Community Association Governance

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

What Can — and Should — Associations Do About Political Displays?

Another election season is upon us, and that means political signs and flags are starting to pop up. Such displays can lead to some thorny situations for community associations. Read on to learn some of the risks associated with rules regarding political signs and flags — and how your clients can help protect themselves from…

Board Has Broad Discretion to Set Amendments

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that an HOA’s governing documents grant the board broad discretion in setting assessments. The court also ruled that the board’s decision on assessments was entitled to substantial deference — but not because of the business judgment rule (Surowiecki v. Hat Island Community Ass’n). “This is a major win for…

Insurance Coverage Can Turn on Full Disclosure

Many associations are taking a second look at their insurance coverage these days. That makes this a prime time to remind them that omitting potential legal claims or other so-called “material” information can come back to bite them. A California HOA learned this lesson the hard way association when a court found it concealed important…

Sustainable Landscaping: How to Get Started

As the effects of climate change become harder to ignore, more community associations are ready to move past debating the pros and cons of converting to sustainable landscaping and finally start the ball rolling. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every association. Multiple factors come into play, including geographic location and the owners’ appetite for change.…

State Supreme Court Has New Spin on “Residential Purpose”

We’ve covered several cases over the past couple of years where state courts found that an association’s residential use restriction prohibited short-term rentals. But now the South Dakota Supreme Court has held otherwise. That court concluded that the definition of the term “residential purpose” includes short-term rentals. “This is a different interpretation than I’ve seen…

Why a Federal Court OK’d Association’s Denial of Accommodation Request

If you and your clients have become hesitant to deny any request for an accommodation, a federal district court has just sent a message that denials made after a thoughtful and careful process may get more support than you’d have expected. The court sided with an association that denied an owner’s request for a second driveway as…

What Do the Surfside Report Recommendations Mean for Managers?

A grand jury recently released a report on the Surfside condo collapse. What do the report's recommendations mean for managers? The report doesn’t specifically refer to managers, but they would certainly feel the effects of any enacted recommendations. “I’d expect that if some of these recommendations are adopted, the burden will end up falling on…

Why Your Clients Need to Take Insurance Applications Seriously

Many associations are taking a second look at their insurance coverage these days. That makes this a prime time to remind them that omitting potential legal claims or other so-called “material” information can come back to bite them. A California HOA learned this lesson the hard way association when a court found it concealed important…

Can Owners Challenge Deconversions?

In a previous article, we dove into the upswing in condo deconversions in some parts of the country, with multi-unit buildings that were converted from apartments years ago reverting back to rental units. The Illinois Court of Appeals recently issued an important ruling addressing owners’ ability to challenge such moves. “The ruling is good for…

Insurance is Key to Protecting Your Board Members

Board member burnout isn’t new, but recent events also have members concerned about their potential liability, only compounding the effect on board retention. “It’s just been a really tough time for boards, and it already wasn’t a glorified position,” says Jennifer Biletnikoff, a shareholder in the Naples, Fla., office of Becker & Poliakoff. “I have…