Community Association Governance

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

Use It or Lose It: Failure to Enforce Wipes Out Entire Set of Restrictions

A Texas Court of Appeals has found that the failure to enforce a subdivision’s restrictive covenants constituted an abandonment of the restrictions as a whole — despite the fact that the covenants included a severability provision intended to protect the other provisions if one or more were struck down as unenforceable. (Densmore v. McCarley, Tex.…

It’s Past Time to Remove Racial Restrictions

The Fair Housing Act may prohibit racial discrimination, but a surprising number of community associations’ deed covenants still contain racial restrictions — and some of your clients could be among them. With civil rights a mainstay in the media since the death of George Floyd in May 2020, associations with such restrictions should take action…

How Should Association Assess Buyers’ Financial Health?

Your clients may be worried that the COVID-19 crisis threatens their financial stability, but you need to help them avoid going too far in their efforts to protect their bottom lines. One path to steer them away from, for example, is becoming overly invasive in their financial screening of prospective buyers. An association in Florida…

What Can Your Boards Request of Prospective Owners?

Depending on the governing documents, community associations may have some say on the buyers to whom owners can sell their properties — but, even armed with that authority, they can go too far and create problems for their associations. That’s what happened in a recent case in Florida, where the court characterized the association’s requirement…

Are Your Clients Amending Their Docs? 4 Potential Issues To Tackle

The COVID-19 crisis left many boards of directors scrambling to handle a variety of novel issues, sometimes based on uncertain or questionable authority. This has led some associations to consider amending their governing documents to better equip them to deal with similar (or lingering) issues in the future. And, if they’ve already started the amendment…

What’s New in Rules and Restrictions?

Community associations across the country are weighing amendments to their governing documents. While the initial impetus may have been some problematic gaps that handcuffed boards of directors as they tried to respond to COVID-19, these associations realize this also may be an opportune time to act on other issues that have been percolating for a…

Court Finds HOA Liable for Familial Discrimination — Before Trial

A federal district court recently found that an HOA’s age-based rules regarding its recreational facilities were so obviously discriminatory that no trial on liability was even necessary. Do your associations know how to avoid getting themselves into a similar position? Brian and Anne Hill bought a single-family home in the 333-unit River Run HOA. They…

Age-Based Rules Spell Trouble for HOAs

A recent case out of Idaho serves as a strong reminder that your clients must tread carefully when devising age-based rules and regulations. (Hill v. River Run Homeowners Ass'n (D. Idaho 2020)). Recreation Rules Brian and Anne Hill bought a single-family home in the 333-unit River Run HOA. They and their children — ages 1,…

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…