Risk Management

New Case Highlights That Parking Availability Can Be a Safety Issue

The California Court of Appeal recently ruled that a condominium association didn’t have a duty to provide adequate on-site parking for invitees and therefore wasn’t liable for injuries a guest sustained after parking off-site. But the court left the door open to an association’s liability for off-site injury in some circumstances. One evening in June…

When Resolving Conflicts, Stick to the Facts

Conflicts, whether between the board and owners or among owners themselves, are inevitable. But successful resolution isn’t. Some of our experts have advice on how managers can help their boards handle these disputes so they don’t spin out of control. “You have to get rid of the emotional baggage,” says Michael Kim, of counsel with…

Supporting Your Staff’s Mental Health in Trying Times

The stress experienced by community association managers can pose serious problems for their employers, including reduced productivity and staff levels. “We’ve had managers quit because they were burned out,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based management company CWD Group, Inc. Are you taking the steps you should to understand…

Association’s Ultimate Victory Doesn’t Guarantee Attorneys’ Fees Award

When an owner drops a lawsuit against a community association, the association can recover its attorneys’ fees, right? Not necessarily. A California association recently learned this lesson the hard way (Champir, LLC v. Fairbanks Ranch Ass’n). Ironically, though, the court’s ruling could prove helpful for other associations. Traffic Light Project Halted In 2008, the association…

When Is a Closed Session Appropriate?

Closed sessions are among the most frequently abused governance tools in community associations, according to Kelly Richardson, a partner in the law firm Richardson Ober De Nichilo in Pasadena, Calif. “I frequently see boards conducting discussions in closed session where the topic really should be reserved for open session,” he says. Richardson says closed sessions…

Here Come the Drones: What You and Your Clients Need to Know

The number of drones (also known as unmanned aerial vehicles) in the air overhead has been climbing steadily in recent years. If your client associations aren’t already dealing with the implications of both commercial and recreational drone usage, they probably will be soon. “Drone usage will be commonplace in the coming decade,” says community association…

Court Says HOA Can Revoke Dock Approvals

In 2020, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an alarming ruling for associations in a case involving oral approval for the installation of docks. Now the state’s highest court has weighed in on the case with a ruling much more favorable for associations (Haan v. Lake Doster Lake Ass’n). A Scare from the Court of…

Do Associations Have a Duty to Provide Invitee Parking?

The California Court of Appeal recently ruled that a condominium association didn’t have a duty to provide adequate on-site parking for invitees and therefore wasn’t liable for injuries a guest sustained after parking off-site (Issakhani v. Shadow Glen Homeowners Ass’n, Inc.). But the court left the door open to an association’s liability for off-site injury…

Business Judgment Rule Protections Can Vanish Amid Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest can strip board members of the protections they otherwise might have under the business judgment rule. A case involving a California HOA recently drove that point home. “The case really demonstrates the limits of the business judgment rule and how it’s very easy to step outside the limits of the law if…

3 Tips for Effective Conflict Resolution

Conflicts, whether between the board and owners or among owners themselves, are inevitable. But successful resolution isn’t. Some of our experts have advice on how managers can help their boards handle these disputes so they don’t spin out of control. 1. Focus on the facts. “You have to get rid of the emotional baggage,” says…