Legal Compliance for Community Associations

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

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…

Watch Out for Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors

The misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor can prove costly for employers — including both community associations and managers. So it was good news when the Trump administration finalized a rule that loosened the test for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. “Under Trump, the idea was to…

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,…

Is That Contractor Really an Employee?

The misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor can prove costly for employers — including both community associations and managers. So it was good news when the Trump administration finalized a rule that loosened the test for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. “Under Trump, the idea was to…

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…

‘Continuous Operation’ Language Declaration Requires Association to Keep Lift Working

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. An Indiana state court found a breach of contract but dismissed the negligence claim (Castleton Corner Owners Ass’n, Inc. v. Conroad Associates, L.P.). Here’s what you need to know about…

Fine for Abusive Owner Leads to Costly Court Battle

After numerous allegations of abusive behavior, a Chicago condo association imposed a $500 fine on an owner. It led to years of costly litigation, a $125,000 payment to the owner, and a court ruling that could haunt associations for years to come. The owner had a long history of bad behavior. According to deposition testimony,…

Should You Let Owners Install Their Own Security Lighting?

The desire for security lighting by owners with security concerns can put associations and boards in a difficult position, especially when their CC&Rs prohibit exterior or high-intensity lighting. What should your clients do when owners request permission to install lights that can be both protective and disruptive? “Lighting is said to be a deterrent to…

Board Recalls: Triggers and Challenges

When owners start talking about board recalls, managers need to pay attention — and also take care that they don’t cross any lines. “Managers have to be absolutely neutral on recalls, but it’s a somewhat widely breached ethical requirement,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif.…