Legal Compliance for Community Associations

Articles on the topic of Legal Compliance for Community Associations and CA Management Companies.

Court Upholds HOA’s Right to Tiki Bar on Access Easement

Your clients and their owners probably think they understand the rights that so-called access easements convey. “It sounds pretty self-explanatory,” says David Wilson, who heads up the South Carolina community association department at the law firm Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A. But, as a North Carolina court recently found, an access easement isn’t limited solely…

Mediation Can Help Preempt Liability for Neighbor-to-Neighbor Harassment

Few community association board members ever want to get involved in neighbor-to-neighbor disputes — but, under a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule, sticking their heads in the sand could result in association liability for harassment under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). “The HUD regulations were adopted in October 2016,” says Brendan…

How Associations Can Avoid Liability for Neighborhood Harassment

Several years ago, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a final rule that makes community associations potentially liable under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) for harassment committed by third parties based on a protected characteristic — including neighbor-to-neighbor harassment. “The HUD regulations were adopted in October 2016,” says Brendan Bunn, a…

How to Combat the Risks of Reopening

When the severity of the coronavirus became apparent this past spring, many community associations responded by shutting down their common area recreational facilities, whether required by governmental order or not. As time has passed and governmental restrictions have been rolled back, they’ve had to figure out how to proceed with their facilities. Making facilities available…

Proceed with Caution: What to Consider When Reopening Facilities

As stay-at-home orders have lifted or at least eased, community associations have faced difficult questions about how to reopen the recreational facilities they shuttered after the coronavirus (COVID-19) hit. And they could find themselves in the same position later this year or next if the expected second wave of the virus materializes. Making facilities available…

Don’t Touch That: Help Your Clients Avoid COVID-19 Discrimination Claims

When the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) began to speed up in the spring, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a statement highlighting the potential for COVID-19-related violations of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). As your clients continue to develop and tweak policies to address the continuing pandemic, as well as…

Refusal to Institute Smoking Ban Doesn’t Violate FHA

As the number of smokers falls, it seems the number of people irritated by smokers climbs — which can lead to problems in community associations. Things can get especially tricky when the irritated owner claims a disability. One such owner sued her association and its manager, alleging that their refusal to ban smoking amounted to…

Smoking Ban Isn’t a Reasonable Accommodation for an Asthmatic Owner

Disputes over smoking — whether tobacco or marijuana — aren’t limited to community associations that prohibit smoking. Even associations that permit smoking can have disgruntled owners who complain about the practice. One such owner sued her association and its manager, alleging that their refusal to ban smoking amounted to unlawful discrimination. “It’s a good example…

Can the Coronavirus Excuse Contract Obligations?

The coronavirus crisis has thrown business as usual out the window. As your clients struggle to cope with the many effects, from operational to economic, they may be wondering about the enforceability of some of their vendor contracts in light of this unprecedented event. Depending on the circumstances, it possible that contractual obligations might indeed…

Vendor Contracts in a COVID-19 World

When the coronavirus forced many of the usual community association activities to shut down this past spring, some of your clients may not have needed all of the services they’d already contracted for — or their vendors might not have been able to perform due to government orders or staff shortages. In such circumstances, it’s…