Community Association Governance

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

Deconversion: Coming Soon to a Condo Near You?

Various parts of the country are seeing an uptick in condo deconversions, with multi-unit buildings that were converted from apartments years ago reverting back to that status. Owners may have dollar signs in their eyes and dreams of avoiding the costs of long deferred maintenance or modern upgrades, but they need to have the full…

Could You Be Liable for Neighbor-to-Neighbor Harassment?

A federal district court is allowing a former resident to pursue a lawsuit against an HOA and its management company alleging liability for an owner’s racial harassment. “The meat and potatoes of this case is really the hostile environment claim and whether the association and manager did enough to stop it,” says Kevin Hirzel, managing…

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…

Rec Equipment Decisions Can Lead To Bias Allegations

The state of Maryland recently passed a new law after an HOA’s demand for the removal of basketball hoops raised questions of racial discrimination. The Maryland law generally prohibits condo associations and HOAs from imposing “unreasonable limitations” on the location and use of portable basketball hoops on an owner’s property. A state legislator initiated the…

Deconversions on the Rise: What You Need to Know

Various parts of the country are seeing an uptick in condo deconversions, with multi-unit buildings that were converted from apartments years ago reverting back to that status. Owners may have dollar signs in their eyes and dreams of avoiding the costs of long deferred maintenance or modern upgrades, but they need to have the full…

Court Allows Claims Against HOA, Manager for Neighbor-to-Neighbor Racial Abuse

A federal district court is allowing a former resident to pursue a lawsuit against an HOA and its management company alleging liability for an owner’s racial harassment (Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, Inc. v. New). “The meat and potatoes of this case is really the hostile environment claim and whether the association and manager…

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,…

Surfside Recommendations: “Scary and Extraordinarily Difficult”

A Miami-Dade County grand jury has issued its report on the Surfside condo collapse, including several recommendations for making buildings safer. “I expected something scary and extraordinarily difficult to do, and that’s exactly what the grand jury recommended,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif. The…

Take the Time to Re-Examine Rules for Potentially Discriminatory Impact

The state of Maryland recently passed a new law after an HOA’s demand for the removal of basketball hoops raised questions of racial discrimination. The episode provides a strong reminder to associations, boards, and managers that seemingly innocuous rules, new or existing, could lead to unwanted publicity and litigation stemming from allegations of discrimination. The…

Surfside Update: The Call for Condo Safety Reforms, Part 1

A Miami-Dade County grand jury has issued its report on the Surfside condo collapse, including several recommendations for making buildings safer. “I expected something scary and extraordinarily difficult to do, and that’s exactly what the grand jury recommended,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif. In…