Community Association Governance

Governing Documents, CC&Rs, Bylaws, Rules and Regulations

Are Your Clients Ready for the COVID-19 Long Haul?

You might make yourself your clients' MVP by helping them focus on the steps they can be taking now to make sure the long-term work in dealing with COVID-19 isn't as difficult as the initial steps for many community associations. For some parts of the United States, it seems that the so-called “first wave” of…

What Next: Dealing with the Lingering COVID-19 Crisis

Are your clients truly ready for what now looks to be a long game in the fight against COVID-19? Experts widely expect the coronavirus to continue to be a factor in the fall and the winter, when it could be compounded by the return of the seasonal flu. Even if you're in an area currently…

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…

How to Combat the Risks of Reopening

When the severity of the coronavirus became apparent this past spring, many community associations responded by shutting down their common area recreational facilities, whether required by governmental order or not. As time has passed and governmental restrictions have been rolled back, they’ve had to figure out how to proceed with their facilities. Making facilities available…

Proceed with Caution: What to Consider When Reopening Facilities

As stay-at-home orders have lifted or at least eased, community associations have faced difficult questions about how to reopen the recreational facilities they shuttered after the coronavirus (COVID-19) hit. And they could find themselves in the same position later this year or next if the expected second wave of the virus materializes. Making facilities available…

Don’t Touch That: Help Your Clients Avoid COVID-19 Discrimination Claims

When the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) began to speed up in the spring, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a statement highlighting the potential for COVID-19-related violations of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). As your clients continue to develop and tweak policies to address the continuing pandemic, as well as…

Refusal to Institute Smoking Ban Doesn’t Violate FHA

As the number of smokers falls, it seems the number of people irritated by smokers climbs — which can lead to problems in community associations. Things can get especially tricky when the irritated owner claims a disability. One such owner sued her association and its manager, alleging that their refusal to ban smoking amounted to…

Smoking Ban Isn’t a Reasonable Accommodation for an Asthmatic Owner

Disputes over smoking — whether tobacco or marijuana — aren’t limited to community associations that prohibit smoking. Even associations that permit smoking can have disgruntled owners who complain about the practice. One such owner sued her association and its manager, alleging that their refusal to ban smoking amounted to unlawful discrimination. “It’s a good example…

Can the Coronavirus Excuse Contract Obligations?

The coronavirus crisis has thrown business as usual out the window. As your clients struggle to cope with the many effects, from operational to economic, they may be wondering about the enforceability of some of their vendor contracts in light of this unprecedented event. Depending on the circumstances, it possible that contractual obligations might indeed…