Community Association Governance

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

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…

What’s in a Name? Associations Mull Removing ‘Plantation’ from Their 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…

Owner’s Pot-Bellied Pig Leads To Unusual Discrimination Lawsuit

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.A Pig in a Poke“I’ve seen disputes with atypical pets, but it’s…

Condo Board Found Liable to Prospective Buyer in Broken Deal

Can a condo board ever end up liable to the prospective buyer of a unit after the deal didn’t go through? It apparently could in New York. A state court there allowed such a lawsuit to proceed against a board that didn’t exercise its right of first refusal but allegedly also didn’t provide a document…

Save a Tree and Simplify Your System – Consider Ditching Paper

Want to reduce your administrative headaches while boosting your client satisfaction and, in turn, retention? Going paperless might be for you. From maintaining minutes and managing violations to collecting dues and processing invoice payments, community association managers increasingly are finding their mundane but mandatory tasks are made easier once they shift to a digital way…

Sewage Hits the Fan in Messy Court Case

An owner sued an association for breach of contract and negligence after its tenant moved out because its unit was flooded with raw human sewage. What happened? The owner in the case leased its building to retailer Pier 1; the lease was set to expire in February 2016, but Pier 1 had the option to…