Articles

Member Can Build Shed on Property

Facts: An association member constructed a shed on his property. The shed was approved by the town's building inspector and received a certificate of compliance. The association sent the member a notice stating that the shed violated certain provisions of the governing documents. The member sued the association, claiming that the board lacked the authority to issue him a violation notice.

Ruling: A New York court ruled for the member.

Articles

Association Can Amend Governing Documents

Facts: Worried about short-term rentals in the community, an association's board decided to amend the governing documents to restrict rentals to 30 days or more. The board sent out ballots, and 132 of the 168 ballots were returned. The proposed amendment failed because 36 owners abstained from voting, and of those who voted, the amendment received only 59 percent of the vote.

Articles

Developer May Be Liable for Community Defects

Facts: An association sued the builder of the condominium building for breaching its implied warranty of habitability—that is, its guarantee that the building is fit to be lived in. The association presented evidence of leaks into the units, inadequately sloped decks, loose railings, improperly installed windows, and other structural problems.

Articles

Verifying Member’s Military Service for SCRA

941118_blog_0.jpg

Q In some cases, I have heard that the law limits our association's collection rights against members who are serving in the military. If this is true, can you please explain the limitations and how our association can verify whether a defaulting member is indeed serving in the military?

Articles

How Your Older Condominium Can Show Environmental Leadership

More and more first-time condo buyers are seeking environmentally friendly features in units and buildings. Many condominium developers are responding by incorporating various environmentally friendly elements into their buildings' designs.

Articles

Association Can Impose Fines

Facts: An association claimed that a member misrepresented his ownership of the condo where he was living. The ownership of the condo had changed hands among a father, his son, and the son's company a few times in five years. The association claimed that as a result of the misrepresentation, the member was improperly elected to the board of directors and appointed president. The association held a hearing to determine whether the member should be assessed fines for violating the association's governing documents.

Articles

Association Didn’t Knowingly Make False Statement

Facts: A member sued her association and its management company for their handling of property damage caused by several hurricanes in 2004. To fix the damage, the association had obtained a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Articles

Set Smoke Detector Maintenance Policy for Condo Members

Operable smoke detectors can go a long way toward saving lives and protecting property in condominium communities, where a fire in one unit can damage other units or endanger lives. Unfortunately, sometimes members don't maintain their smoke detectors or may intentionally disable them. Members with battery-operated, rather than hard-wired, smoke detectors often remove the battery when the detector begins chirping to signify that the battery is weak, says California manager Rolf Crocker.

Articles

Understanding Costs, Hazards of Electronic Document Discovery

While technology has made conducting business more efficient, it has also created the potential for new legal problems. “Unless you're sure that your company will never be in a lawsuit, you should be concerned with the costs and hazards of electronically stored information,” says attorney Robert Machson, an e-discovery strategy expert. Electronically stored information (ESI) includes any data stored electronically, such as email, documents, voice messages, and digital images.

Articles

Don’t Debit Different Amount from Member’s Account Without Advance Notice

If a member pays his regular association assessments using automated electronic payments, don't transfer additional fees from his bank account without giving the member advance notice. Overstepping your bounds on automatic payments violates the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (FCRA).