Human Resources & Employment Law

Looking to Hire Managers? You’re Not Alone

Employers of all stripes are having trouble recruiting new workers, and community association management firms aren’t immune. “The industry over the last three or four years has found itself in an increasingly difficult hiring situation, which has only been exacerbated by COVID,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based management…
Human Resources & Employment Law

Are Your Managers Burned Out? Probably.

The stress experienced by community association managers can pose serious problems for their employers, including reduced productivity and staff levels. “We’ve had managers quit because they were burned out,” says Paul Grucza, director of education and client development at the Seattle-based management company CWD Group, Inc. Are you taking the steps you should to understand…
Community Association Governance

Minimum Rental Period Rule Unenforceable Against Existing Owners Under California Law

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 (Brown v. Montage at Mission Hills). “This is an expansion of what I think a lot of us expected Section 4740 to mean,” says…
Community Association Financials

Rising Sea Levels Bring a Wave of Risk — Even in Unexpected Locales

Savvy community association managers have realized for some time that rising sea levels —whether in oceans, lakes, or rivers — pose a threat to their clients. “The problem is that it’s such a slow creep that it’s not visible to the naked eye,” says Brad van Rooyen, president of HomeRiver Group-Florida, the management company for…
Community Association Financials

Avoid the Potential Pitfalls of Sharing Common Areas Among Communities

When multiple associations share amenities or common areas through a master association, frictions can arise. Our experts have some ideas for preempting those through effective negotiation. How It Happens Master associations come in different flavors, but Kevin Hirzel, managing member of Hirzel Law, PLC, a Michigan-based firm that works with numerous community associations, says he…
Communications

Dos and Don’ts for Handling Owner Document Requests

Handling document inspection requests from owners can be a hassle for community association managers, but it can go much more smoothly if you follow some simple rules. Read on to learn how to improve the process for all involved. Do Know the Statutory Dos and Don’ts State laws lay out very specific requirements for how…
Community Association Financials

One Association’s Loss Could Prove To Be a Future Victory for Others

When an owner drops a lawsuit against a community association, the association can recover its attorneys’ fees, right? Not necessarily. A California association recently learned this lesson the hard way. Ironically, though, the court’s ruling could prove helpful for other associations. In 2008, the association obtained majority approval from the members to spend about $5.3…
Community Association Financials

55-and-Older Communities: 3 Legal Landmines to Avoid

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. Here are the three main areas where they can slip up. 1. The…
Community Association Governance

Drones Will Soon Be Flying Over Your Properties on a Regular Basis: What Are the Implications?

The number of drones (also known as unmanned aerial vehicles) in the air overhead has been climbing steadily in recent years. If your client associations aren’t already dealing with the implications of both commercial and recreational drone usage, they probably will be soon. “Drone usage will be commonplace in the coming decade,” says community association…
Community Association Governance

Are You Stuck With Docks Forever?

In 2020, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an alarming ruling for associations in a case involving oral approval for the installation of docks. But now, the state’s highest court has weighed in on the case with a much more favorable ruling. The lawsuit was filed by some owners in a lakefront association. Under the…