Legal Compliance for Community Associations

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

Could You Be Liable for Neighbor-to-Neighbor Harassment?

A federal district court is allowing a former resident to pursue a lawsuit against an HOA and its management company alleging liability for an owner’s racial harassment. “The meat and potatoes of this case is really the hostile environment claim and whether the association and manager did enough to stop it,” says Kevin Hirzel, managing…

Rec Equipment Decisions Can Lead To Bias Allegations

The state of Maryland recently passed a new law after an HOA’s demand for the removal of basketball hoops raised questions of racial discrimination. The Maryland law generally prohibits condo associations and HOAs from imposing “unreasonable limitations” on the location and use of portable basketball hoops on an owner’s property. A state legislator initiated the…

Deconversions on the Rise: What You Need to Know

Various parts of the country are seeing an uptick in condo deconversions, with multi-unit buildings that were converted from apartments years ago reverting back to that status. Owners may have dollar signs in their eyes and dreams of avoiding the costs of long deferred maintenance or modern upgrades, but they need to have the full…

Court Allows Claims Against HOA, Manager for Neighbor-to-Neighbor Racial Abuse

A federal district court is allowing a former resident to pursue a lawsuit against an HOA and its management company alleging liability for an owner’s racial harassment (Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, Inc. v. New). “The meat and potatoes of this case is really the hostile environment claim and whether the association and manager…

Surfside Recommendations: “Scary and Extraordinarily Difficult”

A Miami-Dade County grand jury has issued its report on the Surfside condo collapse, including several recommendations for making buildings safer. “I expected something scary and extraordinarily difficult to do, and that’s exactly what the grand jury recommended,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif. The…

Take the Time to Re-Examine Rules for Potentially Discriminatory Impact

The state of Maryland recently passed a new law after an HOA’s demand for the removal of basketball hoops raised questions of racial discrimination. The episode provides a strong reminder to associations, boards, and managers that seemingly innocuous rules, new or existing, could lead to unwanted publicity and litigation stemming from allegations of discrimination. The…

Surfside Update: The Call for Condo Safety Reforms, Part 1

A Miami-Dade County grand jury has issued its report on the Surfside condo collapse, including several recommendations for making buildings safer. “I expected something scary and extraordinarily difficult to do, and that’s exactly what the grand jury recommended,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif. In…

Don’t Let Your Managers Fall Prey To Kickbacks

Kickbacks can cost both you and your clients, but your managers might not even know when they’re receiving one. Teaching your employees to recognize and sidestep such wrongful transactions can reduce the risks to your bottom line. Just what type of arrangement qualifies as a kickback? “It’s generally receiving something of value in exchange for…

A Warning About Disclosure Document Fees, From Illinois

An Illinois state court has sent a warning signal to association management firms about the fees they charge for disclosure documents. Disagreeing with a federal court ruling to contrary, the court held that owners can sue a manager for charging excessive fees under the state condo law. In reaching its decision, the Illinois Court of…

3 Tax Traps for Associations and Managers to Avoid

Community associations haven’t historically been in the cross-hairs for IRS auditors, but they can face unexpected tax bills. Here are three tax-related areas where associations sometimes slip up and suffer potentially costly consequences as a result. 1. Understanding that even nonprofit associations are taxable. It’s not unusual for boards to believe that, because their association…