Legal Compliance for Community Associations

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

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.…

Association Pays $125,000 to Settle Case Over $500 Fine for Owner’s Allegedly Abusive Behavior

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 (Boucher v. 111 East Chestnut Street Condominium Ass’n, Inc., Ill. App. June 14,…

Owners’ Individual Security Lighting: Yay or Nay?

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? The Balancing Act “Lighting is said to be…

Board Recalls: What Everyone Needs to Remember

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.…

Failing To Satisfy Notice Requirements Can Have Big Consequences

A Maryland condo association recently was reminded of the importance of strictly adhering to the applicable notice requirements for meetings. The 815-unit condo building had a 50-year-old fire alarm that had to be updated to comply with the county code. After a series of consultations and site visits by engineers, the board was set to…

Notice Matters: Court Invalidates Board’s Approval of $1.2 Million Fire Alarm Contract

A Maryland condo association recently was reminded of the importance of strictly adhering to the applicable notice requirements for meetings. A court ruled that, because insufficient notice of a board meeting was provided to owners, the board's action at the meeting was invalid — even though neither the state condo act nor the association bylaws…

Self-Help Enforcement: When and How?

From fines and suspended use of amenities to liens and lawsuits, community associations have a variety of remedies available when owners violate governing documents. The most controversial, though, may be self-help enforcement. A board's decision to take matters into its own hands can result in in lengthy litigation, liability, bruised feelings, threats, and even violence.…

Don’t Drag Your Feet on Delinquent Owners – It Could Cost You

Community associations often drag their feet when it comes to filing liens against delinquent owners. The reluctance can be understandable — who, for example, wants to take such a step against a neighbor who has lost a job or racked up medical bills? But this reluctance can prove costly, as one Nevada association recently learned…

Sometimes, Accommodations Aren’t Legally Required

When a resident requests a reasonable accommodation, boards of directors often focus solely on the reasonableness of the specific accommodation. But, if an accommodation isn’t necessary, a board doesn’t even need to consider reasonableness. A recent disability discrimination case in Ohio provides a useful example of how that can play out in an association’s favor.…

Don’t Let Your Clients Lose the Lien Race

Community associations often drag their feet when it comes to filing liens against delinquent owners. The reluctance can be understandable — who, for example, wants to take such a step against a neighbor who has lost a job or racked up medical bills? But this reluctance can prove costly, as one Nevada association recently learned…