Community Association Governance

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

New Emergency Powers (and More) in Florida

A far-reaching new piece of legislation targeting community associations, Senate Bill (S.B.) 630, took effect in Florida on July 1, 2021. “It’s a mixed bag,” says Donna DiMaggio Berger, a shareholder in the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office of Becker & Poliakoff. “There’s some good stuff and some not so good stuff.” Good or bad, though,…

Emotional Support Animal vs. Severe Pet Allergies – Who Wins?

A no-pet policy. An owner who requests an emotional support animal (ESA). Another owner with severe pet allergies. What’s your client to do? A recent ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court demonstrates just how dicey this situation can be — even when a board tries its best to accommodate everyone. The case involved tenants in…

To Be or Not to Be: Vaccination Mandates for Owners and Vendors

If your clients are facing pressure to both re-open amenities and keep their residents safe from COVID-19, they might be considering imposing vaccine requirements. Here’s what they need to know before they decide whether to require vaccinations of owners wishing to use amenities and third-party vendors coming on the property. Mandates for Amenities As is…

A Vivid Example of Why You Need Good Records

Poor recordkeeping can undermine the results of even the most amiable and productive board or membership meeting. When a meeting is contentious, insufficient records can prove even more disastrous. A community in Pennsylvania learned that the hard way. A trial court described the community as mired in utter chaos, nonstop disagreement, and a continuing power struggle…

Foreclosure Fundamentals: Follow All the Rules

A Florida HOA didn’t provide an owner it was trying to foreclose on with documents required by the declaration. The result? The case is going to trial (Pash v. Mahogany Way Homeowners Ass’n). Read on to learn some important lessons about how to handle foreclosures. Budget Procedures Matter The HOA filed a foreclosure action against…

Sweeping New Association Law Takes Effect in Florida

A far-reaching new piece of legislation targeting community associations took effect in Florida on July 1, 2021. “It’s a mixed bag,” says Donna DiMaggio Berger, a shareholder in the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office of Becker & Poliakoff. “There’s some good stuff and some not so good stuff.” Good or bad, though, Berger says “there are…

Support Animal Requests in No-Pet Buildings Are a Tricky Balancing Act

A no-pet policy. An owner who requests an emotional support animal (ESA). Another owner with severe pet allergies. What’s your client to do? A recent ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court demonstrates just how dicey this situation can be — even when a board tries its best to accommodate everyone (Cohen v. Clark, Iowa Supreme…

When Tradition Runs Up Against Sensitivity: Addressing Problematic Community Names

Some associations with the word “plantation” in their names are struggling with pushes among their owners to change their communities’ names. The issue primarily is arising in the southern part of the United States, largely in response to the killing of George Floyd in 2020. “We’ve had a rash of associations dealing with this,” says…

Lawsuit Ponders Whether Pig Is a Pet

An Ohio HOA recently learned the hard way that discrimination lawsuits arising out of pet restrictions aren’t limited to disability-related claims. That’s one lesson from the association’s attempts to remove a pig from its premises; the other is that poorly worded restrictions can backfire. “I’ve seen disputes with atypical pets, but it’s usually when there’s…

Records Matter: A Bizarre Case Study

Poor recordkeeping can undermine the results of even the most amiable and productive board or membership meeting. When a meeting is contentious, insufficient records can prove even more disastrous. A community in Pennsylvania learned that the hard way (Pocono Mountain Lake Forest Community Ass’n v. Swift). Who’s the Boss? A trial court described the community…