewish population.…

Religious Accommodation Goes Wrong: Court Finds Sex-Segregated Pool Hours Unlawful

A New Jersey condo association with a community pool thought it was bending over backward to accommodate its religious owners with the pool schedule. But its efforts to work with one protected class ended up inadvertently discriminating against another. Read on to learn how the association landed in court. Pool Rules Make a Splash The…

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…