Legal Compliance for Community Associations

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

How to Handle Owners’ Barking about Dogs

Even the most ardent dog lovers can get fed up with their neighbors’ pooches, and no one knows that better than the boards of directors and managers who must field the resulting complaints. With so many dog owners thinking of Fido as a member of the family, the proper response calls for a sensitive touch.…

Help Your Boards Avoid Disaster-Related Missteps

Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, and thunderstorms, hail storms, and other kinds of freak storms — no community association is immune to disasters these days. Most boards of directors recognize this, but they may find the very idea of disaster planning and response intimidating. This week’s article explains how managers can help their boards reduce the…

Recipe for Disaster: How Associations Can Fumble Emergency Planning and Response

While few doubt the importance of disaster preparedness for community associations, boards of directors can find it daunting. And rightly so — well-intentioned boards can make emergency planning and response mistakes that ultimately cause more damage and even leave them open to liability. It’s up to association managers to provide some critical guidance and help…

Proceed with Caution When Owner Checks Come with Endorsements

You’ve probably seen it before — an owner adds some type of restrictive endorsement in the memo portion of a check in hopes of pulling a fast one. This week’s article explains how a condo association in Ohio has now spent years in court as a result of such an endorsement. The case provides some…

Association Can Return Owner Checks with Restrictive Endorsements

Attorney Daniel Miske, of Milwaukee, Wis., firm Husch Blackwell LLP, calls them “professional debtors” — the kind of people who try to evade their financial obligations by, for example, getting cute with the endorsements on their payment checks. An owner in Ohio dragged a condo association through years of litigation because of such an endorsement.…

Pond Runoff Can Leave Associations in Hot Water for Far Longer Than They Expect

Many communities are developed with detention ponds, and associations rarely give them a second thought. When they do, they probably figure any problems are the developer’s problem. This week, we explain why this kind of thinking can lead to some unpleasant, and costly surprises long after an association might think it could be held liable.…

Ponds Can Mean Lingering Liability

Do your clients have ponds on their grounds? If so, they could be subject to liability related to overflow for much longer than they might expect. In fact, according to a recent court ruling in Pennsylvania, every overflow incident could re-open the door to litigation, regardless of when the pond was built or the owner…

Associations Don’t Need to Grant Every Service Animal Request

It sometimes seems like community associations and their managers always come up on the losing end of cases related to owners’ service animal requests. But this week we’ll review a ruling from the Michigan court of appeals that makes clear that associations aren’t required to grant every request. Janis Creswell owns a unit in a…

Association Can Refuse Fence for Service Dogs

Owner requests for accommodations of their service or emotional support animals can lead to ugly, costly disputes, but associations shouldn’t assume they can’t win the legal battle. A state court of appeals in Michigan recently came down on the side of the association after an owner erected a fence for her dogs without first seeking…

Voter Apathy Not Necessary to Have Court Amend Voting Rules

In California, associations that can’t get a popular CC&R amendment passed because of supermajority voting requirements have another option — they can ask a court to amend the voting requirement to make it less onerous. A common question in such situations is whether an association must show voter apathy before a court can act. In…