Community Association Rules

Violations, Enforcement, Use Restrictions

Are Short-Term Vacation Rentals Considered “Single Family Use”?

Many community associations trying to limit short-term rentals have found their battle complicated by the fact that their CC&Rs were drafted long before the days of Airbnb and VRBO. With CC&Rs that contain no provision explicitly addressing such rentals, some have turned to their single-family residence restrictions. “Associations try to hang their hat on that…

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…

Short-Term Rentals Don’t Violate Single-Family Residence Restriction

The California Court of Appeals recently shot down the argument that a single-family residence restriction prohibited short-term rentals (Lastavich v. Nob Hill Homowners Ass’n, Cal App. Dec 2, 2020). Many community associations trying to limit short-term rentals have found their battle complicated by the fact that their CC&Rs were drafted long before the days of…

Is Sustainable Landscaping a Worthwhile Investment?

Depending on where you operate, you may have heard annual meeting debates about sustainable landscaping dating back at least a decade. “I’ve worked with clients who have made the change, and I’ve also worked with those who have said they’d never do it,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based…

Time to Convert to Sustainable Landscaping?

Depending on where you operate, you may have heard annual meeting debates about sustainable landscaping dating back at least a decade. “I’ve worked with clients who have made the change, and I’ve also worked with those who have said they’d never do it,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based…

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.…

FHA Doesn’t Require HOA to Allow Personal Patio Grills

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…

Could Rental Restrictions Be in Your Association’s Future?

A new law that significantly limits rental restrictions in California community associations took effect Jan. 1, 2021. Among other things, California Civil Code Section 4741 imposes a deadline on associations in the state to amend their governing documents to comply with its provisions. While the law applies only to California associations, the state often is…

HUD Charges Association, Manager with Disability Discrimination Over Dog Policy

How many assistance animals must an association with pet restrictions allow as a reasonable accommodation? If the answer seems obvious to you or a client, you might be surprised by a recent charge against an association and its manager by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The charge is startling evidence of…