Facts: A member sued to have a court declare whether a parking rule approved by the association's board of directors was valid and enforceable. The board passed a rule prohibiting members from parking anything but a single motorized vehicle in a member's assigned parking space. The member testified that he was using his assigned parking space to park a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, and he claimed that the rule was passed solely to eliminate his parking arrangement.
Ruling: The trial court ruled for the association.
This past winter, you may have received calls from members complaining about inadequate heat in their condo units. Often, these complaints are unfounded or result from easily correctable problems. Provide too much heat, however, and you are just wasting fuel and money. The best bet is to address heating complaints right away, while also controlling your heating costs.
Facts: A condominium association's declaration that established the association contained no restriction regarding rental of the units. Many years later, the association amended the bylaws to prohibit rentals of condominium units. One of the owners leased her condominium unit over the association's objection, claiming that the rental prohibition was ineffective because it had not been added to the association declaration. The association then filed a lawsuit asking the court to declare that the bylaw amendment was enforceable.
Facts: A group of members filed a lawsuit to challenge the association board's authority to enter into a contract for construction work on its building without a vote pursuant to its governing documents. The governing documents require a vote if the construction project is “alterations” or “improvements” costing more than 25 percent of the estimated annual budget. Here, the association classified the work as “repairs” and “maintenance.”
Facts: An African-American couple filed a discrimination lawsuit against their association. The members asked the court for a judgment without a trial in their favor.
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine recently signed a revision of the Property Owners' Association Act (POAA) that allows community association members to get salary information for the top six employees earning over $75,000. The revision takes effect July 1. Currently, only aggregate salary information is available. The bill also specifies that all books and records of the association, including individual salary information for all employees and payments to independent contractors, be made available to members of the association's board of directors.
Communities often rely on a variety of outside contractors or vendors to perform services on their behalf ranging from landscaping to plumbing. If one of your members complains about harassment or discrimination by one of these contractors, it's not enough for you to apologize and explain that he doesn't work for the association.
Facts: A member sued an association after she fractured her ankle when she slipped and fell while walking on the stairways and landing outside her condominium. The stairways and landing are within the common elements of the condominium property maintained by the association.
Foreclosure filings in the U.S. climbed 30 percent in February from a year earlier as the worsening economy thwarted efforts by the government and lenders to prevent homeowners from losing property.
In these challenging economic times, some condo associations are stretched to think of new ways to offset dwindling assessments. One potentially lucrative option is to lease rooftop space for antenna installation. The proliferation of cell phones, broadband, paging, wireless Web, and related technologies has driven the demand for wireless companies to increase their coverage areas and data transmission capacities.