Community Association Rules

Violations, Enforcement, Use Restrictions

Record Inspection Request Requires Rapid Response — Even if Request Rambles

Owner record requests can prove a hassle for managers and their clients, but courts clearly favor greater access to less — let alone the denial of access. An association in Michigan learned this lesson the hard way when confronted with requests that even the state Supreme Court described as “longwinded” and “often difficult to follow”…

State Supreme Court Has New Spin on “Residential Purpose”

We’ve covered several cases over the past couple of years where state courts found that an association’s residential use restriction prohibited short-term rentals. But now the South Dakota Supreme Court has held otherwise. That court concluded that the definition of the term “residential purpose” includes short-term rentals. “This is a different interpretation than I’ve seen…

Court Says Short-Term Rentals are “Residential Purpose”

We’ve covered several cases over the past couple of years where state courts found that an association’s residential use restriction prohibited short-term rentals. But now the South Dakota Supreme Court has held otherwise. That court concluded that the definition of the term “residential purpose” includes short-term rentals (Wilson v. Maynard). “This is a different interpretation…

Rec Equipment Decisions Can Lead To Bias Allegations

The state of Maryland recently passed a new law after an HOA’s demand for the removal of basketball hoops raised questions of racial discrimination. The Maryland law generally prohibits condo associations and HOAs from imposing “unreasonable limitations” on the location and use of portable basketball hoops on an owner’s property. A state legislator initiated the…

Take the Time to Re-Examine Rules for Potentially Discriminatory Impact

The state of Maryland recently passed a new law after an HOA’s demand for the removal of basketball hoops raised questions of racial discrimination. The episode provides a strong reminder to associations, boards, and managers that seemingly innocuous rules, new or existing, could lead to unwanted publicity and litigation stemming from allegations of discrimination. The…

‘Residential Use’ Restriction Prohibits STRs

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that regular weekly rentals violated an HOA’s residential use restriction, in a case we first covered in 2020 (Cherry Home Ass’n v. Baker). The decision is a potentially promising development in the ongoing battle against short-term rentals. Owners’ Arguments Shot Down — Twice The case involved a community…

What Determines Whether an Accommodation Request is ‘Reasonable’?

The Illinois Court of Appeals recently ruled that a condo association must provide only those accommodations that reduce the effects of a disability so that a requesting resident isn’t disadvantaged because of the disability. This standard proved too high of a hurdle in a recent discrimination lawsuit brought by a particularly litigious owner in a…

California Court Exempts Current Owners From New Short-Term Rental Restrictions

A California Court of Appeal has left some associations and their lawyers reeling from its broad interpretation of a state law that exempts current owners from new rules blocking short-term rentals. “This is an expansion of what I think a lot of us expected Section 4740 to mean,” says Kelly Richardson, a partner in the…

Watch Out for Legal Pitfalls with 55-and-Older Communities

The federal Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) exempts 55-and-older communities from the prohibition against familial status discrimination in housing. But some of these associations fail to comply with the law’s strict, and ongoing, legal requirements, leaving them vulnerable to discrimination claims. As an example, to qualify for the exemption from familial discrimination liability, a…

City Can’t Require Association Units Remain in STR Market

The Colorado Court of Appeals has blocked a local ordinance that required a condo association’s units to stay in the short-term rental pool, limited the owner’s personal use during “high season,” and imposed fines for violations (Town of Vail v. Village Inn Plaza – Phase V Condominium Association). While the case focused a specific local…