Legal Compliance for Community Associations

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

Court Petition to Amend CC&Rs without Required Votes Needn’t Show Voter Apathy

California law lets an association turn to the courts to change the percentage of votes required to amend its CC&Rs, a helpful provision when communities have trouble reaching a super-majority. Opponents may claim that an association has to prove “voter apathy” to go this route, but a state court of appeals has made clear that…

Should You Use the Nuisance Provision to Regulate Marijuana Smoking?

The 2018 midterm elections saw three more states join the ranks of those allowing recreational or medical marijuana use, pushing the total number of states to more than 30. As legalization has spread, so, too, have owner complaints about their neighbors’ smoking — and the pressure on boards to use the nuisance provision in response.…

In the Air: Can Nuisance Rules Check Marijuana Smoking?

As more states legalize marijuana for recreational or medical use, more owners are voicing complaints about their neighbors’ weed smoking. Some associations are turning to the nuisance provisions in their governing documents in an attempt to prohibit or limit in-unit smoking, but that may not be the best option. The Nuisance Argument Second-hand smoke particularly…

Mishandling a Service Animal Request Can Cost Your Board — and You — Big Time

Owner requests to get around pet restrictions with service animals are nothing new, yet associations continue to struggle with how best to handle them. We’ll tell you about a new case that make clear how costly this can prove, not just for associations but also for management companies. “In this case, the HOA did everything…

Handle Service Animal Requests with Care — or Face Stiff Penalties

From peacocks and pigs to turkeys and skunks, people seem to eat up stories about unusual animal aides. They’re often less amused, though, when their neighbors want community association rules bent for their service animals. A recent case out of Nevada illustrates the potentially steep costs for associations, board members, and management companies of hastily…

Owners Have Solar Panel Plans; Do You Know What Your Association Can — and Can’t — Require?

Solar power is making gains in many parts of the country, and more and more community association owners are interested in installing their own panels. Associations traditionally have been resistant to such projects, citing aesthetics and other reasons. We’ll explain how state laws can limit associations’ ability to regulate solar panel usage. Why the surge…

Solar Power in Community Associations: What Can — and Can’t — Associations Do About Owners’ Solar Projects?

Polling shows more people than ever are concerned about climate change — and people have always been concerned about their bottom lines. Whether driven by environmental concerns, financial considerations, or both, owner interest in solar power is on the rise in many communities. And, while neighbors may have aesthetic and other objections, state laws might…

How Neighbor Disputes Can Lead to Association Liability

Community associations often prefer, understandably, to take a hands-off approach to disputes between owners. This week we explain why, under a federal regulation issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), that approach could backfire big time. Abuse and harassment among owners is on the rise, says Sandra Gottlieb, a founding partner of…

Are Community Associations Liable for Harassment between Owners?

Community associations often prefer, understandably, to take a hands-off approach to disputes between owners. Under a federal regulation issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), though, that approach could backfire. Association Liability for Owner-on-Owner Harassment Abuse and harassment among owners is on the rise, says Sandra Gottlieb, a founding partner of California…

The Great Defibrillator Debate: Weighing the Pros and (Potential) Cons

The ready availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) significantly improves the odds that the victims of sudden cardiac arrest will survive, so it might seem like a no-brainer for community associations — especially those with aging populations — to install the devices. This week, we dig into why it’s important to understand some of the…