Tag: Amenities

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…

When Sharing Across Communities Creates Conflict Rather Than Cohesion

When multiple associations share amenities or common areas through a master association, frictions can arise. 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 usually sees them when multiple “sub-associations” in the same geographic vicinity share certain common…

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…

Self-Help Enforcement: When and How?

From fines and suspended use of amenities to liens and lawsuits, community associations have a variety of remedies available when owners violate governing documents. The most controversial, though, may be self-help enforcement. A board's decision to take matters into its own hands can result in in lengthy litigation, liability, bruised feelings, threats, and even violence.…

Sometimes, Accommodations Aren’t Legally Required

When a resident requests a reasonable accommodation, boards of directors often focus solely on the reasonableness of the specific accommodation. But, if an accommodation isn’t necessary, a board doesn’t even need to consider reasonableness. A recent disability discrimination case in Ohio provides a useful example of how that can play out in an association’s favor.…

FHA Doesn’t Require HOA to Allow Personal Patio Grills

When a resident requests a reasonable accommodation, boards of directors often focus solely on the reasonableness of the specific accommodation. But, if an accommodation isn’t necessary, a board doesn’t even need to consider reasonableness. A recent disability discrimination case in Ohio provides a useful example of how that can play out in an association’s favor…

Court Finds HOA Liable for Familial Discrimination — Before Trial

A federal district court recently found that an HOA’s age-based rules regarding its recreational facilities were so obviously discriminatory that no trial on liability was even necessary. Do your associations know how to avoid getting themselves into a similar position? Brian and Anne Hill bought a single-family home in the 333-unit River Run HOA. They…

Age-Based Rules Spell Trouble for HOAs

A recent case out of Idaho serves as a strong reminder that your clients must tread carefully when devising age-based rules and regulations. (Hill v. River Run Homeowners Ass'n (D. Idaho 2020)). Recreation Rules Brian and Anne Hill bought a single-family home in the 333-unit River Run HOA. They and their children — ages 1,…

The Great Defibrillator Debate: Weighing the Pros and (Potential) Cons

The ready availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) significantly improves the odds that the victims of sudden cardiac arrest will survive, so it might seem like a no-brainer for community associations — especially those with aging populations — to install the devices. This week, we dig into why it’s important to understand some of the…