Community Association Rules

Violations, Enforcement, Use Restrictions

Majority Vote Can Amend Restrictions in Missouri

This week, we tell you about a landmark ruling out of Missouri that dramatically expands the ability of associations to add restrictions by amendment. It frees associations there — and potentially elsewhere — from a rule that has handcuffed them for 80 years. The new case involves a subdivision that was established in 1923, with…

Missouri Court Strikes Down Long-Standing Unanimous Consent Requirement to Amend Restrictions

The Missouri Supreme Court has rejected its long-standing rule requiring unanimous consent among owners to amend restrictions. The decision, which the attorney who represented the subdivision in the case described as a “sea change,” could have a ripple effect across other states when it comes to restrictions affecting a variety of hot topics in associations.…

Ho, Ho, Holiday Decorations: Exterior Lighting Case Highlights Limits to Board Authority

As the holidays approach, some community association boards and their managers will soon find themselves dealing with owners who draw the ire of their neighbors by going overboard. Before drafting or trying to enforce decoration and lighting restrictions, or any restrictions, you and your boards should confirm that they have the authority to do so.…

How to Tackle the Short-Term Rentals Issue

A lot of people have a love-hate relationship with Airbnb and other short-term rental arrangements — and the same is true for community associations. Some want to bar the rentals entirely, while others want to allow them but struggle with regulation. This week’s article outlines the different approaches popping up across the country. As in…

Associations Confront the Continuing Challenge of Short-Term Rentals

The short-term rental phenomenon spurred by Airbnb, VRBO, and the like has turned out to be more than a fad. Rather, it’s an ongoing problem for some community associations, particularly those in popular areas for tourists. Read on to learn how some boards of directors and managers are addressing it. A Sampling of Strategies As…

Accommodating One Group Can Discriminate Against Another

Your clients no doubt know that they may need to reasonably accommodate various protected classes, but it may not occur to them that their efforts to empower one group could result in discrimination claims from another. A New Jersey condo association learned this lesson the hard way. The association has a large Orthodox Jewish population.…

Religious Accommodation Goes Wrong: Court Finds Sex-Segregated Pool Hours Unlawful

A New Jersey condo association with a community pool thought it was bending over backward to accommodate its religious owners with the pool schedule. But its efforts to work with one protected class ended up inadvertently discriminating against another. Read on to learn how the association landed in court. Pool Rules Make a Splash The…

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.…

Elections: Is Cumulative Voting Right for Your Clients?

Cumulative voting for board elections isn’t common, but community associations that do use it should take the time to evaluate whether it’s the right path to continue to follow. On its face, it might seem fairly democratic. In reality, it can give place too much power in some voters’ hands — including voters who don’t…